Loreto was the first European settlement in the peninsula and the first capital of the Californias.
Loreto is located 243 MI northwest of La Paz, 333 MI north of Cabo San Lucas, and 703 MI south of Tijuana
Loreto was the site of the first California mission. Jesuit Priest Juan Maria Salvatierra founded the mission in 1697. Four tribes of Indians lived in the area, the Kikiwa, Cochimi, Cucapa, and Kumyaii, when a monk from Spain came to establish a chain of missions in 1769. Disease and war nearly wiped out their populations. When Mexico acquired independence in 1821 missionaries were all ordered home. The mission in Loreto was abandoned and fell into disrepair. In 1829 a passing hurricane destroyed the rest of the settlement. In 1976 oil became Loreto's wealth and the town was developed. Roads, electricity, waste systems, and an airport were built. However, the peaceful relaxing atmosphere remains.
The hottest months are June to October with temperatures in the mid to high 30s (degrees Fahrenheit). The average low temperature for these months is 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Loreto sees an average of 340 clear days.
Hotels in Loreto vary from beachfront inns to secluded resorts. Rates are fairly inexpensive, from US$25 to US$150. Rates may include the use of a boat, usually a skiff, bikes, and breakfast.
Restaurants are quaint and charming in Loreto. Along with large portions, the servers are friendly and courteous. El Nido caters to the meat and potatoes crowd. The Caf?Ole is a popular hangout with locals and tourists alike.
NIGHLIFE: You can find anything from a boisterous beach party to a quiet piano bar. Most bars and clubs close at midnight. Every Sunday evening, there is a free concert in the central plaza.
There are few stores and shops in Loreto. The El Alacran has sportswear, folk art and jewelery.
Only a few types of cuisine are available. Although you can find international and Italian, the specialty in Loreto is seafood with a Mexican flare.
Banks: The Bancomer is open weekdays from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm. There is a money exchange desk here as well.
Nopolo: This area, about 8 km (5 MI) from Loreto, is being developed for luxury resorts. Even though there are many homes, nine tennis courts, and an 18-hole golf course the area still seems deserted.
Puerto Escondido: Located 24 km (15 MI) away from Loreto, Puerto Escondido is home to a marina with over 100 boat slips, an RV park, hotels, restaurants, and a boat launch.
Isla Danzante: Fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving are popular off this island located 5 km (3 MI) southeast of Puerto Escondido.
Mision San Javier: Most hotels and tours companies can arrange for you to visit this picturesque village located 32 km (20 MI) southeast of Loreto. The drive in requires a high-clearance vehicle and is impassable when it muddy. Caves, Indian paintings, and a church built in 1699 are interesting to see.