Wine Taste Travel guides are based on our personal travels and provide travelers with know-before-you-go tips on everything from navigating the airport to food and wine suggestions, sightseeing, lodging and transportation.
Location: Loreto, Mexico. Located on the eastern coast of the gulf of California (Baja). It’s just north of Cabo and La Paz. You’ll find resorts and towns bordering the Sea Cortez.
Best Time to Visit: December through April in Loreto is mostly dry with very little wind and mild to warm temperatures. Cool months are December through January. May through October starts the rainy season.
Know Before You Go: Here are some things you should know before visiting Loreto, Mexico.
- You will need your passport to enter the country. The expiration date of your passport needs to be at least six months from the date of when your vacation starts and ends.
- At the Loreto, Airport security does not allow flat irons or curling irons into carry-on baggage for the return flight.
- Getting into town or to your resort from the airport could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. so you may want to arrange for transportation to your destination before leaving your country origin. There are taxis outside the airport, however some resorts offer complimentary shuttle service.
- Loreto is a resort town welcoming many American travelers so it’s very easy to navigate using the English language.
Getting there: Alaska airlines as well as some other carriers (Aeromexico, Delta, American) fly direct nonstop into the Loreto airport (especially if you are coming from Southern California in which the flight is just over two hours). Driving across the border from San Diego takes 16 hours. You can also save money by taking a less expensive flight from Tijuana, Mexico to Loreto which is under two hours.
Accommodations: Like most places in the world, there are options of where you can stay. Some travelers may prefer to rent a house, and while that is always an option, staying at a hotel or a resort has its perks. I was invited by Villa del Palmar to stay at their resort for the weekend where I found a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere in which I didn’t really need to leave the resort, but there were plenty of activities and excursions that were available to explore Loreto. Rooms have full kitchens and some are even big enough to share with your squad (my room had two bathrooms!). There is also a mini market, three restaurants on site, and a private beach with outdoor cocktail bar for you to enjoy.
Transportation: Getting around Loreto is easy either by rental car, hotel shuttle service or by taxi cab. There are no ride-sharing (Lyft, Uber) in Loreto.
Food : Contrary to popular belief, there is a diverse food scene in Mexico that doesn’t always mean straight Mexican food. There is a fusion of flavors from Asian, American, and Italian cuisines that creep up in dishes in Mexico and happily surprise your palate with worldly, unique ingredients. However, the best food in Loreto comes straight from the sea, caught fresh each day from their backyard ocean. You can’t go wrong shrimp tacos and scallops dishes – so incredibly delicious.
In the town of Loreto, you’ll find many outdoor restaurants and cantinas to choose from including the charming Mi Loreto which has a tasty Mezcal Margarita (as well as every fruit margarita imaginable) and the spinach pescado dish is a favorite among guests. Other exceptional places include Mediterraneo which comes with a complimentary ocean view. 1697 Restaurant has a savory blue cheese filet steak and a local sea bass with a greek–inspired olive and anchovy sauce.
The other two restaurants I recommend are in the Villa del Palmar resort – Danzante and Casa Club. Danzante is a gourmet steakhouse and seafood restaurant with an enticing menu that features fresh catches of the day, grilled meats with Mexican sauces, and a wide variety of tapas including Baja Style Chili stuffed with seafood from the Sea of Cortez. Casa Club is the Clubhouse at TPC Danzante Bay Golf Course is the perfect place to grab a casual bite or a victory cocktail after a round of golf.
Wine: Have to try the native wines wherever I travel and Mexican wines do not disappoint. On this vacation, the weather was nice and made for great rosé and chardonnay drinking. Rondo wines from Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico are light and crisp, but robust in flavor. Their reds are well balanced with notes of spices and dark fruit and pair well with all types of savory dishes like pasta, meats, and of course Mexican food. Some of my favorite bottles include Rondo Cautivo and Travesí Vino Tinto.
Activities and Sightseeing: Relaxing was first on my to-do list for this vacation, but I did manage to see some spectacular sights on my weekend getaway.
- Taking a boat out into the Sea of Cortez from Danzante Tours to see hundred of playful dolphins in their natural habitat.
- Discovering small, white sand beaches with sparkling aqua blue waters with not a soul on them.
- Going into town and seeing churches and other historical buildings, centuries old.
- Shopping for local artisan finds, drinking tasty margaritas, and plenty of tacos near the water in the town of Loreto.
- Spa day, relaxing in hot tubs, mineral baths, and getting a massage at Sabila Spa and Wellness Center at the Villa del Palmar resort.
- Paddle boarding, kayaking and other water sport activities on Danzante Bay.
- World class golf at the TPC Danzante Bay resort.
- Whale Watching
- Rent an ATV
History & Architecture: Loreto was founded in 1697 by Jesuit missionaries and served as the first Californian capital. You’ll find many Spanish influences in the buildings — Loreto was the very first Spanish colonial settlement of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. There are three sites to check out while you are touring the streets of Loreto that are of historical value:
- Mission of our Lady Loreto (church) – Founded in 1697, was the first successful mission in Baja, California. You can also visit missions in the nearby town of San Javier.
- El Camino Road – the “royal road” which is a historic corridor that follows the route of the famous California missions all the way to Sonoma, California.
- Jesuits Mission Museum – located inside the Mission of our Lady Loreto, this small museum holds art and artifacts collected throughout the town’s 300 year history.
Instagram: If you are looking to elevate your Instagram game, there are plenty of insta-appealing spots in Loreto to catch extra “likes”.
- Best Backdrop: the long yellow wall that leads to the Loreto Mission.
- Best selfie: sipping on the bright blue-rimmed margarita glasses filled with the namesake drink at Mi Loreto restaurant.
- Best View: the sunrise over TPC Danzante Bay Golf Course 17th Hole
- Most Dreamlike: the turquoise waters in the Sea of Cortez
- Best Street Pose: the tree-covered paths in the town’s centre
- Best Pop of Color: sitting in the bright pink Adirondack chairs during sunset overlooking Danzante Bay at the Villa del Palmar resort