WELCOME BACK LORETO!

Loreto Retreats guest Chris Browne marked the end of the rainy season by catching an 8-foot sailfish the first week in October.  

Loreto Retreats guest Chris Browne marked the end of the rainy season by catching an 8-foot sailfish the first week in October.  

Although Hurricane Odile was the worst storm to hit the Baja, Loreto made it through with barely a scratch. We are grateful that there was very little damage to the neighborhood. Cabo, which is located a few hundred miles south of Loreto on the Baja Peninsula, was not as fortunate. Loreto residents have been very generous in donating time, money, construction materials, and household items to help the relief efforts in Cabo.  If you would like help with Cabo's disaster relief during your vacation in Loreto, stop by the community center to find out what you can do.

Storm season is over, the hills are lush and green, and Loreto Bay is buzzing with life as the new season begins! Every year, Loreto Bay homeowners head north in May or June when the heat sets in. The neighborhood shops and cafes take a vacation during the hot summer months, and although it is generally a quiet town all year round, it becomes exceptionally quiet in the summer. September storms and hurricanes awaken the sleepy community, leaving the Baja alive and quenched for the return of Loreto residents and tourists. Most people say October is the most beautiful time of year in Loreto because the scenery is green, green, green, like the Hawaiian islands.   

Posted on October 22, 2014 .

WESTJET ANNOUNCES DIRECT CALGARY-LTO FLIGHTS

Remember when WestJet used to fly direct from Calgary to Loreto? Well, if you are from Canada and miss those days of that quick non-stop flight to paradise, then you're in luck! WestJet just announced that they will start offering direct flights again from Calgary to Loreto, once a week, starting in February 2015. This is great news for Loreto, and it will make it easier for our friends up North to enjoy a Loreto vacation more often!   

Posted on August 11, 2014 .

FAVORITE LORETO RESTAURANT: SUPER BURRO

Less than a block from the intersection of Independencia and Boulevard Salvatierra, you'll find a little hole in the wall restaurant called Super Burro. The establishment may look a little grimy, but they make the most authentic, mouth-watering Mexican food in all of Loreto (possibly all of Mexico). When I'm in Loreto, I need a Super Burro fix at least once or twice a week- it's that good. It's run by three generations of women who make all of the tortillas from scratch, and the best arrachera steak I've ever encountered. The "Super Burro" is a foot wide tortilla filled with delicious flank steak (not donkey like the name suggests) and it comes with a whole platter of fixings- onions, pico de gallo, limes, cucumbers, avocado, and more. But as good as that sounds, my all-time favorite dish is the Papa Rellena con Arrachera. It's an aluminum foil pouch filled with potatoes, cheese, steak, mushrooms, and corn, and then cooked over the grill and served with steaming hot tortillas. It's amazing. I can never finish it in one sitting, but that's a good thing because then I get to finish it for breakfast the next morning! 

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A Super Burro feast with my dad, good friend Marlee, aunt Norma, and friends. Yum!

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Super Burro is open 6pm-midnight every day except Wednesday.

Super Burro is open 6pm-midnight every day except Wednesday.

Posted on July 8, 2014 .

THE CLAM SHACK

Seafood anyone? Loreto is renowned for its tasty food.  Vista al Mar, or "The Clam Shack" as it is more commonly known, is one of the best places to get your fill of clams during your stay in Loreto. Only a five minute drive south of Loreto Bay, The Clam Shack is just that- a little open air palm leaf shack with plastic tables and chairs right on the beach. I would recommend the cheese baked clams and the house-made sangria. Simple and delicious! 

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With a big play area to keep the kids occupied, Vista al Mar makes for a very relaxing afternoon.

As a side note- keep in mind during your vacation that the plumbing in Mexico can be sensitive. The big bin of water and bucket outside of the restrooms at the Shack are for pressure flushing the toilets- that means you need to pour a bucket of water into the toilet to flush it. Don't be afraid! 

Vista Al Mar, "The Clam Shack."
House-made Sangria and a beautiful view. 

House-made Sangria and a beautiful view. 

Fresh Chocolate Clams. Yum.

Fresh Chocolate Clams. Yum.

