Snorkeling off the Coast of Loreto in Mexico’s Baja California

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After leaving San Ignacio you quickly return back to the coast for one of the most spectacular portions of the entire drive on the Baja Peninsula as you head toward Loreto, Mexico…

The road is smack dab on the waterfront and winding around the rugged coastline.

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There are towering cactuses sitting right next to the sea—quite an impressive sight—and vultures circling around.

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After passing through Mulege there are a lot of beach-side palapas where you can camp. Unfortunately, we thought there would be more campsites closer to Loreto and we missed out on a really great place.

We arrived in Loreto and began searching for the Riviera Del Mar RV Park… We did not have GPS coordinates and no access to the internet. We did loops around town and asked countless locals who had no clue where it was.

Thanks to a few signs we finally stumbled across the Loreto Shores RV Park which charges an exorbitant $26 per night to camp, and who were completely unwilling to negotiate on price. We left to continue searching for this other RV park… With no luck.

As it was starting to get dark we switched to looking for a cheap hotel, but couldn’t find one with parking. This was certainly one of the most frustrating nights of the trip.

We finally just opted to stay in the upscale Santa Fe Hotel for 998 pesos per night ($62). This was a splurge, for sure. But the Santa Fe Hotel turned out to be one of the nicest hotels we stayed at throughout the whole trip.

We splurged for two nights since it’s no fun to arrive at 9pm, pay for a nice hotel, and then leave at noon the next day.

The Santa Fe Loreto has kitchenettes included, so we were at least able to save a little money by cooking. They also have a lovely pool in the central courtyard.

Walking along the malecon in Loreto or swimming in the crystal clear water is an absolute must do.


At the marina you can also chat with the local tour operators and fishermen who offer activities like snorkeling and tours of Coronado Island.

We made arrangements with one friendly local to take a tour for 1,500 pesos for the both of us (about $100) for a 4 hour tour—definitely an amazing activity.

He was also kind enough to take us straight to Riviera Del Mar RV Park—which is somewhat hidden and hard to find—so we could save money on our third night in Loreto.

The following morning we got up bright and early and walked down to the marina to meet up with our private guide Genaro. We boarded the little motor boat and set out directly for Coronado Island off the coast.

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We started off motoring around the island looking at some of the wildlife like the blue-footed boobies (something like you’d see in the Galapagos) and seals.

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The main attraction, though not guaranteed, of course, is dolphins in the wild.

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We circled around for quite some time, thinking that we wouldn’t be lucky, before we finally saw a pair of fins racing through the water.

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Genaro turned the boat and we followed behind the dolphins for some time watching them surface as they hunted fish.

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Pretty awesome to see dolphins in the wild!


We then continued around Coronado Island to the opposite side where we saw a few small, sandy white beaches.

Genaro gave us the choice of the one with a little bit of shade and more of a crowd or one without shade and absolutely empty. We opted for a little bit of shade—it’s scorching in July!

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After parking along the postcard worthy beach, Genaro brought out the snorkel gear…

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Neither Andrea or I had ever tried snorkeling before so it took some getting used to walking on the beach in those big ol’ flippers and getting the mask situated just right so water wouldn’t come in, and breathing through that tube.



Snorkeling there in the crystal blue water with all sorts of colorful fish surrounding you was one of the coolest experiences without a doubt. We made a few laps in the shallow water.

After maxing out our time on the beach and snorkeling, our half day tour had finally come to an end and we headed back to the mainland of Loreto.

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Traveling to Loreto on your next trip? Book the perfect room on today!

Mexico Travel Tips

Mexico Travel Tips

Important tips and resources for planning an amazing trip to Mexico, based on my extensive experience traveling across the entire country.


  1. Book a cheap flight to Mexico with Momondo, or better yet, start travel hacking so you can fly for free.
  2. Plan a rough itinerary and how long you will spend in each destination. Pick up Lonely Planet Mexico to help with this.
  3. Work every day to teach yourself Spanish, you want to know as much as possible before you arrive.
  4. Book your cheap accommodation in advance, at least for the first destinations -- For hostels use: Booking, for cheap hotels use:, for apartments use: Airbnb.
  5. Reserve your on the ground tours and activities through Get Your Guide.
  6. Purchase travel insurance for Mexico with World Nomads to protect yourself from illness, injury, and theft while in Mexico.
  7. Check out my comprehensive guide about traveling to Mexico with information on cities, things to do, places to see, and more.
  8. Learn more money saving tricks with my top budget travel tips if you want to get more bang for your buck.
  9. Put together your Mexico packing list.
  10. Enjoy this incredible country!


I hope this helped you plan your travels in Mexico! I know it can be a struggle to find accurate and on the ground information when traveling to a new place like Mexico, which is why I started writing so extensively about it!

If you have any questions about Mexico, budget travel, or anything else shoot me an email at

(I love getting questions! That is how I get ideas for my blog posts and what to write about!)

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The Islands of Loreto - Baja California Mexico

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Author, Writer, and Head Honcho at Desk to Dirtbag
Ryan is an author, adventurer, perpetual wanderer, and self-proclaimed dirtbag (but that might not mean what you think). Originally from Seattle, he headed to Washington D.C. where he spent five years working for Congress before heeding the call of the wild. He set out truck camping to road trip across the American West. Since then he set out traveling to Colombia, drove across all of Central America, and also wrote a best selling book: Big Travel, Small Budget. He just finished driving his old truck across all of South America. Follow the adventures on social media or read more about me.

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Comments 5

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    i love to do snorkeling . I never visit Mexico but your article makes me eager to visit Mexico as much as possible. thanks for your beautiful article

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    I dont see photos of the fishes….were there lots of fishes to see when you snorkeled? Lots of diversity?

    1. Avatar Post

      Yeah, all of my underwater photos came out really blurry. There was quite a bit of fish in the sea, but nothing too crazy or colorful like you see while snorkeling along reefs or in really, really tropical places. It was still very cool though!

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