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About Ashley Curtin

Ashley Curtin is a freelance writer who left the corporate world to pursue a nomadic lifestyle. Now a way of life, she has traveled extensively through North America, Mexico and Europe and parts of Africa. She shares her personal travel stories about people, places and food on her blog, Fun As We Go..

Living the Loreto Experience: How to Have a Baja Moment!

Living the Loreto Experience with tour operator Vive Loreto:  How to Have a Baja Moment!

by Ashley Curtin

Vive Loreto is a tour operator in the magical town of Loreto. Photo by Julian Gruening.

Vive Loreto is a tour operator in the magical town of Loreto. Photo by Julian Gruening.

While hiking in the La Giganta Mountains, diving among the colonies of sea lions in the Sea of Cortez or discovering the Mexican culture inside San Javier Mission, Have a Baja Moment! with Vive Loreto.  If you are seeking a way to live the Loreto experience, this mutli-faceted tour operator has a complete spectrum of activities.  Looking for adventure?  Want to learn about the history of Loreto?  Thinking about diving or discovering the islands that are scattered in the sparkling waters of the Sea of Cortez?   Vive Loreto has an array of activities that are easily doable while visiting the Magic Town of Loreto.  No matter age, skill level or niche, Vive Loreto will tailor an adventure just for you.

islands of loreto2

The Loreto experience wouldn’t be complete without a romantic sunset.

Land Excursions

Canyons, waterfalls and breathtaking lookouts are just a few of the natural wonders found on a one of Vive Loreto’s guided hikes. While on foot, travelers will trek through the La Giganta Mountains and discover a preserved ecosystem and natural water pools. Or to discover the islands of Coronado or Danzante, travelers have the option of an island hike.


Hiking the region around Loreto offers interesting copper-colored terrain framed by sapphire sea. Photo by Ashley Curtin.

Hiking the region around Loreto offers interesting copper-colored terrain framed by sapphire sea. Photo by Ashley Curtin.


Another way to explore the countryside is on an ATV or mountain bike. There are different trails and tracks to follow—even the famous competitive ones used during the Baja 1000—to provide any skill level driver or bikers a memorable experience. Or travelers can hop on a mule and ride through the mountains and tour the local surroundings of Loreto the traditional way.


Sea Adventures

Snorkel, swim or relax on the beach of one of Loreto’s islands for the day. Vive Loreto offers travelers a boat ride on an open panga or a 21’ cabin cruiser to the uninhibited islands, the best options to for a peaceful and relaxing getaway. It is there travelers can also take advantage of all the fun sea activities and enjoy lunch while looking out at the Sea of Cortez.


An open panga boat is a great way to experience Mother Nature.

An open panga boat is a great way to experience Mother Nature.

World-renowned fishing off the coast of Loreto is also a very popular activity among travelers and locals alike. Vive Loreto has options to satisfy both beginner and expert fisher-people.

Whale watching, depending on the time of year, is an amazing and unforgettable experience also facilitated by Vive Loreto. There are two different tours. One often offers travelers the chance to touch Gray whales in Magdalena Bay in the Pacific Ocean; the other allows people to simply marvel at the blue whales here in Loreto Marine Park, with the possibility of dolphin sightings, in the Sea of Cortez.


The Loreto experience happens on land and under the sea!

The Loreto experience happens on land and under the sea! Photo by Julian Guening.

The qualified and licensed dive team at Vive Loreto allows any level experienced diver a fascinating view of underwater. Filled with a multitude of colorful fish, rays and coral reefs, the Sea of Cortez offers the most beautiful sea life spotting. For travelers who are looking to learn how to dive, PADI courses, including referrals and refreshers, are also offered at Vive Loreto.


