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Coronado is one of the five islands that make up Islas de Golfo group, which is protected as a National Maritime Park. Coronado Island is a volcanic island that provides refuge for mother of pearl, starfish, sea urchins, fan coral, killer whales and dolphins. The south side of the island has popular snorkeling site, with sand and rock reef bottoms that extend to the North side of the island. The best diving site is on the north side of the island
Isla del Carmen
Carmen Island is one of the five islands that make up Islas de Golfo group, which is protected as a National Maritime Park. Located about eight miles out from Loreto, Isla de Carmen is much larger than the rest of the islands. Carmen Island has sandy beaches to explore or just relax, as well as several anchorages. It is one of the more popular islands to visit.
Danzante Island is one of the five islands that make up Islas de Golfo group, which is protected as a National Maritime Park. located about 15 miles south of Loreto, is known for its rocky bluffs dotted with cacti and numerous coves and rock formations. Deep canyons and crevices make Isla Danzante a popular diving spot. Explore to coral and sea octopus and moray eels. Popular with kayakers
Montserrat Island is one of the five islands that make up Islas de Golfo group, which is protected as a National Maritime Park. Isla Montserrat is located on the way to Isla Carmen and Isla Danzante. Isla Montserrat is where divers go to get lobsters that seem to be endless around this island. There are also several trails on the island for hiking. Popular spot for kayakers.
Isla Santa Catalina
Santa Catalina Island is one of the five islands that make up Islas de Golfo group, which is protected as a National Maritime Park. Catalina Island is a favorite island for lovers of nature and science. It is home to several unique species of flowers and plants. This island also offers good snorkeling and scuba diving.
The Malecon located along Calle de la Playa in the center of the town. Here you will find shops, restaurants, coffee houses, bars, and plenty of places to sit and relax. Or, you can watch all the local commercial fishermen bring in their daily catches. A small marina shelters yachts and boats "pangas". The beach in front of the Malecon is popular among locals, especially on Sundays. Take a walk along the ocean or sit a relax why viewing amazing sunsets of the Sea of Cortez.
Mision Nuestra Senora de Loreto
Established by the Jesuit missionary Juan Maria de Salvatierra, this earliest successful mission in Baja California is sometimes considered "head and mother of all the Spanish missions in Upper and Lower California. The mission is located in the heart of the city and houses a museum next door. The Museo de las Misiones recounts the complete history of the European conquest of Baja California as well as providing information on Baja's missions.
Mision San Francisco Javier
Mission of San Javier located 25 miles from Loreto. The mission was initially founded by the Jesuit missionary Francisco Maria Piccolo in 1699, which makes it the second oldest of all the missions in the California. Between 1744 and 1758, Miguel del Barco was responsible for building what has been called "the jewel of the Baja California mission churches." The church has been restored and is now maintained by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.
Museum of the Missions - El Museo de los Misiones
The Museum of the Missions is located 8 miles from Loreto, adjacent to the Mision Nuestra Senora de Loreto. It was the old penitentiary, a police station. It was built in the Eighteenth Century . By the beginning of the Twentieth Century it was re-built and used as a jailhouse, later as a school and as a municipal arts center. this museum follows the history of Baja's indigenous peoples and the arrival of the Jesuit Priests and their impact. Religious art and colonial artifacts exhibit here.
Parque Nacional Bahia Loreto
The Bay of Loreto National Marine Park was created by a Presidential Decree and approved by the Mexican Federal Congress on July 19, 1996. The Park covers 2,065 square kilometers in the Sea of Cortez. The marine park consist of five islands Isla del Carmen, Isla Catalina, Isla Coronado, Isla Danzante and Isla Montserrat. The Park is home to over 800 species of marine life. Sport fishing is only permitted in the protected area of the National Maritime Park.
Sierra Gigante Mountain Range
In the Sierra La Giganta, which comprises the municipality of Loreto, have been located several traces of cave paintings, representing the life of ancient Californians, dating back 10,000 years. The Sierra Giganta Mountains extend from Loreto south into the Sea of Cortez. The best views of the Sierra Gigante Mountains is from the water. This range is perfect place for hiking and mountain biking.
If you are looking for some shade from the hot Loreto summers, visit the Topiary Tunnel located on either side of the town hall. The Topiary Tunnel comprises of two tree lined streets that form a tunnel, the trees have been trained to grow to form a canopy over the street. I would not consider this area a major attraction, but it definitely stands out. The are is lined with park benches, and is a perfect spot to meet friends or relax and read a book.
Whale Watching in Loreto
Every winter, the grey whale heads 6,000 miles south to the warmer lagoons of Baja in January, February and March. Their main reason for heading south is to mate and give birth in the protected shallow lagoons in Baja. Loreto is a good place to view these magnificent creatures. Gray whales are known to make a lively show, being naturally curious and social. The whales like to show off their young and sometimes even getting close enough to be petted.
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