Mulege is a beautiful oasis town (population, less than 3,500) which is located along the tranquil shores of the Sea of Cortez. This small town enjoys a typical mild Baja climate that many travelers find to be exactly what they are seeking. Many of the campgrounds and RV parks, along the Río Mulegé, have grown into permanent places of rest for RV’s and trailers from all over the U.S. and Canada.
There are also many vacation homes in the general area, especially to the south on the beautiful beaches and “South Pacific like” coves that dot the area. The valley that shelters Mulegé is covered with date palms, is highly verdant, and is in stark contrast with the rest of Baja making this peaceful seaside village really stand out. The Río Mulegé is one of only two “real” rivers in all of Baja California Sur.
Mulegé also has some incredible petroglyphs and cave paintings nearby, that can be explored by way of an easy half-day excursion. A guide is necessary and also required by law. Ciro Cuesta is a highly-respected guide who knows this area like the back of his hand, he speaks excellent English and will explain more to you than you will ever remember about the petroglyphs, cave paintings and the delicate environment of the area. Call (615) 153-0481 or contact him through the Hotel Serenidad.
This area is extremely popular with fishing, snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. Sea kayaking in the peaceful waters of Bahía Concepción, to the south, is another increasingly popular activity. Fishing boats, tackle, sea kayaks as well as diving and snorkeling equipment can all be rented in Mulegé and all kinds of tours can be arranged.
Mountain biking is also gaining popularity and Mulegé has long been a favorite with off road motorcyclists. There are several very nice hotels in and around the downtown area and to the south of town along with some RV parks and campgrounds (some with rooms to rent) along the river, just south of the bridge.
A local landmark is Mission Santa Rosalía de Mulegé, whose construction was started in 1668 and finally completed in 1705. This makes Mission Santa Rosalía de Mulegé the second oldest mission in Baja. The mission is built entirely of local stone and has been carefully restored. Today, the mission serves Mulegé as the local Catholic church. The mission is located a short distance inland from the bridge over Rio Mulegé. There is a small dam just below the Mission that was also built by the missionaries, with the help of the local Indians. The dam was originally used for the irrigation of local crops.
Worthy of a visit, if you have some extra time, is the building on the hill, now a museum, that was a prison until 1975. This prison fit into the “Only in Baja” category in that it operated on a kind of honor system. The prisoners could go out and work, at a normal job, during the day. They just had to be back “home” by 6 PM. If they did not return, the other prisoners, not wanting to lose a good thing, would go find them and bring them back.
If you’re going to be in Mulegé on a Saturday night, try not to miss the pig roast at the Hotel Serenidad. This feast, a Mulegé tradition for many years, attracts visitors from all over the area. Many private pilots from all over the U.S. fly in especially for the great food, Margaritas, mariachi music and the friendly atmosphere. A smooth dirt runway is maintained by the hotel for small aircraft. Reservations are recommended. Call 011 52 (615) 153-0111, from the U.S. or Canada. Pilot’s note: Aviation fuel is not available in Mulegé, the International Airport at Loreto, 80 miles to the south, is the closest source of aviation fuel.
Mulegé is one of the magic places to explore on any Baja vacation. It is a favorite of many frequent Baja travelers for good reason. If you want to get a glimpse of “The Real Baja”, make a point to stop in Mulegé and spend a little time. The town is known for its friendly locals and sincere hospitality. Many visitors to Loreto will allow for an overnight stay in Mulegé or at least rent a car for a day trip. Mulegé is that nice, that is a true Baja fact!
Mulegé is the gateway to Bahía Concepción, a large bay within the Sea of Cortez. This area, without a doubt, is one of Baja’s most beautiful areas. Countless beautiful coves and inlets, most with exquisite white sandy beaches are seemingly around every corner.
The 20 miles of highway that hug the coast below Mulegé give access to what are considered by many to be the nicest beaches in all of Baja. This special area of Baja offers endless swimming, snorkeling and camping opportunities along with virtually endless (spectacular) photo opportunities of the peaceful bays, coves and islands of Bahía Concepción.
A dozen or so beachside campgrounds (with largely contrasting services for campers) and one small hotel, at playa Buenaventura, serve travelers. If you are unfamiliar with the area it is suggested that you bring all of your own supplies as you may well end up staying longer than you had originally planned to. The few small stores that serve this area keep irregular hours, at best, and may even be closed for days or weeks at a time.
The rugged eastern finger of Bahía Concepción remains mostly unexplored, and almost completely uninhabited due to the lack of any road maintenance or any type of services for travelers. A really well equipped, high-clearance, 4×4 is necessary if you wish to experience the truly unique adventure of this pristine piece of “The Real Baja”. A few primitive fish camps dot the shore, but they may be uninhabited depending on the current fishing conditions.
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