Loreto Mexico is a hidden historic Pueblo Magico located on the Baja California Sur. Home to crystal-clear beaches, rugged mountains, boutique hotels, tasty restaurants, and an adventurous yet laid-back atmosphere. If you are looking to escape the madness of Cabo, check out this quaint town instead! This Loreto Mexico travel guide will provide you with endless information and help you plan your perfect vacation.
Love to travel but hate to plan? Check out my fully done-for-you Loreto Mexico Downloadable PDF Itinerary. Once downloaded, this mobile-friendly PDF itinerary can quickly be accessed on phones, so even when the internet isn’t available, everything can still go according to plan!
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LORETO MEXICO TRAVEL TIPS
GETTING TO LORETO
Loreto is located on the Sea of Cortez within Baja California Sur.
The easiest way to arrive to Loreto is by plane. The international airport is located about 15 minutes from downtown Loreto (LTO). There are currently direct flights from Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle, and Canada. Use Google Flights to search for the best flight options.
*Please note that most airlines only fly to Loreto on specific days.
How to use Google Flights to Search for Direct Flights to Loreto, Mexico:
- Go to the Google Flights website
- Type in your departing city in the “Where From” box
- Type in Loreto (LTO) in the “Where to” box
- Click Search
- In the filter tab, change Stops to NON-STOP
- Then click on the dates to see which days there are direct flights to Loreto
You can also drive to Loreto from the states or from other main areas on the Baja Peninsula such as Cabo or La Paz. The drive from Cabo is about 6 hours and is very safe. There is a huge community of RVers from the States and Canada that drive the Baja, especially in the winter months to enjoy the warmer weather.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT LORETO
Every traveler has their own opinion on when the best time of year to visit Loreto is, honestly it just depends on what you are looking for. The climate is fairly moderate year-round.
Best time for water adventures & swimming:
June to September is an ideal time if you are looking for hotter days to cool off and swim in the ocean.
Best time for whale watching and land activities:
December to March is typically in the 50’s to 70’s making for great hiking, strolling through the town, and land excursions. This is also the best time to spot whales.
From speaking with the locals and doing my own research, October seems to be the best time to visit Loreto. The weather is warm but not too hot, the ocean is calm, little wind, and in general just perfect for all activities.
HOW LONG TO STAY IN LORETO, MEXICO
As I stated earlier, there is a large community of Americans and Canadians that stay for months during the winter. However, for a vacation, I recommend 3 to 5 days. This is the perfect amount of time to get a taste of everything Loreto has to offer. I flew directly from Phoenix on a Thursday and departed the following Monday and that felt like more than enough time!
GETTING AROUND LORETO
The easiest way to get around Loreto is by having a rental car. The roads are very easy to drive, and the rental cars are affordable. Check out rental car pricing here. However, if you don’t feel comfortable driving, there are plenty of guided tours that will take you to the surrounding areas. After researching for my own trip to Loreto, it was cheaper to book a rental car for 5 days than to book separate tours and transportation to and from the airport.
WHAT TO PACK FOR LORETO
Reef-friendly sunscreen, beach towels, swimsuits, beach bag, and comfortable walking shoes are all notable things to pack. Check out my Loreto Mexico Packing Guide for even more details!
WHERE TO STAY IN LORETO
Posada de las Flores Loreto: This hotel located right in the city center is STUNNING. The hotel is beautifully decorated and has unique architecture. There is even a rooftop glass-bottom swimming pool located on the rooftop terrace. The terrace also offers beautiful ocean views.
La Mision Loreto: Located directly on the Malecon with unobstructed ocean views. La Mission Loreto is the largest hotel in downtown Loreto and offers more of a resort feel.
Hotel 1697 Loreto: Modern rooms but an authentic experience, Hotel 1967 has a restaurant on sight and is located directly in town.
Rosarito: Offering a delicious breakfast and a plunge pool, budget-friendly Rosarito is a great spot. The hotel is only located one block away from the main historic square.
Villas del Santo Niño: If you are looking for a more apartment-style stay, Villas del Santo Nino is the place for you. Offering full kitchens, free bikes, and 1 to 2-bedroom apartments.
Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto: Located 20 minutes south of the historic town of Loreto lies Villa del Palmar. This resort has its own restaurants on site, a TPC golf course, and all villas sit in a tranquil setting facing the ocean. Stay here if you are looking for a more all-inclusive feel away from downtown.
Check out even more places to stay on my pre-filtered Loreto Hotel list.
HOW TO SPEND 5 DAYS IN LORETO MEXICO
You can use my Loreto itinerary map in Google Maps as a reference. The pins below represent places to go with links and descriptions. The map is separated into four different days by colored pin and map layer.
Arrive in Loreto early afternoon, pick up the rental car, and head to your accommodation.
After checking in, go to El Rey Del Taco for a tasty lunch. This is one of the most famous restaurants in Loreto Mexico, thanks to their delicious fish tacos!
