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Thursday, 05 February 2015 18:32

The Littoral Beauty of Loreto Bay

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A national marine park since 1996, Loreto Bay's 2000 square kilometres offer protection to many of the 800 marine species living in the Sea of Cortez. Isla Carmen is by far the largest of the islands in the bay, though the most visited is Isla Coronados*, just a 30 minute boat ride from the nearby port of Loreto.
Tijuana's gastronomic rebirth has received a great number of plaudits in recent years, from the likes of TV food travel hosts Rick Bayless and Anthony Bourdain. The food fusion known as "Baja Med", developed in TJ and in nearby Ensenada has lead to a new kind of tourism in the region, with adventurous visitors from both sides of the border taking curated Tijuana taco tours and also sampling the fine food and wines of Ensenada's Valle de Guadalupe.

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We tend to think of three locations when we talk about the winter calving lagoons for the California Grey Whales that lie on the Pacific coast of the Baja California peninsula : Laguna Ojo de Liebre (Scammon’s Lagoon) in Guerrero Negro, Laguna San Ignacio and Bahia Magdalena. Magdalena, however, isn’t really a single location at all, but a 300km long complex of lagoons, and therefore there is more than one option for those who wish to visit: the largest is Puerto San Carlos (population 4,700) to the south, which is favoured by daytrippers from Los Cabos and La Paz. Less than half the size and less visited is Lopez Mateos (population 2,000), but small can be beautiful and in this case makes for a relaxed whale watching experience at least the equal of what is available elsewhere.

 

It started off as a daytrip to Ensenada - an opportunity to try out some of the newer wineries in the Valle de Guadalupe at the start of May. Aurora, Juan Carlos, Norma and myself headed south knowing that the journey would be slower than usual due to the newer road being closed for rebuilding after subsidence the previous December. This meant we'd need to follow the old road south, a road which bends inland near La Misión and offers spectacular mountain scenery in contrast to the coastal road under repair.
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