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Ancient Historical Sites in Baja California

Ancient cave paintings and imposing 17th-century missions dot the north of the peninsula

Beyond the beaches, Baja California’s interior is home to a number of places that tell the long and rich story of the area: from the cave paintings in Cataviñá to the missions that span the peninsula.

El Vallecito is perhaps one of the best places for seeing these amazing vestiges of civilization. Here, the area contains rocks painted with figures that depict human beings and, hidden in a cave, a representation of a devil whose eyes are lit up by the sun during the winter solstice.

Other places of similar interest are Las Pintas, San Fernando Velicatá, Cataviñá, Montevideo and Las Tinajitas. Stone-preserved houses and colorful paintings representing flora, fauna, lines and figures can all be found here.

Another way of exploring the area’s past is through the missions, which began appearing on the peninsula during the 16th century. The missions provided a means through which Jesuit, Dominican, Franciscan and Carmelite friars could convert the local population. Their architecture is imposing and the remote locations of the complexes of buildings that served as religious centers is often striking.

Baja California (norte)

Baja California Sur

In addition to these, many others can be reached through the help of guides and in some cases, such as with San Pedro Mártir de Verona, with the help of beasts of burden.

Photo: San Miguel Arcángel Mission at the Border, Baja California

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