|Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó, founded on October 25, 1697|
As non-paying guests we get a seat on the shuttle if hotel guests haven't filled it. In the afternoon we got lucky and squeezed in for the 45 minute drive.
We had heard differing opinions about Loreto and were pleasantly surprised by the tree lined, cobblestoned streets. Unfortunately, the malecon (boardwalk along the water) is currently under construction, so we explored the town center after we got our groceries.
I've long been fascinated by the Spanish missions and have visited nearly all of the 21 missions in upper California (US). Since many of the missions in Baja (lower) California (Mexico) no longer stand I had only been able to visit empty sites so far. Loreto is home of the earliest (read: oldest) successful mission! When we were in town the bells were rang by hand for evening service.
While the mission's church is still being used, the mission closed its doors in 1829 because the native american population of Baja Sur had become extinct...