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Villa del Palmar at The Islands of Loreto
About two thirds of the way down from the border of California on the Baja Peninsula lies a beautiful destination on the Sea of Cortez where the water is clear and the sun is shining. This magical place is the Villa del Palmar Loreto Beach Resort & Spa at the Islands of Loreto. Here, vacation goers willing to look outside the major destinations will find a hidden gem with many options for you and your family to relax and get away from the daily grind.
Villa del Palmar opened 2011 and has grown in the past years with an award winning 18 hole golf course, TPC Danzante Bay. Even non-golfers will be left speechless at the pure beauty of the course. That goes doubly so for the 17th hole, a perfect sunrise spot that is truly worth waking up early for! Villa del Palmar Loreto also has luxurious spa facilities, great dining options, kids activities, and a spectacular beach. Even though this resort is in more of a secluded spot then most, you will never get bored. You will always have something fabulous to do or see unless you want to have solitude because you definitely can have that as well.
Getting to this slice of heaven on the Sea of Cortez is pretty easy. Alaska Airlines flies into Loreto from Los Angeles. If you live in Southern California you can take the Cross Border Exchange (CBX) right into the Tijuana airport. You park your car on the US side of the border and then take an enclosed bridge over into the airport. This process is very easy and the Mexican airlines have great prices. From the Loreto airport you will need a shuttle bus or a private taxi to take you to Villa del Palmar. The ride is about an half hour and you will see many wildlife and the gorgeous mountains around you. I saw 4 donkeys, 2 cows, 3 sheep, and a horse on our drive down. While the resort is very secluded the roads are nice and new. Even if you are prone to getting car sick, you should be just fine. Mexican roads in Baja California Sur are surprisingly good. It is not at all like driving in Jamaica or other Caribbean islands where you are holding on for dear life.
Once at the resort you will check in the front desk where they will go over all of the amenities and finish with a hand washing ceremony that is customary tradition to welcome friends. Villa Del Palmar offers many room choices from small suites to large penthouses so you have the option of whatever you would like or whatever your budget can afford. You can also do an all inclusive plan that include many activities along with meals and all beverages. With the all inclusive plan you can also choose to partake in premium food and beverage for a small extra cost. If you decide you do not want the all inclusive package but want a private chef to cook your meals in your room that can be done as well since the room come with a beautiful kitchen. One might decide just to get some stuff for the fridge and make your own food and maybe eat at one of the dining facilities for dinner. Whatever you want you can do … even cooking up some fresh fish caught in the waters just off shore!
One place you can not miss is the Sabila Spa. The spa facility boasts over 39,000 sq feet of spa and fitness space, including a rooftop tennis court. Besides relaxing body treatments both mens and womens areas have hot whirlpools, warm whirlpools, and a cold plunge pool. They also include comfortable chaise lounges that overlook the rugged mountains and golf course. You seriously could spend an entire day in the spa just relaxing and rejuvenating yourself!
For signature dining at Villa del Palmar Loreto you have Casa Mia that has Italian food along with fresh tacos. Pro-tip: The shrimp tacos are delicious along with their guacamole. They also have The Market where you can choose from a variety of options on a buffet. The buffet is not your average buffet though. This buffet has the best ingredients at all meals and amazing breakfast danishes. They even do theme nights in the buffet. One evening they had a taco night with every kind of taco you could possibly think of from various meats, to seafood, and vegetarian. Another fun entertainment piece they do at dinner is some kind of show for you and your family. While we were there, they had the kids come on stage and sign and dance to songs that they would know. Lastly, the Danzante Restaurant is where you would go for a wonderful sit down meal to enjoy fresh seafood and great tasting steaks. Danzante has also been recognized by Wine Spectator for its impressive selection of over 132 different wines.
The best place in my opinion at any resort is at the pool or the beach and they have a great beach and a couple swimming pools with one being designated adults only. Those wanting to do more than just relax will be happy here. Villa del Palmar has a busy activity schedule throughout the day including: water aerobics, pool games, kayaking and snorkeling, and even LED twilight stand up paddle boarding. Other activities at the resort include beach parties, hiking, Mexican Bingo, and even shell painting for the kids. As I said before there is no way you could ever be bored here.
The beach at Villa del Palmar Loreto is nice and sandy. It is also very shallow so you can walk out a distance before it gets to deep. We just sat in the water and relaxed since there were no waves coming in. Danzante Tours also operates some fun ocean tours from the beach. If you are a fisherman they can take you to the best places or if you are like me and want to see wildlife they can take you to places where you could possibly see Blue Whales or Dolphins. On our trip we got to see hundreds of Dolphins playing in our boats wake and surrounding us. It was so magical and have never experienced anything like it and possibly never will again! We also went swimming by one of the many Islands of Loreto and the water was the most clear beautiful turquoise color I have ever seen. I knew the Sea of Cortez was special but this was amazing!
Danzante Tours also can lead hiking, biking, and ATV tours. They also can do less adventurous tours such as Loreto city tours and historical tours. I can say that they know what they are doing and are good at it.
Honestly, I was there for 3 nights and wished I had a whole month there! There really is a calmness that the sea and the mountains together bring that I just wanted more of. Lastly, if you love stargazing this is the place for you. First of all as I stated this resort is in a very low populated area which means less night pollution. Secondly, the resort has taken measures with all their lights to be the best for stargazing and not give tons of light pollution. At any point on this trip I could walk outside at night and see tons of stars beaming down on me like flashlights.
If you are looking for someplace warm and do not want to do the typical Villa del Palmar Loreto is for you. Even though it may be more difficult for those in the eastern part of the United States to get here it is definitely worth the travel. If you live in the western part of the United states what are you waiting for? Everyone in the family will have a great time from grandparents to the littlest kid because there really is something for everyone here.