San Ignacio, Baja California Sur

San Ignacio, Baja California Sur

Photography by Bill Bell

SanIgnascio1San Ignacio is a palm oasis in the middle of the Baja desert.  It is well worth a stop on the Baja Highway journey.   It has a small plaza with shade and a few restaurants, a museum and a well restored Mission church built in the 17th century.

sanignasio2On a fertile ravine 89 miles south of Guerrero Negro you’ll find the beautiful town of San Ignacio,  a stark contrast to the mysterious sierras and the dry desert. On the way into the center of town, you’ll pass over an underground river that enters a quiet lagoon bordered byy huge date palm trees. If you’re driving the peninsula, this true desert oasis is a refreshing stopover.

SanIgnascioThe road continues until it reaches a small plaza decorated by leafy Indian trees. The majestic church of San Ignacio de Loyola rises at the front of this plaza. Narrow little streets and antique houses converge at this spot.

SanIgnascio3The place that the Cochimes call Kadacaaman (red grass river) was “discovered” on November 19, 1716 by the Jesuit Father Francisco Maria Piccolo. The founding father of the mission, begun on January 20, 1778, was the Mexican Jesuit Juan Bautista Luyando, who devoted much of his life to the mission and its people.

SanIgnascio4Jesuit Fernando Consag was responsible for much of the construction of the church, utilizing 4 feet wide blocks of volcanic rock which originated from the nearby volcanoes, Las Tres Virgenes. Construction was completed in 1786.

SanIgnascio5Due to its solid walls, the building has barely changed over the years and is one of the most beautiful missions in the Baja California peninsula. In addition to the magnificent facade with it’s decorated, carved stone, the building’s interior consists of a great alter of carved wood and gold finish, seven oil paintings and a statue of San Ignacio de Loyola.



These are truly jewels of religious art of the XVII century. A visit to the church is one of the highlights of San Ignacio.






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