The town of San Ignacio is as a desert oasis located in the Mulegé Municipality of northern Baja California Sur. Located on Mexican Federal Highway 1 between Guerrero Negro and Santa Rosalía, the town is known for having more palm trees than people with less than 2000 inhabitants. San Ignacio may be a small town, but it has a rich history.
San Ignacio was founded in 1706 by the Cochimi, an aboriginal people of the central part of the Baja, California. In 1728, missionary Juan Bautista de Luyando happened upon the peninsula settlement, which by then had become a modern town. Luyando decided that this beautiful landscape would be the perfect place to build his mission. Thus, Misión San Ignacio Kadakaamán was born. The site proved to be very rich agriculturally and served as the base for later Jesuit expansion in the central peninsula. In fact, the large grove of lush, green date palms that welcome visitors today were planted by the original missionaries of San Ignacio. In 1786, Dominican missionaries rebuilt and completed a church in the town square of San Ignacio. Incredibly, the church was constructed entirely of volcanic rock from the surrounding area. The church still stands in the town square to this day. Both the mission and the church are impressive pieces of architecture and history.
At San Ignacio, Baja California’s arid central desert terrain gives way to a large spring-fed pond and small river on the outskirts of town, which feeds into the central plaza and village. San Ignacio serves as the gateway to San Ignacio Lagoon, the winter time sanctuary of the Pacific Gray Whale. This lagoon is the only place these whales can still visit that is completely undeveloped!
Today, the town of San Ignacio is a favorite destination for participants on our Best of Baja Adventures as well as our rental customers that venture down South of the border. The San Ignacio town square is usually the first stop after a long ride — the perfect place to grab a taco and a cold drink and enjoy the scenery. The town offers a number of unique amenities to our riders, including a bed and breakfast with yurts located beneath a canopy of coconut trees, historical tours of the church and even whale watching tours that allow you to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures!
The history, the people and the landscape all make you feel as though you have stepped back in time. Join MotoQuest Founder Phil Freeman on our next Best of Baja Southbound trip, or one of the other upcoming guided adventures coming up this winter. Take a look below and we hope you’ll join us in Baja this winter!
Alternatively, you can rent a bike from our Los Angeles area facility and build your own Baja adventure. Whatever you decide to do, there will be a fish taco and cold drink waiting for you in San Ignacio!