An oasis town located in the Mexican town of Baja California Sur, Mulege is the fourth largest community in this municipality. This is also an area that has been inhabited over the centuries because of abundance of water resources in the area. Maria de Salvatierra, the Jesuit Father started the construction of the mission in this area. After that many other Jesuit Fathers came in to the area and converted the natives to Catholics. The incidents of the Mexican American war of 1846-1848, lent the town many heroic stories and that is why this town has come to be called as the Heroica Mulege. While the Americans tried to occupy the long stretches of this area, the natives repelled all efforts back to them. As a result of the continuous tales of heroism of the natives against the Americans, this area was never captured and came to be known for its bravery and courage. All the official correspondence of the state is signed over the Heroica Mulege.
The sea of Cortez is very famous for its various fishing grounds and cold currents coming in from the Northern Pacific Zone, result in a huge variety of different types of fish. This sea is originally named after the explorer, Hernan Cortes of a Spanish descent. While in the past, this city derived its economy from the fishing and agriculture, today tourism is a major source of income for the residents here. Deep sea fishing, cave touring, Kayaking, bird watching and fishing are the major areas of eco-tourism, which make this a thriving tourist town. Very accessible from the US border, reaching Mulege takes about 12 hours by road. Though the area was one of the worst affected by the hurricane John in 2006,followed by Hurricane Jimena in 2009, and two more in 2012 and 2014 respectively, high floods have also added to the woes of the locals.
When To Go:
While the weather here is favorable throughout the year, you should avoid the rainy months as they do not let you enjoy the natural scenic beauty of the place and many tours are drenched in the rain. The best months to enjoy the weather are from October to June every year. High precipitation falls in the months of July, August and September every year.
These are the things to do in the city of Mulege, Mexico:
In the months of November till March, this entire area becomes a heaven for the Wind Surfers, particularly on the central coast; the conditions turn very favorable for Wind Surfing. While you can enjoy the Bahia Conception, Bahia de Los Angeles is very suitable for the amateurs. The professional level sports range is best enjoyed at the East Cape. And if you happen to be in Mulege in the summers, Wind Surfing is best enjoyed in La Paz. The best spots for this sport lie mostly along the deserted beaches of this peninsula. While the winds are not blowing around anywhere, just a little crossing would take you to the West across the peninsula and all the fun and throttle can be enjoyed on the Punta Marquez on the other side. If you happen to- be in southern Baja, the most easily accessed place of the Los Barriles. The steady winds at a speed of 18-30 knots are ideal for this sport. While you may not be able to Uphaul the surf board at all times, the water-start is the thing to start with and is the prerequisite for board surfing in this area.
There are various deals which are offered throughout the year. While you may be easily able to find the surfing boards and the safety gear on rent, you may even wish to buy some excellent stuff which is freely available on good discounts at the many shops that line this area. The instructors are friendly and tour guides teach you the basics of the sport, such that you may also be able to enjoy a ride or two on the tides. While you are surfing the cold waters, the radiant sun and the open winds just propel you to stick and perform better with every haul of the tide.
All the guides are very cooperative and safety of the tourist is of prime importance to the guides. Though they encourage you to test your limits by making you try adventure, you can also be assured of the safety.
There is an annual Grey Whale Migrations that takes place in this coastal area. All through the months of January till March, the canals, the bays and the waters of the Bahia Magdalena are practically filled with nothing but the whales. The most popular centers for watching the Whale Migration are San Carlos and Puerto Lopez Mateos. There is spotting of the grey whales at the shores itself in this peak season of whale migration. There are various tours that are organized for the whale watching.
Though these whales are busy in their migration and do not pay much attention to the tourists, there have been some dangerous mishaps also, when the whales were disturbed by the crowd. But because the waters of San Carlos are deeper than the other areas, you can watch more whale acrobatics in this area.
The best whale watching activity can also be witnessed by the Punta Entrada, at the southern tip of the Isle of Magdalena. This Island is a beauty in itself. Accessible only by a boat with the best anchorage possible or by the small planes, this area is excellent for camping also besides having the best view of whale watching.
This is located in the surroundings of Guerrero Negro. A short trip by a plane would land you at an airport at distance of 2 kilometers for the place. This was alternatively known as the Laguna Ojo de Liebre, which was famous for the primitive settlements in this area. These primitive inhabitations left the cave paintings as a witness to their existence. There are several petroglyphs in the area too. This site has been chosen by the grey whales to mate extensively and give birth to the off springs. And the hunters chose this area to exploit the whales. A population of the Whales which was estimated at 20,000 to 30,000 was reduced to a mere 4000 due to extensive hunting and killing of the whales.
The first Grey Whale Sanctuary has thus been created in this Scammon’s lagoon for the protection and breeding of whales. Due to the characteristics of this typical terrain and the various rules to be followed in the reserve, a tour guide accompanying you is a very good idea. You can make prior reservations and have all arrangements made before you reach here. Whale watching is one activity that has not been exploited so far and this is one area of wildlife that has its own charm and grandeur. A sighting of a whale makes you nervous and scared of the entire activity. A couple of more and you realize that these huge creatures are as lovable as the rabbits.
The San Ignacia Lagoon
A huge expansive bay which is used by the Calving whales between January and March every year is another site to live in for a couple of days when the migration takes place. The Grey whales come closer to the shore line here. Many of the Calving whales seek a lot of physical Interaction with the people here. The whales love to be petted and cuddled and it is allowed to touch the whales and the whales exhibit friendly behavior. These whales are playful whales and they enjoy playing hide and seek with the boats that are used for the touring. There also like to be appreciated and if you clap and scream at their antics, they will continue to amaze you.
