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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 is currently the only airline to offer service directly from the US to Loreto. Flights cost between $200 and $450 each way. Schedule varies from 4 days/week to daily, depending mostly on politics and economics. Book these EARLY. We’re not kidding. Many months early.
Westjet has direct flights from Victoria and Calgary, Canada. There are connecting flights to Montreal and Toronto. They plan to resume their service to Loreto in November 2021.
American Airlines flies from Phoenix to Loreto all days but Tuesday, and has good connections with locations on the east coast of the US.
Calafia Airlines connects Cabo to Loreto on Saturdays and Tuesdays. The flight actually originates in Guadalajara, which is easily accessible especially from the east coast of the US. It stops for about 15 minutes in Cabo to pick up new passengers and continues to Loreto.
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 $12 (in 2020). 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 flies between Tijuana and Loreto on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Calafia Airlines flies Tijuana to Loreto and back on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. If you can’t reserve on their website, give us a shout and we can purchase your ticket at their office in Loreto.
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
ECOBAJATOURS can give you a lift from San Jose Airport to Loreto in plush vans with air conditioning, single seats, wifi, screen for movies etc.
Aguila bus lines do go from Los Cabos direct to Loreto in 9 hours, with breaks. $840 pesos, or about $75USD. From the Loreto bus terminal a taxi can take you to your hotel for about $5. 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 $12-19. 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 $15-$20 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, 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 $125USD. From the Loreto bus terminal a taxi can take you to your hotel for about $5.
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 and the address if it has one.
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). $5000 pesos is the maximum for each withdrawal, which is about $300USD depending on the exchange rate. In 2019, these frequently declined to give money to foreign cards. US dollars are accepted in most places. It is wise to bring some cash.
The more expensive hotels usually take credit cards, but almost no restaurants do. Prepare yourself for meals with cash. Restaurant meals are similar in cost to those north of the border ($95-$200pesos per entree). Taco stands offer tacos for $15-$20 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 sight or perception could be impaired. The locals are friendly and helpful, just the sidewalks are treacherous.