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Always travel with a valid passport in Mexico. If you fly into Mexico, you will be given a form to fill out, and the cost of your visa is included in your flight. If you cross on foot or in a vehicle, you will need to visit the Immigration office at the border or as soon as you can in Loreto. Cost is about $20USD. Or plan ahead and contact a Mexican government tourism office located in some US cities.
Alaska Airlines offers service directly from LAX and SFO to Loreto. Flights cost between $200 and $650 each way. Schedule varies from 2 days/week to daily. We recommend booking these EARLY.
Westjet has direct flights from Calgary, Canada, mostly on Saturdays.
American Airlines flies to Loreto most days, and has good connections with locations on the east coast of the US.
Thanks to the Cross Border Xpress, it’s a fairly simple connection from San Diego. Catch an Uber or the CBX shuttle to the border. Check in for your flight in the US, then walk through a corridor to the Tijuana airport. On the return, catch the CBX shuttle to San Diego for $11 or Los Angeles for $25 (in 2023). Buy your ticket inside just past the car rental booths. White vans with CBX shuttle on the side line up outside the CBX crossing on the US side. Look for your van number. They drop you off at the car rental return area to take a shuttle to the airport. Allow an hour to an hour and a half from Tijuana to San Diego.
Volaris Airlines connects San Diego to Loreto via Tijuana and the Cross Border Express several days a week. We’ve had experience with cancelled flights on Volaris, so this option is best if you have a few spare travel dates and are a go-with-the-flow kind of traveler.
Calafia Airlines flies Tijuana to Loreto and back a couple days a week on most weeks.
From Europe, Mexico City could be a good hub. Aeromexico, Interjet, and Volaris all connect Mexico City and La Paz. Despegar.com.mx compares those domestic options. Once you’re in La Paz you could join an Isla San Jose trip, which starts and ends in La Paz. Or you can get to Loreto, either by bus (5 hours, nice bus) or on Calafia Airlines.
Loreto is a small town, so any airport taxi-van that is going to Loreto itself (not one of the two outlying developments) will be able to drop you where you need to be for about $20 USD. The taxi drivers know where the hotels are, so you just need the name of the hotel. If you’re staying at an Air BnB you might want to have the names of the nearest cross-streets and the address if it has one.
If the direct flight isn’t available or breaks the budget, please don’t give up. Below are some more options. We’d like to help, so please contact us if you’re ready for a hand. We’ve done this before!
Busses Los Cabos to Loreto
Aguila bus lines go from Los Cabos direct to Loreto in 9 hours, with breaks. $1360 pesos, or about $85USD. From the Loreto bus terminal a taxi can take you to your hotel for about $8. Aguila can also be found at the bus terminal on the malecon in La Paz.
Bus Tijuana to Loreto
Fly into San Diego and take the Crucero bus directly to Tijuana Central bus terminal for $15-$20. You can purchase tickets in advance online for this shuttle. Alternately, you can take any bus to the San Ysidro/Tijuana crossing, then walk across the border and choose from any of the waiting taxis for an exciting $20-$25 ride to the Central Bus terminal.
From Tijuana to Loreto is a 20-24 hour ride which stops on occasion for bathroom breaks and snack purchase, including one longer stop for dinner. There are many sales agents in the Tijuana terminal, and several serve Loreto. I’ve traveled on Aguila and would recommend them. Carry a blanket or extra warm clothes with you. Also a few snacks, pesos, peso coins for bathroom access, and some toilet paper. It helps to speak some Spanish here, though you can get by with patience and perhaps a pencil and paper for the numbers. Cost is about $150USD. From the Loreto bus terminal a taxi can take you to your hotel for about $8.
It costs about $230 pesos or $20USD for a taxi-van to hotels in downtown Loreto. Come prepared with the name of your hotel. Town is small. The taxi-vans do the rounds and stop at all the hotels they need to, and they know where they are. If you’re staying at an Air BnB you might want to have the names of the nearest cross-streets or landmarks and the address if it has one.
There is one ATM in the airport which will allow withdrawls of $9000mxn, about $560 depending on exchange rate, if it has cash and is working. There are 4 ATMs in town, located in Ley (grocery store), Bancomer (in the plaza near the Mission), Hotel Santa Fe, and Banco Azteca (intersection of Benito Juarez and Independencia). $7000 pesos is the maximum for each withdrawal, which is about $430USD depending on the exchange rate. These occasionally decline to give money to foreign cards, so it’s nice to bring a selection to try. US dollars are accepted in most places. It is wise to bring some cash.
The more expensive hotels usually take credit cards, and more of the upscale restaurants now do. It’s still wise to prepare yourself to purchase meals with cash. Restaurant meals are similar in cost to those north of the border ($150-$400pesos per entree; $10-$25USD). Taco stands offer tacos for $15-$25 pesos each. Two to 3 make a decent lunch. You can use credit cards at the major grocery stores (locally owned Pescador and national chain Ley) most of the time.
The most dangerous part of your Baja trip might be walking on the sidewalks of Loreto, simply for all the holes, uneven sections, and obstacles. We recommend walking in the streets in many areas. It’s a well-known Baja joke that Loretanos all walk in the street. Be especially careful after dark and after Happy Hour, when driver sight or perception could be impaired. The locals are friendly and helpful, just the sidewalks are treacherous.