The 800-square-mile protected Loreto National Marine Park boasts dozens of small rocky islands perfect for hiking. You are surrounded by clear water and beautiful beaches and a mild and warm climate year-round. The New York Times lists Loreto in its Top Ten Places to go in 2011. I was lucky enough to take a guided hiking tour spearheaded by Carlos, an expert adventurist who looked like he could have won the Survivor reality show with his eyes shut and one hand tied behind his back!
The hike was gorgeous. The ten of us were prepared and ready to go with bottled water, comfortable clothes and shoes, sun tan lotion, and insect repellent. With my camera in hand, I couldn’t wait to get started.
Carlos first stopped at an aloe plant where he gently pulled off a leaf and explained the medicinal purposes of the plant. He rubbed the gel on Zyra, who was burnt from our lovely boat excursion the day before and mentioned that aloe is perfect for soothing sun burn, other burns, insect bites, and blisters. It is also a great overall moisturizer for the skin.
The view of the surrounding islands, crystal clear water, and giant cacti was priceless. Carlos explained that the trunk of a cactus takes approximately 50 years to grow. From there it takes one year to grow one inch. Some of the cacti were hundreds and even thousands of years old!
Our hike was about 45 minutes. We all took pictures at the peak. On our way back down Carlos showed us that if we rub our hands on certain branches, your palms will smell like fresh basil and mint. It was fantastic!
The short hike offered to the Villa del Palmar at The Islands of Loreto guests is definitely worth the time and effort. The skill level I would say is for beginners and I think it is something the kids would enjoy as well.
Here is a photo of Carlos and I after our hike!