Mulegé is an oasis town in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, situated at the mouth of the Río de Santa Rosalía. It is the fourth-largest community in Mulegé Municipality. It had a population of 3,821 according to the Mexican federal census of 2010.[1]


Heroica Mulegé
Street in town
Street in town
Mulegé is located in Mexico
Location in Mexico
Coordinates: 26°53′30″N 111°58′51″W / 26.89167°N 111.98083°WCoordinates: 26°53′30″N 111°58′51″W / 26.89167°N 111.98083°W
Country Mexico
StateBaja California Sur
52 ft (16 m)
 • City3,821
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC-7 (Pacific (US Mountain))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-6 (Pacific)


Mulege oasis
Photo taken from the Mulegé Mission

Indigenous peoples had lived in this area for thousands of years due to the abundance of water in the river valley. Extensive ancient cave paintings can be found in the nearby Sierra de Guadalupe mountains.

In 1702, Jesuit Father Juan Maria de Salvatierra identified the valley of today's Mulegé as a place for a mission to the Indians. It was not until 1754 that Father Francisco Escalante started the construction of the mission, called Misión Santa Rosalía de Mulegé. Years later, many other Jesuit fathers came into today's area of Mulegé to bring the Catholic faith and convert the natives to Catholicism.

The official name of the town is "Heroica Mulegé." This title is based on incidents during the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848. The Americans tried to occupy long stretches of the Pacific coast such as California, Baja California, and New Mexico – all of which were then part of Mexico. The people of Mulegé and surrounding settlements along the Pacific coastline defeated the Americans. As a result, Mulegé was not occupied and was rewarded the official title "Heroica Mulegé" by the national legislature. In the 21st century, official letters of the Government of Baja California Sur retain use of the title, "Heroica Mulegé."


Mulegé is internationally famous for its rich fishing grounds in the Gulf of California. A warm current from the southern and a cold current from the northern Pacific come together in the Mulegé area of the Gulf of California and encourage a great variety of different fish species. The Gulf is sometimes known as the "Sea of Cortez", after the Spanish explorer, Hernán Cortés, who sailed into the area.

In the past, Mulegé's economy was largely based on fishing and farming. Today, tourism is a major income source for Mulegé. Some come for the area's deep sea fishing. Kayaking; cave tours; bird watching; and fishing, with or without charters to catch a big game fish; are popular attractions.

Today's tourism industry in Mulegé is based on the fact that in 1976 the Highway MX 1 – a paved road – was constructed and Mulegé became easily accessible by land. A trip from the US border to Mulegé takes no more than 12 hours today. Before the highway was constructed, such a trip could take four days.

The area has suffered damage from Hurricane John in 2006, Tropical Storm Julio in 2008, Hurricane Jimena in 2009, Hurricane Paul in 2012, and Hurricane Odile in 2014. All five hurricanes created major precipitation followed by high floods. All over the Mulegé area, from the Pacific to the Gulf of California, rainfall and floods were devastating. Mulegé was flooded by over 20 feet of water at the highway bridge and by 6 feet in the upper regions of town. Many homes located in the river valley were washed into the Gulf of California. Clean-up was still being done in January, 2015.

Climate and agriculture

The entire peninsula of Baja California is an area with one of the lowest precipitation rates in the world. Rain is rare but usually occurs between December and March, and hurricanes are occasionally a major threat to the Mulegé area. There is a saying in Baja California: "It never rains in Baja, but if it rains, it pours."

Due to fertile soil and a rich water supply in the Mulegé river valley, irrigation has supported agriculture in this area as a strong part of the economy, unlike other areas of Baja California. Tropical fruits are cultivated, including oranges, bananas, limes, and mangoes.


By land, Mulegé is accessible by Federal Highway 1, which runs from Tijuana at the US-MX border to Cabo San Lucas.

Mulegé is served by three airstrips in the area, which are used for private air travel: El Gallito Airstrip, Mulegé Airstrip, and Punta San Pedro Airstrip. Regional flights are available at the Palo Verde Airport (to the north of town), and international flights are available at the Loreto Airport (123 km to the south).

Historic buildings

The Misión Santa Rosalía de Mulegé is located above the river, overlooking the river valley.

A special feature of the town is the old prison. It was erected without bars. The prisoners could freely walk around town and establish or maintain families here. They just had to return to the prison in the evening. Escapes were rare because of the remoteness of Mulegé. Until Mex 1 was paved, the area was surrounded by harsh desert for many miles. All prisoners had to agree to assist in tracking any escapist and assist in their capture. Today, the old prison is operated as a museum, with a suggested nominal entry fee.