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Posted on May 23, 2014 .

LORETO SUNRISE

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View of the sun rising over Carmen Island from the top of Nopolo Rock. Photo by Rachel Reynolds.

View of the sun rising over Carmen Island from the top of Nopolo Rock. Photo by Rachel Reynolds.

View from the 16th tee on the Loreto Bay Golf Course: Pelicans and cormorants sitting on the jetty in the distance, getting ready to catch their morning meal.

View from the 16th tee on the Loreto Bay Golf Course: Pelicans and cormorants sitting on the jetty in the distance, getting ready to catch their morning meal.

Few things in this world  top the beauty of a Loreto Bay sunrise. Whenever I manage to wake up early enough, I take my camera to the golf course, or put my hiking shoes on and climb to the top of Nopolo Rock to capture the sunrise over the bay. It's spectacular.

Walking along the beach at sunrise from a Loreto Retreats vacation home; looking at Nopolo Rock, a sailboat, and Carmen Island in the distance. Photo by Rachel Reynolds.

Walking along the beach at sunrise from a Loreto Retreats vacation home; looking at Nopolo Rock, a sailboat, and Carmen Island in the distance. Photo by Rachel Reynolds.

The Loreto sunrise from the 15th green.

The Loreto sunrise from the 15th green.

View from the 15th green on the Loreto Bay Golf Course.

View from the 15th green on the Loreto Bay Golf Course.

FREE ROUND OF GOLF

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Play golf? Loreto Retreats' luxury vacation homes are surrounded by one of Mexico's top golf courses: The Loreto Bay Golf Course. Book a vacation with Loreto Retreats by May 31st, for travel between now and October 31st, and receive a free round of golf! Spend the morning perfecting your swing on the 18-hole course, and then relax by the pool with a margarita in the afternoon. Email reservations@loretoretreats.com to book your Loreto Retreats vacation today!

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Fine print: Vacation must be booked by May 31st 2014, for a stay between now and October 31st 2014. Subject to availability of Loreto Retreats homes. Minimum 4-night stay to receive the free round of golf. Limit one free green fee per reserved house. Offer not valid with other offers and discounts.

Posted on May 15, 2014 .

YELLOWTAIL FISHING IN THE SEA OF CORTEZ

Early morning on the Sea of Cortez

Early morning on the Sea of Cortez

Look at the dolphins!

Look at the dolphins!

Jeff's 40 pound Yellowtail

Jeff's 40 pound Yellowtail

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Jeff Gill and his daughters enjoying the sunshine and turquoise blue water just off Coronado Island

Jeff Gill and his daughters enjoying the sunshine and turquoise blue water just off Coronado Island

Last week I took my two toddler nephews out for their first fishing trip in Loreto!  Our neighbors, Jeff and Claudia Gill and their three daughters, joined us.  We woke up well before the sun, packed a picnic lunch, and met our fishing guides Jorge and Necki at the marina at 6am. The sun rose, its light dancing on the glassy sea and waking up the sleepy mountains as we made our way toward Coronado Island to catch our live bait.

 

Then the children started pointing and squealing with delight as a pod of dolphins swam by, putting on a morning show of jumps and flips.  The excitement on their faces was priceless.  

 

Moments later we had reached our fishing spot destination just off Coronado Island.  We caught 4 or 5 bait fish within minutes, and then proceeded to go for the big ones. Since we had five kids on board (and my nephews were experiencing seasickness for the first time at this point), we didn't take the boat further than Coronado, and didn't expect to catch anything too big. But sure enough, after a good fight, Jeff reeled in a 40 pound yellow tail.  Ryan hooked something that seemed even larger, but it swam under the rocks and broke the line.  

 

After a few more tries, we called it quits and headed to the white sand beaches on Coronado for an afternoon of snorkeling, picnicking, napping, and building sandcastles.

 

Loreto is one of the few places in the world with good fishing year round.  If you love fishing, a vacation in Loreto will be paradise for you.  Right now you can catch Yellow Tail Amberjack (not to be confused with Yellow Fin Tuna), and huge Cabrilla (Grouper/Sea Bass)  if you go out past Coronado Island.  The best time for catching Dorado (Mahi Mahi) is just around the corner in June through September.

 

When you book a vacation with Loreto Retreats, one of my colleagues or I will gladly arrange fishing excursions for you. 

Everett (and his goofy sun hat), Madeline, and Elliott hard at work building castles on Coronado Island.

Everett (and his goofy sun hat), Madeline, and Elliott hard at work building castles on Coronado Island.

Sunrise as we departed from the Loreto Marina

Sunrise as we departed from the Loreto Marina

Loreto Sunrise

Loreto Sunrise

The Gill Girls

The Gill Girls

Pulling in the Yellowtail

Pulling in the Yellowtail

Ryan's big fish broke the line

Ryan's big fish broke the line

Posted on May 12, 2014 .

LORETO: A VIEW FROM ABOVE

I just found out about a great Facebook page called Loreto Community OPEN when one of its administrators recommended Loreto Retreats and shared a link to our website.  Thanks for the recommendation!  The Facebook page has some great insider information, photos......and videos! Wow!  Since Loreto is not a tourist hotspot like Cabo, it's sometimes hard to find good photos, videos, and reviews on the internet.  Check out this fantastic GoPro video that was posted on the Loreto Community OPEN Facebook page!  It doesn't show Loreto Bay, where our vacation homes are located, but it has beautiful footage of the malecón, marina, and historical town of Loreto.  The marina shown in the video is where you can hop on a panga boat to go out fishing or exploring nearby islands during your Loreto vacation.


 

Posted on May 7, 2014 .

"MAGIC TOWN" OF LORETO PRAISED BY THE SEATTLE TIMES

Although this article makes Loreto out to be a bit more of a ghost town than it actually is, it is true that Loreto is far from being another Cancun or Puerto Vallarta.  That is why I love it here. The lack of cruise ships and congestion, combined with the magical setting of the mountains, islands, sea, and historical charm, lead people to praise Loreto as a "magic town" and "a gem." Read more about Loreto in The Seattle Times article, "Slowing down in Mexico's Loreto."  

Posted on April 21, 2014 .

NEW "SWING BAR" IN LORETO BAY

Agave Restaurant and Bar just opened a new outdoor "Swing Bar." What a fun idea! Stop by during Happy Hour to try their delicious appetizers and margaritas. The restaurant is located right on the Paseo, toward the Agua Viva neighborhood. There's even a kid's jungle gym play area right by the Swing Bar, so bring the whole family!

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Posted on April 4, 2014 .

LORETO FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL

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With delicious samples from several restaurants, wine graciously donated by The Wine Cellar and L.A. Cetto Winery, and local bands playing music all evening, the Third Annual Loreto Wine and Food Festival last week was a great success! The event attracted over 400 people, and not only promoted local businesses, but also raised money for Amigos de Loreto charities.  This is one of my favorite aspects of Loreto- the people here truly care about the community.  Residents and vacationers alike always find fun ways to support the town and local charities. This year, the Festival had a silent and live auction with items donated from local artists, businesses, and residents, generating 30% more money than last year's festival. All proceeds will be spent on equipment and improvements for the local hospital.  

Agave Restaurant and Bar served tasty seafood appetizers on seashells.

Agave Restaurant and Bar served tasty seafood appetizers on seashells.

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Posted on March 28, 2014 .

LORETO FEATURED ON HDTV SHOW

I don't watch much television, so I often miss out on some exciting shows that everyone seems to be talking about.  I keep hearing folks in Loreto talking about the HDTV House Hunters International show that featured Loreto, so I thought I'd check it out. Here's a great clip about the family who, after a wonderful Loreto vacation, decided to move here permanently. Not only does it include great shots of the Loreto Bay community, it also depicts how safe people feel here, even with small children in tow.

http://www.hgtv.com/video/baja-bound-video/index.html

Surprisingly, I haven't met this family yet, but their dinner guest in the end of the clip is the lovely Ms. Judith (pronounced "Hoo-deet"), who teaches three levels of Spanish lessons in the Community Center several days a week.  Feel free to stop by the Community Center during your Loreto vacation to learn Spanish basics or brush up on advanced grammar.    

