Discover Loreto: The Hidden Gem of Baja California Sur

Isla Coronados

Escape to Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico for the ultimate beach vacation this summer. This charming beach town offers the ultimate summer getaway of sun, sand and solitude. 

With limited crowds and beautiful turquoise waters that heat up to a balmy 80 degrees Fahrenheit, Loreto provides a relaxing escape. The town is only a short flight away, where Arizona travelers seeking an escape from the heat can fly directly from Phoenix (PHX) to Loreto (LTO) in under two hours via American Airlines.

Located just off the coast of Loreto is the Bay of Loreto National Marine Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features five amazing islands: Isla Coronados, Isla del Carmen, Isla Danzante, Isla Montserrat and Isla de Santa Catalina. Of these islands, Isla Coronados and Isla del Carmen boast stunning intimate coves and hidden beaches, making them must-visit destinations. 

Isla Coronados is a magnificent volcanic rock standing 1,000 feet above sea level. The island has the most visited beach in the bay and is home to a picturesque crescent-shaped cove with white sand and crystal-clear waters. It’s a perfect place for families and water enthusiasts to enjoy swimming, kayaking, diving, paddle boarding and snorkeling. 

For those seeking something a bit calmer, Isla del Carmen is a quiet locale perfect for explorers who want to bask in the best of nature’s bounty that  Loreto has to offer. The island is the largest in the bay with a myriad of breathtaking sights. From exploring tall colorful cliffs to discovering marine fossils on the smooth, sandy beaches, Isla del Carmen provides a secluded adventure for every type of traveler.

Mission Loreto

On the mainland, visitors can take in spectacular views from the town’s beaches. Playa Oasis is a stop you can’t miss, featuring black volcanic sand and a view of the bay best seen at sundown or sunset. This historic, quaint town is full of cultural heritage and showcases a laid-back charm that vacationers can all enjoy. 

Loreto was founded in 1697 and served as the first capital of California, with many of its historic buildings and missions still standing. Visitors can immerse themselves in the deep history of the town at local museums and art galleries, or enjoy the many activities now present.

Loreto’s culinary offerings are a testament to its cultural richness. Loreto is home to the famous Almejas Tatemadas, or “Chocolate Clams,” named for the chocolate-brown color of the shell. Locals prepare their “Chocolate Clams” in a vibrant ritual where the clams are charred in the sand under a large fire. Each year, Loreto hosts the Almeja Chocolata Gastronomic Festival on the first Saturday of June where the top chefs from Baja California Sur showcase their unique takes on the local delicacy of “Chocolate Clams.”

Overall, Loreto is a summer getaway that you can’t miss. Visitors to the islands can enjoy the picture perfect beaches, indulge in local delicacies, tour the delightful local town and more.

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Photos courtesy Baja California Sur

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