This relatively untouched part of Mexico—located in Baja California Sur—is a paradise with endless opportunities for outdoor pursuits. Here are a few ways to spend your time.

Tour the islands

Part of Loreto Bay National Marine Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the five islands of Loreto are spectacular, and a number of local tour operators, including Danzante Tours, offer excursions. Each island is diverse and worth exploring, but the can’t-miss stop is Coronado. Not only is Coronado Island home to a sea lion colony and stunning lava rock formations, its white sandy beaches are the perfect spot for a picnic. You can also hike on the island, and its surrounding coral reefs provide great snorkeling.

Explore the culture

Loreto is one of the oldest settlements in Baja California Sur, and while it is relatively small in terms of population (approximately 1,400 live in the town), it’s filled with beautiful sites. A must-see is the Mision de Loreto—a church built by the Jesuits who founded Loreto in 1697. To learn more about the town’s history, head to the Jesuit museum—Museo de las Misiones Jesuitas—to explore hundreds of years of Loreto history and see beautiful artwork.

Get active in the water

The Sea of Cortez is as smooth as glass, making for the perfect paddling conditions, even for those who have never set foot in a kayak or on a paddleboard. Take a guided tour or borrow a kayak from your hotel and prepare to have your mind blown by the beauty of what surrounds you. The abundance of sea life also means Loreto has tons of snorkeling spots where you’ll be able to see a variety of beautiful fish and colourful coral. Seriously, no matter which water activity piques your interest, it will be amazing—just do one.

Sample the local cuisine

Chocolate clams or almeja (named for their dark shells) are the specialty in Loreto and we love them baked with cheese, chipotle and butter. You can also try your hand at fishing and catch your own supper. Loreto has a wealth of fish, including sea bass and parrot fish, and many restaurants in town will fry up your catch for you.