Boat-Trip-Loreto-Mexico

Swimming Vacation – Loreto National Marine Park

Discover the magnificent Loreto Bay National Marine Park in southern Baja California and swim with a wide range of wildlife. The Sea of Cortez is the home to some incredible marine life which makes this trip such a special journey. Jacques Cousteau named these waters ''The Aquarium of the World'' for a reason. Located in the desert next to the Sierra de la Giganta mountains and the azure-blue sea, this area offers an all year round adventure destination. Loreto Bay is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site and it is a protected natural area in Mexico.
Trip details:
  • Duration: 7 Days (6 Nights)
  • Tour Type: Coastal and Island Ocean Swimming
  • Average Daily Swim: 5 km (3 miles)
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Loreto
  • Escort: One or Two Large Boats, Kayaks
  • Package: All inclusive except evening meals
Overview

Our week-long swimming vacation takes you exploring 3 impressive islands in the park (Isla del Carmen, Isla Danzante and Isla Coronado). We swim in the protected bays, lagoons, under impressive arches, rock windows and enjoy our lunches at the secluded white sand beaches. This trip is a lot more than just great sea swimming, it is a whole aquatic experience not to be missed!

This tour is suitable for all levels of swimmers, with three separate boat and kayak escorts for the safety and enjoyment of all guests. Please see our FAQs information regarding the expected swimming speed.

Additional kayak or SUP with paddles can be available on request for those who do not want to swim the entire distance. It is also suitable for partners and friends to join our trip and follow swimmers in a kayak or SUP.

Trip highlights 

– swimming in the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez,
– enjoying boat rides in Loreto Bay National Park,
– spotting and swimming with marine life in the park,
– tasting great Mexican cuisine,
– exploring the small town of Loreto and its history.

Local Operational Policy
Trips are run out of Loreto town and the team of guides and boat pilots includes local members from the area who are experienced and knowledgeable of the local waters, the main swimming routes, and the alternatives as well as a fluent local language speaker.

Included in the price
Fully guided tour with comprehensive safety escort (boats and kayaks, swimming guides, local boat pilots), open water swim stroke analysis, national park fees, 6 nights accommodation, all breakfasts, all lunches on the boat. Each guest receives a silicone swimming cap. Should you require other swimming gear please bring it with you.

Additional cost
Travel to and from the start of the tour, evening meals and gratuities. Optional hotel single room supplement from $240 USD.

PDF Trip Notes

Photo Gallery

Swimming-Loreto-Park-Mexico

Videos

 

Accommodation

Hotel-Santa-Fe-Loreto-Mexico

Col. Obrera, Loreto, BCS. CP. 23880, Mexico

Website: www.hotelsantafeloreto.com

With its great location in Loreto town in the Southern Baja Peninsula, Mexico, guests can enjoy Loreto’s attractions, such as the Mission of Our Lady of Loreto and the Malecon, a promenade that hugs the picturesque Sea of Cortez.

Loreto airport is only 10 min drive away.

Hotel-Santa-Fe-Loreto-Mexico
Hotel-Santa-Fe-Loreto-Mexico
Hotel-Santa-fe-Loreto-Mexico
Hotel-Santa-fe-Loreto-Mexico

Family Studio (2 queen size beds)

Hotel-Santa-fe-Loreto-Family-Studio
Hotel-Santa-fe-Loreto-Family-Studio
Hotel-Santa-fe-Loreto-Family-Studio
Hotel-Santa-fe-Loreto-Family-Studio

Twin Studio (2 single beds)

Twin-Studio-Loreto-Santa-Fe-Hotel
Twin-Studio-Loreto-Santa-Fe-Hotel
Twin-Studio-Santa-Fe-Loreto-Hotel
Twin-Studio-Santa-Fe-Loreto-Hotel

Studio (1 double bed)

