If you’re wondering what the best things to do in Loreto in Baja Sur, Mexico, you’re in the right place!
Here, you’ll find a laid-back coastal paradise with a touch of history and a dash of adventure right at your doorstep.
After essentially basing here for a few days with a group of blogger friends, we all fell in love with Loreto. Here’s what to do during your visit!
Things to Do in Loreto, Mexico
1. Stroll Around the Mission of Our Lady of Loreto
This historical gem, dating back to the 17th century, invites you to wander through its well-preserved relics and experience the architectural marvel that stands as a testament to the region’s cultural heritage.
You can’t miss this iconic site; you’ll surely pass it as you roam the streets of Loreto. Pop in, respectfully, for a quick visit or admire it from the outside.
2. SUP or Kayak Loreto’s Coast
For a cool adventure, grab a paddleboard or kayak and explore the breathtaking coastal beauty of Loreto. You can paddle through the crystal-clear waters and hope to see some cool marine life like whales, dolphins, and more!
Soak in the stunning views of the surrounding landscapes from out on the water; this is one of the best things to do in Loreto! You can rent a kayak for a quick paddle out for the day or head out on a multi-day tour paddling along the Baja Sur coast for days!
You can do a day rental from many places, and it typically costs around $30 for 3 hours of paddling.
3. Meander The Malecón
Take a leisurely stroll along the Malecón, Loreto’s picturesque waterfront promenade. Lined with charming shops, cafes, and scenic spots, the Malecón is an iconic spot for a walk in many places around Mexico, and Loreto is no different.
Breathe in the fresh sea breeze (or get blown away by the wind) as you enjoy the view of the Sea of Cortez. Don’t forget to be a tourist and take a pic in front of the Loreto sign. It’s OK, I did it too!
4. Shop For Unique Finds in Loreto
There are some seriously cute shops here in Loreto, so if you’re trying to stock up on some souvenirs, you’ve arrived in the right town!
From handmade crafts to traditional souvenirs, the town offers a treasure trove of fun finds. I’m not a big shopper, but I couldn’t help wandering through the shops filled with stunning rock and stone jewelry, vibrantly painted plates, and even silly signs to gift your friends.
There’s also a small and cute market that’s on Saturdays from 8-2 right in front of Loreto’s City Hall.
5. Loreto’s Beaches
I can’t lie; you won’t find the world’s most beautiful beaches in the town of Loreto, Mexico, but there are some decent beaches here. There’s a beach right in front of Hotel Oasis that locals love to wander down and gather at.
If you head further north, you’ll also find Playa La Darsena, which has some palapas to bask under, and even further north, there is a huge expansive beach called La Negrita, which has grey sand for what seems like miles.
6. Bird Watch at Las Garzas Estuary
Wildlife lovers, this one is for you! This ecological haven is home to diverse bird species and showcases the stunning biodiversity of Loreto. Bring your binoculars and camera to capture the beauty here.
You’re essentially guaranteed to see birdlife here, and the stunning mountain drop, particularly at sunset, is just an added bonus. You’ll find this spot all the way down the beach and just past Hotel Oasis.
7. Take a Hike
For those seeking an adventurous escape, lace up your hiking boots and venture into the heart of Loreto’s rugged landscapes. There are tons of cool hikes to do in the area!
The most popular and most worthwhile trail is through Tabor Canyon. The trail takes you through panoramic views and unique rock formations. It’s a short one at only 1.5 miles, but it’s still rated as hard as it’s all uphill.
If you don’t have a car, you can take a tour!
8. Take a Fishing Excursion
Experience the thrill of sportfishing in Loreto’s abundant waters. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, local charters offer exciting fishing excursions just off the coast.
Cast a line and try your luck at catching yellowtail, dorado, or marlin. There are options to go a bit more “local” on a small boat or charter a proper fishing boat to take you out for the day.
9. Go Underwater in Loreto
Discover the underwater world of Loreto through diving! The best months to dive are July to November for visibility and comfortable water temperatures. Spot sea slugs, vibrant fish, swim next to sea turtles and massive rays, and maybe even have the honor of diving while whale sharks!
10. Have an ATV Adventure
Gear up for an adrenaline-pumping ATV adventure through Loreto’s backcountry! You’ll start in town racing past the Malecon, speed down part of the Baja 1000 off-road racing course, and then end your race around some natural springs and the pools of Las Virgenes!
11. Day Trip to the Bay of Conception
Escape to the pristine beauty of the Bay of Conception on a day trip from Loreto. This gem boasts secluded beaches and insane turquoise waters to splash in. You can chill on the beach, go kayaking, catch some fresh fish for lunch, or relax at a cute coastal shack onshore, sipping some coffee or cervezas!
We chilled out at Playa El Burro during my day trip out here and loved the coffee and snacks at Nomadico. Later in the day, we had an incredible seafood feast for lunch consisting of snapper, clams, and scallops that were literally just freshly caught!
The Bay is only about 1.5 hours away from Loreto and makes for a great day trip. Keep in mind you won’t have service out here, so download your maps.
12. Catamaran and Snorkel at Danzante Island
Be bouji for the day and hop on a catamaran journey to Danzante Island! This may have been my favorite thing to do in Loreto! You can book an afternoon, a sunset, or the whole day out on the water on your very own catamaran.
We set sail from Marina Puerto Escondido and headed down the bottom side of Danzante Island. We saw the “window,” which is a cool archway, and then got to spend some time on a little slice of beach we had all to ourselves.
If you want, the catamaran offers a chance to go snorkeling as well. Those who choose to dive down can see massive schools of vibrant fish!
13. Explore Coronado Island
You can’t miss Coronado Island while in Loreto. It’s RIGHT THERE. You’ll see it no matter where you are on the shoreline. It’s that massive island looming to your left. Coronado Island, with its rugged landscapes and stunning views, is a really cool thing to do in Loreto.
