What a magical four days in Loreto. It’s the start of the low season, where the whales have departed but the waters are still cold. But Jeff rates it as one of his favorite dive sites ever and I have to agree. Diving with the sea lions was such a delight (we opted to do the same dive site twice), and the visibility once we got down to the thermocline was stunning. Gorgeous formations and huge fishes and so many different species of fat nudibranches! Can’t beat the three different pods of dolphin sightings on our surface interval either. And this am, before we fly back, we snuck in a cheeky three hour sunrise paddle in absolutely glassy conditions. We’re already planning a return trip, maybe in the winter this time, to do a multi-day kayak and camping expedition deep in the middle of whale season!
We visited the island of Coronado off Loreto a couple different days, especially to dive where the colony of sea lions lived. We’d be huddled by the walls, staring at some nudibranch or other, when suddenly a dark shadow would swoop close by to check us out. Super cool!
I remember years ago watching an Imax show about dolphin, whale and mobula ray watching in the Sea of Cortez and had bookmarked the place as a must-go. So, since I went to San Diego for work the week before, we decided to extend the trip and make the short hop (1.5 hour flight from LAX) down to Baja. I wasn’t expecting an IMAX-level of wilderness display, but the enormous pod of frolicking dolphins was such a special treat to see. We enjoyed watching the pelicans dive bomb into the waters in the early morning for fish too.
Underwater, the area has one of the most diverse populations of nudibranches we’ve ever seen, and some huge ones larger than my hand! Also spotted the horn shark, which was fun, and lots of swimming bullseye electric rays.
Above water, the town of Loreto is a small one, and not particularly cheap. Maybe it was the restaurants we chose to eat at (based on reviews from Google, and whether they took card), but we found the prices more akin to prices in the US than what we’d expect of Mexico. We saw lots of American tourists (and a lot of US license plates). But our meals were most tasty.
My primary activity for the trip was to dive, although after I’d booked in the diving, I realised that Loreto is also a paddler’s haven. There were quite a number of outfitters offering multi-day kayaking and camping expeditions. Although, when I tried looking online, most of these places had already closed for the off season. I was able to find a private sunrise paddle offered by Sea Kayak Baja Mexico though, which turned out perfect for a morning outing before our midday flight. We had the option of either sea kayaks or stand up paddle boards, and we chose the latter thinking that it’ll keep us more dry and allow us a better vantage point for any sea creatures in the water. And we did spot a lone sea lion! Jeff also spotted a turtle and what looked like a manta ray passing under his board.