The next valley south of Santo Tomás is almost as picturesque, with more agricultural crops and the Llano Colorado (Reddish Plain) beyond it. The town itself (pop. 3,500) is a small-sized commercial center, with a few restaurants and stores as well as an ABC bus terminal—all right along the highway.
The only real point of interest here is the historic Dominican mission of San Vicente Ferrer, located one kilometer north of town at Km. 88.
Founded by Padres Miguel Hidalgo and Joaquín Valero in 1780, this mission (1780–1833) and military outpost played an important role in connecting the Baja California missions to the newer settlements in Alta California. It also had one of the largest building complexes of any Dominican mission.
In 1997 Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) began an archeological dig to uncover, reinforce, and protect the remaining mission ruins. Today the site is lined with gravel paths and the adobe walls are covered in a waterproof layer. To find the mission site, look for a dirt road heading west off Mexico 1, just south of Km. 88.