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10 March 2014

Baja Bound, Part 14. Mulege to Loreto


Loreto, Sea of Cortez, Baja California Sur


On November 28th it was time to say good-bye to Lynne and Dave at Coyote Beach. Anders and I wanted to explore the southern half of the Baja Peninsula.
Wonderful drive through Las Bebelamas

The drive to Loreto from Mulege is only about 130km, but it took us a good two hours driving, because of the beautiful landscape and the photo stops.

First the gorgeous Sea of Cortez along the Bahia Santa Ines and the Bahia Concepcion and then over the mountain range Las Bebelamas. Further along the great mountain formation of the Sierra de la Giganta ( Giants ) is breathtaking. Green valleys are bordered by gigantic rocky mountains. Closer to Loreto a wide green valley opens up. Besides cattle and goats there were some greenhouses visible in the far distances.

Loreto sits dramatically at the base of the Sierra de la Giganta and on a bay of a National protected marine park on the Sea of Cortez. 
Mision Nuestra Senora de Loreto 

Historically Loreto had a wild past. In 1697 Italian Jesuit Salvatierra established the first Jesuit Mission on the Baja. What started in a tent to worship in, became the beautiful Mision Nuestra Senora de Loreto de Concho ( Concho was Loreto's original name). 

Loreto became the capital of Spanish California. In 1767 the Spanish Franciscan padres expelled the Jesuits. About 10 years later Monterey became the new capital. In 1829 a hurricane wiped out most of the town. Forgotten until the early 1900 when commercial fishing became popular in the bay. 

But Loreto remained a sleepy fishing village until the Mexican Government designated Loreto as part of the tourist corridor, and the Transpeninsula Highway was completed in 1973.
Nopolo Development at a Standstill

The development venture between Fonatur (Mexicos National Fund for Tourism Development), and a US and a Victoria owned company started a new roller coaster for this city. Big development plans for a 27 km coastal stretch south of Loreto, in Nopolo and Puerto Escondido started grand, but came to a screeching halt a few years ago. Sad, in these "exclusive" tourist places fancy homes look at unfinished ruins of broken dreams. The tennis courts were overgrown and the golf course was in rough shape when we visited.
Along the Malecon in Loreto

We stayed at the "La Mision"hotel right on the Malecon, the beach, in the old town of Loreto. Anders found a room for half price, and we enjoyed this hotel very much. The dinner in the evening was excellent.

The old town of Loreto is very pretty. We walked the Calle Salvatierra visiting galleries and shops.

For additional pictures from this part of our trip see our web album


Click on any of the links below to go to other parts of this wonderful trip.

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