Hotel-Santa-fe-Loreto-Mexico-Studio
Hotel-Santa-fe-Loreto-Mexico-Studio
Hotel-Santa-fe-Loreto-Mexico-Studio
Hotel-Santa-fe-Loreto-Mexico-Studio

Three Bedroom Penthouse (3 rooms with 4 beds)
2422 feet² (225 m²), private kitchen, terrace, top 4th floor
PDF PHOTOS

Three-Bed-Penthouse-03
Three-Bed-Penthouse
Three-Bed-Penthouse-05
Three-Bed-Penthouse
Three-Bed-Penthouse-01
Three-Bed-Penthouse

Loreto town

Loreto-Mexico-Malecon
Loreto-Mexico-Malecon

Additional Nights Bookings
You can book extra nights before or after our trip directly with the hotel via their website. You will see BOOK NOW button on top of the page.

Santa-Fe-Hotel-Bookings

Itinerary

Day 01
Arrival day to Loreto town, Baja, Mexico. Meet at the hotel lobby for a group meeting and trip briefing. We get to know each other and your guides explain the plan for the week ahead.

Carmen-Island-Loreto-Mexico

Day 02
We start our first day by taking a 30 min boat drive to the north-western side of Carmen island where we do a short acclimatization swim and distribute our swimming caps. Everyone gets comfortable in the warm Sea of Cortez. For our first proper swim, we keep it coastal in the bay of Balandra for about 2 km. Lunch onshore in the bay.

Before our second swim your guides film your stroke in the clear water. Later on, we sit down and analyse your swimming stroke supported by some tips on how to improve your technique in open water. The second swim takes us from Puerto Balandra further south along Carmen island. Boat drive back to Loreto.

Swimming-With-Dolphins-Mexico

Day 03
Today we are heading north to visit Coronado Island. There is no day here without sea lions, dolphins and several other marine species. We enjoy our morning swim in the eastern part of the island where we finish the swim next to the sea lion colony. Lunch break in the Candeleros bay (Ensenada Blanca). After lunch, we do a short walk up the hill to soak up the amazing view from this former volcanic island. There are usually hundreds of pelican birds around us which make our walk even more adventurous.

Second swim in the Los Metales bay on the eastern side of the island. The waters here are shallow and we enjoy looking at thousands of fish underneath. We also hope to see a bunch of dolphins around us.

Danzante-Island-Loreto-Mexico

Day 04
Today we are heading south to the magical Danzante island. Renowned French explorer Jacques Cousteau calls the Danzante Bay and this area “the Aquarium of the World” because there are over 5,000 species of sea creatures. Our first swim is on the southern part of the island where we stop at the La Ventana window point. Our swim is anything but boring as we look up the high cliffs of Danzante island. We finish our morning swim at the El Submarine little rock where we are picked up by our escort boats. Lunch at Honeymoon cove

Before our second swim, we hike up to the plateau to get the best view of the Loreto National Park. Second swim from Honeymoon bay towards the northern part of the island. Here we usually spot thousands of sardines as they congregate around this bay. 

Swimming-Mexico
Swimming-In-Mexico

Day 05
We are heading back to the southern part of Carmen island to explore further stunning spots. The first swim takes us from Punta Colorada to La Pared point. We swim alongside the shallow and rocky seabed in the warm turquoise water. We see rich marine life all around us including manta rays, stingrays, starfish, and hundreds of other fish species.

Lunch break at the Bahamitas Beach. After we eat lunch, we rest and then continue swimming to the furthest southern point of Carmen island (Punta Baja). The amazing turquoise water makes you not want to leave! Drive back to Loreto.

Day 06
Our final full day swimming out has arrived. Our boats take us across to the northern side of Carmen island where we swim in this unspoilt nature. We swim from Punta Tintorera to La Vaca bay where we stop for our lunch break. This is the time when you can ask our guides for any further swimming tips or drills and hopefully, by now you have learnt and experienced the best of open water swimming in this beautiful environment.

