When it comes to beaches in Mexico, most Americans know only a few names . Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Acapulco. While these are all quite lovely beach destinations, Mexico has a huge coast that includes the Pacific, the Sea of Cortez, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. With this many beaches to offer, you don't have to spend a lot of money on a Mexican beach vacation. What's more, the lesser known destinations are also usually less crowded and have a more authentic feel.
If you'd like to lie on the beach next to the calm waters of the Sea of Cortez, then Loreto is a good beach to consider. Many of the islands around Loreto are protected as National Marine Parks, which means that there's a lot of wonderful wildlife to observe . from whales and dolphins to sea lions and sea turtles. Dolphins are also very common in this area. Whether you plan to see these ocean creatures from a whale watching boat above water or up close and personal under water while snorkeling or scuba diving, you can find what you're looking for in Loreto.
In the 1970s, there was a failed attempt to turn Loreto into a larger, more developed tourist destination, so the city maintains much of its original character. The locals are friendly and welcoming to tourists, and you have the sense of seeing the real Mexico . not the face Mexico puts on for tourists. Another attempt for a tourist development is in the works, so take advantage of Loreto's bargain prices and relatively unchanged nature before the prices go up with the crowds.
In addition, if you travel an hour north of Cabo San Lucas, you'll find the town of Todos Santos, which offers ample evidence that all beaches need not be alike to be wonderful. The gorgeous beaches at Todos Santos are largely empty, as powerful rip tides make the waters there inhospitable for some of the ocean-going activities tourists enjoy, including scuba diving and swimming. However, this means that the beaches are wonderful for those who plan to spend their time lying on the beach, enjoying the view or going out fishing.
There are also some beaches nearby where it's safe to swim . like Los Cerritos. Or, if you want to surf, you're in luck here . try La Pastora, the Playa Los Cerritos or the Playa San Pedrito. Todos Santos is also a refuge for artists who want to get away from the art scene in more well known locales like Soho or Santa Fe. Because of this, you'll find several wonderful art galleries in Todos Santos, including the Jill Logan Gallery, the Charles Stewart Gallery and the Galeria de Todos Santos. Todos Santos is also a great place to go hiking or horseback riding along the coastal cliffs, or just explore more of the Baja Peninsula.
If you choose one of Mexico's lesser known beaches for your vacation, you may find that the amenities offered are a little different from what you'd find in a place like Cancun. What you will find, however, is an abundance of local flavor, dining and shopping at prices far less than what you might have spent elsewhere.
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