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The Mission, the Museum and shopping The Mission, the Museum and shopping   Sport Fishing/Fly Fishing Sport Fishing/Fly Fishing
Beaches Beaches   Diving/Snorkeling Diving/Snorkeling
Whale and Dolphin Watching Whale Watching   Bird Watching Bird Watching
San Javier San Javier   Mulege Mulege
Sailing/Kayaking/Pack Trips/Mountain Biking Sailing/Kayaking/Pack Trips/Mountain Biking   Resources & Links Resources & Links
The Mission, the Museum and shopping  

The Mission, the Museum and shopping

Loreto is home to one of the oldest missions in the chain that stretches to Sonoma, California. There is a very well done museum adjacent, that showcases the history of the mission period.

There are many great options in town for shopping. One of our favorite shops is Alacran, located just past the Mission on the corner. They have great T-shirts and unique, quality handcrafts. Also, Conchitas Curios has great traditional Mexican handicrafts.

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Sport Fishing/Fly Fishing  

Sport Fishing/Fly Fishing

The Details
  • The day starts at sunrise (or before) and ends around 1pm.
  • Equipment: Charter Companies and the captains can supply equipment if you need it, and will clean and fillet your catch for you. Most of the restaurants in town will cook the fish you bring in, and charge you a small fee. If you plan on bringing fish back home, you can either bring an ice chest from home or purchase one in Loreto. The ice chest will be checked as baggage, and you will be responsible for sealing it after inspection. No dry ice can be used/checked. Baja Big Fish and the captains will store your fish in their freezers for you until the day you fly out.
  • Lunch: If you go with a charter company, such as Baja Big Fish, you can order a delicious lunch and drinks from them ahead of time. If you hire one of the captains above on your own, bring your own lunch/drinks. (and enough to share with him.)
  • Fishing Licenses: Each person on the boat should be in possession of a fishing license. If you go through a charter company, they will acquire the license for you. If you hire one of the independent captains, you should acquire the fishing license. The cost is about 25.00 USD for one week. You can either purchase the license in Loreto, or through a Baja Travel Club called Vagabundos Del Mar ahead of time. (In addition to fishing licenses, they offer boat permits, tourist visas and Mexican auto insurance to members.)
  • Marine Park Permit: Fortunately, in July of 1996, the Mexican Congress established the Loreto National Marine Park as part of the National Protected Areas Systems. There is a marine park pass that you will need to purchase while you are out on the water. The cost is about 2.50 USD per person, per day, and can be purchased at the Marine Park Office, Baja Big Fish and possibly at the Marina.
  • Fishing From the Shore: You do not need a fishing license or a marine park permit to fish from the shore. Locations to try would be off of the Marina, the Malecon, and off of the pier at Puerto Escondido.
  • Shellfish: Only Mexican citizens are legally allowed to take shellfish from the sea. The specialty of the area is chocolate clams. There are locals who dive off of the Malecon every morning for and you can buy them from them for 1 peso a piece. (25 clams for about 2.50 US!)
What type of fish are out there and when?
  • Yellowtail: January-June and September-December
  • Rooster Fish: January-June and September-December
  • Dolphin Fish/Mahi-Mahi/Dorado: May-September
  • Sailfish/Marlin: June-August
  • Tuna/Grouper: May-September
  • Jackravalle/Sierra: Year-round
  • Red Snapper: April-October
  • Pompano/Cabrilla: Year-round
  • Amberjack: December-May
  • Skipjack/Bonita: June-October
  • Yellowfin Tuna: June-September
  • Black Snapper: April-October
  • Baja Grouper: March-July
  • Rainbow Parrot Fish: Year-round
  • Trigger Fish: February-December
  • Corvina: March-October
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Beaches/Sea Kayaking/Snorkeling  


On Foot
  • There is a public beach just south of Las Cabaņas, as well as one to the north of the marina. The one to the north of the marina has palapas available for shade.
  • The beach that is a 5 minute walk South of Las Cabanas is great for children, because it is shallow for a long distance. The public beach to the North of the Marina is a 10-15 minute walk along the malecon, and is good for swimming and has palapas for shade.
By Panga (What is a Panga?)
  • Coronado Island is the smaller island to the north of Loreto. It is about a 30-minute boat ride from the marina. It has a beautiful beach, with unbelievable turquoise water. Ask to go the "long way" around the island (to the the east side) to see the blue footed boobies nesting on the cliffs, the osprey nest perched high on the rocks, as well as a small sea lion colony. There are some palapas at the beach for shade. Consider bringing snorkel gear and a lunch! You should purchase a Marine Park Permit for the day. (Ask the captain if he has them for you or if it is included in the tour).
  • Carmen Island is the large island to the south and Danzante is the smaller island to the south and closer to the shore. They both have beaches with good swimming and snorkeling. Beaches on Carmen include; Balandra, 13 km from Loreto with a natural harbor; La Salina in old town of Isla del Carmen 90 minutes round trip by boat; Punta Baja, south west point of Isla de Carmen, 2 hour round trip from Loreto by boat; and Arroyo Blanco, north side of Islas de Carmen, 60 minutes round trip by boat. Danzante has a beautiful small beach called Honeymoon Beach.

