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!
How many times have you thought of a vacation close to home where you can really escape from it all but can’t seem to find an ideal place?
Fortunately for you, Travel Plus Wine has done its homework and found just the perfect place: The Island of Happy Days.
It does sound fun and happy… but where is this scenic place? You’ll never guess.
Commonly known as Stout’s Island Lodge, The Island of Happy Days is 26 green acres of peaceful island paradise secretly nestled in Birchwood, Wisconsin.
The reason I say “secretly” is because, surprisingly enough, not many people in Wisconsin even realize this place exists.
Surrounded by the pristine waters of Red Cedar Lake, Stout’s Island Lodge was established in 1903. Due to its historical importance, the lodge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a member of Historic Hotels of America.
The lodge is cozy and charming and there’s no doubt you’ll be in awe the moment you step foot on the island and admire the abundance of nature.
The sounds of the wind sweeping through the tall dancing leaves, the sights of ospreys catching fish from the lake, the aroma of fresh pine trees, among many other things, are a constant reminder that Stouts Island Lodge, after all, is your escape.
The outdoor activities are vast within the island and the physical difficulty simply depends upon what you want to do.
If you enjoy the peace and quiet that nature brings, Stout’s Island Lodge offers great bird watching. Actually, it was here I saw a bald eagle for the first time, one of the greatest symbols of American wildlife.
If you love reading, nothing can beat the serenity of sitting on the luscious green lawn in an Adirondack chair surrounded by tall trees overlooking Red Cedar Lake.
However, if you are looking for more action, you can take one of many kayaks or hydro-bikes available from the lodge (no extra charge) to go around the island. And let me tell you those hydro-bikes are a great workout! You can also go swimming or fishing in the enormous lake.
For short distance hiking, the island has two beautiful nature trails with spectacular scenery. If you happen to be in a competitive mood, Stout’s Island Lodge offers you the chance to show your skills in tennis, croquet, or badminton.
Dine with class at the Main Lodge which features regional dishes utilizing locally grown foods.
Their wine selection list is not huge, but hey, isn’t it all about quality not quantity? Stouts Island Lodge carries a few great wine labels and chances are you’ll find the bottle that’s right for you. As an alternative, you can bring your own bottle to enjoy from the comfort of your cabin.
The Island of Happy Days is definitely the place for those looking for a unique, quiet and relaxing holiday escape.
In fact, this is also a great place for family celebration. Stout’s Lodge Island has only 43 guest rooms in 10 separate buildings, making this an ideal place for organizing special gatherings.
The middle of nowhere has never felt so pleasant.