It’s a rugged hike along a dry river bed to the Canipole cave paintings near Loreto, Mexico. Hang in there. Every step will be worth it. Just as I was ready to give up, Wild Loreto Tours guide Mario said, “just 2 more miles.” Certainly I could do that. Just moments later, the shortest 2 miles of my life, my daughter-in-law and I were looking at petroglyphs etched into some large boulders. A few steps more and we faced a wall of colorful paintings. It wasn’t a cave, but may have been at one time.

Mario explained that the paintings were a way of communicating with people who might pass through the area, much like a newspaper or bulletin board would today. Most of the drawings creatures found in the region. From the drawings, it is interpreted that there were many more whales in the sea than found today. Other paintings are of turtles and birds. Some are geometric shapes and series of dots. Colors of the pre-Hispanic paintings are vibrant.

If you go: contact Wild Loreto Tours. Mario, who said he is the only guide to have permission to travel through private land for access, is full of information about the history of the area, as well as its flora and fauna. Plus, he’s full of encouragement when you may feel like turning back. Be sure to have good nonslip walking shoes or boots that will support your feet on uneven, rocky surfaces.

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