180° Panorama of the Misión Santa Rosalía de Mulegé backed by mountains: La Misión and Santa Clara. The meandering Mulegé River appears on the right lined with palm trees as seen on a sunny December afternoon.
180° Panorama of the Misión Santa Rosalía de Mulegé backed by mountains: La Misión and Santa Clara. The meandering Mulegé River appears on the right lined with palm trees as seen on a sunny December afternoon.


  1. ^ "Mulegé". Catálogo de Localidades. Secretaría de Desarrollo Social (SEDESOL). Retrieved 23 April 2014.

External links

Battle of Mulege

The Battle of Mulegé was an American attack on Mulegé, Baja California Sur, during the Mexican–American War. On 2 October 1847, United States Marines and sailors fought with Mexican militia.

Comondú complex

The Comondú Complex is an archaeological pattern dating from the late prehistoric period in northern Baja California Sur and southern Baja California. It is associated with the historic Cochimí people of the peninsula.

The complex was defined on the basis of investigations at rock shelters near the town of San Jose de Comondú by archaeologist William C. Massey, beginning in the late 1940s. It has been recognized at sites extending from the Sierra de la Giganta (west of Loreto) in the south to Bahía de los Ángeles in the north.

A key characteristic of the Comondú Complex is the presence of small Comondú Triangular and Comondú Serrated projectile points. These points reflect the introduction of the bow and arrow into the peninsula, perhaps around 500-1000 CE, largely supplanting the earlier atlatl and dart. Other traits include grinding basins and slicks, manos, tubular stone pipes, coiled basketry, and square-knot netting. The region's Great Mural rock art may also be associated with the Comondú Complex.

El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve

The El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, created in 1988, is located in Mulegé Municipality in northern Baja California Sur, at the center of the Baja California Peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California. With a landmass of over 9,625 square-miles (24,930 square km), it is the largest wildlife refuge in Mexico and borders on the northern edge of the Valle de los Cirios Protected Area of Flora and Fauna.

Guerrero Negro Airport

Guerrero Negro Airport (IATA: GUB, ICAO: MMGR) is an airport located 6 km north of Guerrero Negro in neighboring Ensenada Municipality of southern Baja California state, Mexico.

It handles air traffic for the City of Guerrero Negro, located in Mulegé Municipality of northern Baja California Sur state.

Japhet Amador

Japhet Isidro Amador Hernandez (born January 19, 1987), nicknamed "El Gigante de Mulegé" (English: The giant from Mulegé), is a Mexican professional baseball first baseman and designated hitter for the Diablos Rojos del México of the Mexican League. He previously played for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).

Misión Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Huasinapi

Mission Guadalupe was established by the Jesuit Everardo Helen in 1720, at the Cochimí settlement of Huasinapí in the Sierra de la Giganta about 40 kilometers west of Mulegé, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

The mission went through a typical trajectory of demographic decline experienced by the Baja California missions, as the neophyte population dwindled under the impact of Old World diseases. The mission was abandoned in the Dominican period, in 1795, when its residents were transferred to La Purísima. Surviving traces of Mission Guadalupe include building walls, dams, and graveyards.

Mission site: 26°55′9.50″N 112°24′20.60″WRoad access: travel west from Mulegé about 25 miles (40 km) [intersection is at 26°45′47.99″N 112°15′43.30″W] then north about 12 miles (19 km). The road is rough but passable.

Misión San Ignacio Kadakaamán

Mission San Ignacio was founded by the Jesuit missionary Juan Bautista de Luyando in 1728 at the site of the modern town of San Ignacio, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

The site for the future mission was discovered in 1706 by Francisco María Piccolo at the palm-lined Cochimí oasis of Kadakaamán ("arroyo of the reeds"). The site proved to be a highly productive one agriculturally, and served as the base for later Jesuit expansion in the central peninsula. The impressive surviving church was constructed by the Dominican missionary Juan Gómez in 1786. The mission was finally abandoned in 1840.

Misión Santa Rosalía de Mulegé

Mission Santa Rosalía de Mulegé is located in the oasis of Mulegé, in Mulegé Municipality, northeastern Baja California Sur state, México. It is a Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia listed Cultural Heritage Monument.

Mulegé Municipality

Mulegé is the northernmost municipality of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. It is the second-largest municipality by area in the country (behind only Ensenada to the north), with an area of 32,092.2 km² (12,777 sq mi). In the census of 2010 it had a population of 59,114 inhabitants. Isla Natividad is part of the municipality.