Stunning white sand beaches with azure waters await you here. While basking on the beach and stuffing your face with seafood is a totally acceptable thing to do here, you can also hop in the water to snorkel with turtles or sea lions, take a kayak and paddle around, or try and spot blue-footed boobies or whales breaching out at sea!
If you don’t want to kayak all the way out here, grab an epic boat tour here instead!
14. Go Whale Watching
Get ready for an awe-inspiring encounter with these majestic marine giants.
The warmth of the Sea of Cortez becomes a winter haven for the whales, and that means it’s pretty likely you’ll be able to spot some! As northern waters cool, humpback, orca, grey, and blue whales embark on a remarkable 6,000-mile migration to the tranquil waters of Loreto Bay National Park.
Hop on a boat from January through March for your best chances of seeing these gentle giants.
15. Eat and Drink Around Town
There are some pretty great spots to grab a bite to eat or knock back a few. After sampling every place I possibly could, here are my favorite spots:
- Mi Loreto – Strong and HUGE margaritas served with some fantastic authentic food at midrange prices. I loved the chile rellenos!
- Serrano “Wine, Seafood & Grill” Steakhouse – This spot was INCREDIBLE. We had Tomahawk steaks and stunning seafood platters that were cooked to perfection. It was definitely a nicer spot to go for the evening.
- La Route Bikes + Coffee – A cute cafe with baked goods and good coffee right in the center square.
- El Zopilote Brewing Co. Loreto & Cocina – Grab some good craft brews here while people-watching in the main square.
- Mi Pequeña Poblanita – A little hole in the wall with good, quick, and cheap Mexican dishes from Puebla.
- Alma del Sur – Someone opened up a soul food restaurant here in this tiny town of Mexico… and it’s actually SO GOOD! The fried chicken and waffles and fried fish with mac n cheese were perfect!
16. Have a Night Out
OK, I know Loreto isn’t going to be a top place to go for a wild night out, but hey, we managed to have a pretty wild night out anyway during our visit! Mike’s Bar was so much fun and had a great band and singer, even on a regular Thursday night.
If you want to stay out a bit later and you’ve had a bit of liquid encouragement, there’s a place called La Cruz de Olvido where you can sing your heart out at karaoke until they kick you out. For a small town, it actually had a few late-night spots to have fun at!
Where to Stay in Loreto
- Hotel Oasis – A good, budget, no-fuss place to stay with a pretty darn good included breakfast and restaurant on site. It’s right on the beach too! We spent the majority of our nights at this spot!
- Hotel 1697 – We also got to stay here and it was a stunning spot! Complete with a nice breakfast, and pool, and hidden away right in the main square, these comfy rooms are a perfect choice!
- Hotel La Misión de Loreto – If you’re looking for a bit of a splurge, and want to be right in the middle of the action, on the beach, and along the Malecon, this is your spot!
How to Get to Loreto and Getting Around
Getting to Loreto:
- By Air: Arrive at Loreto International Airport (LTO) with direct flights from major Mexican cities and some US destinations too! This is how we got here.
- By Road: Drive to Loreto via the Transpeninsular Highway (Highway 1) if you have your own ride or plan on renting – it is almost essential to have a car here unless you book a lot of tours and pay for taxis!
Getting Around Loreto:
- Walking: The town is so easy to explore on foot!
- Bicycles: Rent bikes in town to explore everything a bit faster than on foot.
- Taxis: Taxis are readily available; negotiate the fare before starting your ride though! You’ll find a taxi stand here.
- Car Rentals: Consider renting a car as it’s really hard to explore Baja without one!
- Local Buses: Limited local bus service connects Loreto to nearby areas, so check schedules before relying on this method.
If you’re looking for bus or boat tickets around Central America and Mexico, you can easily book them online! Check Availability
Tips for Visiting Loreto, Mexico
- Whale Watching Season: Loreto is known for its fantastic whale watching opportunities. The prime season for whale watching typically runs from late December to early April.
- Water Temperature: Water temperatures are usually comfortable for swimming from late spring through early fall, but it can get cooler during the winter months.
- Pack a Jacket: While Loreto enjoys a mild and pleasant climate, evenings can be cooler, especially during the winter months. It can also get quite windy here. It’s a good idea to pack a light jacket or sweater.
- Cash vs Card: While major credit cards are accepted at many places in Loreto, it’s a good practice to carry some cash, especially for smaller local shops, markets, and street vendors.
- Budget: Talking about money, it’s worth noting Baja isn’t the cheapest place in Mexico so make sure you budget accordingly.
- Transportation: Having your own car is really the only way to go here! Either drive down from the US, rent a car, or make sure your budget is prepared for a lot of taxis and tours.
- Language: While many locals here will speak some English, it’s helpful to know a few basic Spanish phrases.
- Adventure Opportunities: Loreto offers tons of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and kayaking. Don’t forget to bring appropriate gear, sunscreen, and a reusable water bottle.
- Safety: Loreto is generally a safe destination for tourists. However, you should always take standard precautions like securing your belongings and being aware of your surroundings.
Disclaimer: This trip was made possible thanks to HipTraveler (and the lovely John and Swati) and the Baja California Sur Tourism Board. The vibes provided by Kash and Sabrina from The Budget Traveller, Melvin from Travel Dudes, and of course, Garrett only enhanced this trip. Much love!
Nina Ragusa is an adventurer, messy bun master, breakfast fan, and full-time travel blogger. She’s been abroad since 2011 and blogging on Where in the World is Nina? for nearly as long. Nina helps people like you move around the world while making money. She loves talking about how to work abroad and online to travel longer!