When I mentioned to friends and family that I was planning on travelling to Loreto for “Spring Break”, their reactions were something along the lines of “where’s that?” and “never heard of it”.
This wasn’t surprising, as I had never heard of it either until very recently. But although this area of Mexico isn’t very well known, it is one of the most amazing places I’ve had the good fortune of travelling to.
A Brief History:
Loreto has been home to people for thousands of years, as even those in the past loved to settle in beautiful places. You can see cave paintings up in the mountains near town and at La Miscion, that show people had settled in this area long ago.
More recently, the Baja of Mexico was decided to be the next hot tourist destination, and all the major cities along the Sea of Cortez were marketed in hopes of promoting tourism. All of the cities but Loreto ended up becoming popular, which is why Loreto still has its local charm. You can walk the beach here and not have to worry about seeing hundreds of people, which never happens in more popular areas.
With a relatively small international airport, not all companies fly to this area, and many people we spoke to had to take a very roundabout way to get there from the States. As we were flying from Canada, our options were much more convenient. We flew WestJet directly from Calgary to Loreto on their twice weekly charter flight.
Although Loreto may not be as touristy as other locations along the Baja, it still has its fair share of resorts and rentals. You can head to Nopolo Bay and stay at the Loreto Bay Golf Resort and Spa, or in one of the hundreds of rental homes. These homes are mainly owned by Canadians and Americans, and therefore, are left empty most of the year. Nopolo Bay is a short 15 minute drive from downtown Loreto, but you will lose a little authenticity and culture being out of town. Check out my review of the Loreto Bay Golf Resort and Spa here.
If you want to be closer to the action (and the culture), there are many rentals and hotels downtown as well. These include Hotel Santa Fe, La Mision Loreto, and Hotel Posada de Las Flores.
Loreto isn’t a huge party town, but if you decide to visit you will still have plenty to do. Hiking, biking, snorkelling, paddle boarding, boating, you name it! The Sea of Cortez is perfect for a morning paddle board or kayak, as the water is glassy calm and you can see the sea life below, and after lunch, you can hit the water and snorkel around volcanic rock to cool off from the mid-day heat.
Another huge draw for people visiting Loreto are whale watching and snorkelling tours. The whale watching tours allow you to see all sorts of different whale species at different times of the year, and include swimming and lunch on a gorgeous beach. The snorkelling allows you to swim with wild sea lions (why did my GoPro have to break!!!), which was possibly the highlight of my trip!
Who doesn’t love Mexican food? Quesadillas, tacos, guacamole, tortilla chips, shall I go on? Loreto may not be a huge tourist destination, but they sure do the food well. Some of my favourite restaurants were El Corazon (a Starbucks-esque coffee shop), el Patio, and Mezzaluna (a more Italian style restaurant). You will find many other restaurants that are in the area with a quick google search, and honestly everywhere was really great!
One thing that was slightly frustrating about Loreto, was the lack of information on the surrounding area. We had a very hard time getting any information on hikes in the area we were visiting and most locals had no idea either!
Also, if you need to buy any photography gear, make sure to do that in advance. My GoPro broke during our trip and when I attempted to buy a new one, found that I would need to pay almost $900.00 CAD for a Hero 4!!!
So, have I convinced you to visit this gorgeous sea-side town with this guide to Loreto? If so, then make sure to book your trip in advance, as this location won’t be an unknown gem for much longer.
Over to you, have you been to Loreto? If so, did I miss anything? If you haven’t been, would you ever consider going? Let me know in the comments! 🙂
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