The Old State Penitentiary
This prison, finished in 1907, was a novel idea because it was a jail without bars. Given the remoteness of Mulege and the ‘judicial’ honor system, there were very few escapees. The prisoners could go out and work at a normal job during the day and be back by 6 p.m.. If they did not return, the other prisoners, not wanting to lose a good thing, would go find them and bring them back. It is now a museum which houses a fine display of historic value. Starting from the downtown area, specifically from the only laundromat in town, you are advised to park your car and walk up the steep dirt road to the jail.
Santa Rosalia de Mulege
This is the second oldest mission in Baja. It is built entirely of local stone and has been carefully restored. Today the mission serves Mulege as a Catholic church. The mission is located a short distance inland from the bridge over Rio Mulegé on the lower road out of town, known as “Ice House” road. Leaving the central plaza in town, take the “ice house road” and cross the river, which is only possible during the dry season. In heavy rains, it can be underwater. Turn right as you cross the river and proceed to the top of the hill. As you pass under Highway 1, look up at the massive bridge above you. Mulege has been hit many times by hurricane and tropical storm flooding. To get an idea of how much water surges down from the mountains, the torrent of muddy water has reached underside of this bridge at a height of 30-feet.
The Mulege Lighthouse
At the mouth of the Mulege River, the lighthouse is just an easy hike. Go to its top, where there are extraordinary photo opportunities. Mexican fishermen leave and return from this point for a day of fishing, as they have for centuries. This location is the historic sight of the war between Mulege and the United States that was fought and won in these very waters.
La Trinidad & San Borjita Cave Paintings
The most popular and accessible day trip from Mulegé is to La Trinidad. A guide is suggested and can be booked through your hotel or by finding Salvador in town. Salvador has a lifetime of knowledge in identification and medicinal purposes of the plants, trees and cactus, as well as the cultural history of the Cochimi Indians. In a small canyon near Rancho La Trinidad, one wall remains of a cave with an image of a large deer painted in a striking orange-red color and beside it are two fawns. According to historian Harry Crosby, the deer represents a recurring theme in Baja rock art, and the one at La Trinidad is one of the best examples found anywhere on the peninsula. The paintings at San Borjita have been carbon-dated to 7,500 years. This work consists of prehistoric paintings of humans and animals, often larger than life-size, on the walls and ceilings of natural rock shelters in the mountains of northern Baja California Sur and southern Baja California.
Mision San Ignacio de Kadakaaman
With lava-block walls nearly 1.2m (4ft) thick, the former Jesuit Misión San Ignacio de Kadakaamán stands directly across from San Ignacio’s small plaza. On the site of a former Cochimí ranchería (indigenous settlement), the mission has been in continuous use since its founding in 1728.
Sierra de San Francisco Rock Paintings (rupestres)
These are some of Baja’s most well-preserved examples of prehistoric rock art pictographs found in the Sierra de San Francisco mountain range in Mulegé Municipality.