Take a journey to a peaceful destination 200 miles up the eastern coast of Baja California Sur from Cabo San Lucas. You enter an unspoiled fishing village, as charmingly relaxed today as it was 300 years ago. The citizens welcome you warmly and invitingly as the sun gleams in the sparkling blue sky. If you think that your watch has stopped or your heartbeat has noticeably slowed, then you have arrived at your Loreto honeymoon.
Loreto is located just about center of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur in its own bay on the Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California. Whereas Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo further south are the world renowned touristy destinations of the region, Loreto has quietly kept its cool over the years. Once the capital of all the Californias, its historical relevance is unmistakable as is its natural beauty and incredible amount of appeal to visitors seeking serenity in a gorgeous setting. Fishing for yellowtail, sailfish and marlin (just to name a few) is traditionally one of the top attractions of the town, and the decision to move the state’s capital from here to La Paz all but ensured Loreto’s role in Mexico as the keeper of authentic, old world life.
Your Loreto honeymoon is so much more than just peaceful, romantic bliss, however. The area bursts with wildlife and the chance to see frolicking whales, swim with sea turtles and check out a huge population of sea lions in addition to land and air based animals like spectacular birds, bobcats and all sorts of lizards. When not on the water boating or yachting, the majestic Sierra de La Giganta Mountains will keep you entertained with hiking, biking and exploring. In fact, Loreto is proud of its commitment to eco-tourism, protecting the numerous species of animals both around the town and its surrounding islands as well as taking care of the land itself.
Relaxation is guaranteed. Fun activities and sports such as golfing and tennis are here. And there’s plenty for history lovers, too. The Mission de Nuestro Senora de Loreto is one of the oldest “California” missions dating back to 1752. And if that’s not old world enough for you, the region is famous for its prehistoric cave drawings that are 12,000 years old! Whether basking in the sun or taking advantage of the area’s many attractions and activities, Loreto is the romantic destination that offers the best of Mexico to enjoy the way you like.
Being a small town, most attractions in Loreto can be easily reached on foot, allowing you to wander through the city center with its arts and craft shops on paved, pedestrian streets. That's perfect if you plan on a quiet, sun-soaked Loreto honeymoon. Beyond the stress-free atmosphere, fishing, yachting and boating on the Sea of Cortez and around the town's five offshore islands are reasons alone to visit. Add in the gorgeous Sierra de La Giganta Mountains and you have plenty of ways to be as active or relaxed as you want to be with kayaking, snorkeling, diving off the reefs, hiking and exploring the many historical landmarks.
- RIDE HORSEBACK ON THE BEACH. To many, the pinnacle of passion is riding horseback on a beach as the sun goes down and briny sea spray caresses your skin while the essence of salt and sand fills your senses. Like a romance novel come to life, the many beaches scattered about Loreto offer breathtaking beauty and a sensational spectacle. One such popular example is Aqua Verde with its gorgeous unobstructed vistas of both the Sierra de la Giganate Mountains and the Sea of Cortez.
- GIVE YOURSELF A HISTORICAL MISSION. Seek out one of the oldest missions in the Californias, the famous Mission de Nuestro Senora de Loreto, which dates back to 1752. Today, this lovely building is a museum where you can learn all about Loreto's past. Plus, right next door is the Museo de las Misiones, another museum that brings to life, for better or worse, the stories of the European conquests of Baja California.
- WATCH THE WHALES. A momma cat with kittens is cute. But ramp up the adorableness with the ultimate mom and baby combo—whales! Loreto is an ideal spot to view whales in the midst of their long migration to fulfill the circle of life. In the area, you'll find numerous whale watching tours, some of which bring you in close enough that you can even reach out and touch one!
- KAYAK AMONG THE DOLPHINS. You're not alone in thinking the waters off the coast of Loreto are impossibly blue and beautiful. Just ask all the dolphins and sea lions! For an unforgettable adventure, kayaking up and down the coast puts you in touch with a variety of stellar landscapes as well as wildlife basking in the warm sun.
- ISLAND HOP. Just offshore of Loreto, gorgeous islands lay about like magnificent little gems dappling the warm waters as if someone stood on the beach and casually tossed emeralds into the Sea of Cortez. Altogether, Isla del Carmen, Isla Catalina, Isla Coronado, Isla Danzante and Isla Montserrat form the Loreto Bay National Park, a marine park of over 2,000 square kilometers. These little beauties are just waiting for you to explore the more than 800 species of marine life as well as fish, kayak, dive or simply enjoy a picnic with your loved one.
- TRY A SUNSET ON THE MALECON. A "malecon" is a broad esplanade, jetty or seawall that juts out into the water. Loreto's malecon is the place to meet, located along Calle de la Playa in the town's center. This is the spot to see the area's most stunning sunsets. It's also fun for visiting the many shops, restaurants and bars that line it, or just taking a seat at any point and relaxing.
- TRAVEL WAY BACK IN TIME. Loreto is well known for its wonderful fishing, but another more unusual draw is an attraction you won't find just anywhere. Throughout the La Giganta Mountain Range are a multitude of aboriginal cave paintings that are thousands of years old. Numerous drawings are also found in canyons, rock shelters and caverns such as Cuevas Pintas and La Pinguica. Protected by UNESCO and Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology (INAH), these impressive and remarkable paintings are best experienced through one of the many local authorized tours.
- GO GREEN WITH GOLFING. Golf enthusiasts rejoice—you'll find a championship 18-hole course next to Loreto Bay Resort. Having undergone major renovations, the course was completed in 2007 and is now the David Duval Signature Course, designed using eco-focused management systems and other sustainable principles to naturally blend into the surrounding desert and Sierra de la Giganta mountains. You'll play on gently sloping fairways while enjoying mangroves and beautiful views of the Sea of Cortez coastline.
Tips and Advice
- AREA CODES: 613
- CURRENCY: Mexican Peso
- LANGUAGE: Spanish
- GETTING AROUND: Located on the east side of lower Baja California, Loreto is easily accessible by boat, air or car. Once there, you can rent a car (your best bet to see what you want on your schedule), take a bus or hire a cab. Taxis in Loreto are not metered, so be sure to agree on a price before you get in to ensure there are no surprises upon reaching your destination. Being a small town, everything is easily reachable by foot, which is an easy way to enjoy the arts and craft shops on the town's smooth, paved pedestrian streets.
- DRIVING: As in the United States and Canada, one drives on the right side of the road in Mexico.
- WHEN TO GO: Climate in Baja California Sur is absolutely perfect year round. If you plan on spending your Loreto honeymoon relaxing, the good news is that there is no bad time to go!
- ELECTRICITY: Loreto uses 110-120 Volts, which is the same as found in the U.S. and Canada.
- TIME ZONE: Being on the extreme western side of Mexico, Loreto is in the Mountain Time Zone (just like Denver, Colorado), seven hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.