Hotels, Rentals, and Camping
Most visitors choose downtown Loreto for their home base in this area for access to a wide variety of travel services; however, there are a few upscale options south of town if you’d like to get away from it all or don’t mind the drive.
Loreto offers budget travelers several convenient options, and for those who seek a few more amenities, a number of moderately priced hotels and bed-and-breakfasts are scattered throughout the area. Some have sea views, others have equally pretty mountain views, and almost all are within walking distance of the marina, shops, and restaurants. Vacation rentals are another option as more homes come on the market.
Rooms are bare-bones at the Hotel Posada San Martín (Juárez 14 btw Madero/Davis, near the plaza, tel. 613/135-0442, US$35) but they do come with hot water, fans, private bathrooms, and purified drinking water in the courtyard.
Bright yellow Hotel Junípero (Hidalgo, near the mission, tel. 613/135-0122, US$35–40) has expanded with additional rooms in a separate building across the street. Rooms that face the church on the backside of the original hotel building are quietest and have pleasant views of the plaza. Large rooms have air-conditioning, hot showers, cable TV, and double or king-size beds. Wi-Fi is available.
Next door to the Hotel San Martín, Iguana Inn (Juárez btw Madero/Davis, tel. 613/135-1627, www.iguanainn.com, US$45–55) has four bungalows, each with its own kitchenette, two queen beds, and a large tiled shower. Rates include tax.
Hotel Plaza Loreto (Hidalgo 2, tel. 613/135-0280, www.loreto.com/hotelplaza, US$62) occupies a two-story, neocolonial building one block from the mission church. Its 29 plain rooms have hot water, air-conditioning, Internet, and cable TV; a small restaurant/bar is on-site.
Popular Hotel Luna (Vizcaíno btw Davis/Mateos, tel. 613/135-2288, www.hotellunaloreto.com, US$65, tax included) has three clean rooms with queen beds, cable TV, and Wi-Fi in a convenient location. Kayakers often stay a night or two at the start or end of their overnight paddles. Owners Alberto and Karla help their guests feel right at home.
Sukasa (corner of Paseo López Mateos and Jordán, tel. 613/135-0490, www.loreto.com/sukasa, US$55–85), on the malecón, has two bungalows in a brick duplex, a one-bedroom casita, and a yurt. Units are furnished with queen- or king-size beds, air-conditioning, TV/VCR (Spanish channels only), Wi-Fi, and basic cooking equipment. No pool, satellite TV channels, or phones. Daily maid service is a plus.
A few blocks from the town center, American-owned Coco Cabañas (Davis 71, tel. 613/135-1729, www.cococabanasloreto.com, US$89) consists of a group of well-built cottages set around a pool. Thick walls and airtight windows block the sound of wind, dogs, and roosters in the residential surroundings. Cottages come with air-conditioning, hot water, a small TV, and the best kitchenettes we’ve seen anywhere in Baja; spotless appliances include a blender, and there’s matching dishware and ice cubes already made from purified water. Bathrooms are tiny but clean and functional. Beds on metal frames are a little squishy. Hand-painted vines over doorways add a nice touch. Inside the gated compound are a small swimming pool and barbecue area. It’s a five-minute walk to the waterfront. Rates include tax.
Adjacent to the cabanas, the owners recently opened Coco Casitas de Loreto (Davis 71, tel. 613/135-1729, www.cococasitasloreto.com) with five new units. One- and two-bedroom casitas are offered at an introductory rate of US$99/177, including tax. Amenities include comfortable furnishings, California King beds, large baths, and a small swimming pool. A single-story one-bedroom casita is wheelchair accessible.
At the beginning of the main drag through town, a bit far from the beach, Hacienda Suites (Salvatierra 152, tel. 800/224-3632, toll-free U.S. tel. 866/207-8732, fax 613/135-0202, www.haciendasuites.com, US$70) is a modern hotel with rooms set around a central courtyard and swimming pool. Amenities include air-conditioning, phones, TVs, minibars, and in-room safes. Parking is secure, and the hotel offers Wi-Fi. Rooms come with breakfast. The hotel’s Rancho Viejo and Bar la Molienda are both pleasant spaces for a drink or full meal.
At La Damiana Inn (Madero btw Hidalgo/Fco. Jordan, www.ladamianainn.com, US$62–75), owners Debora and Gerardo maintain six guestrooms in a historic home, each with a large private shower. There is an outdoor kitchen and garden/patio area that dates back to the 1930s. Wi-Fi and secure parking are a plus; as with any hotels right near the plaza, the location can be noisy.
