Old Missions

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The process of colonization of the peninsular territory in charge of the Jesuit missionaries and the armed forces of the Spanish crown, happened 176 years after the conquest of the Mexican territory commanded by Hernán Cortés. The geographic isolation, the hostility of the desert landscape, and the difficulty of obtaining and maintaining provisions, added to the very arduous task of establishing communication with the natives, made the settlement process to develop slowly and with many obstacles, even failing in many of its stages.

The epic work of conquering and Christianizing “the other Mexico was started by Jesuit evangelizers, who years later were expelled from the peninsula; since at that time (June 25, 1767) they had ceased to be well seen and sheltered by the Holy Church in Rome. After the expulsion of the preachers of the Society of Jesus, different religious orders were sent and put in charge of the missionary expansion project known as: "El Camino Real de California". Due to interruptions, failed attempts, rebellions, and not always prudent ways of managing missions, only a few remained prosperous and surpassed centuries of oblivion in the desert ...

Loreto Baja California Sur, counts among its many tourist attractions with the cultural legacy of being Historic capital of the Californias.

The mission of Our Lady of Loreto Concho founded on October 19, 1697, it was since then known as "The Head and Mother of All Californias."

Desert & Sea Expeditions offers the opportunity to travel back in time, visiting 2 of the best preserved missions in the entire peninsula.


1) Mission of San Francisco Javier

The Mission of San Francisco Javier was founded in 1699 by Father Francisco Maria Piccolo. It is the second mission of the Californias; located just 38 km from Loreto nestled in the wonderful landscape of the imposing Sierra de la Giganta.

The picturesque town maintains a magical atmosphere of: suspended in time. Its inhabitants, heirs to the lifestyle of the Southern California rancher, maintain their existence thanks to the practice of the cultural legacy once imposed by the Jesuit missionaries on the natives of the area. It is of particular interest to see how this community still irrigates crops by gravity, as the colonizers designed it at that time; and how it is still a common practice to salt and sweeten food to preserve it.

This tour includes a visit to the town where the today proudly named as: Jewel of the missions (Due to its state of conservation, being the one that has suffered the least alterations since its construction), visit to a local orchard where there is a large olive tree (believed to be one of the oldest in all of America), also includes a ranch-style lunch South Californian, with products from local ranches.

TRAVEL DETAILS:
- Available all year
- Departure at 9:00 am
- Duration: 5-6 hours
- Price per person
- Minimum of 4 people

INCLUDED:
- Round trip transportation
- Local guide
- Lunch at a local restaurant: Machaca burritos, beans, goat cheese and a drink.
- Bottled water included throughout the trip

San-javier-facade

On the side entrances of Mission of San Javier.


2) Mission of Santa Rosalía de Mulegé

The town of Mulegé is located on the coast of the Sea of ​​Cortez, 140 km north of Loreto and approximately 50 km south of the city of Santa Rosalía. In the language of the ancient Cochimí natives translated by the Spanish it meant: "Cañada de Boca Blanca".

It is said that Jesuit missionaries reported having found this oasis by the sea by accident. They were returning from Sonora with a shipment of supplies to the newly founded mission of Loreto, when a storm forced them to seek refuge on the coast. After having explored the area, Father Maria de Salvatierra commissioned Juan Manuel Basaldúa to establish a new mission there, however it would be up to 3 more parents to establish the project. The foundation of the mission began in November 1705, and the stone building of the church was completed in 1766. In 1828 the mission was abandoned due to lack of population and until recent decades with the increase in tourism as an economic source for the peninsula, Mulegé has tried to be reborn.

It is one of the most beautiful oasis of Baja California Sur, the town is located between mountains, fed by the margins of a river that runs towards an estuary that merges with the Sea of ​​Cortez. Adorned by large palm trees, landscaped courtyards

TRAVEL DETAILS:
- Available all year
- Departure at 8:00 am
- Duration: 8 hours
- Price per person
- Minimum of 4 people

INCLUDED:
- Round trip transportation
- Local guide
- Lunch at a local restaurant: Machaca burritos, beans, goat cheese and a drink.
- Bottled water included throughout the trip

Mision_de_Santa_Rosalía_de_Mulege._Panorámica

View of the Mission of Santa Rosalía de Mulegé.

To book or request more information about these visits, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will respond as soon as possible.