Posted on March 20, 2014 .

LORETO VACATION LURES CALGARY COUPLE

It's great to see Loreto in the news!  The Calgary Herald published an article a few weeks ago about one couple being lured by Loreto's charms.  

Every time I go down, there’s something new to do or to see
— Gary Jones in the Calgary Herald

I couldn't agree more with Mr. Jones. Click on the article below to read why the Jones family has been drawn to vacationing in Loreto:

Posted on March 13, 2014 .

SIMPLE PLEASURES

However you choose to tailor your Loreto vacation, you can’t help but enjoy the simple pleasures in life here.

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While riding my bike to a friend’s house the other day, I happened upon a hummingbird sipping from a fountain, and was lucky enough to capture the moment on camera.

Then I rode on, and parked my bike by a pot of vibrant bougainvillea flowers, which contrasted gorgeously against the rich yellow walls of the courtyard.

When I arrived at my friend’s house, we ate freshly smoked yellow tail tuna, caught by some Loreto guests the day before, and juicy pink grapefruit, picked from the tree in his backyard.

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Few places in the world are this beautiful and have so much to offer. I hope that when you vacation in Loreto,  you appreciate these simple pleasures as much I do!

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Picking fresh grapefruit from a backyard tree- one of the little things that makes a Loreto vacation so magical.

Picking fresh grapefruit from a backyard tree- one of the little things that makes a Loreto vacation so magical.

Posted on March 12, 2014 and filed under Loreto vacation, simple pleasures, magical Loreto.

HIKING LIGUÍ

The Sierra de la Giganta mountain range around Loreto is carved with spectacular canyons, making hiking one of Loreto's greatest treasures. A couple months ago, I enjoyed the most beautiful hike of my life: Liguí Canyon.  Located off Highway 1 at the km 83 exit, about 30km south of Loreto Bay, the hike follows a shallow stream up a very narrow canyon.  With the exception of climbing around a small swimming hole toward the trailhead, the hike is not very difficult.  However, if you are not comfortable climbing over a few boulders, then I would suggest an easier hike such as Juncalito. 

 

The biggest challenge is finding the trailhead, so it might be best to go with someone who has been there before.  The best set of directions I can give is to take a right and drive under the highway overpass at the km 83 exit, and then use your car’s odometer to measure 3.6 miles back toward the mountains.  At 3.6 miles, the rocks will likely be too big for your car to clear, so you’ll have to walk another half mile to the trailhead. With luck, you’ll have the stream to guide you, as long as it hasn’t dried up yet.  Expect to get your feet wet.  Bring good hiking shoes, sunscreen, lots of water, snacks, and of course your camera!  The scenery is absolutely breathtaking!  I only went about 3 miles in because my hiking buddy’s shoes fell apart, but the trail apparently goes about 8 miles back and then climbs all the way to the top of the mountains.  I’m looking forward to hiking further next time!

Posted on January 29, 2014 .

FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT

A great time was had by all last night as the sun set over the mountains and Los Beach Dogs played popular favorites at the community Palapa.  The band rocked out, friends danced, and the Wine Cellar sold drinks and raffle tickets.  10% of the proceeds were donated to Loreto Bay Volunteers, a group that works hard to uphold environmental and social responsibility in this beautiful corner of the world.

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Posted on January 25, 2014 .

LIFE IN LORETO

Again and again, we hear people say that they fell in love with Loreto before they even arrived, by reading blogs and hearing stories of people who had been to Loreto before them. 

So, although it may be untraditional for a hospitality website to feature a personal blog, we thought what better way for guests to look forward to their vacation, than to read about someone’s experiences there.

Welcome to Loreto.  My name is Gillian and I will be your “tour guide.” I moved to Loreto from Seattle two weeks ago, fat gato in tow.  I’ve lived all over the world, but have been drawn back to Loreto several times since 2007.  Finally, a few months ago, as the last vibrantly colored leaves of a beautiful Seattle autumn turned brown and the skies turned ominously gray, I made the decision to move south.

I hope you enjoy this glimpse of life in Loreto.  I look forward to meeting you when you arrive here!

Posted on January 24, 2014 .