North along the waterfront, on Calle Davis, the Desert Inn (formerly La Pinta Hotel, tel. 613/135-0025 or 800/026-3605, toll-free U.S. tel. 800/800-9632, http://desertinns.com/Loreto/, US$89–110) offers large, air-conditioned rooms with terraces and views of the sea.
One row back from the waterfront at the southern edge of town, Las Cabañas de Loreto (Morelos off the malecón, tel. 613/135-1105, U.S. tel. 707/933-0764, www.lascabanasdeloreto.com, US$95) has four modern studios set around a beautiful courtyard, a small pool with comfy chaise lounges and hammocks, and a fire pit. You can prepare simple meals in the private kitchenette in your unit or use the outdoor kitchen and barbecue to grill your fresh catch. The main house, also available for rent, has an ocean view from the upstairs deck; studios have garden views. A new two-bedroom, one-bath casita was also available at last check for US$1,200 per week.
Studios have TV/VCR, air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and secure off-street parking, but no satellite or phones. The owners provide bikes, guest laundry, a video and book library, and beach equipment. They also arrange excursions to the islands as well as custom classes in Mexican cooking, Spanish language, and nature photography. This place fills up well in advance; check availability online and make reservations. There’s a three-night minimum.
Six blocks north of Plaza Salvatierra and beyond the Desert Inn, Las Trojes Bed & Breakfast Hotel (Davis Norte, tel. 613/135-0277, www.loreto.com/costa2.htm, US$50 and up) offers guests a unique opportunity to sleep in converted Native American granaries that the owner originally found in the mountainous interior of the mainland state of Michoacán, transported to La Paz, and reassembled on the beach in Loreto. Amenities include air-conditioning, ceiling fans, and private showers as well as free bicycles and Internet access. You can stroll through the cactus garden to reach the beach bar and waterfront. Rates include continental breakfast.
Hotel Angra (Juárez btw Allende/Marquez de León, tel. 613/135-1172, www.hotelangra.com, US$55) has 12 basic guestrooms with air-conditioning, cable TV, private baths, Wi-Fi, and parking. Some rooms are pet friendly, and there is an attached café.
A perennial favorite within the sportfishing community, Hotel Oasis (south end of Calle de la Playa/Blvd. López Mateos, tel. 613/135-0211, toll-free U.S. tel. 800/497-3923, www.hoteloasis.com, US$120–130) is the only hotel in town that has its own beach. For anglers, the best part about a stay here is that breakfast service begins at 5 A.M. The 39 air-conditioned rooms are large and simply furnished and not well lighted. Bright orange cotton bedspreads cover sagging mattresses. Other properties in town offer more modern accommodations at a lower price, but the Oasis has history and charm, plus its own fishing fleet, a pool, tennis court, free Wi-Fi, and a swing set for kids.
At the north end of the malecón, Loreto Playa Bed and Breakfast (tel. 613/135-1129, www.loretoplaya.com, US$145–195) has two suites and a beach house for rent. Accommodations come with king-size beds, bubble bath, and robes; the use of mountain bikes and kayaks; and a full breakfast.
For charming accommodations in a historic setting, the Hotel Posada de las Flores (tel. 613/135-1162, toll-free U.S. tel. 877/245-2860, www.posadadelasflores.com, US$150–180) fits the bill; however, rooms were musty and the place was in need of some sprucing up at last check. Housed in a colonial building on Plaza Salvatierra, the inn has a small rooftop pool with a glass bottom through which sunlight shines into the lobby below. Its 15 rooms contain antique furnishings, pottery, tile, and wrought iron from the mainland. Amenities include air-conditioning, satellite TV, wireless Internet, and a gift shop and spa on the ground floor (9 A.M.–5 P.M. Tues.–Sun.). Enjoy some of Loreto’s best ocean and mountain views from the second-level terrace.
On the malecón, La Misión (Rosendo Robles, tel. 613/135-0524, toll-free U.S. tel. 877/887-2939, www.lamisionloreto.com, US$148–250) has been the talk of the town since it opened a few years back. It has 65 rooms and three two-bedroom suites in a newly constructed five-story building with a swimming pool, bar, and restaurant that specializes in thin-crust pizza. As the name implies, the ambience is colonial, with lots of dark wood furnishings and marble accents. Rooms have keyless locks, marble baths, and small flat-screen TVs. A few lower-priced mountain-view rooms on the third and fourth floors face the town and Sierra de la Giganta beyond it. More expensive oceanview rooms have shaded balconies that overlook the pool, malecón, and Sea of Cortez.
