Southwest Adventures

Historic Ajo, Mine and Desert – Travel Arizona

Explore this out of the way desert community while you take a walking tour of downtown.

Ajo, Travel ArizonaThe desert surrounding Ajo is quiet at night, the skies are often clear, and early morning finds this sleepy town alight with western charm. Spend a night here as you travel Arizona on our Southwest tour. Enjoy an evening barbecue with your tour group and relax in the peaceful atmosphere of small town life. We include a walking tour of the town site during which you will learn all about the origins of this unique community, including its impressive copper mining history and unique Spanish Colonial Revival Style. Take a look at the giant pit of the old copper mine, then tour through the informative museum. Located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Ajo provides more than just a cultural experience. The town is surrounded by giant saguaro cactus, and located close to Organ Pipe National Monument, a region which provides a true highlight for the Arizona section of our tour. Read further to find out why we include this little known and seldom visited location on our adventure tours.

For information about our tour visit Southwest Adventures.

Historic Ajo, Catholic ChurchThe Spanish Colonial Revival Style can be seen in a variety of historic buildings around Ajo’s town center. From the train depot, pictured above, which was built in 1917 to the lovely Catholic church pictured to the left our walking tour will guide you to some of the most noteworthy historical buildings and sights. The town plan was inspired by the City Beautiful movement, a unique movement in the USA which focused on beautifying the city in order to instill moral values and better the lives of the poor.

Historic Ajo, Church, Stained GlassThe Ajo mine, known as the “New Cornelia”, was once the USA’s third larges producer of copper. This 1-1/2 mile open pit mine provided important jobs in Ajo until 1984 when Phelps Dodge, who owned the Ajo mine at the time, closed it down. Having survived a merger, the Great Depression, and the fluctuation of copper prices this great mine is a monument to American history and persistence. Although the Ajo New Cornelia mine is no longer in operation it is still an impressive sight and the viewpoint provides a great overlook for this 1100 foot deep pit. The small museum located there provides further insight into the copper mining history of the area.

Ajo mine, New CorneliaAs you travel Arizona on our Southwest tour you will gain a greater insight into the difficulties and rewards of living in small towns like Ajo across the American West. With unique histories, slow changes and hopeful futures these towns often struggle to survive. Experience Ajo with our small group travel tours and let us guide you through history while you enjoy the leisurely atmosphere of this pretty desert town. Ajo also serves as the base for our exploration of Organ Pipe National Monument, a worthwhile venture into the very heart of the Sonora desert on which you can find further information from the link below. This traditional little western town gives you a chance to take a peaceful evening or morning walk- keep an eye out for wildlife after dark including the flighty night-hawk, rabbits and smaller desert creatures.

Organ Pipe Cactus N.M.

Organ Pipe Cactus N.M.

Casa Grande Ruins

Casa Grande Ruins

Arizona Travel – Read about the attractions above that are located close to Ajo and also visited on our southwest vacation. Click on the buttons to go to the information pages.


If you have any questions about our Arizona Tours and New Mexico Travel please feel free to contact us at Our Southwest Adventure tour is scheduled for at least twice a year, and can be booked for a group as a custom adventure travel tour at other times.