by Amaia Davis
It seems to me that many people nowadays prefer to enjoy plenty of recreational activities such as swimming, scuba diving, shopping, sight seeing or gambling when they are on vacation. I for one however, am one of those people who would rather spend a few relaxing days lounging and doing as little as possible on my vacation instead of engaging in activities that require physical and mental exertion on my part. When my family proposed that we go to Baja California to spend a week of our summer vacation however, I made it certain that we stay at Loreto, Baja California.
Unlike Tijuana or Mexicali which are always crowded with tourists and vacationers looking for a good time, Loreto is a relaxing and peaceful Baja getaway. Not a lot of people know of Loreto actually, and I love that that is so. Although tourism is part of Loreto’s economy, it is by no means the principal source of living that local Loreto citizens depend on. The small municipality is somewhat like a fishing village, with its main industries concentrating on businesses that are connected to the sea such as fishing and pearl diving. Because it is not marketed as a loud, happening party destination, those few tourists that come to Loreto can enjoy a tranquil and relaxing time during their stay.
There are a couple of luxurious and large hotels found in Loreto, Baja California. However, we opted to stay at a small little lodge found near the city proper. What attracted us instantly to the lodge which we stayed in was its quaintness and rustic charm. There are plenty of large, expensive hotels in the United States and so we were not in the least inclined to stay at one during our vacation in Baja California. We rented a two-story villa which had two bedrooms, a fire place, a kitchenette, a living area, three bathrooms and two terraces with a spectacular view of the sea. The furnishings and decorations featured local materials and old-world Mexican charm which made us feel all the more aware of the fact that we are in another country which has a unique and interesting culture of its own.
On the first day during our stay, the kids were very much excited to swim in the beach. Loreto has several beautiful beaches, almost all of which are not crowded during most of the week. We went to the one nearest the lodge and were pleased to see that aside from the sand and the sea, that specific Loreto beach had several mangrove areas that were very picturesque. The water was crystal clear and relaxingly warm. The children were also delighted because they can see many small colorful fishes darting around their submerged feet. I also liked that there was barely any crowd in the beach, so that the kids could wade in the water of walk on the beach for a distance and I can watch them perfectly because there was no noisy crowd blocking my view.
The following day, we went shopping for bargains and souvenirs. I was half expecting that shopping in Loreto was like shopping at Tijuana’s Avenida Revolucion where crowds of noisy, sweaty tourists and locals try to bargain with each other or to advertise their wares. Loreto’s shopping district was definitely not as large or as diversely stocked as Tijuana’s or Ensenada’s. However, it exudes the charm and rustic simplicity that Loreto is known and loved for. The streets and alleyways lined with shops, stalls and boutiques are beautifully cobbled with shiny gray stones and pebbles. There, we were able to buy local art crafts, souvenir sombreros, bottles of tequila and beautifully made silver jewelry pieces for very low prices.
By the end of our vacation, my husband and I felt extremely rejuvenated. Even the children,a s young and hyperactive as they were, were not there noisy and uncontrollable selves during the entire vacation probably because Loreto exudes a relaxing, calming aura. It was nothing short of paradise and we are all in agreement that our next summer vacation should definitely be spend in Loreto, Baja California once more.