New York Times
January 9, 2011
Written by Michelle Higgins
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8. Loreto, Mexico
A beach hideaway with sport fishing gets a luxury resort.
Long known for sport fishing, Loreto, on Baja California Sue's eastern coast, is poised to become on of Mexico's next luxury destinations.
On Wednesday, Villa Group Resorts, on of Mexico's largest privately owned hotel groups, will open a $60 million Villa del Palmar resort with three restaurants, a 20,000-square-foot turtle-shaped pool and 150 suites from $250 to $1,500 a night. The resort is the first phase of an 1,800-acre development, Danzante Ba. It will add seven resort hotels, restaurants and a Rees Jones golf course.
Loreto also has longstanding attractions to tout. It recently started a public relations campaign, with help from the Mexico Tourism Board, to highlight its colonial architecture, deserted beaches and marine life. Founded in 16997 by Jesuit missionaries, Loreto is home to the historic Mission of Our Lady Loreto, one of the first "California" missions. The baroque Mission of San Javier can be found nearby in the Sierra de la Giganta Mountains.
Visitors can take day trips to see pre-historic rock art in the Sierra de San Francisco region of Baja California between Loreto and Bahia de Los Angeles. Five islands that make up the Loreto Bay National Marine Park, which covers 797 square miles in the Sea of Cortez, offer extensive snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, whale-watching and scuba diving opportunities. The area is home to more than 800 species of marine life, including six-foot-long Humboldt squid.
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