Archaeological Expedition Hiking Adventure

The Archaeological Expedition is located in the central mountains of Baja Peninsula. This vast area has unique characteristics for its rugged geographical mix of rock elevations full of vegetation and deep canyons where streams are surrounded by towering palms.

Indigenous people lived here in harmony with nature, creating some of the most impressive archaeological records of this region. The cave paintings are spectacular murals made on rocks by various groups of hunters, gatherers and fishermen at different times and for over 7000 years. They represent larger-than-life animal and human-like forms in scenes that could be ritual ceremonies, pilgrimage, hunting or battles. They were made in ochre, red, white, yellow and black.

These figures and those of the animals appear to be frequently over and under laid, which could signify the different ages when they were made. This cultural treasure is among the top five sets of prehistoric art in the world and was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1993.

You will arrive a day earlier to the international airport of Loreto. We will meet at night in the hotel to talk about the trip.

Day 1

Early in the morning we will be ready to start one of the most marvelous and rewarding adventures that Baja California Sur can offer. First we will be transported to the town of Santa Martha where we will meet our local guide who is a rancher and works helping the excavations done by the National Institute of Anthropology and History. He'll give us a small introduction in mule packing. Once we're ready, we'll leave with the sun showing us one of the most dramatic landscapes. We’ll hike through a large and impressive descent; we'll arrive at the bottom of the canyon, going deeper into the canyon to find the best place for our camp. There we'll light a fire and enjoy a substantial dinner under the stars in pure rancher style.

  • Transport from Loreto to Santa Martha: 334km.
  • Hike decent to the canyon: 6 Hours.

Day 2

As the sun rises, after our coffee and breakfast we will start hiking into the canyon visiting a couple of caves with magnificent murals of pictographs that show us a deep sense of knowledge that this ancient cultures achieve during their path on this land. At midday we'll enjoy a reviving lunch beside the river and a siesta in the shade of the Royal palm. After our rest, we'll continue our hike for only a few hours more, visiting a couple more rock shelters with impressive pictograph, returning back to our campsite at the end of the day.   

  • Hike before lunch: 3 hours.
  • Hike after lunch: 3 hours.

Day 3

Today we will move our campsite farther into the canyon following the river in search of more rock shelters with paintings, once we have settle our camp we can enjoy our lunch taking a little nap under the shade. In the afternoon we will continue visiting a couple more of archaeological sites which allow us to talk deeply about the cultures that once lived on the area.

  • Hike before lunch: 4 hours.
  • Hike after lunch: 3 hours.

Day 4

At dawn after our coffee we'll commence our journey. It's time to ascend the canyon! First, we'll begin with a hike that will take us to the foot of the mountain where we'll have a rest and eat breakfast. Then, before the sun becomes too tiring, we'll start the hike out of the canyon. This is a great opportunity for landscape photography, taking advantage of the light conditions sunrise brings to this beautiful place. Halfway through the day we'll take a good break and enjoy a light lunch before setting our campsite on the ridge that divides the main two canyons that we are exploring. Tonight is a perfect opportunity to talk and enjoy the stars of the night sky.

  • Hike before ascent: 2 hours.
  • Hike (ascent): 6 hours.

Day 5

After breakfast, we'll get started on a hike that will take us down into the canyon allowing us to see two of the most famous cave painting sites that can be found in the region. Here we can appreciate the magnitude and importance of these paintings and we will also talk about the cultural group that developed in the region and that expressed a range of knowledge through their art which is now part of UNESCO World Heritage.
After midday, a shadow will cover the side of the canyon which we can enjoy during our lunch. Once refreshed, we'll continue on, visiting two other caves painting sites where we can appreciate local knowledge about hunting and fishing and where we can get an idea of the different animals that were part of this culture's basic diet.

  • Hike before lunch: 4 hours.
  • Hike after lunch: 3 hours.

Day 6

Once we break our campsite we will hike for a couple of hours before we take our breakfast. At the foothills of the canyon we will take a good break and then start the climb up to the community of Santa Martha where we will have our lunch, unpack the mules and be transfer to a little bed and breakfast in San Ignacio.

  • Hike before breakfast: 2 hours.
  • Hike after breakfast: 5 hours.

Day 7

Rested and recovered from our adventure and spending half a day in this missioners town, we’ll be transported back to our hotel in Loreto.

  • Transfer back to Loreto after lunch: 4 hours.

Everyone is invited to our farewell dinner.