Loreto

Loreto is the kind of town in Baja that most travelers either love or hate. It has all of the modern amenities, both for camping and living. Plus, with an influx of gringos, the town is becoming more and more comfortable by American standards. 

Loreto itself is the oldest permanent settlement in Baja, founded in 1697 when Juan Maria De Salvatierra began the still operational Mision de Nuestra Senora de Loreto Conch. The town is historically rich with significant native and Spanish influence. 

Today it is a popular tourist destination and serves as the regional cultural and economic center. It also has an airport that regularly receives international flights, making Loreto a leading second home alternative to Cabo San Lucas for Americans flying in.

Loreto is getting popular for being a quiet and peaceful tourist destination. The modern city has many landmark projects and buildings, such as an 18-hole golf course and a nice tennis club. National Maritime Park is an essential part of the city. 

It is a World Heritage Site and had a huge impact on growing the ecotourism industry in the area. The park is home to many beautiful marine species including killer whales, blue whales, sea lions, dolphins, starfish, sea urchins, starfish and a variety of shellfish.

Nearby, San Javier Mission is the best-preserved mission in the whole of Mexico. It is an hour from the city, located in the rugged mountains of Sierra de la Giganta.

Loreto is an excellent sportfishing destination. It is a popular tourist attraction and the primary source of income for a large portion of the local population. You can catch various fish like red snapper and seabass all year long. 

Moreover, the waters have a significant blue whale population, giving you an opportunity to witness the largest animal on the planet in person. 

Mission in Loreto

Things to do in Loreto

From reliving the town’s foundation in Mission Nuestra Senora de Loreto to snorkeling or paddleboarding with the ocean’s gentle creatures, Loreto has something for everyone.

Here are the things to do in Loreto.

Take a Stroll in the Historic Downtown

Loreto is a small town with tons of nearby natural attractions. But if you are in the town, you don’t want to miss a walk through the downtown area. The city center is known for its tree-lined cobblestone archways, colorful buildings, cafes and restaurants. 

Although Loreto’s Malecon is not as popular as other towns in Baja, it is definitely worth a stroll as well. Plaza Civica is home to Loreto town hall and a space for events and festivals. The plaza is surrounded by some good cafes and restaurants.

Sidewalk with trees in Loreto

Head Out to Coronado Island

Coronado Island sits in the Sea of Cortez, just 25 minutes away from Loreto. It is part of the National Maritime Park and is home to sea lions, many fish and aquatic birds like blue-footed boobies. People visit the island to enjoy the serene views, relax and take a dip in turquoise waters.

Coronado Island has excellent land and sea activities for those looking for a unique adventure. You can snorkel, paddleboard, kayak and swim around the beautiful seawater. On land, you can participate in bird-watching tours, hiking and sunbathing.

Certain tours will plan multi-day adventures on the island and you can only camp there with a special permit.

Catch a Peek at the Giant Blue Whales

Loreto is one of the few places in the world where you can have a reasonable expectation to see a blue whale in nature. From February to March, they stay in the calm waters of Loreto Bay. They are not as interactive as grey whales, so finding them can be slightly tricky. 

Many tour operators offer a full-day whale-watching experience to increase the chance that you see one. These tours leave in the morning and stay in the area for several hours, where whales are known to be hanging around.

Just don’t be disappointed if you don’t see a single one of the mystical creatures during your time on the water. 

Whale Statue in Loreto

Go Sportfishing

Another great place to hook a prize fish, Loreto is known for its sportfishing and is arguably the biggest tourist attraction to the area. Finding a fishing boat is not difficult. You will find many tour operators and freelance captains offering their services on one of the many pongas in the marina.

In summer, you may be able to hook giant marlin and sailfish. While the winter season tends to bring yellowtail, dorado and a few others. Loreto waters are also home to seabass and snapper, which are relatively easy to catch bottom fishing.

