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Loreto FAQ’s —Updated Aug 2016

Where is Loreto located in Baja?

Loreto is located on the Sea of Cortez/Gulf of California in the state of Baja Sur, south of Mulege and Bahia Concepcion and north of La Paz. It is 710 miles south of the California Border/ San Diego county.

What is the weather like in Loreto?

Loreto enjoys a tropical desert climate, with mild winters and hot summers. When the rains come, it’s usually in August or September. Winter high average 60- 70’s.  Spring Highs 80’s.

What’s the best way to get to Loreto?

Loreto has its own international airport, which was recently upgraded to a fully enclosed terminal with a restaurant and five rental car agencies on-site. The rental car companies often sell out of cars on busy weekends or winter season. Even if you have a reservation, pre-paid or not, you may arrive to find there are no cars available. If this happens, ask for a voucher from the rental desk (for reimbursement on your cab fare, once a car is found for you), and leave your local contact info. Take a cab into town, and check back frequently. Chances are, a car will be returned within a day and you’ll be able to pick it up in town.

It costs about US$25-32 for a taxi van or private car ride for 2-4pp from the airport into town. It is cheaper to go from town back to the airport (different taxi Union).

Most people fly direct  to Loreto (LTO) from Los Angeles (LAX) on Alaska Air, currently flying 4-5 days a week (in 2016/2017).     Direct  flights to either La Paz (four hours south of Loreto), or Tijuana near the California border are also available on Aereocalafia.    There are no direct flights from Loreto to Cabo San Lucas or San Diego.

Once in Loreto, there are many ways to get around to sightsee. We have two taxi companies, vans,  kayaks, Mexican Captains and Panga boats, cars, and bicycles also for rent, and there are even mules available for guided trips into the mountains. Actually, it’s quite easy to walk anywhere you want to go, when in Central Loreto, and there are also a few all-day hiking clubs and some overnight and week-long camping/Kayaking/Mule riding trips that are available in season. There is no public bus or transit system.

How expensive is it to travel to Loreto?

Current fares from LAX to Loreto average $350-420 usd RT .  Accommodations, activities, and meals are reasonably priced. You can find options for all budgets.
What is the cost of living in Loreto? Loreto is a relatively affordable place to live for expats.

What kind of accommodations does Loreto have?

The Loreto area has small and large hotels,  RV parks, Hostels.

Where’s the best place to stay in my price range?

A range of accommodations at different price points are available in town. Modest accommodations can be found for around US$40 a night; upscale rooms go for US$200 and up. Tent camping costs about US$7-10 per night.
Do I need reservations before I arrive? Reservations are essential for peak holiday periods and Christmas season to late March; other times of year, you can usually find availability on the spot. Best to reserve ahead of time if you want a particular Hotel.

What local foods should I try in Loreto?

Local seafood, fish tacos, coconut shrimp, chile rellenos

Where do I buy groceries in Loreto?

El Pescador (on Hildago and Indepencia) and Super Ley (on Indepencia), the newest chain store, are Loreto’s largest grocery stores,  the Deli (on Juarez) has items you can’t find elsewhere. Ley had a large bakery and Deli counter.

On Sundays (after 6:30 a.m.), go north on Hwy 1 just out of town to Delfines St. for the weekly Tianguis (farmer’s market), where you can stock up on fresh vegetables, fruits, Tamales, shrimp, baked goods, and meats, and shop for second hand items. Saturday morning features the local organic market featuring local artwork and organic vegetables and bread. Current location (Aug 2016) is in the Main Plaza near the Bank.

What kind of restaurants are there in Loreto?

All types of food is available in Loreto- Mexican, seafood, Sushi, international fare, burgers and pizza. How do I avoid getting sick? Drink lots of bottled water, wash all raw produce in filtered water, and go easy on the spicy foods and alcohol at first. Wash your hands before eating.
Can I drink the water? Bottled water is recommended throughout Baja and ice made from filtered water.

What are the most popular activities in Loreto?

Diving, snorkelling,  fishing, shopping, eco-tours, mission tours, whale-watching, biking, mule riding, glass bottom boat tours, and hiking top the list for most visitors.
How do I get in touch with local outfitters and tour guides? Visit the local tour offices, talk to the Captains at the local Marina, ask your Hotel host to recommend  legitimate companies.
When is the best time to do these activities in Loreto? Fishing is world class all year.  Kayaking, Diving, snorkelling,  hiking , mule riding, mountain tours best in cooler months ( mid October to late June).  Winter is ideal for whale watching and desert hikes. Diving/snorkeling in winter will require a wetsuit but is often spectacular.

Will my cell phone work in Loreto? Yes, as long as you have activated it for use in Mexico with your carrier. Be sure to turn off all data activity on your smartphone or tablet to avoid unexpected charges when you get home unless you signed up for a Mexico package in advance.

How do I make a local phone call? International?

To dial another country from Mexico, dial 00 and then the country code (+1 for the US) and then the area code and number. The area code for Loreto is 613. If you are calling a cell phone within Mexico, add 044 before the area code.

Is there internet access in Loreto?

Yes, most businesses offer Wi-Fi, and a few internet cafes still have computers available for those travelers who do not have their own device.

Is it safe to travel in Loreto?

Yes, as a small coastal town, Loreto is extremely safe; however, travelers should take common sense precautions anywhere in Baja (or anywhere!).

What if I have an emergency?

How do I reach the police? Fire department? Consulates? Dial 066 for emergencies. Municipal offices are on the plaza, Salvatierra at  Madero. You can reach the local tourist office at tel. 613 135 0411.

What do I do if I need medical care?

The newer, modern Hospital La Comunidad de Loreto is on the highway at the south end of town.

Will my ATM card work at banks in Loreto?

Yes, most foreign-issued cards work at the ATMs around town. Let your bank know you will be in Mexico.

Will businesses accept my credit card in Loreto?

Some places do accept credit cards, but many take only cash, in MXN pesos or USD.

How do I get Mexican pesos?

You can withdraw MXN with your debit card at Bancomer in the town square, you will not be able to exchange US currency at the local bank (as of 2015). There is a private institution on Salvatierra near the Pemex that may exchange dollars for pesos.

Can I pay in US dollars?

Most places do accept US currency. You will probably get change in pesos at whatever exchange rate that establishment offers.

What should I pack for a trip to Loreto?

Your swimsuit, of course, comfortable t-shirts and shorts or slacks. Consider bringing hiking shoes, a straw hat, sunscreen, and long sleeved sweaters or jackets for cool windy evenings and sea breezes when fishing. A surf skin or rash guard is good protection for swimming or snorkeling any time of year.  Remember that many places do not accept credit cards. An ATM card is useful. Don’t forget your camera!