A trip to Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula is definitely not complete with only visiting the traditional hot spots like lively Cabo San lucas or its more tranquil neighbor San Jose del Cabo. Further to the north east, and only 6 hours from these burgeoning resort regions, lies one of the oldest settlements in Baja. Nestled against the rugged coastline of the Sea of Cortez, and surrounded by the imposing Sierra de la Giganta mountain range, the charming colonial town of Loreto is one of the most beautiful of all Mexico.
Steeped in human history that starts with the appearance of indigenous settlements thousands of years ago, the town and surrounding area is rich with stories of the first Spanish settlements on the Peninsula, the progressive takeovers of Jesuits, Franciscans and Dominicans, and the ensuing battles for dominance of regional political power during the tumultuous year of the 18th and 19th centuries. Today the voice of old tell their stories through cave paintings, ruins, churches, convents and the incredibly strong colonial architectural influences evident throughout the town.
Yet there is more. Exquisitely pristine natural beauty defines this little known town, and visitors will be truly amazed by the impressive rock formations of the surrounding mountain range, the equally impressive and unending rugged coastline and the incomparably beautiful and photogenic azure blue Sea of Cortez dotted with islands just waiting to be explored. Exploring these islands can be done with local operators and include a range of activity options.
Isla Coronado, a spectacular rock formation that rises 930 feet above sea level, is a small island covered by volcanic cacti, white sand beaches and a nearby rocky islet. Here visitors can enjoy hiking, relaxing on the beach, great snorkeling on the south side of the island and even scuba diving on the northern side.
The Sea of Cortez is world famous for its variety of marine life which visitors can easily appreciate just off the eastern shore of Isla Danzante. Excellent snorkel and scuba conditions include calmer waters for beginners, incredible visibility for marine life observation and stunning underwater scenery. The island’s stunning cliffs are perfect for photography and an easy hike up to the island’s lookout point will afford visitors stunning views fo the surrounding bay.
Isla Carmen boasts gorgeous, secluded beaches with calm inlets perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The main attraction here is the colony of sea lions that are used to visitors swimming and snorkeling in their midst.