loreto, mexico, baja sur, CircaWanderlust, Circa Wanderlust, Ess Mckn, Stephanie Hames, Stephanie McKenna, Stephanie Hames McKenna, Tim McKenna

Baja Sur: Where the Oceans Meet the Sky and the Desert Enchants

People were always surprised to know that I had never been to Mexico. Ironic to write that now as I was in Mexico not so long ago and am in the process of planning my next trip down! But here we are, post Mexico trip reflecting on one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen: Baja Sur. Baja Sur is a majestic land that blurs the lines between Earthly reality and Martian landscape, which could be in part because I haven’t seen something like it before.  Whatever the reason, you cannot ignore that Baja Sur takes your breath away as the ocean’s blues mix with the sky and the desert enchants you like a sand bound siren calling you to come closer.

Where the Oceans Meet the Sky and the Desert Enchants

Arriving in Loreto was unlike anything you would normally expect in terms of Mexico travel (or South America at that). Even though I am a world traveler, I still fall victim to stereotypes. I had never even heard of Loreto prior to the trip so I prepared myself for a small airport that was a clusterfuck of American Traveler nightmares. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Once I got over the fact that I was traveling from LA to Loreto, Baja Sur, via Alaska Airlines I was able to really take in the scenery.

The adorable little airport you fly into was the farthest thing from my expectation: it was clean, organized, small, quaint, and incredibly easy to navigate. Travelers can take a short flight from LAX on Alaska Airlines or from Calgary, Canada aboard WestJet, Canada’s most-preferred airline, to the Islands of Loreto. (That could be why you will find so many Canadians in Loreto. Some even drive so keep an eye out for Canadian license plates.)

Flying in and seeing the desert landscape beneath my flight gave me a feeling I hadn’t experienced before. I don’t know if it was the timing or the location, but I felt like I was about to explore a distant land, something that I felt I desperately needed at the time. Tim and I were about to move to TN, I was leaving my home of 17 years, and life felt like it was coming to a culminating new chapter I wasn’t quite sure how to navigate.

My love for the mountains is not a secret. Seeing the mountains meet the sky and not being able to tell where one ends and the other begins is what I live for. As I type that and think of the stunning majesty, I get goosebumps. And I never thought something could compete with that. But seeing the ocean and the sky blur the lines of land and water was just as breath-taking. Add the forbidden yet hopeful sight of cacti in the desert, and I was in awe.

Baja Sur is a land of enchantment and contradictions: The harsh desert landscape challenges you, inviting you to come in like a siren to a sailor. And yet in complete opposition of that is a sea so calm it looks like glass, making you wonder if maybe just maybe it could hold you weight as you walk and glide across it. During my trip, I met Chef Penny Davidi. While talking one night over her mother’s homemade tahgid (Persian rice dish) one night at Villa Del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto’s Danzante restaurant, she said the mountains speak to her. I had been trying to find the words to describe Loreto and its beautiful landscape and suddenly a culinary master chef had changed her art to that of language putting into words what I had been struggling to say all week.

Like a scene from The Phantom Tollbooth the mountains in Loreto speak to you. Coming alive as the sun kisses the morning and going to rest as a cotton candy sky welcomes the moon with a bow, they speak if you are willing to listen.


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