Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond
Mexican Riviera

Loreto Mexico Cruise Port Guide

Loreto sunrise; credit: Wikipedia Creative Commons license
Loreto sunrise; credit: Wikipedia Creative Commons license

The Loreto cruise port is one of the smallest and quietest ports on a Mexican Riviera cruise. But its small size is a nice break from larger and more commercial cruise ports.

Loreto is a city of about 20,000 people on the Baja California peninsula about 200 miles north of the La Paz cruise port. Cruise ships that visit Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip of Baja California may travel up the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez) to visit Loreto and La Paz.

Visits to these two ports are more likely to take place on 10- to 14-day Mexican Riviera cruises instead of six- to nine-day cruises. Cruise lines that have visited Loreto include Princess, Crystal and Holland America. Cruise ships tender passengers by boat from the ships to the docks at Loreto.

Attractions and Shore Excursions

Loreto Cruise Port Map

The city has a lengthy history because of its founding by Jesuit missionaries in the late 1600s as the first Spanish colonial settlement on Baja California.

Guided and self-guided walking tours usually begin at the pier. Highlights include the original Mission of Our Lady of Loreto, Jesuit Missions Museum, historic houses, cobblestone streets and the historic center of town. Guided two-hour tours cost about $50 per person.

A one-hour drive will take history lovers to San Javier, the second-oldest town in all of the Californias. It was founded in 1699 as the second Jesuit mission in the California region. Highlights include the mission built in the mid 1700s out of stones in traditional baroque architecture. The cost of this five-hour tour is more than $100.

Snorkelers may want to try a five-hour tour of snorkeling at Coronado Island. A highlight is the three-mile, white-sand El Atracadero Blanco beach. This tour also costs more than $100 per person.

Cruise Weather / Best Time to Visit

Loreto has the same arid weather throughout most of the year as La Paz and Cabo San Lucas.

Average daytime temperatures range from the mid 70s Fahrenheit in the winter to the low 90s in the summer. Nighttime temperatures range from about 50 Fahrenheit in the winter to the high 70s in the summer.

Winter air temperatures will usually make seawater too chilly for swimming. Beach lovers will find better temperatures for water activities from June through September.

The city has a brief rainy season with average rainfall reaching a high point for the year at about four inches a month in July and August. This is during the peak activity of the Pacific hurricane season. Still, Loreto usually doesn’t have rain nearly as bad as Puerto Vallarta and other Mexican Riviera ports.

Otherwise, rainfall averages less than one inch a month from October through June. The best month to go is June for a combination of warm temperatures and low risk of rain.