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An old fishermen's village and the first Spanish colonial settlement on the Baja California Peninsula, Loreto could be the next Cabo not too far down the line.
With a population of around 15,000-the town comprised mainly of fishermen and retired Americans-Loreto's natural beauty is what drew me to the area.
The swaying palm trees and majestic Sierra de la Giganta mountains almost seem to be part of a painting in this up-and-coming resort town that's evocative of Palm Springs (if Palm Springs had a sparkling ocean within reach).
Speaking of which, Loreto is only a two-hour flight from Southern California, so accessibility is an attractive bonus.
A stay at Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto, a 25-minute drive from the airport, might just be the peaceful escape you didn't know you needed. The resort is situated on more than 4,000 acres of raw, untouched land. Cacti dot the dirt as well as loads of wildlife. Hummingbirds hover over honeysuckle plants-sometimes 10-15 birds at a time, gliding to and fro when they're not taking sweet sips of pollen right before your eyes.
The winning features at this resort are the pool, the solitary beach on the Sea of Cortez-there's nothing but rugged coastline for miles, so the only people accessing this strip of sand are guests at Palmar-the 39,000-square-foot Sabila Spa (named one of Mexico's Best Spas by SpaFinder) and the fitness center that, of course, has floor-to-ceiling windows for a wilderness workout effect.
You could easily spend hours inside the spa, experiencing the sauna, cold plunge pools, steam room, Epsom salt baths and a menu that includes massages, facials and more-all taking inspiration from the soothing plant and herb extracts native to Baja.
You also have the option of going into town for an authentic meal and shopping. Visit the oldest mission in Baja and don't forget to bring cash for local trinkets-U.S. dollars or Mexican pesos will do. A full breakfast with French toast, eggs, fruit, granola, orange juice, coffee and even chilaquiles can be had for just $4 USD in some restaurants.
Palmar offers a complimentary shuttle service that will take guests to and from the small town of Loreto daily.
Allison Ramirez is a bilingual, bicoastal lifestyle and travel writer based in Los Angeles. Her work has been published in LA...
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