Rancho San Gregorio


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Rancho San Gregorio is a picturesque and historic ranch located in a canyon on the western slope of the peninsular ranges on the Baja California peninsula — approximately eight miles southeast of the Mission San Borja de Ádac. The historic rancho has two important springs that supply an abundant source of water that has always been vital to the inhabitants of the area. Many artifacts and cave paintings can be found on the ranch, left from the prehistoric era in Baja California. Since the end of the European colonization period, the primary residents of the San Gregorio have been the Villavicencio family. The Villavicencios [note, no apostrophe] have a fascinating cultural history as direct descendants of the Californios who came to the peninsula in the seventeenth century.

Buildings constructed at the new rancho are primarily made of local materials. The main building, “la Cabana” is made from materials found in the immediate vicinity: adobe, agave, palm, cirio, cardon. We are harnessing renewable resources in order to achieve a self-sufficient and sustainable relationship with the local environment. Electricity and internet is currently provided via solar power and water to support the community is collected, not pumped, at the local spring and transported by a gravity driven system. With our basic structures in place we have begun to look towards the future. Our hope is to share local wisdom and experiences in order to cultivate a healthy and peaceful relationship with this special place.

The “Vaquero” Experience (available February & March):

Every February and March, members of the Villavicencio family arrive at Rancho San Gregorio to drive the cattle, by horseback, up the mountains into the desert mesas. An “all hands on deck” effort, participants in this heritage practice help the family to brand the cattle, milk and make cheese, and camp alongside fellow vaqueros under the stars while listening to the old family stories. Visitors from all walks of life are welcome to join this meaningful experience.

Costs: $30 pp/per night and includes food. Travel is on your own or carpooling may be available. Email Meghann McDonald at meg@vsfs.org for more details. Please include desired travel dates and number of participants.

For more information about visiting Rancho San Gregorio or about bringing a group of your own, email us at info@vermilionseainstitute.org and visit our Start Your Own Field Course page.

Interested in experiencing the Sea of Cortez? Learn about our Vermilion Sea Field Station.

Photo Credit: Kathayoon Khalil

Photo Credit: Kathayoon Khalil

Photo Credit: Kathayoon Khalil

Photo Credit: Kathayoon Khalil

Photo Credit: Kathayoon Khalil

Photo Credit: Kathayoon Khalil