Mulege

The palm oasis of Mulege is located on the peaceful coastline of the Sea of Cortez. The colorful town has a stunning green landscape to provide a stark contrast to the rugged deserts. Mulege lies 40 miles (65 km) south of Santa Rosalia and around 12 hours away from the US/Mexico border. 

The peaceful town has a mild climate with waters teeming with fish and is the jumping-off point for all of the Bahia de Concepcion beaches. For these reasons and more, Mulege is one of the top spots for ex-pats and travelers alike. 

Local Indians lived in Mulege for thousands of years because of the abundance of fresh water and the fertile Sea of Cortez. You will find many cave paintings in the nearby mountains of Sierra de Guadalupe. 

Mulege was most recently discovered by the Jesuit father Juan Maria de Salvatierra who founded Mission Santa Rosalia de Mulege in 1705. The town retains much of its historical charm with colonial architecture and cobblestone streets. 

Mulege’s official name is “Heroica Mulege,” awarded after the Mexican-American war of 1846-48. Americans tried to take over the pacific coastline of Baja, California. But the people of Mulege and nearby areas gathered and successfully defeated the Americans.

 As a result, the town got the title of Heroica Mulege. To this day, there are quite a few locals who will be quick to remind you of the time they beat the Americans in Mulege. 

In addition to fishing, agriculture is a major part of the local economy. The sound weather, fertile soil and rich water supply from the Mulege River have supported agriculture for years. At first, it was limited to date orchards like nearby San Ignacio. But now Mulege boasts many tropical fruits including oranges, bananas, limes and mangoes.

Mulege is the gateway to Bahia Concepcion, one of the largest and most popular bays in Baja known for its stunning white sand beaches, beautiful coves and crystal clear water. It is an excellent spot for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, sports fishing and many other watersports activities. 

Mulege also has a beautiful Mission developed by Father Francisco Escalante in 1766. Moreover, you will also find a defunct prison that is now a museum and boasts some spectacular history. It was a one-of-a-kind prison and stayed operational until 1975. Moreover, ancient cave paintings of Cochimí Indians are not far from the city.

Things to do in Mulege

The small oasis town in the center of Baja is full of beauty and tranquility. With  clear blue sea and sandy beaches nearby, quaint colonial buildings in town and lots of history and culture, there are many reasons why you should consider a stop in Mulege.

Here are the best things to do in Mulege.

Go Fishing

Mulege is extremely popular for sportfishing and water sports. Residents have been fishing in this area along the Sea of Cortez for thousands of years. It is a fish-rich ocean filled with many beautiful and exotic fish because of its perfect temperature, created by the mixture of warm southern and cold northern currents. 

The ideal temperature enables the growth of a variety of species. Moreover, various migratory fish are also found around the year.

You can easily book a sportfishing tour in the town. Or head to any gringo bar and strike up a conversation with any ex-pat that will fill you in on who can take you out on the water.

Explore the Mission Santa Rosalia de Mulege

The Mission Santa Rosalia de Mulege is the second oldest mission in Baja. It is located not too far from the town center across the Rio Mulege. The mission sits atop a hill and provides stunning views of palm date oasis and surrounding hillsides. 

Moreover, there is a small dam below the mission that you can walk across. It was built by the missionaries and local Indians to irrigate the local crops. The mission serves as a catholic church for the locals and visitors are allowed to enter during specific hours.

Visit Bahia Concepcion

Bahia Concepcion is the most popular tourist attraction near Mulege. It is a huge bay on the Sea of Cortez that boasts miles and miles of beautiful beaches and shoreline. Some of the beaches are quieter than others. But all of them are pleasant and worth a stop if you have the time. 

The water along the bay tends to be calm, pleasant and cool, allowing you to relax and enjoy snorkeling, paddleboarding or kayaking, fishing and sunbathing. Beaches like El Requeson and Playa Santispac are the most visited beaches.

But there are plenty of other beaches, all within an hour of Mulege. You’ll want to read on to the next section for more specific information about camping along Bahia Concepcion.

Drone footage of Bay of Concepcion

Wander Through the Old Prison / Museo de Mulege

The prison was built in 1907 as the only jail without bars. During the day, prisoners were permitted to leave the jail and work routine jobs, be with their families during the day, and return to the prison by 6 pm. Escape attempts were rare because Mulege was a very isolated area with a long desert on every side of the town. 

It was operational until 1975 when it was then converted into a museum. While not the most spectacular museum, you can appreciate the view the inmates and guards had looking out over the Mulege River from the top of the hill.

Find the San Borjitas Cave Paintings

If you’re a fan of exploring local history, you’ll have a good time heading out to San Borjitas cave paintings. These paintings were discovered by Jesuits and are estimated to be 7500 years old. Although Cochimi Indians have been living in the area for thousands of years, no one knows who drew those paintings of women, warriors, whales, deer and fish.

