Sights Activities

A minor but interesting series of Cochimí cave paintings lie just north of town. They're a little tricky to find, but hiking around the boulders looking for them is fun. The entrance to the site is almost exactly at Km 176, a couple of kilometers north of Cataviña proper. If you're driving south, the site is to your left. You'll see a small access road and some abandoned administration huts just below the highway (there may be someone there collecting donations). Pull off the highway and spot the white sign on the boulder-strewn hill just across the arroyo, before walking down into the arroyo. Once you spot the sign, which marks the site, you'll know where to hike to; the sign is not visible from down below.

Just north of the cave paintings, between Km 175 and 176, the Museo El Palmerito (admission by donation; h 9am-4pm) is a small but interesting museum housed in a geodesic dome. Exhibits tell the story of the Transpeninsular's history, and the area's natural and human history. It's a quickie, but it's a good way to gain a brief understanding of where you are. The museum is inside the Parque Natural Palmerito (admission by donation; h 9am-4pm), a privately operated 2000-hectare park with hiking trails and camping. The area is home to diverse plant and animal life, including three species of palm trees, grasses and mesquite trees. If you're at all interested in desert ecology, this is a must.

The proprietors of Rancho Santa Inés can arrange excursions to the isolated ruins of Misión Santa María, which lie 27km (17 miles) east of the highway by a road difficult even for 4WD vehicles - the trip takes about three days out and back.

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