If you’re thinking about sun-and-surf-seeking in Mexico, consider Loreto in the Baja Peninsula, a beautiful lesser-known destination, minus the touristy crowds. Here you’ll find so much worth exploring, including unique shops, relaxing spas, cultural attractions and outdoor recreation.
Where to shop in Loreto
The main historic walking street in Loreto is Juan Maria de Salvatierra. A stroll along the shaded street from the town square to Calle Independencia takes only about five minutes. If you’re shopping, it can take a lot longer. Stop by pretty pink Plaza Julieta for several fine shops offering glass ornaments, shirts and sunhats. Make sure to walk to the back, through the shady atrium to find all the shops. Further along Salvatierra, you’ll find a wide range of souvenir shops selling everything from leather goods to luchador wrestler masks. For quality hand-painted ceramics, 3D tin artwork and magical wooden creatures from Oaxaca called alebrije, head to the modern Plaza Mision Loreto near Calle Independencia.
Siesta at the spa
Las Flores Spa & Boutique could not be more central, or more lovely. Located directly across from the butter-hued City Hall building in the square, Las Flores Spa offers facials, massages (including couple’s massages) and body treatments made from cactus, aloe vera and prickly pear. Its signature organic products are made in Iztapalapa. The boutique carries high-quality contemporary Mexican clothing for men and women. Enjoy massages so relaxing you’ll be tempted to drift into dreamland.
Don’t miss the missions
When the Jesuits arrived in 1697, one of their tasks was to build a Camino Real, a Royal Road for Charles II of Spain — with no budget. Luckily, they had soldiers to do the work, at first. Unluckily for the local Indigenous tribes, they were the ones eventually conscripted to build roads, aqueducts and stone churches. Many missions fell into disrepair but the ones that remain are both austere and evocative. Most of their treasures were carried away to missions along the camino that ends in San Francisco, but the remaining missions are each unique in their own way. The original mission, Our Lady of Loreto, can be visited in town at most times of the day. Services are held regularly and there is a museum attached dedicated to its Jesuit founders. The most well-preserved is Mission San Francisco Javier Vigge-Biaundo, which is about 50 minutes southwest of Loreto.
From whale watching and paddling to diving and snorkelling, this region in northwestern Mexico features nature at its best. You don’t have to venture far out of Loreto to find an abundance of unforgettable landscapes as a backdrop to your adventure. You will have a difficult time finding another destination that offers the untouched beauty of this one.
How to get to Loreto? Take advantage of direct flights out of Calgary with WestJet November to April with connecting flights across Canada. Year-round flights are available out of major Canadian gateways via Los Angeles.
Learn more about Loreto in Baja California Sur.
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