Travel to Mulege
Located 38 miles south off Santa Rosalía lies the town of Mulegé, Mexico, a true oasis in the desert country of Baja California. Lush vegetation lines an estuary that cuts in from the Sea of Cortez. Fig trees, bananas, olive and citrus trees thrive as reminders of the heritage of Jesuit missionaries who settled here. Date palms are particularly conspicuous and have always been desirable as a source of food, thatching material, and shade. This arid region receives approximately 4 inches of rainfall annually. Mulegé rests at a river mouth, and because of this water source, the site was ideal for a mission that was founded in 1705. The church was rebuilt at its present location following a flood in 1770. The village is a fascinating stop on any Mexican vacation yet its quiet streets, lined with mission-style buildings, are not overrun by tourists.
In addition to the mission, another structure of historic interest is the old state penitentiary that now functions as a museum. It housed prisoners between 1907 and 1975, but during that period inmates were permitted to work and wander freely in town throughout the day, returning to their quarters at 6 o’clock each evening.
Mulegé Mexico is a staging area for guided outings to view impressive cave paintings in the mountainous terrain of Sierra de Guadalupe and La Trinidad. Murals of human and other animal figures were painted primarily with red and black pigments. Native people encountered by the earliest European explorers did not know who was responsible for this impressive rock art.
Although not readily accessible by most small cruise ships, Mulegé is on Highway 1, the major corridor that runs the length of the Baja Peninsula. One can easily reach this fascinating area by plane at the airport in Loreto not far to the south and via a ferry that serves Santa Rosalía.
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