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Discover Sea, Sand and Desert in Loreto

Loreto is a hidden gem in Mexico with historic charm and a modern twist.

Scenically situated between the soaring Sierra de la Giganta mountains and Sea of Cortez on the east coast of the Baja California peninsula, Loreto offers an enticing blend of sea, sand and desert, along with a laundry list of natural attractions and watersports opportunities.

Accessible to Canadians through direct air service from Calgary via WestJet, Loreto is a hidden gem that maintains the historic charm of a fishing village, with a modern twist.

Loreto may be small, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in laid-back charm. Exploring the cobblestone streets of the downtown area on foot is the best way to get to know this picture-perfect town. You’ll stroll by shops selling traditional handicrafts, art galleries, street-side cafes and taco stands. In the evenings, you might catch sight of a roving mariachi band or two.

Make your way to the malecon (waterfront promenade) for a scenic walk along the water, a popular place to people-watch or to catch the sunset. Stop for a fish taco or some fresh ceviche while you wander.

There’s plenty to keep you busy in town, but when it comes to Loreto, it’s all about nature. Whether you want to relax on a pristine beach, do some hiking or mountain biking, see local wildlife, dive and snorkel or get out on the water via kayak or paddleboard, Loreto is the place to do it.

Jacques Cousteau famously referred to the waters of Loreto as the “aquarium of the world,” and it’s not hard to see why. A visit to Parque Nacional Bahía de Loreto (Bay of Loreto National Park), declared a protected area by the federal government in 1996, is an opportunity to snorkel through crystalline waters spotting tropical fish, sea turtles and colourful coral.

A quick 25-minute boat ride from Loreto is Coronados Island, home to beautiful white sand beaches, a resident sea lion colony and even flocks of rare blue-footed boobies. If you visit between January and mid-March, you might see the blue whales that make the waters of Loreto their home. Licenced whale watching boats are readily available to take visitors out to see these gentle giants.

Foodies will have no trouble sating their appetites in Loreto. From hole-in-the-wall taco joints to fine dining establishments, there are dining options aplenty to suit every craving and budget. Take your pick of everything from perfectly crispy fish tacos to home baked bread and pastries. Fresh-caught seafood is especially abundant here and something you’ll see on many menus. And you can’t leave Loreto without trying the famous chocolate clams, named for the colour of their shells and hard to find anywhere else.

Loreto is easily accessible via WestJet flights from Calgary, departing every Saturday between October and April. Or, connecting flights are available out of major Canadian gateways via Los Angeles or Mexico City.