Scented Soil: Baja California Sur

Dr. José Martín Olmos Ceseña

A source of inspiration for artists and architects

Every artist has a different source of inspiration, but surely the most common is the passion to express oneself. An experience, an emotion, a landscape, or a vision leads to creative actions.

The desert, the mountains and the sea of Baja California Sur were a source of inspiration for the first settlers on the peninsula. They were perhaps the first visual artists with their wonderful rock paintings and petroglyphs. With the arrival of the spiritual colonization, the visual arts gave rise to the first architectural works: the missionary establishments.

Hundreds of years after the first inhabitants, these reminiscences are muses for the creativity of many artists who are dedicated not only to capturing the reality that nature provides, but also those historical works scattered throughout Southern California.

Three of the most famous areas for cave paintings are Palmarito, San Borjita, and San Francisquito (north of the peninsula). The marvelous paintings and engravings on the rocks, such as marine animals, cactus, humans and other manifestations, will certainly stimulate your imagination.


The transpeninsular highway connects various towns and cities where we can find wonderful architectural works such as the mission of San Francisco Javier in Loreto, La Purisima in Mulege, San Luis Gonzaga in Comondu, Our Lady of the Pillar in La Paz, Our Lady of the Pillar of Todos Santos, and more.

These ancestral buildings have preserved many important architectural features such as the atrium, the main nave, the cloister, and chapels, among other elements. In addition, there are interesting earth works, such as the channels and dams of San Francisco Javier, about 20 miles from Loreto.

The transpeninsular road, in itself, is architectural art that follows part of the Camino Real route of the missions. The Camino Real was the result of the evangelization effort by the Jesuits, Franciscans and Dominicans. It was used to keep communications open between the mission centers. Following the route leads you to temples, villages, ranches and the desert landscapes of this perfumed land.

When the conquerors arrived on the peninsula, they undoubtedly discovered that Baja California Sur was a mysterious land. They did not hesitate to use the roads and paths, accompanied by silence and desert vegetation, and above all, the great mysteries that surround this small country, as described by Don Jesus Castro Agundez.

A sunrise or sunset will undoubtedly be a wonderful work of art, highlighted by impressive reddish clouds. A sunset in the beautiful city of La Paz or on the horizon of the Baja California desert is just one example. On the other hand, a sunrise at San Jose del Cabo or Cabo San Lucas will see fishermen crossing the horizon, the flight of pelicans and the breaking of waves against the arch at the end of the earth.

Baja California Sur is full of mysticism. The mountainous and majestic landscape remains surrounded by the sea, perfumed by the desert sun and guarded by the cardon cactus, the eternal custodian.

The scented soil of sudcalifornia is a land of charm and imagination.



Enter your email address

Get our news directly in your inbox

Leave a Reply