Update: Loreto and Loreto Bay, BCS, Mexico (Photos)

Nov 26, 2014
by
Loreto Bay Update - 2014 Clinton Stark

Rent a bike when in Loreto Bay. It’s a great, eco-friendly way to get around.

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.

IN PHOTOS: Loreto Bay and Loreto

Loreto Bay Viewing Tower

View to the Sea of Cortez from the viewing tower of a Loreto Bay village home.

Loreto Bay Courtyard - Nueva Chica

Courtyard of a “Nueva Chica” model in the Loreto Bay resort located in Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Inside a Loreto Bay home.

Inside a Loreto Bay home.

Cupola in Loreto Bay

Cupola. Many Loreto Bay homes feature a cupola. Located above the kitchen the small towers help air ventilation.

Farmers Market - Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Farmer’s Market. Every Sunday morning just north of Loreto, off Highway 1, the community congregates for fresh veggies, assorted goods, and for a relaxing time with friends and family.

Sea of Cortez view Baja California Sur, Mexico - Highway 1

A drive along Highway 1 (the one and only main highway in Baja and Baja California Sur) reveals many pinch-me viewing opportunities.

Baja Landscape

Though main roads are typically paved, expect a dirt one here and there – it’s all part of the Baja experience.

Villa del Palmar

If you visit Loreto, consider a trip to the Villa del Palmar resort. Located about 40 minutes south of Loreto Bay, here you can enjoy spa services, seaside dining, and luxurious amenities.

Sabila Spa - Villa Del Palmar

Checking in to the 39,000 sq. ft Sabila spa at Villa Del Palmar.

Loreto Bay Update 2014

Hitchcock?

Agua Viva - Loreto Bay

View of “Agua Viva” in Loreto Bay. Located to the north of the development it is the 2nd of two neighborhoods. The first, “Founders”, began construction in 2005.

Loreto Bay Condo Buildings Construction

At the heart of the Loreto Bay resort are two condo buildings (Posadas). Construction stalled in 2008. Sales have resumed, and so has construction.

Posadas Loreto Bay Update

1 bedroom units start at $179,000 USD.

Villages of Loreto Bay

Many spaces in the Loreto Bay villages feature fountains, and community gathering spots.

Founders, Loreto Bay, BCS, Mexico

A custom village home in Founders, Loreto Bay.

New home construction Loreto Bay

A new home goes up in Loreto Bay.

Revolution Day - Loreto Bay Fiesta

We interrupt this program to bring you… Revolution Day! A fiesta on November 20, 2014 in Loreto Bay. Truly special.

My wife Loni slips into the Liliz spa in Loreto Bay.

My wife Loni slips into the Liliz spa in Loreto Bay.

Bicycle Loreto Bay

Take a ride.

El Corazon - Loreto Bay

Entrance to El Corazon, a popular cafe in Loreto Bay.

Groceries in Loreto Bay

Loreto entrepreneur Pedro Lopez gives Loni Stark the tour of a lifetime. His new boutique groceteria is located in the north end of Loreto Bay, and will be a great convenience to those looking for last-minute goods.

Loreto Bay Homes

Dust reduction. Many open spaces in Loreto Bay have been covered with gravel.

Agua Viva - Loreto Bay

A view across Agua Viva.

Sierra de la Giganta mountain range

Sierra de la Giganta!

Lap Pool - Loreto Bay

The lap pool in Founders. World class.

Pathways in Loreto Bay

Most pathways in Loreto Bay now feature lighting. Flashlights still come in handy, but night time strolls are now much safer thanks to the increased visibility.

Loreto Bay courtyard.

Saludos! Thanks for reading Discover Loreto.

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Clint founded Discover Loreto after being seduced by the town, charmed by the people and smitten by the beautiful Baja landscape (not to mention the fish tacos). Having purchased a little Loreto Bay casa he's happy to report that it's true: life is both relaxed and active here. Clint also co-founded Stark Insider. A lifestyle magazine with over 600,000 readers, the site covers "all things west coast" and is routinely cited alongside major publications such as San Jose Mercury News, SF Chronicle and Wine Spectator magazine. In 2013 Stark Insider TV became the largest arts and entertainment channel in San Francisco.

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