The Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez, is home to Loreto Bay National Park. Due to its exceptional and universal value, it was named a World Heritage Site and is currently on the list of UNESCO natural heritage sites.
This honorable mention is because of the many islands that provide shelter to migrating birds, wild animals and serve as a refuge for marine life. During the winter, you can marvel at the blue whales, the largest mammals alive, and watch them navigate through the clear waters of the Sea of Cortez.
Loreto is known for its nature and history. In the early days, it was the first capital of the Californias and it was here the first Jesuit Mission was established. The Jesuits built the church known as Our Lady of Loreto, an architectural landmark that still contains the altar, Jesuit images and other relics.
Hidden within the mountains, only 20 miles from Loreto, lays the town of San Javier, home to a beautiful church of great historical value. Every year from December 1st throughout the 3rd, Loreto and its surroundings hold multiple celebrations to honor San Francisco Javier, the Holy Patron of the town of San Javier de Vigge Biaundon.
These celebrations are locally known as the Festivities of San Javier and are where worshipers arrive each year to renew their faith. They gather to observe cultural and religious traditions, such as visits to the 200 year old chapel located within the Las Parras ranch and the horse parade that begins at the San Telmo Bridge and ends in San Javier.
Located 37 miles south of the city of Loreto, San Cosme and Agua Verde are two communities on the edge of the water making them ideal for multiple activities such as horseback riding, beach walks, kayaing, camping, “glamping,” visits to the hot springs and boat rides to the nearest islands.
Loreto is an easy access destination, with an international airport, the Puerto Escondido marina and by Federal Highway #1 that begins in Cabo San Lucas and ends in Tijuana.
*Loreto Tourism Board for ATMEX 2020.