The Azamara Quest now steams north towards Los Angeles, California in the Pacific Ocean, but just hours ago she was still sailing the Sea of Cortez where we spent one day in Guaymas, Mexico and two days in Loreto, Mexico with Azamara Club Cruises.
Our one day spent in Guaymas, Mexico was honestly a bit of a let down. True, the locals were just as warm, inviting us with pier-side fanfare, but the highlights of the port were far fewer, especially when one featured was the town’s old prison. The real prison it would seem was the claustrophobic tour bus that contorted us at the knees.
Nonetheless, one stop was indeed worthy of a visit – the Sea of Cortez Pearl Farm. Here we learned everything there was to know about natural and cultured pearl farming, a more fascinating process than I had expected. The location also included beautiful vistas of the seascape. As far as the dramatic landscape is concerned, it makes perfect sense that it set the scene for films like The Mask of Zorro.
The following two days combined marked one of Azamara Club Cruises’ signature overnight stays in Loreto, Mexico. The tendered port is home to the southernmost mission in the chain of California Christian settlements and, as a result, appears very similar to Santa Barbara up the coast.
The atmosphere is very casual and conducive to pedestrian wandering with a long tourist corridor that stretches from the shore to the inland mission. Palm trees, Spanish architecture and ficus arches frame the path that is flanked by shops and restaurants. A surprising amount are Italian, reflecting the historic connection to Loreto, Italy.
Just before the mission, the pathway opens up to a piazza and gazebo where al fresco performances are common sights. And overlooking it all is a gem of a boutique hotel – Posada de las Flores.
Step inside the lobby of the hotel, and the decor is astounding. A two-story courtyard is filled to the brim with texture and detail like antique fixtures and plant vases, all naturally lit from above through a spectacular plexiglass-bottomed pool.
From above, the pool and terrace open up to clear blue skies and the surrounding sights and sounds of historic Loreto. The wonderful textures permeate into the 15 guest rooms as well, with each of the five suites themed to a different flower from which the name of the hotel is derived.
Loreto is a highly recommended destination for cruise travelers and land lovers alike. I for one would love to return to stay for a longer period of time at this great hotel. There are many more things to see locally too like the pristine beaches and nearby islands.
For more information on the destinations where Azamara Club Cruises can take you, visit the cruise line’s website here.
Have you been to any of these Mexican towns? Please feel free to share your experiences in the “Leave a Reply” section below…
HEADER IMAGE SOURCE: JASON LEPPERT