We recently had the chance to visit Loreto and discover the magic, the beauty, and the real paradise that this destination has to offer.
Located on the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) in the State of Baja California Sur in Mexico, Loreto is an ideal place for the perfect escape.
Whether you are looking for a quiet place to relax from it all or a more adventurous vacation full of fun and exciting things to do, Loreto will not disappoint you.
And the best place to stay just happens to be the only Five-Star resort in Loreto: Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa at the Islands of Loreto.
Villa del Palmar is a fantastic resort with 180 luxury rooms with a Jacuzzi tub in each suite and well equipped with full kitchens. It is located on 1,800 hectares of property surrounded by nature and its own beach cove at Ensenada Blanca Beach.
The resort also has 5 pools, a world-class spa, a mini market, a kids’ area, and three restaurants.
The entertainment at Villa del Palmar is endless. Every day there are fun activities scheduled all day long. Start early with a morning hike on one of the trails that overlook the beautiful islands of Loreto.
Throughout your hike, you will see the diversity of vegetation in the area, the amazing water colors of the Sea of Cortez, and if you are lucky, you could spot Baja condors flying around the coast. Just make sure you are wearing enough sunblock.
If you wish to enjoy the resort’s activities, you can join the aqua-aerobics classes at the main pool every day. On different nights, they have a variety of great shows. Don’t miss Mexican Night on Saturdays; it is a fun, colorful display of all the important traditional dances of Mexico.
As far as water activities, Loreto is a true paradise. Not only is Loreto one of the best whale-watching spots during the winter months, but all year round you can enjoy great kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and paddle boarding.
The late Sea Explorer Jacques Cousteau actually dubbed the Sea of Cortez “the aquarium of the world” due to the hundreds of species unique to the region.
Wild Loreto is a company with friendly staff and many years of experience who have an office in Villa del Palmar’s lobby.
Their staff can help you choose among all the fun activities and tours you can do during your stay in Loreto. They also have kayaks, paddle boards, and snorkeling equipment for rent.
If you wish to ride on a catamaran boat around the islands, they can help you as well.
We took a boat to Danzante Island and it was an incredible experience. We saw many dolphins on the way there and we snorkeled at Honeymoon Beach, where we saw starfish and other types of sea life.
Not many know that Loreto is of great importance in the history of California. Actually, of both Californias: the Alta California and the Baja California.
And it is from here that the Spanish went on to build missions and presidios that went all the way up north ending at the Mission San Francisco Solano de Sonoma following El Camino Real.
Furthermore, the famous “Camino Real” actually starts in Loreto. Despite this importance, the town of Loreto has remained small, with a population of about 10,000 people.
If you want to be closer to the historic downtown, Hotel Santa Fe Loreto is a great place to stay. The spacious rooms are equipped with full kitchens and the hotel offers a pool, hot tub, and plenty of parking. It’s only a short walk to visit the historical Mission of Loreto.
How to get there
Loreto is such an easy destination to get to. From LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) there are several airlines that fly there. You can get great specials on a charter flight with CalJet Airlines.
They have a fantastic schedule leaving and returning on Saturdays. And best of all, the flight only takes 1 hour 40 minutes. It’s that fast!
If you love adventure and beautiful scenic road trips, you can go by car. Driving from San Diego is about 13 hours.
Most people drive to the town of Guerrero Negro on the Pacific side and spend the night, arriving in Loreto the next day.
If you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway paired with authentic Mexican charm, Loreto is a destination you won’t want to miss. But hurry before it’s discovered!
Many are surprised to learn that it can actually be cheaper to rent a fully furnished apartment or house rather than stay in a hotel when you’re on vacation.
This is especially true when you’re abroad in a place like Europe.
Why vacation rentals are cheaper
When we traveled to Italy for nearly a month last year, we spent only one night in a hotel room (early morning flight).
