This article is from the April 2004 The Mexico File newsletter.
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On the Loreto Scene

by Lisa Coleman 

Lisa Coleman is a freelance writer specializing in Mexico. She has published over 200 articles on Mexico and won the 2000 Pluma de Plata Award. Lisa is also an instructor for the nationwide "Mexico Expert" travel agent seminar program put on by Destination Ventures. She recently wrote and published the book, 25 Years in Paradise... Hotel Villa del Sol, Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Her book is available at www.hotelvilladelsol.com    

Compared to most small Mexican towns, Loreto is pretty far ahead of the pack. Considering it takes less than ten minutes to drive the whole place, it’s amazing to find so many options in terms of quality dining and lodging.

As far as hotels go, the choices pretty much run the gamut. On the high end of things, the Posada de las Flores stands alone. This Italian-owned boutique hotel is definitively quaint. With ten standard rooms and fifteen junior suites, it is considered by far the most elite property in town. Known for its rooftop pool (whose glass bottom is also the ceiling of the lobby!), spectacular views and colorful interior, Posada is for those who aren’t afraid to step up to the $140 per night per room price tag. (www.posadadelasflores.com)

Next in line would be the Camino Real Loreto. Located about ten minutes south of town in Nopoló, it’s a bit far off the beaten path if you want to spend your evenings in town. Designed in a stark, but attractive, Mexican-Mediterranean style, it is considered “the” beach resort property in the area. With 155 rooms and suites, a nice rooftop bar and plenty of open space, it’s the perfect choice if you really want to be away from it all. (www.caminoreal.com)

The Villas de Loreto is on the edge of the main town and sits directly on the shores of the Sea of Cortez. Owned by Canadians Ron and Wendy Bellerive, it actually consists of twelve intimate rooms and casitas. Great prices, great atmosphere and wonderful food at their own Restaurant Amore. (www.villasdeloreto.com)

The La Pinta Hotel is a solid choice. Simple, clean, spacious and affordable, it’s well known as a “fisherman’s hotel.” Forty-eight oceanfront rooms are a perfect place to start for long walks on the beach and your patio offers the best sunrise in town. (www.lapintahotels.com)

On the nightlife side of things, Loreto is certainly a relatively quiet town. There are plenty of local haunts for the bar crowd, but the real knockout is the food. The restaurants here are nothing short of spectacular – an unusual triumph for the middle of the Baja! Wedged between the mission and the capital building, Canipole is a Mexican icon. Local owners Sofia and David make everything from scratch, including the incredible mango salsa. Don’t be in a hurry – just enjoy the beauty of dining in someone’s home.

Located at the end of the main plaza, Pachamama is a tiny treasure. You may want to stop by earlier in the day or the night before to make a reservation – the six tables fill up fast! A magical blend of flavors from Mexico and Argentina makes it one of the best in the Baja.

Good seafood is a Baja staple, but Loreto Islas is particularly good. Try the Bostonian Shrimp for a real treat (it’s big enough for two!) El Rey Tacos are a must (get there before 1:00 PM or you may miss out), Café Ole is the gringo hangout for breakfast and lunch with fantastic egg dishes and strong coffee, and drive just past the town of Nopoló and try the fresh clams at Vista al Mar. If you like them raw.... It just doesn’t get any better!

So much to do, so much to see……. Who to call? The team of Cecilia and Cecilia will plan any and everything you need…… Seriously, if you want to find out how to do it in Loreto, these are your gals. Call them at C and C Ground Services and Tours. (From the U.S. 011-52-613-135-0525 or 613-133-0151.