The Loreto Bay National Park (LNBP) is one of the largest and oldest marine reserves in Mexico. With more than 2,000 square kilometers of total surface, its waters are home to thousands of marine species. In fact, the LNBP is considered to be the area with more marine mammals in the entire country.

Located further north than La Paz, Loreto’s waters tend to be quite changeable and dynamic. Considered a transitional zone between tropical and temperate waters, the local fauna suffers from drastic changes through the seasons, making this, one of the most biodiverse marine reserves in Mexico.

Coronados Island

Coronados is the closest island from Loreto. This ancient volcano last erupted 600,000 years ago, so we are all reasonably safe around it! A small boat can easily circumnavigate the island in less than 40 minutes and  will visit dramatica lava cliffs of black basalt, idilic sandy beaches and the local sea lion colony along the way. Diving around its reefs is an engrossing experience, featuring several deep walls, black coral forests and a great variety of marine life, including the playful sea lions.

Carmen Island

With 35 Km long, Carmen is the largest of the 5 islands. Its great sheer size allows for some of he most diverse scenery in the Park. The south boasts sandy beaches and turqoise waters, whereas the north usual offers more verticality and formations such as sea caves. The north-east side has one of the most picturesque attractions of the entire island: the ghost town of Bahia salinas. While long ago this was a busy town for 400 people, it is now an abandoned site with a charming post-apocalyptical flair! The town emerged around the natural salt lake and salt mines that were created around it and used to be the main source of jobs of Loreto more than 50 years ago. There is even a shallow sunken ship in the bay!

Divewise, Carmen has everything, from deep walls to a plethora of pinnacles, deeper seamounts and shallow aquarium-like reefs.

Danzante Island

This island was once called the “Dancing island” by the Guaycuras (the original inhabitants of this region). The story tells that their shamans would gather in the coastline, right in front of it, to conduct their traditial rituals, which included drinking some hallucinogenic cactus brew. During the trance, they would see the island dancing in the distance, hence the name! Although these “trips” are not officially conducted anymore, a more standard tour is totally recommended!

The island is steep and intrincate. Dozens of small coves and bays mingle with steep cliffs and rocky formations. This island offers some of the most biodiverse and life-abundant snorkel and dive sites since currents are normally present. In the vinicity, divers will also have the chance to dive in the wreck of the C-54, a WWII minesweeper ship that was sunken deliberately for divers.

Montserrat & Catalina

This two islands are considered remote and are seldom visited by operators. As a matter of fact, Catalina is a full natural reserve and nobody is allowed to set foot on its shores. The special status was granted many years ago due the unique habitat. Having been isolated for million of years, the local species have evolved in particular ways, and many of its species are now endemic and unique.

Montserrat in the other hand, is quite closer and has some of the most pristine reefs in its vicinity.

Off the north shore of the island, there is an small archipelago formed by two twin islands: Las Galeras. Another sea lion colony has set its home here. Snorkel and shallow diving can be done in the lagoon in between the isles, that has abundant fish life and one of the largest stony coral gardens.

The reefs around Montserrat are mainly made of limestone, and divers will find underwater arches and tunnels aswell as highly populated reefs.

There are many diving possibilities in Loreto. So far there are more than 40 registered divesites and more are discovered every year.

Check the following link to explore an interactive map of the Marine Park of Loreto: