Enjoy the natural environment of Loreto, where you'll be able to breathe in the tranquility and the intense clarity of colors and aromas that make up this gorgeous landscape. This traditional city, originally inhabited by a nomadic tribe and later colonized by Jesuit missionaries in the 17th century, preserves an almost intact and beautiful architecture, its costumes and charming surroundings, is open to the modern developments proposed by the tourism industry.
As you take a memorable journey through the desert, discover the mysterious and striking rustic paintings found in the caverns of La Giganta mountain range; enjoy the beach as you sunbathe by the Sea of Cortes, or learn about the multiple obstacles that the missionaries had to overcome when evangelizing the people of these lands.
How about a whole morning of golf, tennis, or fishing? In Loreto, you can choose either one or all 18 holes at any time of the year, due to its kind weather and low humidity, assuring the best conditions for a round.
Loreto is located only 350 km away from La Paz, Baja California Sur's capital, and it is the oldest metropolitan settlement in the whole state. Besides the beautiful urban landscapes that can be admired as you walk its streets or among its old buildings, Loreto is set in an impressive natural location, between the blue waters of the Sea of Cortes, the desert and the Sierra Giganta mountain range with its dark rocky hills.
Officially founded in 1697 by Jesuit clerics, the beautiful city of Loreto nowadays attracts mainly American and Canadian visitors, since it offers a wide range of tourist services: an international airport, renowned hotels, golf courses, fishing tournaments and some other nautical sports. It also features numerous natural attractions, like the popular beaches of Nopolo, Juncalito, Ensenada Blanca and Agua Verde as well as The Coronado Islands, nesting area for the marine turtle; Danzante, a huge bird shelter, and Isla del Carmen, which features an important salt mine.
Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the zone nowadays known as Loreto was intermittently inhabited by nomadic tribes such as the Cochimies, the Pericues and Guaycuras. These tribal groups subsisted on hunting, fishing and the harvesting of fruit and seeds, although apparently they didn't grow any crops in particular.
By 1683, the missionary priest Eusebio Francisco Kino had tried to get to the center of Baja California's peninsula, but since the camp supplies were depleted by the intense heat characteristic of the area, he was forced to quit his evangelizing endeavor. It wasn't until 1697 that a mission led by Father Juan Maria Salvatierra disembarked at Concho (meaning ''red mangrove'' in the Cochimi language), where they raised the image of Our Lady of Loreto, which the mission was named after, giving birth to the town of the same name.
Fortunately for the rich natural resources of the land, Loreto was untouched by the huge urban and tourist developments that were erected in other parts of Mexico. By the 70s, a significant investment was made to finish the Transpeninsular Highway that connects Baja California with Baja California Sur.
When touring Loreto and its surroundings, it is definitely worth visiting the San Francisco Javier and Nuestra Senora de Loreto Missions. Both edifices boast immeasurable historic value and architectural beauty.
Always ready to welcome you are the city pier and the gorgeous cobblestone streets, inviting visitors to take a pleasant stroll in the morning or at sunset. All along the city, find restaurants, bars, handcraft and fishing shops, where friendly staff will be happy to assist you.
An entertaining sailing or fishing trip, kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling or diving are very popular activities inLoreto, just as is touring the numerous islands located in the Bahia de Loreto National Park, declared a protected area by the federal government in 1996.