Throughout our various trips, Chuck and I have explored a majority of the Southern Baja loop – most recently Cabo San Lucas, Todos Santos, La Paz, La Ventana, Los Bariles, and San José del Cabo. I had seen beautiful pictures of Loreto and read that it had great fishing so we decided to give it a try!
Loreto (pronounced Law r EH toh – not Lor AID oh, as we were pronouncing it when we arrived) is on the Sea of Cortéz, 220 miles north of La Paz – Alaska Airlines flies there directly a few times a week. You can tell that they’ve been working hard to make it a really nice tourist destination – beautifully stamped concrete streets and sidewalks, cobblestone plazas, and a gorgeous malecón (paved waterfront walkway). It’s also one of the cleanest towns we’ve visited in Mexico – and they recycle! The people are super friendly and unlike Cabo, we didn’t have any vendors or store owners incessantly asking us if we wanted to buy things.
Before we left, I promised Chuck that first and foremost, this would be a relaxing trip. So, unlike most of our vacations, I didn’t fill our days with activities and numerous sights to see. That said, there are a lot of different activities available – kayaking, snorkeling, cultural and historical tours, and fishing, to name a few.
We did go fishing and took a few roadtrips but primarily we relaxed on the beach/by the pool, read, rode bikes around town, and enjoyed margaritas and cheap tacos. And I took a lot of pictures, naturally…
This is where Chuck swore he saw denim jacket-clad designer Ralph Lauren ride by on a quad; Magnífico mango margarita
Palm tree shadows on the malecón
Sunset view from the harbor
Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó, or Mission Loreto; An angel holding holy water
Lighthouse; Can you spot the gringo fishing with the locals?
Sparkling Loreto Bay
Palapa; I love tropical flowers
Eagerly waiting for a fish
Me, my dorado, and Francisco – our Capitán; Chuck and his dogtooth snapper
Isla Coronado monkey face – can you see it?
Chuck cruisin’; Self-timer time!
View from our roadtrip into the Sierra de la Giganta mountains to San Javier; Cave painting
Mission San Javier
Spiky; Self-timer 2; Tarantula
Roadside chapel; Sacred Heart of Jesus candles
Self-timer 3; Prickly pear cactus; Yellow swirl; Water spray; Bougainvillea
After 6 days in Loreto, we headed up the coast to gorgeous Bahía Concepción, which has several beaches along the 50 mile stretch around the bay.
Playa Los Cocos
Arbol blanco at Playa El Requesón
Mulegé (pronounced Moo LAH Hey – not Mu LEG eh, as we were pronouncing it when we arrived) is located 1 ½ hours north of Loreto. I had read about this town in my Moon Travel Guidebook and it sounded cool so I booked a few nights there, just to try someplace new. We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived – it’s even more mellow than Loreto, more authentic, cute and quaint – a little oasis in the desert, if you will. The town has been hit by a few hurricanes over the past several years (John in ’06, Jimema in ’09, and Paul, which hit a few weeks prior to our arrival) which caused flash floods and damaged many buildings and homes near the river – it was crazy to see how high the flood rivers got as indicated by the marks on the palm trees.
Mision Santa Rosalia de Mulegé
Mission front; Chuck looking for the little girl from the movie ‘The Ring’
View from the Mission – Río Santa Rosalía
A boy and his stick on Mulegé beach
Seashell by the seashore
More seashells by the seashore
Some of the items below were beach debris as a result of the hurricane – some not…
Easy chair; A-tisket A-tasket basket; El baño; Baby doll foot; Un flamenco
Not so much Ka-Ching in this boat anymore…
Well-worn Baja map that I found hanging in a palapa; I title this ‘The Lonely Blue Chair’
Entryway to our casa
Our final self-timer for the trip
Beautiful Baja view
Chuck and I have been talking over the past few years about taking a Baja roadtrip (all 800 miles of peninsula – not counting the drive to the border). After talking to numerous travelers, snowbirds, and expats, we’ve added it to our trip list and hope to make the journey within the next year or two – more details to come!
Trip Details –
Where we stayed:
Loreto – El Tiburon Casitas: We loved this place! Liz was an amazing host and we grew very attached to her sweet, yet mischievous, dogs Lucy and Sirena. Comfortable digs, great location (a block from the malecón) and bikes available to cruise town (which we did several times a day).
Mulegé – Casa Granada: Lena and Kristian were great hosts and we wished that we could have stayed here longer. It’s located along the estuary and we loved that it was close to town and to the beach.
Where we ate:
Orlando’s Mexican Cocina, Loreto – I loved their flautas and margaritas
Giggling Dolphin, Loreto – We brought in Chuck’s freshly caught dogtooth snapper and they did a great job of preparing a tasty meal for us. Plus, they had the best guacamole ever.
Cafe Ole, Loreto – Ridiculously cheap, good breakfast
Lupe’s Restaurant, Playa Santispac – We stopped by for their Saturday night pork rib buffet which was fantastic. Apparently it was the place to be for the expat/snowbird community as it was packed. Chuck and I were, by far, the youngest (and palest) people there!
Scotty’s El Candil Bar & Cafe, Mulegé – A little taste of home…we decided to try their pizza (which was really good) after a week of eating primarily tacos.
Los Equipales, Mulegé – Fantastic food and the owner had the best moustache I’ve ever seen in real life – very similar to the look Daniel Day Lewis was sporting in the movie ‘There Will Be Blood’. I’m kicking myself for not asking him if I could take a picture.
Hasta luego Baja!
Some images available for purchase here.