Mexico's Inside Waters Rocky, Too

Over a group lunch on Sunday, we eavesdropped on a conversation in which one person’s daughter was going to Mexico for spring break.

“Isn’t your daughter worried about going to Mexico?” someone asked.

This week, the Mexican Tourism Board is at the Cruise Shipping Miami 2012 trade show, trying and hoping to sell their towns and cities as port stops. Is there a tougher job in tourism right now?

The mere mention of “Mexico” draws skepticism, most often from people who have never been there. We have been many times, going back 40 years, and it’s always been memorable. A trip to Loreto with “three amigos” in tow was for a long time our favourite family vacation, and still ranks in the top five.


It is, or was, a small town about halfway down the peninsula that is Baja California, on the shores of the Sea of Cortez, the inside waters of the Mexican Riviera. Our memories are of great “liquados” (milkshakes), terrifying car rides, gratifying deep-sea fishing (we don’t fish but did there and caught three large yellowtail tuna) and beautiful weather and beaches. And nice people, especially Rosario and Antonio. There are whales but the only ones we saw were by the pool, covered in suntan lotion.

In recent years, Loreto has been a cruise-ship port, on the route that also takes you to little-known (or obscure) ports such as Pichilingue, Guaymas and Topolobampo (and a train ride to the magnificent Copper Canyon as our cruise colleague Phil Reimer discovered just over a year ago). In 2011, Loreto saw an increase of 25% in cruise passengers, to 10,400, primarily from the Crystal Symphony and Holland America’s Zaandam, which has one stop scheduled next spring as it makes its way north to Alaska.

In 2012, nada. No ships. No passengers.

Disney’s Wonder sails by it. Azamara used to sail by but doesn’t any more. Oceania, like Crystal and Holland America, used to stop there, but doesn’t any more.

The tourism people from Mexico have a tough sell this week in Miami, and little Loreto — with no reported murders nor thefts — is the toughest of all.

Carnival Fascination
4 nights
May 3, 2012
Jacksonville (return): Freeport, Nassau
Inside $349
Cost per day: $87

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