After lunch, tour the Historic Center of Loreto. Walk down the Andador Salvatierra, a pedestrian-only street that connects all these sights (you won’t miss it!):
- Loreto Mission
- Loreto Town Hall
- Civic Center
- Plaza de Las Californias
Once you have toured the town, pop into El Zopilote Brewing and sip on a craft beer. All their beers are locally brewed!
Head to Buena Vida Restaurante for an outdoor seafood dinner. Make sure to try the shrimp ceviche “cooked” in lime! So yummy!
Today you will be touring the Islands off of Loreto located in Loreto Bay National Park. The National Park, is one of Mexico’s greatest treasures, protecting the ocean’s rich biodiversity. The park consists of 5 main islands. I highly recommend booking a boat tour to visit Isla Coronado. Even though Coronado is one of the smallest islands, it is the most popular due to its closeness to Loreto and its famous crystal-clear water.
Book the Coronados Island tour with Sea and Land Tours Loreto. Sea and Land Tours is located in downtown Loreto so you can reserve the day before, however, I recommend reserving your tour online as they do tend to book up quickly.
The tour to Isla Coronado includes a guided boat ride around the island where they teach the history of the island, spot dolphins (and maybe whales), and you can even go snorkeling with sea lions! The day ends with a picnic as you enjoy the white sandy beaches and turquoise water for a few hours. This is also a great spot to rent kayaks or paddleboards.
After the spectacular day on Isla Coronado freshen up and stroll the Malecon Boardwalk to dinner. This simple yet beautiful boardwalk is only about 1 mile long. The boardwalk is lined with palm trees and offers incredible ocean views.
Once you reach the south end of the Malecon Boardwalk, head to Blackbird Loreto for dinner. Enjoy an evening listening to live music while eating a delicious meal and sipping on margaritas.
Have breakfast at Orlando’s Restaurant. Even though this restaurant is open for every meal, they are especially known for their breakfast. Looking for something unique to taste? Try their cheese-filled omelet covered in a rich poblano-chile cream sauce!
After breakfast, drive to San Javier. San Javier is located only an hour outside of Loreto. The drive will take you through the gorgeous rugged mountain range before arriving to San Javier. Once you arrive, tour the Mission of San Javier that was built in the early 1700s, and is also one of the best-preserved missions in all of the Californias. There are also 300-year-old olive trees that you can walk to see for a small donation. According to the sign, these were the first olive trees that were planted in the America’s.
After touring the Mission and olive trees, stroll through the tiny town of San Javier. Home to less than 200 people, this quaint town is definitely worth a visit!
Drive back towards Loreto, but instead of going to Loreto, head south towards Puerto Escondido Marina. As you enter, it will just seem like it is just a port, but go through the gate and enjoy the sunset with cocktails at La Brisa restaurant. This place is truly a hidden gem.
You can either eat dinner at La Brisa or have a delicious dinner at Gastroteca Azul. Gastroteca Azul is located in a town called Nopolo, about 15 minutes from Loreto. This restaurant offers a chic sophisticated decor and farm-to-table dishes that support local producers. It is not the typical restaurant you would expect in Loreto, so I thoroughly enjoyed the different experience!
Mel’s Traveler’s Tip: Make reservations for Gasrtoteca Azul far in advance, they do have limited seating, and tend to book up quickly!
Today is an open day! There are so many varying activities to do, pick one that most stands out to you.
- There are two golf courses near Loreto. Both courses are very well maintained and provide scenic views.
- Drive north and visit Bahia Conception and Mulegé
- Bahia Conception: If you are looking for more beaches near Loreto, drive to the Bahia Conception. With many beaches to choose from, this area is very popular for camping amount Canadians and North Americans. It is favored because you are able to drive on the beach and park or camp right on the waterfront.
- Mulegé: Located only 30 minutes from Bahia Conception, you will be welcomed by a palm-fringed oasis. The lush landscape is somewhat surprising compared to the surrounding arid desert. Wander around the town, check out the mission, grab lunch and even go wine tasting! There is so much to do in this relatively undiscovered spot.
- Take a Boat Tour to another Island
- Isla del Carmen
- Isla Danzante
- Go Sport Fishing. Loreto has world-class fishing, people from all over the world come here to fish!
- Lay by the pool and relax!
For even more things to do in Loreto, check out Get Your Guide:
More Restaurant Recommendations:
- Asadero Super Burro
- La Palapa Restaurante
- Jr’s & George’s
- Mi Loreto
- Birrieria El Valle
Spend your morning walking around the town before sadly departing Loreto.
I hope this blog post helps you plan the perfect trip to Loreto Mexico and inspires you to add this quaint town to your travel list! The nature in Loreto is absolutely breathtaking, from the desert mountains to the Sea of Cortez, I guarantee you will fall in love with the charm of Loreto.
If you need any help planning or have any questions, please comment below or message me on my contact page! I would love to hear about how your trip went as well. Did you rent a car or take tours? What did you end up doing on day four?
If you do not want to plan at all, download this complete itinerary!
Looking for other destinations in Mexico? Check them out here!