Around Loreto

South of Loreto, the Transpeninsular snakes through endless stands of cardón cacti and mesquite trees against a backdrop of jagged peaks and rocky uplifts with spectacular views over the Sea of Cortez.

Four miles south of Loreto, the Transpeninsular passes the Loreto Bay development at Nopoló. After 26km (16 miles) it passes Puerto Escondido. Engulfed on nearly all sides by hills, this dramatically sheltered bay was to be the sight of a massive Fonatur development with moorings for 300 yachts, but never really progressed passed the laying of roads. Today it's the site of an Escalera Náutica development, part of the Mexican government's grand plan to turn the Sea of Cortez into a yachters' playground (see also p25).

Near the settlement of Ensenada Blanca, approximately 48km (30 miles) south of Loreto, El Santuario Eco-Retreat (% 104-4254, in the USA 805-541-7921; www.el-santuario.com; s/d US$75/120) offers comfortable cabañas beautifully situated on or near the water. Rates include full board, and yoga, natural healing and other retreats are all on offer.

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