During a spring trip to Loreto, Mexico I had a chance to check out the two-year-old Villa del Palmar Resort & Spa at The Islands of Loreto off the eastern coast of the Baja peninsula. Each room has views of Danzante Island and the Sea of Cortez or the surrounding mountains. The resort may be enjoyed all inclusive or a la carte – you decide. Extras include access to the fitness center, multiple swimming pools, kayaks and hammocks. The spa and in-room honor bar require additional charges. If you love the outdoors, this is the place for star-gazing at night and ocean activities by day. Jacques Cousteau called this area “The Aquarium of the World” because it offers 80% of the marine species of the world. Ensenada Blanca, 23880, Loreto, Mexico 52-613-134-1000
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A Desert Getaway on the Shores of the Sea of Cortez
What could be more relaxing than lying in a hammock, being rocked by gentle sea breezes beneath a warm desert sun? This was just one of the escapist pleasures I enjoyed at the Villa del Palmar Resort near Loreto in Baja California Sur.
Tucked away on the shores of Ensenada Blanca (White Cove) at the end of a two-kilometer gravel road, Villa del Palmar is a relatively new resort (opened in 2011). It's not the place to be if you're looking for nightlife and urban pleasures, but it's a great spot for getting away from it all in a beautiful setting, with desert hills sloping down to the deep blue Sea of Cortez and volcanic islands beckoning on the horizon.
My room was a spacious one-bedroom suite with a king-sized bed and a jacuzzi tub for relaxing soaks with a view. Sliding doors opened off both the bedroom and the living room onto a terrace the size of my bedroom at home. I loved stepping outside to enjoy the early morning light on the ocean and hills, or to watch the night fall over the pool area. There were six pools in all, designed to look like a turtle from above – two larger pools for the body and head, and four smaller ones, including a hot tub, for the flippers.
Villa del Palmar has a spa, three restaurants, a small grocery store, several hiking trails on the property, and a variety of activities including kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and tennis. Tours are available to destinations in the area, and there's a free shuttle several times a day into Loreto.
On a day trip from the Villa Del Palmar Resort in Loreto, Mexico, a group of us traveled around the islands, stopping for photo ops and incredible snorkeling. Afterwards, we stopped here at the stunning Honeymoon Beach to take a little break, enjoy some lunch and a cold brew.
I couldn't help but climb up the mountain to get this shot overlooking the crystal blue bay with the native cactus and surrounding cove. It was a magical moment.