Cultural Experiences

Rich history marks its territory in Loreto.  Vive Loreto has many cultural tours to teach travelers about Mexican traditions, starting with the charming downtown. Loreto is the oldest town in Baja and Vive Loreto offers travelers a unique cultural experience starting with the sampling of Mexican cuisine native to the area.  Paired with the culinary experience are excursions to historic missions and distant ranches that are original to the Loreto region. There is nothing like learning about the indigenous peoples, exploring cave art and walking through churches on the San Javier Mission tour or the ranch tour.



Vive Loreto’s tailored tours provide travelers with an unforgettable discovery of all things natural and incredible. Their expertise allows travelers to experience the magical culture, see the magnificent sea life and take part in the ultimate adventures that wait in Loreto.

There are lots of great places to stay in and around Loreto, including the  small and intimate  La Damiana Inn which is centrally located and rich with history, or El Tiburon Casitas, which are fully furnished and near the marina.  And dining?  Loreto is as delicious as it is charming! is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants hotels , as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities


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Have A Baja Moment at Tabor Canyon: Hiking the Mountains of Loreto.

Discover Loreto’s natural playground in the mountains of La Giganta and Have a Baja Moment, hiking the various terrain types and discovering a variety of wildlife living within the region.

by Ashley Curtin 



Climbing over boulders, wading through pools of water and scaling steep mountainsides in Tabor Canyon is the most popular hike among adventurous travelers visiting Loreto. The impressive natural features of the canyon preserve an ecosystem boasting green vegetation, blue palm, natural water pools and sheltered large trees, all home to the canyon. As hikers approach higher elevations in the mountains La Giganta, beautiful views of the Sea of Cortez across from Puerto Escondido are clearly visible. 

Hikers can Have a Baja Moment in Tabor Canyon.

While Tabor Canyon, located 15 minutes south of Loreto Bay, is a moderate to advanced hike, it is best that a guide accompany hikers of all levels. The hike is about a three-mile distance along various geo-terrains at a climbing elevation of 1,000 feet. With tour groups such as Wild Loreto, the hike takes about three hours with a stop along the way to re-hydrate, snacking on healthy foods.


The first part of Tabor Canyon includes hiking along a trail, but as the hike progresses, it becomes more challenging with steeper climbs and an overall less defined route. As waterfalls from mountainsides and natural swimming pools entice swimmers, hikers become one with nature. The natural aspects of the hike are not only breathtaking, but also rejuvenating and invigorating, all at the same time.


Within the mountains of La Giganta lie the flora and fauna of Baja. The Tabor Canyon hike reveals indigenous plants and wildlife that inhabit the desert of Loreto. Bird watching is another common and rewarding practice on this hike. There are various species of birds perched in trees or swooping up the mountains surrounding hikers. Various reptiles — some which are rare — hide within their natural habitat and, given the opportunity, might cross path with hikers. It makes for an unforgettable experience.


The rugged mountains of Loreto offer travelers a way to seek out adventure with various trekking opportunities. From large, clear hiking paths to less traveled trails, Loreto is a place for hikers of all levels to discover the wilderness.


Here are a few tips when hiking Tabor Canyon:

  •  Travel with a guide
  • Pack lots of water
  • Wear proper clothes (long pants, proper hiking boots and a hat to block the sun)
  • Apply sunscreen
  • Start hiking early in the morning
  • Hike with a partner
  • Bring a camera
Check out the video Vimeo below to find out more about how you can Have a Baja Moment in Loreto! is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula. 


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Have a Baja Moment: 5 Places to Eat in Loreto

Have a Baja Moment:  5 Places to Eat in Loreto that Serve Up Baja Freshness

By Ashley Curtin

Fresh, local and seasonal:  three of the regular attributes of  the cuisine of Loreto. Located on the Sea of Cortez in Baja, Loreto’s fresh seafood is the main feature on many restaurant menus. Grilled fillets of sea bass, prepared chocolate clams and homemade ceviche are just a few of the staple dishes of Loreto. And to enjoy the area’s authentic cuisine, here are five acclaimed restaurants serving Loreto’s favorites dishes.

