Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico

We arrived in Loreto intending to land at the Loreto Shores RV Park.  Our map took us into some very narrow streets, so we decided to seek out another park.  We found a full hook up site at Romanita 2 RV Park.  It is a bit unusual, in that there are dry camping sites in the shade, and all of the FUH ones are located in a gravel lot, at the close end of the park, all lined up in a row.  The entire campground is located at the side of the Arroyo las Parras.  While setting up, Tom (the on-site camp host) suggested we park in such a way to block the wind that would be coming up the arroyo.  An excellent suggestion!

We had intended to stay 3 nights in Loreto, though changed our minds after having dinner at Orlando’s our first evening here.  The owner said that we were now in Easter Week, which is the biggest holiday in Mexico.  He said that it would be “crazy” here over the weekend, and traffic to and from Loreto would be a nightmare.  We chose to add 5 more days to our stay, and leave the Monday after Easter.  The roads here are challenging enough without have to deal with more traffic.  It also lets us have a bit of a breather.  And, our site here is only a ten minute drive into the Malecón.

Trip Advisor and the travel guides we were using listed two primary visits while in Loreto.  One was the Misión San Francisco Javier, located in the mountains above Loreto.  The other was the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Isla Coronado.  Both of these in addition to the various eating and drinking establishments located in town.

Loreto has a population of just over 16,000.  Primarily a fishing village, its international airport has opened it up to more tourism.  We found an extensive ex-pat community and a large contingent of snowbirds from both Canada and the US.  There are very nice resorts and hotels here for those who fly in for a visit.

Downtown is walkable, with the Malecón along the water front, and the Plaza Civica and surrounding tree covered streets.

Loreto, established in 1697 and served as the Capital of Baja until 1777. 

 We took advantage of our first full day here to take the drive to San Javier and visit the Misión.  The narrow mountain road of just 34 kilometers, will take you nearly an hour to drive.  Though take the advantage of the several pullouts along the way for an outstanding view of the Sea of Cortez and the Gulf.

 Arriving, you find a sleepy village of some 150 residents, and a steady stream of tourists.  The draw here is the Misión, built between 1744 and 1758, is one of the best preserved in the Baja.

Isla Coronado ~ UNESCO World Heritage Site

The waters and islands off shore of Loreto are within the Parque National Bahía de Loreto.  The area is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unique bio diversity.  You visit the area through a variety of tour operations.  We used Loreto Adventure and found them through Trip Advisor.

 We met our contact at the “Loreto” sign on the Melacon.  Heidy took us to the dock and introduced us to our Captain, Elardio.  Elardio is Heidy’s cousin, and was in command of Jade.  Jade is a panga, in common use by the fisherman and tour operators here.  Steff and I were his only passengers that morning.

Our tour was to the Isla del Coronado and included the 30 minute ride out to the island, a cruise around the shore, and landing on the beach for snorkeling and lunch.

 While we weren’t on a whale watching excursion, Elardio became aware that other boat captains had seen either dolphin or whale.  We motored to their location, in big water, just off of the island.  Elardio remained in the area even after the other boats had left.  We were rewarded with a brief visit from a mother humpback whale and her calf.  It was brief enough as I was unable to snap a picture, but long enough to see both of them roll to the surface and “blow” several times before going on our way.

As soon as we landed on the beach, Elardio geared us up in snorkel gear, and we spent some time looking for fish and starfish.

 Once done, Elardio set up beach chairs and a table and served a lunch of burritos and ceviche.  He explained that his “espousa” made the ceviche, and it was very good!  So good in fact that Elardio was selling pints of it to others on the beach.  I surmised that she is known for her ceviche!

As we arrived on the beach there were only two or three panga’s there.  Once we left there were over a dozen, with their occupants lounging or snorkeling.  This provided an opportunity to speak with a variety of folks visiting the island that day.

Upon taking our leave, Elardio asked if we wanted to see the other beach.  As he motored through the various panga’s moored off shore, he introduced us to his nephew, and his uncle, all working off of separate boasts.  Generally he was also providing them with his wife’s ceviche!  I had read that there are many large family groups in Loreto.  This was not only due to these people who are connected to the land and water here, but also because it had been so remote for so many years.

Our stay in Loreto gave us so many memories and we really enjoyed our time here.



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