ABOUT A TOWN CALLED MIRAFLORES AND A FRUIT CALLED PITAHAYA
Miraflores is a small town hidden away from the international spotlight; a lush oasis nestled at the foothills of the Sierra La Laguna and about an hour drive northeast of San Jose del Cabo. It’s hard to imagine a place so near to Los Cabos described as “lush” as when most people think of Los Cabos they imagine a semi-arid desert landscape merging with the vibrant blue Sea of Cortez.
Well, let me tell you, the Sierra La Laguna is full of year-round flowing streams and picturesque little towns like Miraflores and its neighbor, Santiago. These towns have existed for a lot longer than you think – some were founded in the 1700’s when the European mining companies established gold and silver mines along the Baja peninsula.
Yet Miraflores is not known for mining. It’s ‘claim to fame’ is the very tasty, bright fruit called “pitahaya” that grows on the tall cacti “cardones”; both abundant and iconic. Annually for the past 30 years, July is traditionally the last pitahaya harvesting month of the year. The cacti are in bloom and the fruit is ripe, so what happens next? The town hosts the Fiesta de la Pitahaya! Forget about a piña colada, it’s “una pitahaya colada, por favor”. The festivities revolve around this vibrantly colored fruit – from fresh drinks, gelato and salads to simply eating one straight out of the peel. But this fruit is not only for eating; in Pre-Hispanic times the indigenous people used the bright red, orange, yellow and white pitahayas as fabric pigment and for painting murals.
This year’s Pitahaya Party will be on the 20th and 21st of July. Check back to learn more about the variety of cuisine, drinks and local arts and crafts being offered during the festival.
Want to make a day of it? Located a short distance from town are several year-round streams and pools that are a lot of fun for those looking for a bit of adventure. My favorite day trip is arriving early in the morning for a leisurely hike up to one of the streams, taking a refreshing dip in the cool water and then heading back to town for a well-deserved pitahaya colada and rustic quesadilla with carne asada. Care to join me?