Loreto Gets A New Development

This one, really upscale waterfront living
BY: CARRIE DUNCAN

Foreigners who are interested in the culture of Mexico live within this town of 15,000, Canadians live just south of Loreto in what’s known as the Loreto Bay Company, and now the more affluent foreigner who are there for the sun and sea have their place. It’s called Puerto Escondido (hidden port), and it’s only a little further south, still only 20 minutes from the international airport. 

With the increase in direct flights between Los Angeles, Calgary and Tijuana, Loreto has become assessable. You can drive to Loreto from San Diego in 10 hours, swears Augie, owner of Augie’s bar in town. (If you don’t drive like a bat outta hell like he does, figure longer.) It’s 700 miles from the border, 140 miles north of La Paz, on the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

Puerto Escondido is a pretty amazing natural basin that’s practically hurricane proof because it’s almost 360 degrees protected. It’s a natural basin with only a small opening to the Sea. And on one side it’s up against an amazing, almost straight up, rock wall 3,000 feet high.

Puerto Escondido has been a haven for small sailboats that would anchor out, totally protected, and totally free. They could afford to stay there for months on end.

A trailer park sprang up onshore to serve long term sailors who missed shore (maybe mostly the wives?) and a general store to serve the cruisers. Then along came a hotel with what today is an excellent restaurant, Tripui, which is also the name of the little pueblo.

And then came Fonatur. (Spooky music, here.)

Fonatur is the federal agency that developed the infrastructure for some tourist areas in Mexico, including Los Cabos. Just a few years ago, Fonatur built a marina at Puerto Escondido, along with dockside services, and started charging for the privilege of anchoring out.

Everyone said the party was over, people would stop coming, sail boaters would zip right by. (Except sailboats don’t zip, they glide agonizingly slow.)

Well, Fonatur, the gang that can’t shoot straight, built an amazing infrastructure, dredging the entrance channel deeper, creating two of the three planned artificial residential islands in the bay; constructed an ellipse with seawall and jetty; brought in water, a treatment plant and roads; built the marina, launch ramp and dry storage. And then they bailed.

In 2008 (we all remember that year), the bank foreclosed on the dredged island, which some of the current Marina Puerto Escondido partners purchased.

In 2016, the current company, the Hamann Brothers, together with JEP Real Estate, created a partnership combining assets purchased from the bank and Fonatur. This begins their ownership and management of the harbor and real estate development at Marina Puerto Escondido. Ta-da! Our little stroll through history is over and now a description of what’s currently going on out there. It’s exciting.

They are building a gated waterfront community on one of the islands. The completed first phase includes 19 lots for custom homes on land that sits right on the water, overlooking a private dock with state-of-the-art amenities for yachts up to 100 feet.

The community has the strange name of Waicuri (some kind of Indian thing), and the first home is scheduled to be finished in a couple of months. This is a 6,000 square foot 3 story home including 4 bed/4.5 bath, with a two-car garage, plus storage for lasers and paddleboards. There are also three balconies, and a fancy swimming pool. High end.

The construction of that first home is underway by the two companies, the Hamanns and JEPs, an American family and a Mexican family, all of whom met a generation ago in Loreto, sharing a love for scuba-diving, snorkeling, hiking, fishing, sailing, and paddle-boarding that Loreto has to offer. Both are now involved with real estate development and construction in San Diego and the mainland. This is not their first rodeo.

So. Now Puerto Escondido has 100 slips, dock-hand services, concierge services, dry storage, fuel, car rental, boat repair services, launch ramp and travel lift, and rental of water toys. There’s a general store and a second story restaurant/bar with a pool, all overlooking the marina. Also, a new pizza restaurant has opened.

For more information about Marina Puerto Escondido, go to www.MarinaPuertoEscondido.com.