Loreto, Mexico

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!

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Points of Interest

  • San Javier & Mission San Javier
  • Mission of Our Lady of Loreto
  • Jesuit Missions Museum
  • Outdoor Adventure
  • Underwater Adventure
  • Mexican Fiesta
  • Loreto Estuary & Beach
  • Sierra de la Giganta
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More about Loreto, Mexico Points of Interest

  • San Javier & Mission San Javier

    This quaint village is home to the second oldest mission in the Californias. Its historic 17th-century church boasts period architecture, stained-glass windows and the first weather vane in Baja.

  • Mission of Our Lady of Loreto

    Rising above the main plaza, the charming stone church's bell tower is the town's main historic landmark, founded in 1697. Step inside for its beautiful crucifix and golden altarpiece carved in wood.

  • Jesuit Missions Museum

    Located in an 18th century Jesuit convent, this petite museum displays 300 artifacts showcasing the development of the Baja and Alta California missions as well as 17th- and 18th-century mission art.

  • Outdoor Adventure

    Explore the beauty and wonder of the rugged Baja Peninsula by kayak.

  • Underwater Adventure

    Enticing divers and snorkelers of all levels, Loreto National Marine Park, a 100-mile stretch of sea-hugging Baja coastline, is home to over 800 species of colorful fish, unique to the Sea of Cortez.

  • Mexican Fiesta

    Savor the flavors of an authentic Mexican seafood specialty exclusive to Loreto. Fresh from the sea, "chocolate" clams, cooked over rocks, are complimented by margaritas and a music performance.

  • Loreto Estuary & Beach

    Once you mount up, you'll gently ride off to the Loreto Estuary & Beach to begin your approximate two-hour adventure.

  • Sierra de la Giganta

    A dramatic landscape of towering cliffs, massive boulders, sprawling canyons, babbling springs and mirror-calm pools.

11 EXCURSIONS

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Loreto Walking Tour

2 hours | Loreto | LTO-380
  • Mission of Our Lady of Loreto
  • Jesuit Missions Museum

Lace up your walking shoes and stroll the charming, cobblestone streets of the seaside community of Loreto, Mexico. Your guided walking tour takes you through the Main Plaza and into the preserved Mission Church and the quaint local museum for a glimpse into the history of this fascinating town.

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Strenuous Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$49.95

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Baja Coast Kayaking

3 hours | Loreto | LTO-760
  • Outdoor Adventure

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Baja's coastline and secluded beaches on a kayaking adventure along the pristine shoreline and into hidden coves. One or two-seater, stable kayaks are used, and Nopolo Beach serves as your launch point on this relaxed-paced excursion which includes free time to enjoy the beach.

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Strenuous Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$79.95

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Traditional Clambake & Mexican Fiesta

3 hours | Loreto | LTO-110
  • Mexican Fiesta

Mexican traditions come alive on this lively and delicious excursion that excites the taste buds and provides a true sampling of authentic Mexican culture. Enjoy a welcome traditional margarita, savor a delectable buffet filled with local delicacies, including a clambake. Music, traditional dancers and a piñata complete the festivities.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes meal

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$89.95

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Glass-Bottom Boat at Nopolo Bay

3 hours | Loreto | LTO-670

Witness the wonders down under the Nopolo Bay National Marine Park from a seat aboard a glass bottom boat. Keep your eyes open during this relaxing cruise and you may spot creatures great and small like fish, seabirds, rays, turtles, dolphins and migratory whales (in season).

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$99.95

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Giganta Mountain Canyon Hiking

3 hours | Loreto | LTO-470
  • Sierra de la Giganta

Lace up your hiking boots and hit the trail for a trek into the heart of the rugged Giganta mountain range. Discover inspiring nature trails while your eco-oriented tour guide shares the desert's secrets and the great biodiversity of flora and fauna that are part of this gorgeous canyon.

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Strenuous Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes snack

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$99.95

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San Javier Mission

5 hours | Loreto | LTO-115
  • San Javier & Mission San Javier

Discover San Javier Mission, the second-oldest and best-preserved of the missions of the Californias. An approximately one hour narrated ride takes you through the majestic Sierra de la Giganta mountain range to the beautiful Jesuit church, originally founded in 1699. Observe religious artifacts and learn the area's culture and history. A light snack refreshes during your day.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$119.95

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Snorkeling at Coronados Island

5 hours | Loreto | LTO-775
  • Underwater Adventure

Under the sea, adventure awaits on this snorkeling excursion to the lovely white-sand beach, El Atracadero Blanco. All your gear plus a snack are provided, and your beach-access snorkeling provides wonderful views of the local ocean life. A guided nature trail walk completes this nature lover's day.

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Strenuous Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes snack

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$129.95

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Horseback Riding & Beach

2.5 hours | Loreto | LTO-430
  • Loreto Estuary & Beach

Saddle up for a memorable horseback ride through the Loreto Estuary & Beach. Along the way, an expert guide will share his knowledge of local and endemic flora and fauna, and entertain you with the history of the Baja California natives and the 17th century arrival of the missionaries.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$129.95

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Snorkel & Kayak by Catamaran

4 hours | Loreto | LTO-780

Discover Loreto's aqua culture when you snorkel or kayak in the Sea of Cortez. Watch for whales, dolphins, and turtles on your way to the beautiful Islands of Loreto. Learn sailing basics (*subject to weather) and listen as your guide explains about the local wildlife. A box lunch completes the adventure.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes meal

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$149.95

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Baja Sport Fishing

5 hours | Loreto | LTO-740

Get hooked on fishing when you set out on a sportfishing expedition into the Sea of Cortez. Fish from 25' Super Pangas or Deluxe 29' center console walk-around boats suited for fly fishing or live bait fishing and cast about for sailfish, dorado, yellowtail and striped marlin (in season).

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Strenuous Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes meal

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$249.95

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Magdalena Bay Whale-Watching Adventure

7 hours | Loreto | LTO-645

Protected by the offshore barrier of Isla Magdalena, Puerto Lopez Mateos is considered one of the finest whale-watching sites along the Pacific Coast. During the season, this nutrient-rich waterway is the favored destination for gray whales to birth and raise their young. It is a two-hour journey from Loreto to the skiff launch site.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes meal

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$349.95

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