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Mission: San Juan Bautista de Liguí

History and Highlights

The breathtaking views from the Transpeninsular Highway make it hard to imagine, but the coast at which Misión San Juan Bautista de Liguí was founded in 1705 by Father Pedro de Ugarte could not have been a much less hospitable location for a mission.  The land proved unstable, the soil hardly arable, the water reliable only in the event of catastrophic floods.  And the neighbors were cranky: Pericú Indians routinely ran roughshod over the place.

Sixteen brutal years after its inception and long before most other Baja missions were even founded, Misión San Juan Bautista de Liguí was abandoned in 1721, its Indian population transferred south.

Weather and road construction have destroyed almost all ruins at the mission site, but it is still possible to hunt for remnants of the ruins just off the Transpeninsular.

Who founded it?

The Jesuits, led by Father Pedro de Ugarte.

What should I expect to see?

Perhaps a few foundation stones, if you’re lucky.  Nearly three centuries of floods have destroyed most evidence of the mission’s 16 years.

When should I go?

Anytime.

Where is it and how do I get there?

Set your GPS coordinates to N 25° 44.33’ W 111° 15.87’.  From the Transpeninsular Highway 22 miles (35 km) south of Loreto, turn east toward the sea at the tiny community of Liguí.  Look for the sign to “Parque Marina Nal.”  From there, follow the dirt road about a half-mile (800 m) to its junction with the arroyo, then start hunting.

Why should I go?

The mission site is the last chance for a rest stop by the sea before southbound travelers begin heading inland toward Ciudad Insurgentes.

 

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