This hotel has exceptionally comfortable beds and plenty of hot water at very high pressure; the acoustics, however, can be a problem. Rooms close to the bar (210, 320, 410) hear music until around midnight. When guests arrive, suitcases with wheels make a racket as they bump over grooves in the tiles along the breezeways. If the place is full, you’ll likely hear neighbors above and next door. Doors are drafty (a problem only on the coldest of days in winter), bathrooms were missing some finishing touches, such as towel racks not securely attached to the wall, and the hotel seemed understaffed on a recent visit. Bottom line: This place is a step above most other Loreto accommodations, but the quality of accommodations and service may not live up to expectations based on the high price.
At the traffic circle that marks the entrance to town, Hotel Santa Fe (Salvatierra at Ebanista, tel. 613/134-0400, http://hotelsantafeloreto.com, US$80)is affiliated with the Villa Group, which runs the new Villa del Palmar resort at Ensenada Blanca and several resorts in Los Cabos. This five-story white building, newly constructed, has studio rooms, and one-, two-, or three-bedroom suites—each with its own well-equipped kitchenette. Keyless entry, touch-on lamps, and rain showers are a few of the contemporary touches. Exterior walls are airtight; however, the interior walls are thin, and the rooms could use some additional furniture or fabrics to absorb the sound of moving furniture and closing doors. A restaurant and convenience store are located on the ground level, and there is a small pool and whirlpool tub in the interior courtyard.
As new homes are constructed, a few have come on the market as vacation rentals. For example, Stay in Loreto (tel. 613/135-0791, www.stayinloreto.com, US$800–900/wk.) manages a beachfront condo, house, and suite for weekly or monthly rentals. The newly constructed properties are located 30 meters from the water, with granite counters, sea-view decks, satellite TV, and air-conditioning.
La Giganta Real Estate (Madero 22-C, tel. 613/135-0802, www.lagiganta.com) manages a few vacation rentals in the area starting at US$150 per night.
Camping and RV Parks
Close to town and near the beach, Rivera del Mar RV Park and Camping (Madero Norte 100, tel. 613/135-0718, www.riveradelmar.com, US$16–19) has 25 spaces with full hookups and limited shade, plus showers, hot water, laundry, and grills. Tent camping costs US$7. This park allows pets as long as they are leashed. The atmosphere tends to be very noisy at night, especially on weekends.
South of town on the other side of the Río Loreto, Loreto Shores Villas and RV Park (Colonia Zaragoza, tel. 613/135-1513, www.loretoshoresvillasandrvpark.com, US$26) has 36 spaces with full hookups enclosed within a five-acre park that fronts the beach; tent camping costs US$7 per person and includes hot showers. Wi-Fi is available for US$2 per day. Every seventh day is free. Loreto Shores has a pool, laundry service, boat launch, and palapas on the beach.
You can camp for free at Playa Juncalito, 22.5 kilometers south of Loreto, and the snorkeling is also good here. The simple Vista al Mar (Km. 103, Mexico 1, mains US$5–15) restaurant is Baja dining at its best: fresh clams, shrimp, and fish of the day under a palapa roof by the seashore. Look for a sign on the highway.
For some longtime Loreto expats, poking fun at the real estate development underway in Nopoló is serious sport. Though they may have mixed feelings about the building of a 6,000-unit community, many would gladly trade beaches with the Inn at Loreto Bay (formerly the Camino Real, tel. 613/133-0010 or 800/507-6979, toll-free U.S. tel. 866/850-0333, www.innatloretobay.com, US$135–330). Here, guests can choose from 155 oceanfront and oceanview rooms, all with Wi-Fi, set around a lawn and pool. New curtains and modern bathrooms make for cheerful decor, but beds are sagging; this remains a 20-year-old hotel in need of a more complete makeover. You can book trips and rent gear for the water sport of your choice from the hotel.
The Loreto Bay Restaurant serves breakfast 7–11 A.M., snacks, and dinner 7–10:30 P.M. Bordering the grounds are an 18-hole golf course and the Centro Tenístico de Loreto (tennis center), both free for guests.
There is more than meets the eye at Tripui Resort (Puerto Escondido, tel. 613/133-0818, U.S. tel. 512/749-6070, www.tripui.com, US$85–130), an understated resort that has several comfortable hotels rooms and an adjoining RV park, all set around a pleasant garden and large swimming pool. Rates include breakfast. Amenities include a boat launch, boat storage space, restaurant serving standard Mexican fare, laundry service, bar, Internet, and grocery store. The resort is not on the beach, but you can walk to the Puerto Escondido harbor and launch a kayak, or you can drive about 12 miles to town.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition