history of the San Felipe region dates to more than 150 million years
before present (to the formation of the Baja California peninsula)
while its written history goes no farther back than the days of the
first Europeans to set foot on its soil. Beyond that, nothing is known
of the first humans to enjoy the local shores although information
begins to appear from about two thousand years ago.
by Hernon Cortés to map the coastline of the then known "Southern
Sea," Fransisco de Ulloa recorded his presence in this area in
September, 1539. With him was cartographer Domingo del Castillo who
identified the San Felipe cove (on a map he was then making) as "Santa
Catarina." What's more, because the existence of the Baja California
peninsula was unknown at the time (the Spaniards thought La Paz was
on an island some of them called "California"), it was Ulloa
who reported it at the conclusion of this voyage. That voyage, by
the way, included circumnavigation of the peninsula as far north as
the approximate location of Ensenada.
year later, Hernando de Alarcón sailed into the area on an
unsuccessful mission of support for the Coronado Expedition (to the
Seven Golden Cities of Cíbola). With Alarcón was the
same Domingo del Castillo who, by virtue of the Viceroy of New Spain's
orders to sail as close as possible to the shore (to enable sighting
Coronado's representatives), was enabled to improve upon the map he
produced during the Ulloa voyage.
in the first ship built on Baja California soil, Juan de Ugarte landed
in the bay on July 5, 1721. Twenty-five years later, Padre Fernando
Consag landed here and formally christened the place San Felipe de
Jesús. San Felipe's modern history dates from 1876 when the
Mexican government signed a colonization contract with one Guillermo
Andrade who acquired some 30,000 hectares but died before his plans
the first fish camp was formed in 1904, it was not until 1925 that
the first sub-delegation was created and San Felipe began to develop
as an organized community. The first fishing society was founded in
1928, the first school established in 1929, and the first tourist
facilities in the early 1950's. Electricity was provided in 1963 and
the first potable water in 1967.
The Beaches of San Felipe await you.