Located three quarters of the way to the bottom of the long arm of Mexico’s Baja California is the incredible city of Loreto (Baja California Sur). Loreto is quickly becoming one of Baja California’s best travel destinations, as it is at once a safe and touristically developed resort town – of good size and with tons of opportunity, lodging, and food – and a sleepy and not-yet-overrun and somewhat mysterious place to relax in peace and appreciate the surroundings and scenery without being totally among other Americans.
Baja is a long stretch of paradise, flanked on both sides by pristine waters and beaches and dusted with arid mountains and beautiful desert. This part of Mexico is great for fishing, snorkeling and diving, surfing, and beach chilling, among other things.
There are many terrific things to do in Loreto, and just outside it. The great variety and high quality of Loreto’s restaurants are renowned. There are also breweries and high end espresso bars. The city itself is easy on the eyes and feet, cobbled, and with colonial churches and missions, shops and artistic communities. There are many cute and cozy hotels that are quite affordable.
There is also the nearby Loreto Bay Mexico, a gorgeous and expansive hotel resort with golf courses, spas, manicured beaches, and air conditioned rooms and bungalows, a great place for people who like being in well compacted modernity and paradise simultaneously. The bottom line is that the main draws of Loreto and similar parts of Baja are to relax and pursue outdoor activities, which truly abound here.
There are many great outdoor activities in the mountains and deserts of Baja – treks and mule rides, more isolated missions to check out, days to spend among the cacti and between two spectacular ocean views – but most of the fantastic adventures people come to these states to chase are out on the sea, both the Pacific side and the Gulf of California, or Sea of Cortez, which has some of the world’s great beaches and an underwater landscape that Jacques Cousteau adored.
Loreto fishing is some of the best in Baja. There are plenty of opportunities for travelers to casually fish on idyllic beaches, or deep sea fish out on the water: People can go out on a chartered private boat and hunt for sailfish, blue and white marlin, wahoo, dorado, and more, while also having the built-in chance to see whales and dolphins (which is quite common). The area is also one of not many in the world where the possibility of spotting blue whales is scarce but present.
Ranking with Hawaii and Belize and Southeast Asia, Loreto snorkeling is some of the best on the planet. An easy and non-technical activity, people can be almost immediately under the surface, enjoying a jam-packed tropical fish tank of psychedelic worlds. Cousteau called the Sea of Cortez, the “world’s aquarium,” for good reason, and boats will take people to places such as Danzante Island, secretive spots where the snorkeling is even better.
On the more advanced end of the same spectrum there is exceptional Sea of Cortez diving, where the experience of being immersed in the world just described, rather than observing it from above, is like the difference between driving a car and a motorcycle. Two-tank scuba diving trips will provide all the necessary gear and guiding.
The coastal town of Loreto, Mexico offers visitors many opportunities to experience the rich tapestry of ancient through modern Mexican culture. Just outside the U.S., and you’ll find some of the world’s best fishing, diving, snorkeling, surfing and whale watching, desert treks and even beaches. All of it within literal reach of safe and cozy and affordable lodging in one of the cutest towns in Mexico. For those who want local culture and pure relaxation of the soul while still working the body and senses, Loreto is a Mexico destination that’s very hard to beat.