The caves are around a 90-minute ride on a bumpy road. The entrance fee is not much, but you will have to have a 4×4 vehicle and a guide.

VOLUNTEER IN MULEGE
Casa Hogar. Casa Hogar is an orphanage in Mulege that works with kids in the town and surrounding areas. Although not all of the children are orphans, the organization caters to assisting children of all ages and backgrounds. Although donations are typically the preferred method of assisting if you reach out you may be able to volunteer with specific projects, particularly if you have special skills and abilities. 

Email: sarl780424@hotmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/casahogarelaltisimo 

PAW. PAW clinic, located just a few minutes south of Mulege, is a great place to volunteer if you enjoy helping out with animals. As a gringo volunteer veterinary clinic, it operates between November and April and treats hundreds of different animals. 

Depending on your background, you may be able to do some hands-on helping at the clinic in addition to general administrative duties. You can also support the organization financially or by having your animals treated here at a fraction of the cost of the US or Canada but where your payment will subsidize local care.  

Email: mulegepaw@yahoo.com 
Phone: +52 615 103 4049
Website: https://pawclinic.wordpress.com/

Campgrounds in Mulege

At present, there is only one campground located in Mulege and a handful of others located across the river. So if you want to camp near town within walking or biking distance, you’ll want to go with Huerta Don Chano. Otherwise, if you don’t mind a short drive into town you have a few options.

Huerta Don Chano RV Park

Huerta Don Chano is a pleasant campground filled with fruit trees and palm grass. It is around a mile away from the town center headed out toward the lighthouse at the end of the Sea of Cortez.

But has a nice restaurant and seafood stall across the road and it doesn’t take long to walk or bike into town. We love this campground because most of the sites are sectioned off by lush papaya, mango and citrus trees that the owners of the park usually allow you to pick yourselves during the season. Moreover, the showers are hot and the staff is as friendly as it comes in Baja. 

Note, if you have a Class A or a large 5th wheel or travel trailer you will want to find another option. You will likely be able to make the drive through town to the campground. But getting out of town requires one very tight turn that would not be very feasible for larger rigs.

  • Address: Playa, Loma Azul, 23900 Heroica Mulegé, B.C.S., Mexico
  • Phone Number: +52 615 107 5851
  • GPS Coordinates: 26.8981, -111.9749
AMENITY
PRICE RANGE$15 – $20WIFI AVAILABILITYYES
20/30 AMP ELECTRIC:YESLAUNDRYYES
WATER HOOKUPYESSHOWERYES
SEWER HOOKUPYESPOOL/SPANO
BIG RIG FRIENDLYYESGATED/SECURITYYES
PET FRIENDLYYES

Villa Maria Isabel RV Park

Villa Maria Isabel is a big-rig friendly campground just a few minutes away from the town on the opposite side of the Mulege River. The beachfront campsite has everything you need. The owner is very helpful and the RV park has a small swimming pool. 

Moreover, they also rent kayaks and snorkeling gear and can help arrange fishing trips if you are interested. The campsites are on dirt. But the campground itself is very well kept and inviting.

  • Address: Carr. Transpeninsular km 134, 23900 Heroica Mulegé, B.C.S., Mexico
  • Phone Number: +52 811 208 7586
  • GPS Coordinates: 26.8969, -111.9639
AMENITY
PRICE RANGE$15-$25 USDWIFI AVAILABILITYYES
20/30 AMP ELECTRIC:YESLAUNDRYYES
WATER HOOKUPYESSHOWERYES
SEWER HOOKUPYESPOOL/SPAYES
BIG RIG FRIENDLYYESGATED/SECURITYYES
PET FRIENDLYYES

Hotel Serenidad

Hotel Serenidad is basically a hotel with seven campsites. They have a great pool for relaxing and all the amenities you need from a practical standpoint. Showers are by the pool and bathrooms are clean.

AMENITY
PRICE RANGE$20 – $25 USDWIFI AVAILABILITYYES
20/30 AMP ELECTRIC:YESLAUNDRYNO
WATER HOOKUPYESSHOWERYES
SEWER HOOKUPYESPOOL/SPAYES
BIG RIG FRIENDLYYESGATED/SECURITYYES
PET FRIENDLYYES
BEST BOONDOCKING /ALTERNATIVE CAMPING OPTION
Faro de Mulege. By far the best place to boondock in Mulege is at the beach in front of the lighthouse. To reach this spot, you’ll have to come through town and head out to the very end of the road that leads past Don Chanos. The cement road will turn to dirt for the last mile or so and then turn to rocks as you reach the water’s edge. 

It is likely you won’t be the only one here. And if you arrive during the weekend, don’t expect it to be quiet as this beach is popular among locals. 

There are a few palapas you can park next to. Or simply find the best view and pull over for the evening. There is great fishing all around the lighthouse and sunsets and sunrises are not much better than here.