Boats in the marina at Loreto

Visit San Javier Mission

The San Javier Mission is located around an hour away from Loreto and is considered one of the best-preserved missions in Mexico. The construction started in 1699 and was then abandoned because of the water supply. After a few unsuccessful attempts, it was shifted a few miles away near a natural water spring.

The mission is easily accessible by car or small to mid-sized RV. Some tour operators also organize cycling tours from Loreto to San Javier Mission.

Hike Tabor Canyon 

Loreto is surrounded by the towering red rock mountains and cliffs of the Sierra de la Giganta Mountain range. The beautiful Tabor Canyon hike is a gateway to stunning views and spectacular rock formations.

The trailhead is around 20 minutes away from the city center, and you can go as far into the canyon as you want. It is not very difficult, but you may have to climb huge boulders to go ahead in some places. 

Paddleboard or Kayak in the Peaceful Water of Loreto Bay

Loreto Bay is a perfect place for kayaking and paddleboarding. You can rent paddleboards and kayaks at the beach and can embark on one-day and multi days tours with different guides and operators. 

While the water nearby Loreto is not as spectacular as it is in some places throughout Baja, the wildlife is abundant and you are almost guaranteed to see dolphin if you paddle far enough. 

Kayakers at beach in Loreto

Campgrounds in Loreto

Camping in Loreto can be tricky as several of the RV parks are located on pedestrian streets in the center of town. But what is great about these campgrounds is that you are literally in the middle of town so you are within walking distance of everything.

Riviera del Mar RV Park

Riviera del Mar RV Park is a central place in Loreto. It has around 25 sites with some flat patches for pitching tents and parking small campervans. The ground has a nice common sitting area with electricity plugs and a sink to wash dishes. 

The bathrooms also tend to be nice and clean. This is your best bet if you have a large RV and want to spend time in Loreto. 

  • Address: Francisco. I. Madero Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico 23880
  • Phone Number: +52 613 135 0718
  • GPS Coordinates: 26.0175, -111.3459
AMENITY
PRICE RANGE$10-20 USDWIFI AVAILABILITYYES
20/30 AMP ELECTRIC:YESLAUNDRYYES
WATER HOOKUPYESSHOWERYES
SEWER HOOKUPYESPOOL/SPANO
BIG RIG FRIENDLYYESGATED/SECURITYYES
PET FRIENDLYYES

Romanita RV Park

Romanita is another excellent RV park located directly in the city center. It has all the amenities, including full hookups, laundry, a clean bathroom, showers and security. However, Romanita is not suitable for big RVs. 

We advise that you call in advance before trying to drive to Romanita RV Park as you will need to follow pedestrian walkways, which is intimidating if you aren’t certain of where you are going!

AMENITY
PRICE RANGE$12 – 20 USDWIFI AVAILABILITYYES
20/30 AMP ELECTRIC:YESLAUNDRYYES
WATER HOOKUPYESSHOWERYES
SEWER HOOKUPYESPOOL/SPANO
BIG RIG FRIENDLYNOGATED/SECURITYYES
PET FRIENDLYYES

El Moro RV Park

El Moro RV Park is a small campground in the heart of the downtown area on the other side of an alley from Romanita. It is an affordable campground with electricity, sewer and water hookups. 

Otherwise, this place is not for everyone. The bathrooms are not the best and showers are known to only be hot during the day when you are likely to be out exploring Loreto. Moreover, Wi-Fi performance is satisfactory and it is also not very big-rig friendly.

Once again, call in advance as you will need to drive through pedestrian streets to reach El Moro.  

AMENITY
PRICE RANGE$10-20 USDWIFI AVAILABILITYYES
20/30 AMP ELECTRIC:YESLAUNDRYNO
WATER HOOKUPYESSHOWERYES
SEWER HOOKUPYESPOOL/SPANO
BIG RIG FRIENDLYNOGATED/SECURITYYES
PET FRIENDLYYES