One of the most favourite antic of the whales; which is commonly demonstrated here is the “Spy-hopping’, is the jump where the whales pull out and throw themselves vertically up in the sky. During the peak calving season, only the boats that have the required permits are allowed to visit and traverse the The San Ignacia Lagoon.
In such cases you may hire a “pangeros” to accompany you to the whale sighting areas. Usually Prices at 25 USD per person, this long walk along the sand walks is an amazing site for getting yourself clicked and the guides happily click your pictures. A typical tour would last you two to four hours depending on the activities that you have chosen for the day. The best and the last camp- ‘Ecotourismo Kuyima’ has a full fletched facility of hot water showers and tent houses with a camping dining room, and you can pitch in your own individual tent for a small amount of money. Apart from being offered full meals in the camps, the lodging and transportation are very comfortable also.
Baja Sur Prison Museum
Once an old time prison which was used as the prison has now been converted into the local museum housing the best that Mulege can offer. This was a different sort of the prion where for a committed crime, the prisoners were supposed to be in a jail, in a different way. The prisoners were allowed to walk out of the prison, during the day and work in the town, the prisoners returned to the prison at night. Even if they would have tried, they had no other place to go simply because of the seclusion of this ancient settlement which was mainly covered by waters on all the sides. This was a prison that was made without any bars and this meant that the prisoners would walk around freely. All the relics and the ancient remains of this civilization have been stored with security in this prison turned museum.
All the memories of the battle against the Americans have been preserved here. And so are the tales of heroism that have been enlisted here. This place was converted into the museum in 1973 and is an excellent location for an archeological site and your discoveries will make your day. Until the Mexican highways were paved, the town had a desert feel to it. The whole area was in fact surrounded by a harsh desert. Now this area has been converted into a modern museum which is accessible to all with a nominal entry fee. Baja Sur Prison Museum is one of the museums in the world which has a dual reason to see it; One ofcourse for the historical relics and the second one for the location itself. While this museum houses the gems of the history, the building itself is a wonder- a prison with no bars guarding the cells of the inmates.
The caves in “Sierra de guadalupe” near Mulege are surely worth a visit. This is the best tourist location of this area which attracts global tourists in large numbers. Some caves are explorable in the areas of “Sieraa de san Borjita” and “La Trinidad” also, and have the charm of the ancient civilization left intact, preserved beautifully. The cave paintings here at San Borjitas are very unique and are reputable among the rock – schools in terms of their descriptions of size. More than 50 large sized Monos (human figures) in the rocks are a delight to see and feel.
Most of the figures are along with the arrows and the bows which were the common weapons of the men in those times. While some cave paintings exhibit genitalia, more than a dozen of these paintings are filled with stripes. These paintings are colored and include the black, red, grey, white and the respective combinations among the lighter and the darker shades of these. There are many petroglyphs also representing female genitalia and deers and rats also. There are many tours operated for this activity. While some are extensive some are shorter depending upon your interest in this area. If you are avid cave lover, you may wish to engage in the longer tours for keeping your self-amazed at the beauty and the simplicity of these completed paintings.
Kayaking is an extensive sport here and while you can find all the equipment and the kayaks available for rent, you may not be able to find these waters and the wind along with anywhere else in the world. Just apt for all the stages of the expertise in the sport, the different tours are packaged suiting your needs and are pretty reasonable according to the price. Apart from kayaking you may also want to indulge in some of the diving here. The spots are good and deep and have and major wild life in these areas.
So while you are busy exploring the busy under water life of the fish and the other marine creatures, you may also be lucky to find and oyster or two amidst the shells. You can collect the shells freely and take them home with you. While kayaking may leave you tired, certain shacks to eat from, offer mouthwatering local delicacies and food. Laze around in the sun after a wonderful stint of the kayaking and the treat yourself to a beer and some food and you will surely want to come here again and again.
The Mulege Mission
On a short walk from the town, the quiet Mulege mission itself is a treat to the eyes. It sits quietly on the river overlooking the town. There are many lazy turtles that swim around reminding you of their presence all through the area. The chapel is humbled and simple and the peace it offers is a welcomed delight after the crazy fun of the tours. Simple large wooden doors, roughhewn beams of food, make this place among the best chapels in the town. This chapel is more about the rich history and culture than about the Catholics. A visit to the chapel is a must if a visit to the house of God is on your agenda. You will simply love it here once you are inside the place.
Mulege also offers you a certain explicit golfing experience. The golfing areas are very well designed and offer you tricky holes and puts. You may enjoy a game of Golf as well while you are here. The winds favor you from all directions and you may also want to spend some quiet family time in the jungles nearby.
This oasis town is very beautiful compared to the other coastal areas of Mexico. You just enter the town and as the limits finish, you reach the lush green jungles and the forests which are a rich reserve for the birds and the wildlife here. Bird watching is also extensive and you can step out in the wee hours of the mornings and find the vibrant chirping birds in their natural habitat ready to be clicked and framed. A walk through the town will introduce you to the local rituals and customs which are as amazing as the place itself. Known to be the house of the brave warriors, this place is welcoming to all, and every resident of this area would welcome you into their lives and homes.
Plan your trip now and enjoy the best vacation that you would have ever thought of. There are many secrets in this little town and you would be able to uncover them when you visit this area. Pack your bags and get going! Mulege is waiting for you!