Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Southern Arizona Travel Guide

Ajo

"Ajo" (pronounced ah-ho) is Spanish for garlic, and some say the town got its name from the wild garlic that grows in the area. Others claim the word is a bastardization of the Indian word au-auho, referring to red paint derived from a local pigment.

For many years Ajo, like Bisbee, was a thriving Phelps Dodge company town. Copper mining had been attempted in the area in the late 19th century, but

it wasn’t until the 1911 arrival of the Calumet & Arizona Mining Company that the region began to be developed profitably. Calumet and Phelps Dodge merged in 1935, and the huge pit mine produced millions of tons of copper until it closed in 1985. Nowadays Ajo is pretty sleepy; the town’s population of 4,000 has a median age of 51, and most visitors are on their way to or from Rocky Point, Mexico. At the center of town is a sparkling white Spanish-style plaza. The shops and restaurants that line the plaza’s covered arcade today are rather modest. Unlike Bisbee, Ajo hasn’t yet drawn an artistic crowd—or the upscale boutiques and eateries that tend to follow. Chain stores and fast-food haven’t made a beeline here either—you’ll find only one Dairy Queen and a Pizza Hut in this remote desert hamlet.

Read More

Advertisement

Advertisement

Trip Finder
Store
Guidebooks

Fodor's Pacific Northwest

View Details
X

No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.