San Ignacio

The sleepy oasis town gets its abundance of water from an underground spring that pours into a lagoon.

San Ignacio is far away from all tourist centers, even if the grey whales, which calve every year by the thousands in the Laguna de San Ignacio, made the place world-famous. Hardly anywhere else the mighty marine mammals are as curious and trustful as in the lagoons of the southern Baja California.

By far the most impressive building in town is its mission church, San Ignacio de Loyola, whose construction was begun by Jesuits in the early 18th century, but was then completed by Dominicans. It is considered one of the most beautiful mission churches on the peninsula. Behind its facade there is a precious wooden altar, several oil paintings and a statue of Ignacio of Loyola, which are regarded as model examples of religious art of the 18th century.

The whale watching tours are available as day tours. Those who can do without great comfort for the sake of a natural experience should spend the night in one of the camps in the Laguna de San Ignacio.

San Ignacio is also a good starting point to visit the rock paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco, which belong to the Unesco World Heritage. This requires a permit from INAH (Instituto Nacional de Arte e Historia), whose office is located on one side of the church.