Valley of the Giants

San Felipe, Baja, Mexico

The Valley of the Giants, a forest of huge cadon cactii about nine miles south of San Felipe, Baja, Mexico attracts tourists through sheer intimidation. Cactus Arms SecuredThere's something almost Jurrasic about a 50 foot tall cactus. It looms and throws a morning shadow the size of a football field. Its cathedral height seems almost sacred as it silently watches centuries of history unroll at its feet.

In 1992, Mexico chose a 45 foot cardon cactus to make a transatlantic passage to Europe. It was transplanted to Seville, Spain in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Americas.

Cristobal Colón continues to be honored, unlike Leif Erikson, who was reputedly the first European to set foot on North America around 1000 AD.


Crane Lifting Cactus Or Bjarne Herjufsson, who actually discovered it a year earlier.

The removal of the cardon from the Valley of the Giants was initially plagued by problems. The first crane that attempted to lift it broke a cable. A second crane was sent to the site where it promptly got bogged in the sand. When the cactus was finally loaded onto a flatbed truck, its root system bagged and boxed, accordian arms immobilized by a welded superstructure with padded collars, the truck broke down on the side of the highway where it remained for days while repairs were being made. But finally, the cactus made the trip across Mexico, was loaded onto a ship and eventually found a place of honor in Seville's many displays. However, the 150 year old cactus somehow inspired a typographical error and its information plaque now announces to visitors an age of 1500 years.

Giant Cactus View
Cactus Forest

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Photos by Tom Luxon

Size Comparison
View of a Giant