None

El vallecito

PICTORIAL ART IN STONE

Currently, El Vallecito is the only archaeological complex open to the public throughout the state of Baja California. It consists of different areas in which you can see more than 18 sets of rock paintings, although only three can be visited.

The cave paintings that you will find in El Vallecito will tell you a bit about the history of its ancient settlers, "los kumiai"; first to inhabit the territory that includes from what we know today as Santo Tomas in Baja California, Mexico, to the coasts of San Diego in California, United States.

That extensive territory extended from the interior lands in the area of ​​Escondido, California, to the mountains and deserts of northern Baja California. Mainly the area of ​​the Laguna Salada and the Sierra Juárez known as La Rumorosa.

The visit to the archaeological zone of El Vallecito will take you to walk through the remains known as "El Tiburón", "El Solsticio" or "El Diablito", "El Hombre Enraizado", "La Cueva del Indio", "Los Solecitos" or "Wittinñur" and "El Corral".

The area of ​​El Tiburón is formed by a granite rock that resembles the head of a shark. Inside it appears a figure similar to a butterfly in flight in black. In addition, several mortars carved in the fixed rock can be observed.

The Solstice or El Diablito are the names with which one of the most popular El Vallecito sets is known. It is a rocky wall in which a tiny anthropomorphic figure is drawn in red, with a kind of antennae or horns on the head, measuring about 20 centimeters. At the same time, it is accompanied by geometric shapes, also anthropomorphic, painted in black and white.

Its popularity comes from the hand of the winter solstice. On December 21 and 22, a ray of sunlight penetrates and touches an edge of the rock formation that diverts light into the eyes of the anthropomorphic figure and illuminates the interior of the rocks for a few minutes. In this way, the Kumiai marked this astronomical event, a very special date for their culture.

You can also get close to the remains known as The Rooted Man. In a small set of rocks you will see two panels with figures in white; in the first, a geometric motif with five lines ending in circular points is represented, and in the second one an anthropomorphic figure with a kind of roots or prolongation of the members downwards appears, hence its popular name.

The next point in the tour is La Cueva del Indio. It contains a large quantity of mortars, metates, ceramic material and lithic waste, the result of the production of tools. It has the shape of a granite dome that resembles a mushroom. Inside, there are pictorial elements on the walls and ceiling.

The Solecitos or "Wittinñur", which in the Kumiai language means "painted stone", stands out above all for the paintings in various shades of red and black that take advantage of the natural formations of the rock. They also surprise the figures similar to solecitos made in small holes of the rock.

To end your tour, visit the remains called El Corral; inside you will find fascinating drawings in the form of red reticles that will transport you hundreds of years back in time.

The Vallecito is located 70 kilometers from the city of Mexicali, capital of the state of Baja California, near the town of La Rumorosa. From there you can explore the fascinating and enigmatic archaeological remains that the Kumiai bequeathed to us. Do not miss them!

¿Qué Visitar?

What to Visit?

  • Ensenada In here you must look for the Wine Route which has several valleys where around 90% of the wine from Mexico is produced. An ideal destination for those who like wine, gastronomy, coastal landscapes and vineyards.
  • In the same municipality of Ensenada there are two national parks, natural protected areas and deserts of cacti. As well you can spot whales in winter.
  • Tecate This city is famous for its brewery, for its spas and for its landscapes with giant rocks and cave paintings.
  • Tijuana Where yoou can visit diverse museums, as well as sampling the Baja-Med cuisine, without mentioning the adventure of city's nightlife. The border with California is the most frequently crossed border in the world.
  • Mexicali Is an agricultural and industrial zone that offers delicious food, excellent hotels, and world class events
  • Rosarito A small city wich is renwoned for its abundant sea food. This town has one of the most important film studios in the world, where films such as Titanic or Pearl Harbour have been filmed.
¿Qué Saber?

What to Know?

  • El Vallecito is located at kilometer 72 of the Mexicali-Tecate toll highway. Before getting to the community of La Rumerosa, take the turnoff at the sign which directs you to the museum at the Vallecito site. Just follow the dirt road for 3 km. Another option: take the free federal highway #2 Mexicali-Tecate where it crosses the toll highway at km 3.5 and take the side road.
  • The site is open all year from Wednesday to Sunday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Something important to know is that in this park there are established paths to go to see the different collections of cave paintings.
  • Baja California was first populated 10,000 years ago. There are studies which provide evidence that there was a group of animal hunters, now extinct, that were called paleo-indians.
  • In more recent eras there were societies of hunter-gatherers throughout the region and early farmers that occupied territorial zones.
  • Today there are still surviving speakers of the Yumana linguistic family, whose ancestors were called the Kumiai, Pai-pai, Kiliwa and Cucapá.
  • The regional style of the cave paintings of El Vallecito is called Diegueño Representacional.
El Vallecito

Visit the cave paintings of El Vallecito with this photos

Gallery
El Vallecito

Find out more about this Archaeological Site in Baja California

Audiospot

Share this page

More about Baja California

More Archaeological Sites

We want you with us

Subribe to our newsletter and discovery Mexico with us