For the second swim, we travel to Punta Labos and swim outside on the eastern side of Carmen island. Afternoon drive back to Loreto harbour. Final group dinner out.

Danzante-Island-Swimming-Loreto-Mexico

Day 07
Departure day. After such an amazing week you have met some great new friends and now it is time to say goodbye.

Swimming info

Google Map of the Area

Swimming Locations and Distances

Swimming Locations Distance
Carmen island: Balandra Bay   1.2 miles (2.0 km)
Carmen island: Puerto Balandra south   1.5 miles (2.5 km)
Coronado island: eastern part to sea lions   1.3 miles ( 2.1 km)
Coronado island: Los Metales bay   1.5 miles (2.5 km)
Danzante island: La Ventana – El submarine   1.5 miles (2.5 km)
Danzante island: Honeymoon cove   1.2 miles (2.0 km)
Carmen island: Punta Colorada to La Pared point   1.8 miles (2.9 km)
Carmen island: Punta Baja   1.2 miles (2.0 km)
Carmen island: Punta Tintorera – La Vaca bay   1.9 miles (3.0 km)
Carmen island: Punta Labos   1.5 miles (2.5 km)
Total:   14.6 miles (23.5 km)

 

Temperatures:

Month Water Temp.
(°Fahr./Cels.)
Air Temp.
Fahr./Cels.)
May 75/24 89/32
June 78/26 94/34
October 82/28 90/32
November 78/26 87/30

 

Keep in mind that you can skip any of the swims if you want and stay on our escort boat. We run our swimming tours during the shoulder season (spring and fall) to avoid high heat. The sea temperature is pleasant and warm during any of these months.

Group size
Up to 20 guests (unless agreed differently), plus guides (or kayakers) and boat captains.

Equipment

Walking Conditions
In order to enjoy your walks on the islands, we advise you to bring comfortable light walking shoes for summer temperatures. Aqua shoes or sandals are recommended to have when we are stepping in and out of the boats on the beaches.

Essential Equipment
In addition to normal items, we recommend the following:
– 2 pairs of swimming costumes,
– 2 pairs of swimming goggles, 1 clear & 1 tinted (anti-glare) recommended,
– A lightweight towel for boat practical use (changing outside),
– Sun Hat, Sunglasses, Suncream,
– Small Daypack,
– Waterproof sun cream and jacket / fleece / windstopper,
– Walking shoes and sandals or aqua shoes,
– Lightweight and light-colored clothing for outdoor environments.

We provide silicone swim caps and limited safety tow floats for better visibility! If your swimming depends on other items (wetsuit, rash vest, fins, designed swim cap), please bring them with you. Please also bring your own drinking water bottle (marked with your name) for swims, walks, and time on the boat. It is very important to drink enough water and other fluids throughout the whole trip. Use bottled water in Mexico including at the hotel. There is a small shop right at the corner. Our boats have large flasks to refill your drinking bottles while out at sea.

Swimming awareness and itinerary changes
Your safety is of utmost importance to us. In the event of adverse weather conditions (wind, storms, thunder) at any of our swimming locations on any day, we may need to adapt our itinerary for safety reasons. Our team always includes local guides who know the safest and most beautiful places to swim, so rest assured you won’t be missing out!

In the event the local port (marina) in Loreto is closed for the entire day due to adverse weather, we may take you swimming to an alternative place (sheltered bay) by van (cars) or to San Javier Mission which is the best preserved of all the Missions in the Californias. The trip takes us through the small valley oasis in the Sierra de la Giganta (Mountains of giant women). Either activity is a wonderful experience in this area.

Swimming in the sea is a unique experience, but you may come across certain life such as fish, jellyfish, or sea lice. The water in the sea can be deep and the bottom cannot always be seen. If you suffer from Anaphylaxis or any other allergic reactions, it is important to inform us at the time of booking. Also, please bring with you any personal medical supply you may need while on the trip.