The municipal seat is located in Santa Rosalía.

There is an initiative to split the municipality into two, with the division along the ridge dividing the current municipality, so that the Pacific side, which includes its largest city, Guerrero Negro, and also Villa Alberto Andrés Alvarado Arámburo, would be separated from the Gulf of California side, which includes Santa Rosalía and Mulegé.

Ojo de Liebre Lagoon

Ojo de Liebre Lagoon (formerly known as Scammon's Lagoon), translated into English as "hare eye lagoon", is a coastal lagoon located in Mulegé Municipality near the town of Guerrero Negro in the northwestern Baja California Sur state of Mexico. It lies approximately halfway between the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula and the U.S.-Mexico border, opening onto the Pacific Ocean.

The lagoon is within the Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is a Ramsar wetlands site. It also is the site of the biggest commercial saltworks plant in the world. It is an important habitat for the reproduction and wintering of the gray whale and harbor seal, as well as other marine mammals including the California sea lion, northern elephant seal and blue whale. Four species of endangered marine turtles reproduce there. It is an important refuge for waterfowl in the winter.Encompassing both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major salt plant, Laguna Ojo de Liebre embodies the diverse worlds of natural habitat and industrialization.Tourism, now closely controlled, was formerly a threat to the gray whales.

Palo Verde Airport

Palo Verde Airport (IATA: SRL) is a paved airstrip located in San Bruno, a town 30 km south of Santa Rosalía, Baja California Sur, Mexico. The airstrip is also known as "Chivato Bay" and the CIB code is used as its identifier. It handles aviation for the city of Santa Rosalía.

Punta Eugenia

Punta Eugenia is a headland in the Mulegé Municipality, and is the westernmost point on the mainland of the state of Baja California Sur. To its north west lie Isla Natividad, Cedros Island and the Islas San Benito.

The pattern of ocean currents and eddies around Punta Eugenia has been shown to be a significant phylogeographic break in the distribution of fish species.

Rock Paintings of Sierra de San Francisco

The Rock Paintings of Sierra de San Francisco are prehistoric rock art pictographs found in the Sierra de San Francisco mountain range in Mulegé Municipality of the northern region of Baja California Sur state, in Mexico.

San Ignacio, Baja California Sur

San Ignacio is a palm oasis town in Mulegé Municipality of northern Baja California Sur state in Mexico.

It is located on Mexican Federal Highway 1 between Guerrero Negro and Santa Rosalía.

The town had a 2010 census population of 667 inhabitants and grew at the site of the Cochimí settlement of Kadakaamán and the Jesuit Mission San Ignacio founded in 1728 by Juan Bautista Luyando.

San Ignacio Lagoon

San Ignacio Lagoon (Laguna San Ignacio) is a lagoon located in Mulegé Municipality of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, 59 kilometres (37 mi) from San Ignacio, Mexico and Highway 1. It is one of the winter sanctuaries of the eastern Pacific gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus).

Santa Rosalía, Baja California Sur

Santa Rosalía (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsanta rosaˈli.a]) is a town located in the Mulegé Municipality of northern Baja California Sur, Mexico. It is on the Gulf of California coast of the Baja California Peninsula. As of 2015, the town had a population of 14,160 inhabitants. It was once a company town.

Sierra de San Francisco

The Sierra de San Francisco is a mountain range in Mulegé Municipality of the northern region of Baja California Sur state, in northwestern Mexico.

Tres Vírgenes

Tres Vírgenes is a complex of volcanoes located Mulegé Municipality in the state of Baja California Sur, on the Baja California Peninsula in northwestern Mexico. It is composed of three volcanoes, aligned northeast-southwest, with El Viejo, the oldest, to the northeast, El Azufre in the middle, and the youngest, El Vírgen, to the southwest.

El Vírgen, being by far the most conspicuous of the three, is commonly known as "Las Tres Vírgenes".

Visita de San José de Magdalena

The Visita de San José de Magdalena was founded in 1774 by the Dominican missionary Joaquín Valero to serve Cochimí Indians associated with the Misión Santa Rosalía de Mulegé in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Building a visita, or subordinate mission station, at the site 16 kilometers west of the Gulf of California was initially proposed by the Franciscan missionary Francisco Palóu prior to the Dominicans' assumption of responsibility for the Baja California missions. The visita was terminated when the mission at Mulegé was closed in 1828. Ruined walls of stone and adobe brick survive at the site.

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