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Although Loreto has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, there's no changing its divine location and sublimely subtropical weather. The oldest permanent Spanish settlement in the Californias, Loreto is home to Baja's first mission, the beautifully restored Misión Nuestra Señora de Loreto. A small network of mission-style buildings surround the church, housing crafts stores, restaurants and tour operators. Four blocks away, the Sea of Cortez laps at the malecón (waterfront promenade). Offshore lies the Parque Nacional Bahía de Loreto, a national marine park protecting five islands and the bay's ...

Although Loreto has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, there's no changing its divine location and sublimely subtropical weather. The oldest permanent Spanish settlement in the Californias, Loreto is home to Baja's first mission, the beautifully restored Misión Nuestra Señora de Loreto. A small network of mission-style buildings surround the church, housing crafts stores, restaurants and tour operators. Four blocks away, the Sea of Cortez laps at the malecón (waterfront promenade). Offshore lies the Parque Nacional Bahía de Loreto, a national marine park protecting five islands and the bay's incredibly rich marine life. Lacking beaches, Loreto's primary draws are scuba diving (which is world class) and sport fishing. The town has several excellent restaurants, loads of little mom-and-pop joints, some great boutique hotels, and a fair number of bars. Nearby, the spectacular Misión San Javier, Baja's second mission, makes an excellent daytrip for those willing to brave the hair-raising 22-mile dirt road into the rugged Sierra de la Giganta. It's truly a drive back in time (and the ideal way to beat the hell out of your rental car). By the time you return to Loreto, you'll be glad finding a great margarita is so darn easy.

Danny Palmerlee
About the Expert

Danny Palmerlee is the main author of numerous Lonely Planet travel guides, including Ecuador, Argentina, South America on a Shoestring, and Pacific Northwest Trips.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The city is located on the coast of the Sea of Cortés, about 350 km north of the state capital, La Paz.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Mexican Peso
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    November through March