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Loreto Marine Park

Home >> Mexico Destinations >> Loreto >> Loreto Attractions >> Loreto Marine Park
Parque Nacional Bahia Loreto (The Bay of Loreto National Marine Park) was created by a Presidential Decree and approved by the Mexican Federal Congress on July 19, 1996. The creation of this new national park was an amazing feat considering the idea for this protected marine area merged the considerable efforts of the community of Loreto, B.C.S, and the local conservation organization, Grupo Ecologista Antares A.C. (GEA). Under jurisdiction of the Mexican government, the new park is regulated by a local branch of SEMARNAP--Secretaria de Medio Ambiente, Recursos Naturales y Pesca (Natural Resource and Fishery Agency).
The Bay of Loreto Park is the third such protected marine bioregion in the Gulf of California, joining ranks with the Upper Gulf /Lower Colorado Biosphere Reserve to the north and the Cabo Pulmo Reserve to the south. The Park covers 2,065 square kilometers in the Sea of Cortez. The marine park consist of five islands Isla del Carmen, Isla Catalina, Isla Coronado, Isla Danzante and Isla Montserrat. The Park is home to over 800 species of marine life. The primary mission of the Parque Nacional is to balance the needs of Loreto's people with the protection and sustainability of the biological resources found inside its boundaries. Before the park was created there were no restrictions on commercial fishing companies and shrimp trawlers. It is now illegal for any Industrial fishing or shrimp twallers to fish within the park. Sport fishing is only permitted in the protected area of the National Maritime Park, however they are working on banning that as well.
Loreto Marine Park map and Parque Nacional Bahia Loreto map

Loreto Marine Park Rules and Regulations

Beach Activities
Remember to use horses and motorized vehicles only in designated routes. It is prohibited to use horses and motorized vehicles (motorbikes, four-wheelers, jeeps, etc) on beaches, marshes or coastal dunes.

Motor Homes should only use designated areas for camping. It is strictly forbidden the dumping of residual waters and human waste directly onto the ground or through any kind of ground diggings. Dumping of residual water must be done only at authorized containers such as: Tripui, El Moro, Villas de Loreto, which are authorized R.V. parks. You can check the local directory for more options.

When using a Jet Ski, remember to maintain 200 meters (approx. 660 feet / 220 yards) from the shore and 250 meters (approx. 825 feet / 275 yards) from swimmers. Jet-skis are allowed ONLY around the coastal area of Loreto and are NOT allowed around the islands. Please respect the space of our local bird life and do not disturb their feeding areas.

Landing at the Islands
Please practice low-impact activities:
Help us to pervent introduction of foreign fauna or flora into the islands. Check your equipment and bags before departing for any undesirable specimen such as cockroaches, mice, rats, or plant seeds. Remember, PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THE ISLANDS.

Please use established trails and do not create new ones. Try as much as possible not to step on any flora and fauna. Remember the small ones that have just started to grow such as the small cacti!

Coronado Island has latrines (composting toilets) for public use: Only one latrine should be used. Please leave the second one sealed at all times. The latrine is only for human waste and biodegradable paper; please DO NOT DEPOSIT any other organic produce or inorganic waste such as diapers, feminine pads, organic produce, fish scraps, seashells of clams, plastics, or aluminum cans.

At the other islands use at all times a port-a-potty for deposition of human waste. Remember to burn completely or bring back your toilet paper.

Although campfires are prohibited, you can bring camping stoves. When using charcoal grills, make sure that charcoal burns completely. Ashes of fire should be packed out of the islands. Remember, "Pack it in, pack it out" is the best rule for dealing with trash.

Carmen Island is privately owned. In order to land on the island, you need previous authorization from the owners. For more information, call (113) 51273.

Reactional Diving (Free diving and SCUBA Diving):
Remember, free diving (snorkeling / skin diving) and SCUBA diving (autonomous) are for observation only. It is prohibited to use a spear gun, as well as to chase, disturb, ride, feed, or touch any marine life. It is important to keep a distance that will not harm any rocky or reef formations.

SCUBA diving regulations allows for the observation of sea lions, whale sharks, dolphins, mantarrays, and whales, at a minimum distance of 5 meters (16.5 feet).

Observation of Marine Life from a Vessel:
Observation of sea lions, whale sharks, dolphins, mantarrays, and whales requires keeping a minimum distance of 50 meters.

Observation regulations for whales are the same for all Mexican waters.

Sport Fishing (Includes Underwater Fishing):
Mexican fishing licenses are required for the boat and for everyone aboard in order to perform sportfishing, regardless if one of the members of the vessel is not fishing.

There is no limit to the practice of "catch and release". We invite you to return in good survival conditions as many fish as possible so other visitors can also enjoy sport fishing. Otherwise, follow all the fishing regulations listed on your Mexican fishing license and do not exceed your limit.

Underwater fishing is limited to five specimens (fish only) per day per person, using rubber band or spring type spears and only while free diving. This activity also requires the purchase of a Mexican fishing license before it takes place. Please be advised that while at this time underwater fishing is permitted, this regulation may change.

Fishing licenses allow the capture of finfish only. Licenses do not allow the capture of any mollusks (scallops, clams), crustaceans (lobsters, crabs), starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, corals or any other marine organism alive or dead.

Fish caught under a sport fishing license may not be filleted aboard any vessel or at any of the islands. Filleting is allowed only on the coastal area of Loreto. It is prohibited to dump fish scraps in the coastal area of Loreto and other unauthorized areas. fish scraps must be disposed of at the Municipal Dump Trash Area.

Transportation of products and objects from the Desert and Sea:
If you transport your sport fishing capture via highway, ship, or plane, you must carry with you at all times your fishing license and a copy of your "Sport Fishing Report". (Described on the Marine Park Forms Page)

If you acquire products from the sea of the desert such as: fish, sea shells, corals, cacti, iron wood, mesquite or any other natural object, you must have an invoice (a FACTURA) of purchase to show its legality.

Archaeological Sites:
All archaeological sites are protected in Mexico by the government. Never chalk, trace, or otherwise touch rock art. Any kind of direct contact speeds the disintegration of these ancient figures. Leave arrowheads and other artifacts for others to enjoy.

Many birds and sea mammals choose Mexico as their wintering and mating ground. Respect the needs of these animals and their offspring, especially when you pass near a rookery or calving area. Avoid sudden movements, and never chase or charge any animal.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the Administration of the "Parque Nacional Bahía de Loreto", or come visit us at the Park Office, next to the marina of Loreto, at the Malecón Area. You can also try us on channel 16 calling "Marine Park."

Blvd. Adolfo López Mateos Y A. Carrillo
C.P. 23880
Loreto B.C.S. México
Tel. (113) 5 04 77