Archaeology in Mexico is a varied and exciting field. On the theme of rock and cave paintings, one name on the lips of all experts is Baja California Sur, specifically the cave paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco. The murals are larger and more numerous than those found at the world-renowned European sites of Altamira and Lascaux. The caves at Loreto bear enormous primitive markings and, in some cases, monumental elements painted in ochre and black tones.
The Sierra’s rocks and caverns, located about 186 miles from Loreto and 120km north-east of the town of San Ignacio, form a natural and awe-inspiring gallery. Visitors can only enter with authorized guides, and most sites are accessed either by hiking or four-wheel drive vehicles. Local travel agents will be able to give you full information about excursions to the caves, and can book a tour for you.
Around nine miles from Loreto, you'll find yourself in the Sierra la Giganta, whose caves are home to a stunning display of abstract figures painted in yellow and white tones, as well as the more usual black and ochre associated with cave paintings. North of Loreto, following the Sierra’s trajectory, you'll arrive at La Pingüica, an archaeological site where canyons and rocks served as canvas for primitive artists who inhabited the area more than ten thousand years ago. Situated on a cliff top, La Pintada Cave, a monumental and world-renowned work of art, displays not only human figures but also common birds of prey and reptiles. This site, famous above all for the dimensions of its paintings, can be reached by taking the Federal Highway 1. Other breathtaking sites – though on a smaller scale than La Pingüica – are scattered throughout the Sierra de Guadalupe in the El Vizcaino Desert. Throughout the region, caves and rock walls continue to bear testimony to a breathtaking artistic past.