When you dream of a getaway to Mexico, what do you fantasize about? An all-inclusive resort where your only responsibility is finding a beach chair, your margarita and a new book for a week or so? A marketplace crowded with traditional Latin American art, hand-forged jewelry and delicious food? Or do you wonder what is off the main road?
Venture along Mexico’s beachwalks for breathtaking views of the rugged coastline, fiery sunsets and a glimpse of what lies in the distance.
Baja California Sur (BCS) is separated from mainland Mexico by the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez). These aquamarine waters hold 244 islands and a few of them hover inside the horizon of BCS’s most scenic seawalls: the magic malecόns of Loreto and La Paz.
The La Paz malecόn is truly a destination of its own—shop, discover delicious eats or simply take in the glorious views. From any vantage point along its 3.5-mile stretch, you’ll gaze over an infinite panorama of topaz water. Head down to the sea’s edge and stroll along with the quiet rhythm of the shore or sit and watch the sunset.
Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida
Visit these islands by hiring a small charter boat or arranging for a more inclusive day tour with a boating company. The main island, Isla Espiritu Santo, is barely separated from its northern neighbor, Isla Partida and a series of much smaller islets. Swim with sea lions, hike breathtaking island trails and cool off in the clearest turquoise water you’ve ever seen.
Playa Ensenada Grande beach is located on the northwest side of Isla Partida. Plan an overnight camping trip on this beach and prepare for complete silence with an expansive view of the stars.
The municipality of Loreto, just a small fishing town at first glance, looks out toward the Bahia de Loreto National Marine Park Reserve, which is best seen from Loreto’s lovely and simple malecόn adorned by stunning and unimpeded views of islands just offshore.
The Islands of Loreto Bay
The five islands of Loreto Bay include Danzante, Coronado, Carmen, Monserrate and Santa Catalan; all within 20 miles of Loreto. Each of these uninhabited and protected islands invite day visitors with their enclosed bays, explorable beaches, coves and trails.
Danzante boasts an unearthly beautiful cove aptly named Honeymoon Bay, with waist-deep water and hiking trails. Be sure to pack along a picnic basket and relive the movie ”Swept Away” for the day.
There are a few ways to get to these islands, but if it’s windy, the trip can be arduous. However, on a calm day at sunrise, try asking a local Captain with a fishing vessel to whisp you through the channel to one of these island retreats.
A Word of Caution
When visiting any of the protected islands in the Sea of Cortez, it’s important to remember not to remove any “marine souvenirs” as you explore. It’s prohibited by law and as with stealing lava from the Hawaiian islands—it may bring bad luck.