This ancient and beautiful destination, cradled by the lush hills of the Sierra de la Giganta and the cobalt waters of the Sea of Cortez, immerses you in history and culture from the moment you step onto its shores. Dating back nearly 12,000 years, Loreto is thought to be the oldest human settlement on the Peninsula of Baja California, and you can explore its fascinating cave paintings and petroglyphs. It is also where the Jesuit missionaries landed, founding the first Mission of Baja California and establishing the Church of Our Lady of Loreto, which still anchors the town. Mexican heritage and colonial influences can both be seen as you wander through the quaint streets, browsing curio shops, sampling local fare and meeting the friendly people. Outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring Loreto's sun-drenched and scenic surroundings. Sparkling beaches and dramatic cliff-top vistas invite thrill-seekers and eco-travelers alike to discover the local flora and fauna and the abundant water activities. Kayaking, snorkeling, sailing and sport-fishing are popular, as are more extreme off-road adventures and, in the winter months, whale watching. Come experience the unspoiled beauty of Loreto for yourself!