When you think of Baja California, Mexico most people think of Cabo San Lucas. Well, guess what? There is actually more to Baja California then the party town of Cabo. Over the summer, I had the chance to visit the Islands of Loreto, Mexico which is about 6 hours north of Cabo San Lucas and from Chicago it was a total of 7 hour flight (including a layover in LA). I had no idea what to expect of this destination since one that not many people talk about when they are planning to visit Mexico.
The Islands of Loreto has one of the most beautiful and enchanting hotels I have visited in Mexico, Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto. The area where the hotels is based has one of the most serene beaches I have ever seen. The hotel is hidden in between mountains near all the islands that surround Loreto. It's sand colored buildings, with marble floors, majestic palm trees, and the serenity of being isolated from all the noise makes this location the best place to unwind and relax from the busy routines we all face when we are at home.
Which is why I recommend this destination for your next romantic getaway, family trip or even for a destination wedding. In addition, the staff Villa del Palmar are phenomenal!! Super attentive and wanting to make sure that everything is perfect for every single guest. Any requests that any of us had during our weekend stay they tried their hardest to accommodate it. Their hospitality was even seen through the small details such as the lovely welcome stoned note on my bed when I walked into the suite - to the warm bubble bath set up after a long day of swimming, sun and fun. In addition to the rooms being large and modern, it had an amazing view of the pool and beach. In fact, all of their rooms have a view of the ocean so no need to fight for the “room with the best view.”
This hotel has everything you can imagine – spa, beach activities, hiking, “coming soon” golf course, gym, two pools with bars, and fantastic food. If you are foodie like me you will indulge in all of their restaurants – which vary from American bistro, to Italian, to gourmet/a la carte, and let’s not forget Mexican!
The one experience that I lived during my stay was clam diving. This is something that the hotel doesn’t generally offer but if you know me I always ask to do things I usually “can’t do.” I put on my one piece bathing suit, my snorkel mask, fins and I was ready to go! One of the employees explained to us that the chocolate clams are a specialty of that region and they tend to find some inside their very serene beach.
We slowly started to swim into the “deep” end of the bay and he started to show us how to locate the clams. I have to say this was the most difficult part about clam diving, because I could not for the life of me find ONE clam! Our friend would point one out to me from above and as I would dive down I would lose the “eyes” of the clam and wasn’t able to capture one. However, one of my travel buddies was able to find them super quick and helped our guide pull almost 100 chocolate clams. Once we realized we had more than enough to share with our entire travel group we headed back to shore (it was also 2 hours later and we were all hungry to eat these suckers!).
Our guide grabbed all the clams and laid them onto a surfboard and started to get all the materials needed to open these suckers and enjoy them such as a knife, salt, lemon and some hot sauce! As he opened them one by one we started to indulge in them in a variety of ways - plain, just lime, just salt, just lime and salt, just hot sauce, a combination of all the seasonings, you name it we did it!
After I ate about 20 of those deliciously fresh chocolate clams (no they do not taste like chocolate, they are given that name because of the color of their shell), we took the clams inside and handed them to the chef so he can make us a variety of dishes with the leftovers. And he sure enough did! He made us clams three ways - baked, with cheese, and in a ceviche style. It was the best way to end our stay at Villa del Palmar in the Islands of Loreto.
Make sure to visit Villa del Palmar in the Islands of Loreto website to learn more about this gorgeous hotel.