Why Loreto Bay Should be Your Next Mexican Holiday
Many American travelers will soon be heading south of the border on their spring break holidays. While Cabo San Lucas and Playa del Carmen are popular destinations, the real Mexico can be found in Loreto Bay. Here are seven reasons why you should visit the Sea of Cortez the next time you’re in Mexico.
Jacques Cousteau dubbed the Sea of Cortez the “The World’s Aquarium,” and rightfully so. The life below the waves is abundant, and since the area falls within a nature preserve, it will stay that way. The Loreto National Park protects over 2,000 square kilometers of the Sea of Cortez, including the 800+ species living there. Grey and Blue whale watching is popular in the Loreto National Marine Park, and unlike other unpredictable wildlife tours, the odds of seeing a whale are heavily in your favor. Whales migrate through this region, as well as dolphins, so it’s almost impossible to not see a fin or flipper pop out of the water. I had the chance to take a boat out for the day and encountered sea lions, a huge pod of dolphins and several whales. Birding is a popular eco-tourism activity here, as there are many species around the Islands of Loreto, and the Baja area is known for its beautiful birds.
The peace and quiet
Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto is the top-ranked resort in the region, and it boasts a beautiful bay view. It’s safely away from the crowds and parties of Cabo San Lucas. The evenings are quiet, providing the opportunity to reflect and really experience the peaceful landscape of Baja Sur. I highly recommend the plunge pools and sauna at the spa. The Islands of Loreto are the perfect place to hit the reset button and have a zen-inspired weekend full of yoga and wellness.
The landscape is impressive, so hiking in this region is a must. The variety of ecosystems is reason alone to spend most of your time here outdoors. Taking a walk in the desert has never been so interesting, and there are trails for any fitness level. The nights are as spectacular as the day, and with very little light pollution you can enjoy some intense star gazing.
Fishing in this area dates back to when the Jesuits arrived in the 17th century. The tradition continues, and many people come down to spend time fishing for sport. The snorkeling and diving is also unparalleled, and throughout the five islands there are endless places to explore. If going below the surface isn’t for you, kayaking or stand-up paddleboards are also popular, offering an active alternative on the water.
One of Mexico’s draws is its cuisine. There’s fine dining, street food, seafood… and tequila! There are the old favorites you come to love, guacamole and fresh tortilla chips, but move outside of your comfort zone and try some of the local dishes like chocolate clams. This brown-shelled bivalve is best served simply, with some citrus, escabeche style.
The culture and history
This region was a Spanish route to the Americas, and is home to one of the oldest settlements in the Baja region. Visit the head of all missions, in the old town of Loreto, to learn about an important part of history. Prehistoric cave paintings thousands of years old can be found in the Sierra San Francisco, just outside of Loreto. The UNESCO protected site offers a glimpse into the world of the indigenous people living here long ago.
Perfect for a weekend getaway from California, the Islands of Loreto are just a short flight from LAX!