By Car

  • If you have a four-wheel drive vehicle, a map, and are feeling adventurous, there are many beautiful and remote beaches to discover to the south and to the north. To the south, there is a very nice sandy beach at Juacalito. (just north of Puerto Escondido). Drive past the driveway leading to Juacalito, and make a left into the next driveway at the cattle crossing sign. Drive past the RV's (on the beach, so 4 wheel drive is a must!) to the far south end. We usually have that entire end of the beach to ourselves! Continuing on Hwy 1 to the south of Puerto Escondido, you will find more remote beaches to explore, like Ensenada Blanca in the area of Ligui.
  • About one hour and fifteen minutes to the north (70 miles) is Bahia de Conception. There you will discover spectacular views and beautiful beaches. Some of the more popular beaches are El Coyote, El Burro and Requeson. Some of them have small restaurants as well as sea kayaks and snorkel gear available for rent.
Inn at Loreto Bay: Golf/Tennis/Pool/beach and sea kayaks for rent on the beach.
  • The Inn at Loreto Bay is located in Nopolo, about a 10-minute drive to the south from Loreto. You can pay for a day pass to use their pool/beach/palapas. (Oftentimes they donšt charge if you intend on ordering drinks/lunch.) The golf course is at the hotel; and the tennis facility is on the way into the Nopolo area.
A Note on swimming in the Sea of Cortez
  • The Sea of Cortez is an incredibly diverse and amazing place full of all types of marine life. Having said that, there are some things you need to be careful of. We recommend wearing water sandals (like tevas) while you are walking on the beach or in the water. The best way to enter and exit the water is to shuffle your feet. (If there are any stingrays in the area, this will startle them away.) Also, it is possible to encounter jellyfish. (They are clear and difficult to see.) If you are stung, the best thing to put on your skin is ammonia. (windex would work!) The sting is a bit uncomfortable but usually goes away in about 30 minutes.
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  • The islands off of Loreto are considered great dive destinations. The Sea of Cortez is home to over 800 species of fish and marine mammals. Its sea mounts attract many large pelagic species including whale sharks, manta rays, hammerhead shark, school of jacks, large groupers and colorful reef fish. Loreto has experienced instructors ready to take you to discover the beauty hidden under the Sea of Cortez.
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Whale and Dolphin Watching  

Whale Watching

In all seasons you may see the large schools of dolphins and sea lions in Loreto Bay. In February through April, you can see blue whales and fin whales in the waters surrounding Loreto. Late January through mid-March is when the gray whales are calving off the coast of Lopez Mateos, on the Pacific side. It is about a 1 hour and 45 minute drive over to Lopez Mateos. You can drive over yourself and hire a panga and a driver when you get there, or go with a tour out of Loreto.
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Bird Watching  

Bird Watching

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San Javier  

San Javier

  • San Javier is a small village in the mountains west of Loreto, in which time seems to have stood still. The mission was built in 1699, and is beautiful and well preserved. The town is very peaceful and quiet. There is a little restaurant to the right of the mission you where you can have a drink a snack before you head back. . It is a 90-minute drive, (24 miles west of Loreto) on a gravel road. (Parts of which are a little narrow, so take your time.) It is beautiful desert along the way and there is a small cave painting site about 1/3 of the way up that you can walk up to. We continued up the palm-lined canyon about 20 minutes for a nice little hike.
  • You can either go with a guided tour or rent a car from Hertz or Budget and go on your own.
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  • Mulege is a quaint town, on a river lined with palms, 80 miles north of Loreto. It is a beautiful scenic drive (90 minutes) along the the Bahia de Conception to Mulege. Just west of town, in the Guadalupe Mountains, there are ancient cave paintings and petroglyphs to explore with a guide. Mulege is also home to a very picturesque mission.
  • You can take a tour from Loreto or (Desert and Sea Expeditions), or rent a car in Loreto and arrange for a local guide in Mulege, in advance. In Mulege, we recommend Salvadore Castro. See resource list for contact info.
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Sailing/Kayaking/Pack Trips/Mountain Biking  

Sailing/Kayaking/Pack Trips/Mountain Biking

  • The area surrounding Loreto is ideal for multi day trips. Visit pristine beaches by kayak or sailboat or centuries old cave paintings with a mule.
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Resources/Rental Cars  

Resources & Links

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