Travel info

Start Point: Hotel Sante Fe, Loreto, Mexico
Address: Blvd. Salvatierra S/N, Centro, 23880 Loreto, B.C.S.
Google Map Link
Start Time: 6.30 pm on 1st day
Finish Point: Hotel Sante Fe, Loreto, Mexico
Finish Time: 10 am on 7th day

Passports and Visas:
Please check in your home country if you need a Visa to enter Mexico.

Extra Expenses:
You should bring extra money with you to cover such items as dinners, entertainment, souvenirs, and gratuities. The local currency is the Mexican peso, but the US dollar is widely accepted and ATMs are widely available.

Group Size:
Up to a maximum of 20 people (unless agreed differently), with swimming guides (kayakers) and a local boat pilot. The number of escort staff (guides, pilots) may change and it varies on the group size.

GETTING THERE

Loreto Airport
The best is to fly into Loreto airport which is only 10 min drive away from Loreto town. An alternative option is to fly into La Paz airport and rent a car or take a bus. Local buses are of good quality with air conditioning.

Flight search:
https://www.skyscanner.com
https://www.expedia.com

Direct flights (from USA, CANADA) to Loreto
From Los Angeles, Dallas, Phoenix (USA): Alaska Airlines, American Airlines.
From Calgary (Canada): WestJet

Direct flights (from Tijuana, Mexico) to Loreto
VOLARIS

From San Diego, California (USA) to Tijuana, Mexico
To reach Tijuana airport (Mexico) you can take Uber, Lyft, taxi, or shuttle service from the San Diego airport to the Cross Border Express bridge that leads to the departure terminal at the Tijuana airport. Proof of ticket and a valid passport are required. Long-term parking is available on the San Diego side.

By Land – Car
From La Paz (Baja, Mexico): 220 miles, cca 3:30 hrs
Rental cars are available at airports.

By Land – Bus
From Tujiana, La Paz, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo.
The bus companies in Baja California are AGUILA BUSES or ABC buses. You can book in English or Spanish online and select the seat.

By Land – Taxi from Loreto airport
There are always local taxis available at the airport or in Loreto town. The rates are affordable. You can count on the rate from the airport to Loreto town one way: $10-12 USD (200-250 Mxn) per car for up to 3-4 people.

Reviews

“Dolphins were jumping up and down not just once but literally almost every day during our trip. So special! We also got to visit seals and even blue-footed boobies that I thought I would only see once in my life (when I visited Galapagos), but, surprisingly here they were, too! Great way to swim in warm open water with no crowds and see amazing marine life!”
~ Iara, New York (Nov 2022)

”The end of a magical week of swimming in crystal clear waters, lunch on white sand beaches, and good times with new friends…’
~ Katherine, California (Nov 2022)

”Five days, nine swims, 21km in the spectacular Sea of Cortes off of Loreto Baja California Sur Mexico. Thanks for the amazing experience Borut Strel, Kate Steels, Anastasia and the rest of the team at Strel Swimming Adventure Holidays | Vacations. We will definitely see you again.”
~ Dan Begin, Canada (Nov 2022)

”Best swim trip ever, so well organized, great bunch of like-minded swimmers and guides. I’ll definitely be back!”
~ Michele, Ireland (Nov 2022)

”Incredible swim trip with incredible people. Loreto is such a hidden gem with beautiful national marine park around. Well done Strel setting it up here!”
~ Diane, California (Nov 2022)

” Thank you for a great week. We loved every minute, every swim, every fish!”
~ Juli, California, USA (Nov 2021)

”Thanks again for a wonderful week of swimming and exploring the Loreto National Marine Park. Great locations, great company.”
~ Ralph, Philadelphia, USA (Nov 2021)

Several more reviews from our other trips are published on the TrustPilot website below:
Strel Swimming Adventure Holidays Reviews | Read Customer Service Reviews of strel-swimming.com (trustpilot.com)

Trustpilot
Trustpilot

 

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