Starting Out in Mulegi

Kayaking the Sea of Cortez
By Andromeda Romano-Lax
  |  Gorp.com
Mulegi Details

Trip Length:
Three short possibilities: along the Rmo Mulegi; 15 miles north to Punta Chivato; 14 miles south to Playa Santispac. One day per trip. (North 1pma1 south trips can be extended to two days with camping en route.)

Charts Needed:
MEX Topos at 1:50,000. Inconveniently, this small area is right at the intersection of several charts; for full coverage: MEX G12 A46, G12 A47, G12 A56, G12 A57, and U.S. Nautical 21161. (75% of the relevant area is covered on G12 A57, however.)

Getting There:
Mulegi is 615 miles south of Tijuana via Highway 1.

The town is on the Highway 1 bus route, and it's a pleasant two-mile walk to the beach.

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The town is organized around a handful of roads that converge at a square. A post office, several hotels and restaurants, and a small grocery store are all nearby. There are also accommodations at the numerous RV parks on the south bank of the river, reached by Highway 1 south of Mulegi, as well as the posh Hotel Serenidad, owned by the local American consul. Of particular interest in town is Mulegi Divers, a shop operated by Miguel and Claudia Quintana at 45 Calle Madero. The dive shop offers trips and equipment, and is a good place to ask for informal information about the area.

Also worth exploring by foot are Mulegi's historic mission and its penitentiary, the latter of which was famous because its prisoners were released each morning and called back, at the blow of a conch shell, for lockup each evening.

The beach at the end of the estuary is the best base from which to kayak the area. At one end of the beach, a small seaside restaurant serves seafood cocktails as well as the regular alcoholic variety; an outhouse is behind the restaurant.

Farther down the beach, several thatched palapa frames provide shade (watch out for scorpions in the corners), and a small fee may be collected for camping and parking there.

A man named Miguel and his family run the lighthouse next to the beach, on top of the hill El Sombrerito, or"Little Hat." Miguel doesn't speak English, but with a little Spanish you may be able to arrange to leave your car parked next to the lighthouse while you paddle north or south. A second option is to park in town, and walk or hitchhike the two miles to the beach. Stairs leading up to the top of El Sombrerito enable you to get a better view of the area.


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