Earlier this year, I was offered a wonderful, unique opportunity to spend a week in luxury at The Islands of Loreto, Mexico. Located on the eastern side of the Baja Peninsula, the region boasts 155 miles of pristine coastline, 465 square miles of sea and the “Sierra de La Giganta” mountain range. Translation: Paradise on Earth.
Alas, an entire week away from my school-aged children is rarely in the cards, and this media trip was no exception. However, I couldn’t let this opportunity go to waste, so I enlisted my friend Elaine Atkins to take the trip and report back, and gratefully accepted photos from the talented Sheri McDonald, who I’m seriously considering hiring as photographer for all my upcoming vacations. Breathtaking!
When most people think of Mexico, they either think Cancun or Cabo, and often associate Mexico with partying and crowds in their early 20’s.
While that may be appealing in our younger days, I think it’s safe to say that once you’ve reached full blown adulthood you want your vacation to be about the experience and the memories that will stay with you forever – not so much about the ones you’d rather forget!
When planning your next vacation, you’ll want to put Loreto, Mexico on your list. Water, mountains and beautiful scenery surround you wherever you go, and while tourism is growing in the area, it is very much a place looking to preserve its small town culture and the natural beauty of Loreto Bay.
How to Get There: Direct flights are available through the Calgary International Airport via WestJet. A connecting flight from Toronto or Vancouver to Calgary is easy enough to find, and if you’re looking to leave through the US, there are flights leaving directly out of LAX.
What to Expect: If you’ve travelled to Cancun before, you’ll be used to seeing lush greenery and ocean; the scenery in Loreto is just as breathtaking, but mountains are an integral part of the landscape. Loreto is also a much more laid back place than other places in Mexico, and the residents describe the area as having a “sleepy town” feel to it. There is no hustle and bustle in the city – in fact, the streets will be very quiet once dinner time hits with perhaps a few young couples walking around on the weekends. Cars are present but traffic is a non-issue; there is only one set of traffic lights in the entire town!
What to Do: Although the city is quiet, there is plenty to do with your time. Take a boat tour of the Coronado Island, where, at the right time of year, you’ll be treated to close encounters with blue whales, and may be lucky enough to see sea lions lounging on the island rocks. You’ll never want to leave the islands after having a picnic lunch on one of the many secluded beaches.
A walk through the city of Loreto is also an absolute must. A far cry from the hustle and bustle of a typical city, you’ll feel the old world charm of the city with buildings dating back to the late 1600’s. Local restaurants serve fresh seafood, meats, and vegetables, all from local farmers and fishermen. While you’re touring the city, the Mission of Our Lady of Loreto is a must see. The tower has been restored due to a fire that occurred in the past, but most of the rest of the building – including doors, windows and bricks – are still original.
If you’d rather not do full day activities, you can try your hand at kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, snorkelling or even hiking through the beautiful mountains. Of course, the most obvious daytime activity is to lounge on the serene beach or pool chair with a cold drink in hand!
In the early evening, the Danzante Tours Wine and Cheese Sunset Cruise is a wonderful way to end the day. Cuddle up with your loved ones and enjoy cruising along the peaceful waters while watching the sun set behind the mountains.
If you’re planning to book your next vacation and are looking for a place that offers adventure, culture and relaxation, The Islands of Loreto are the perfect destination. Lucky for us Canadians, WestJet will be offering direct flights weekly out of Calgary through to May 31st, making it very convenient to experience a slice of paradise.