How Is the Snorkeling in Loreto Sea of Cortez Mexico?

By Linda

I am wondering, how is the snorkeling in Loreto Sea of Cortez Mexico? I have been researching and it looks beautiful. I know there are sea lions, whales, mobulas, turtles, and whale sharks near Cabos San Lucas and La Paz. But, has anyone snorkeled Loreto?

Thanks in advance for any information.


  1. Hi Linda, my husband and I did one short snorkeling trip out of Loreto. We were there in February and the water was so cold we couldn’t stay in long. A dive shop there fitted us out wearing a regular long wetsuit, a shorty over it, gloves and caps. Still really cold. We took a boat out to a nearby island and snorkeled with sea lions (one of my absolute favorite things to do, they are so graceful in the water and clumsy on land). There were also some fish around a rocky area but not that many.

    We stayed in a complex with some casitas owned by an American named Liz. This was pre-COVID so I don’t know what the current situation is. She knew a man, also an American, who lives there and built his own glass bottom boat. Wow, was this cool! The viewing area was big and clear, unlike most glass bottom boats, and it was amazing to see what was underwater. Many fish but most surprisingly a ton of sea stars covering a good sized area. According to Liz, who was with us, they were spawning. After that we pulled over to a sunny beach area and there were dolphins swimming by. Some of the people in our group did go swimming here.

    On a previous visit we went out to see the blue whales. You can’t get too close to them but we saw several at a distance all grouped in the same area. Their spouting is unique because it has a rhythm to it.

    If you want to see grey whales close up there is a tour from Loreto over to Magdalena Bay. This is a real treat. You have to cross Baja in a van, I think about two hours. Then you get on a small panga boat and go out into the bay where these whales come every year to give birth and mate. You will see whales spouting and breaching. Sometimes you will see a mother teaching the baby how to come up to the surface.

    While there are rules about how close to the whales you can go it is OK if they come to you. The last time we went a juvenile whale about a year old came right up to the boat close enough to touch. It was really a thrill. These whales swim down the Pacific coast from Alaska every winter. They do look grey and I believe that is partly because they have lots of barnacles on them. Apparently this does not hurt them.

    Loreto is a totally charming small town with a plaza and decent restaurants. If you get a casita with a kitchenette you can save money on meals. There is a supermarket near the downtown. I would only recommend staying in town where you can walk everywhere. There are some newer subdivisions outside of town but then you need a car and miss some of the fun. Alaska Airlines flies down seasonally a few times a week. I definitely recommend a visit to Loreto.

    • Thank you for your insight! We are planning middle of May time frame so the water will be warmer.

      There is a nice resort Villa de Parma, 1-3 bedrooms with kitchen, it’s located on the marine park. I just wasn’t sure if the snorkeling was enough for the effort, but the town sounds lovely as well. We can fly from Tampa to Phoenix direct then the following morning Phoenix to Loreto (American). I will also look into Alaska.

      Again thank you for info 🙂

  2. We’ve been to Loreto twice in recent years and found great snorkeling in the national marine park. It’s easy to negotiate with a boat captain for a half-day, which will get you to 2-3 islands, including one with an amazing colony of starfish. There’s also good shore snorkeling at Nopolo, a new development about 15 miles south, where you can park at the hotel, eat a meal and access a nice rocky cove.

    • Thank you for your reply.

      Sounds interesting and as I said to Maureen, will be worth the effort of getting there. We are looking at a resort on the marine park, and the town sounds lovely as well. I wanted to see whale sharks but they are south in La Paz and Cabo San Lucas areas at a different time of year than May. Maybe we can combine both events if we change our time.

  3. About 10 years ago, I booked a day trip out of La Paz. The plan was to swim with the sea lions at Isla del Espirito Santo with a possibility of also swimming with whale sharks. I had the most fun I’ve ever had in the water with the playful sea lions.

    Then the captain said he was getting reports of whale sharks and off we went. These guys were determined to find them and they did. There were a lot of them and they were actively feeding. It did require decent swimming ability since the boat stayed well away and we needed to swim towards the big fishes. It was fabulous!

    I don’t know if they’re still there but the company was Mar Aventuras.

    • Mar y Aventuras is still in La Paz, and definitely one of the most knowledgeable and environmentally-respectful companies in the area. I wouldn’t hesitate to book any of their trips.

  4. I snorkeled with whale sharks off the marina of La Paz in April on a day off from a sea kayak trip. The water was cloudy, visibility poor.


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