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Plan the perfect Vacation day!

Loreto-based blogger Jeannine Perez offers these suggestions for how to spend a day, a  long weekend, or a full week in the Loreto area:

One Day Walking Tour

  • Have breakfast at Orlando’s. Enjoy delicious Mexican comida, at a low cost, and served always with a smile. Opens at 8 a.m. (serves lunch and dinner until 9 p.m., closed in late summer).
  • Take a walking tour of Loreto. Judy Leighton is one of the best guides around, knowledgeable, with anecdotes and legends about people and history (tel. 613-135-2419).
  • Walk and explore our new malecon, with views of islands, playas, and the Sea of Cortez, our magical upside down rain forest.
  • If you’d rather your walk focus on history and shopping than nature, take some time to meander through green fiscus arches to our mission, Mother of all California Missions and the museum adjoining it (museum; tel. 613-135-044, closed Mondays, a ticket is about $3.50).
  • Visit the many tiendas on Salvatierra Street, offering shells, clothing, art, and souvenirs.
  • Explore other shops that surround the centro plaza: Misioneros del Arte co-op (tel. 613-100-7387), Silver Desert (tel. 613-135-0684), Posada Los Flores Spa, and the Municipal building with revolving art exhibits by local artists.
  • For lunch, try pescado, cabeza, or carne asada tacos at El Rey del Taco on Juarez Street and Madero–it’s very popular with locals. Hours vary. Check to be sure they are open (tel. 613 114 0308). Generous servings of good food and very reasonably priced.
  • Continue walking to a museum as well as a gift shop, a block south of Hildago, on Calle Misionero. It’s Conchita’s, crammed with curiosities and unique items. Conchita herself is unique and dramatic. (tel. 613-135-1054, open 9 a.m.-1 p.m., and 4:00-8:00 p.m.).
  • Has all that walking stressed your muscles? The bar in the front of Conchita’s is fun, or you can have a massage at Las Flores Spa (lower level…varied prices) to relax and revive.

More time to spend in Loreto? Consider these add-ons for trips of three to seven days or more:

  • Take a taxi or rental car into the mountains to San Javier to see the beautiful mission church (unchanged for three centuries) and the 300-year-old olive tree planted by the first padre.
  • Head east to the Sea of Cortez to scuba, snorkel, or kayak between islands and camp overnight. Hopefully you’ve brought a swim suit (although some are available here); everything else can be rented.
  • Take a taxi seven miles south to Nopolo/Loreto Bay with its beautiful beach and seasonal ( winter and spring) restaurants and activities.
  • Plan several days of fishing, diving, or hiking into the sierras. Trudy Angel schedules mule trips past remote ranches to see cave paintings, taking three to five days. Prices vary. All meals, guides, and equipment are provided. Note that most mule and kayaking trips are scheduled for fall, winter, and spring–not summer. Looking for group hiking or camping trips? Several Americans plan excursions when in town. Ask for current information at El Caballo Blanco Bookstore and also ask if the coffee pot is on.
    Remember that many activities are seasonal: fishing for dorado (also tournaments) when the sea is warm in mid-summer; yellowtail is commonly caught in late fall through Spring.
  • Looking for whales? Whale watching varies, but usually peaks in February and March. Go to the marina and negotiate with the panga captains there.
  • For kayaking, bikes, and mule rides,   contact tourloreto@aol.com. Another kayaking group to check out is Sea Kayak (info@seakayakbajamex,com).
  • Diving Centers include Dolphin Dive Center (tel. 613-135-1914) and Cormorant Dive Center.