If you haven’t visited Loreto Bay or seen photos of the area in recent years, you may be surprised. Those that remember 2005, will remember dirt. That’s all there was here next to the Sea of Cortez. Early homes sold based merely on dreams (not to mention some gorgeous water color brochures produced by the LB marketing team) — and the promise of eco-friendly construction and operation. Three years later everything would come crashing down with the global real estate meltdown and ensuing recession.
Flash forward, and, in 2014, things here in Loreto Bay appear… well… normal. Lovely actually. And, yes, at times, marketing lingo be damned, even soul stirring. How can it not? There’s the stunning Sierra de la Giganta to the West, and the crystal waters that are the Sea of Cortez to the East. Add to the mix the historic fishing village of Loreto, located about 20 minutes north of Loreto Bay, and you have the ingredients for one of the world’s greatest getaway secrets.
Back in the day, living here in Loreto Bay–even for short visits–required several visits to town. That’s changing. Local businesses are popping up along the Paseo in Loreto Bay. There’s a handy General Store, a cafe that converts into a “pop-up” restaurant on occasion (El Corazon), a restaurant (El Cardon), Wine Bar (with a healthy array of flatscreens for NHL, NFL and other sporting events), several property management services (BajaBoss, Bahia Management- who just celebrated their 5th year anniversary, Agua Viva Management, among others), a clothing store, a tour company (Viva Loreto Tours), a community center (with free wi-fi no less), a pizzeria, a spa (Liliz), and, the most recent, addition, a boutique groceteria (Deli/Dali). So, in other words, there’s a little bit of everything for everyone.
Meanwhile, in town, things look a whole lot different than even just a few years ago.
The biggest news in Loreto, at least from an economic perspective, is the emergence of what I’d describe as the area’s first Safeway: Ley Super Express. No longer do I need to buy Coca-Cola Lights individually. I can buy them by the case (and all was right with the world). Same for Tecate. You can’t help but think after watching cashiers process throngs of locals checking out here; a middle class in Loreto is emerging. Word is a Walmart-backed store is soon to follow. In some eyes this is all tainting an innocent seaside town. But note the improvements to the streets (most are no longer dirt), the upgraded Malecon, the bustling local stores, the general air of prosperity, and it’s hard not to believe this is a positive development.