Mita Gourmet

A top tier restaurant located on the Plaza in the center of Loreto, Mita Gourmet is serving creative dishes to visitors and locals alike. The restaurant is known for its personalized service, attentive wait staff and exceptional food quality.   From shrimp wrapped in bacon to a fish fillet stuffed with seafood and various cuts of steak, the menu boasts an array of flavors. With both inside and outside seating, the atmosphere is casual, colorful, and intimate  Mita Gourmet’s prices are on the high side, but the restaurant’s superior standards and gourmet food makes it a place worth dining.

Location:  Davis Street In front of Plaza Juarez, Loreto, BCS 23880


La Palapa


Designed to resemble an oversized palapa—a thatched roof hut on the beach that provides protection from the sun—the fun atmosphere and fresh food make La Palapa a favorite restaurant among visitors who visit Loreto. The restaurant specializes in the preparation of seafood and other traditional Mexican dishes, such as chile relleno. Fresh fillets of sea bass are prepared to perfection, while a fun culinary experience at La Palapa is the Cesar Salad made table-side. A Mariachi band also frequents tables to entertain guests, but be prepared to pay a price for each song they perform. Moderate prices.

Location: Prolongacion Hidalgo a short block away from the Malecon
Loreto, BCS 23880


A simple restaurant with no frills makes Conchó’s popular among the local foodies. The casual atmosphere, where plastic tables and chairs line the restaurant, is a fun way to spend an afternoon and fill up on seafood caught daily. Known for serving the freshest chocolate clams in Loreto, Conchó’s guests can choose from various preparations—grilled, raw, stuffed or broiled with melted cheese. But certain preparations can take some extra time so guests should expect to wait. And the wait is well worth the freshness. Conchó’s menu is not only easy on the wallet, but the restaurant provides guests a memorable authentic Mexican dining experience when visiting Loreto.

Location:  Calle Madero at corner of  Carrillo Anastasia, Downtown Loreto


The Market

Located  45 minute drive south of Loreto, within the Villa del Palmar Timeshare Property on the edge of the Sea of Cortez, The Market serves a delicious buffet complete with American favorites and authentic Mexican staples during breakfast, lunch and dinner. For guests looking for a serious entrée, the menu is composed of seafood and meat dishes highlighting the fresh and flavorful cuisine of Loreto. The Market is also known for its homemade bread—sweet rolls are made daily on site and served at each meal. The open dining area both inside and out offers guests a place to relax, with views of the pool and tropical landscape.

Address:  Carretera Transpeninsular km 84 Ensenada Blanca, Loreto,Baja California Sur, Z.C.23880


Giggling Dolphin Restaurant and Boat Bar


The once-boat-turned-bar-and-truck is now a grill!  Remnants of this eatery’s colorful history are scattered about this restaurant, and have become famous fixtures that have visitors flocking to the Giggling Dolphin Restaurant and Boat Bar on Benito Juarez half a block from the water. The main dining area is inside the open-sided restaurant under a thatched-roof and provides its guests a bright and airy dining experience. Known for its fresh seafood, the fish tacos are the most popular choice on the menu. The guacamole served with homemade chips is also a local favorite. To experience the fun atmosphere, sit at the boat bar and enjoy a hand-crafted margarita on the rocks or blend it yourself by peddling a stationary bike. The staff is very friendly and attentive. The fairly priced menu at the Giggling Dolphin Restaurant maintains high quality and consistency, while the lively, colorful decor makes this a popular place to dine at while visiting Loreto.

Location:  Benito Juarez, Loreto,Baja California Sur, Z.C.23880

Whether looking for a restaurant downtown or along the coast of the Sea of Cortez, Loreto has a variety of options for visitors. And no matter the atmosphere,  visitors are sure to Have a Baja Moment eating the freshest seafood and tastiest Mexican dishes while in Loreto. is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula.

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