When you want to escape the hustle and bustle of busy, happening resort of Cabo San Lucas, take a drive to Loreto. The trip is fairly short and, best of all, you’ll be treated to gorgeous, breathtaking scenery along the way. Loreto is a colonial town surrounded by crystal-clear water, perfect for fishing, diving, and kayaking, all of which are popular activities in the area. Many people also visit Loreto to golf at Loreto Bay Golf Club or to go whale-watching. No visit to Loreto would be complete, however, without a trip to its historic San Javier Mission.
This mission provides the perfect solace from the overwhelming Cabo San Lucas crowds and acts as a safe haven where you can enjoy quiet moments of spirituality or simply revel in the true spirit of Mexico. Yes, the touristy nightlife can be fun, but it’s also important to experience what Mexico is actually all about, and there’s no better way to do that than at the Mission. Spending some time browsing through the beautiful church will teach you a thing or two about local history. The church traces its roots back to 1699, when building commenced, though the project wasn’t completed until 1759. Its stone construction is notable for having stood the test of time, and it features many must-see attractions. Enjoy the golden altarpiece, so massive and ornate that it had to make its way to Mexico City in 32 boxes; impressive statutes of San Francisco Javier and Our Lady of Guadalupe; a pristine 18th-century crucifix; three lovely bells; and a famous monument known as the Cross of Calvary. On certain occasions, you can even see visitors walking to the cross on their knees as a form of respect and worship.
Once you’ve finished touring the church—and be sure to map out plenty of time to fully enjoy and experience this site—you’ll find that there are other things to do in the area as well. As mentioned earlier, you can play golf or choose from a wide range of water-related activities. You can also take a trip to a second church, one that is equally beautiful and historically important, known as the Church of San Francisco Javier. Also, if you happen to be in the area at the right time of year (in December), there will be plenty of action as residents celebrate their patron saint through worship, festivities, and other rituals. If you enjoy touring the great outdoors, plan a trip to see the Jesuit olive orchards and perhaps even enjoy a sample or two.
As you can see, there are many reasons to go and visit Loreto. Just understand that Loreto is a very different place from Cabo San Lucas. Don’t expect to go out to nightclubs, eat at fancy restaurants, or hang out with a very loud touristy crowd. You might not find any of the flashy stuff in Loreto, but what you’ll find is so much better—real people, real tradition, and real history. So take at least a little time from your trip to experience the heart of Mexico and see what Spanish culture is truly all about.
Tim Smart loves writing about his numerous travels around the world, and he shares a particular fondness for Mexico and Cabo San Lucas. He always stays in one of many luxurious and relaxing Cabo Resorts when he is in the area.