We found renting a house to be more cost effective for several reasons:
- In general, for the cost of 3-4 nights in a hotel we could rent an apartment in cities like Florence and Venice for an entire week.
- The apartments came with fully equipped kitchens, meaning we could shop at the local markets and eat our meals at home, saving lots of money.
- Check before you book, but sometimes the houses come with washing machines. This saves a trip to the laundromat… because we’d rather be sightseeing.
Why vacation rentals are more pleasant
- Being woken up by an eager maid knocking on your door at 7:30am isn’t my idea of an ideal trip. I prefer to keep my own schedule. Sometimes, I just want to cook and eat breakfast in my pajamas, even on vacation.
- Renting apartments or houses offers a feeling of space. There’s typically a couch, dining room table, and sometimes a small deck or backyard. Unless you book a suite, many hotels don’t offer these luxuries.
- When we bring home that bottle of wine from an amazing winery, rest assured there’s a corkscrew and wine glasses in the kitchen!
- It’s living like a local.
Here are a few things to consider before booking a vacation rental
Apartment location: Is it centrally located, easily accessible (are there stairs, is it on a hill)?
- Guest reviews: What do people have to say about their experience?
- Understand what’s included and excluded: Is there Internet? Does it cost extra? Are there cleaning fees? Do you pay for the electricity you use? Is there a place to park your car if necessary?
- Payment: There’s usually a credit card payment due in order to reserve the house. The remainder is typically due upon arrival in cash.
- Do your research: We have found that most apartment rentals require anywhere from a 3-7 night minimum, but this changes from city to city, owner to owner.
Want to know more? Do a Google search for vacation apartment rentals within the city or region you’ll be visiting. Within seconds, you’ll discover a number of websites with listings. Start looking at prices, location, and the amount of time you’ll be there.
You can then research hotels and compare the cost and lifestyle options.
Reader Question: Have you ever booked a vacation rental? How did it compare to a hotel?
Vine & Roses Bed & Breakfast owners Tim and Kathy Sinclair have created an amazing, first-class romantic getaway in Walla Walla, the heart of Washington Wine Country.
The moment you check into Vine & Roses Bed & Breakfast, you’ll quickly checkout from the rest of the world and pure relaxation will take over the minute Kathy leads you to luxury of your very own private suite.
Your only worry will be how long it’ll take until you can fire up the chimney (flip a switch) and slip into the heavenly, bubbly 2-person Jacuzzi tub in your room.
Or maybe, you’ll want to grab one of your local winery finds that has been carefully stored in the temperature-controlled wine cellar. Relaxing on the B&B patio furniture while sipping a local Washington wine and listening to the sound of a babbling brook… does it get any better than this?
At the end of a busy wine tasting day in Walla Walla, sleep like a royalty in a king size bed, uninterrupted by top quality soundproofing.
Just when you think Vine & Roses can’t get any better… the most amazing breakfast awaits first thing in the morning: fresh fruit, quiche, scones, delicious coffee, and juice.
Stay a few nights to enjoy Vine & Roses Bed & Breakfast and to sufficiently explore Walla Walla vineyards and the inviting downtown.
The Wine – Sinclair Estate Vineyards
Stop by the Sinclair Estate Vineyards tasting room in downtown Walla Walla, also owned by Tim & Kathy Sinclair.
Alert your tastebuds because you won’t want to miss the 2007 Pentatonic, their flagship wine. Only 3 barrels were produced of this dynamite blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, & Syrah. Buy a few bottles because the structure and elements are in place for graceful aging.
The Sinclair Estate Vineyards 2007 Syrah is an intense, diverse wine. Sip and you’re ‘buds will experience an array of flavors and sensations: berry, that toasty-toffee goodness, and a hint of spice. Each flavor is uniquely balanced and flows so well with the others.
And I’ll leave you to ask Kathy all about her very own 2007 Vixen blend…
Disclosure: TravelPlusWine was invited to stay free of charge.