Leave the resort crowds behind and experience the natural side of Baja as you sea kayak, snorkel, fish, and hike from seaside camps on three remote islands off the west coast of Mexico in the Gulf of California.
On this Baja Sampler kayaking and island hopping adventure our local guides share some of their favorite spots in the Sea of Cortez. From La Paz, we’ll travel by boat to three distinctly beautiful islands—Espiritu Santo, San Jose, and San Francisquito—taking time to explore each location from several different campsites. In addition to kayaking excursions where a myriad of marine life takes center stage, a range of other daily activities that cater to a variety of interests creates a flexible and laid-back itinerary for travelers. Paddle through a mangrove estuary, snorkel with friendly sea lions, visit a whale shark feeding area (dependent on weather, availability of permits, and other factors), hike to a scenic ridge to watch for dolphins, or hop on a skiff for a fishing session. Each day offers new adventures and possibilities in this slice of paradise. In the evenings, kick back on the beach or go for a swim in the inviting turquoise waters while guides prepare freshly-caught seafood and other delicious Mexican dishes. This is a Baja vacation at its best.
What to Expect
Itinerary & Map
Itinerary at a Glance
We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every Baja sea kayaking trip is different depending upon the group, other trips on the water, camp locations, and sometimes the weather. The following is a sample of what your trip might be like:
Arrive in La Paz, Mexico
Make your way to La Paz and check in to the Posada LunaSol hotel. Once settled in your room, the evening is yours to explore the town’s beachside promenade and dine at one of this vibrant town’s many fine restaurants.
Espiritu Santo Island
Enjoy an early breakfast and orientation with our guides at the hotel’s cafe. You’ll collect any rental gear you may have requested, then the group will transfer by motorized boat to the island of Espiritu Santo (approximately 2 hours). Lunch will be served upon arrival at camp. After lunch, we will go through a camp and kayak orientation, then depart for a short paddle, snorkel, or swim in the azul waters of this paradise. (B, L, D)
Days 3 – 6
San Jose and San Francisquito Islands
After a hearty breakfast, we’ll board our skiff to depart for the islands of San Jose and San Francisquito. For the next several days, weather and winds, as well as personal interests and abilities, will largely determine our daily routine. As we explore these stunningly picturesque islands, we typically kayak 5 to 15 miles each day and move from 2 to 4 different camps to provide access to different activities and guide-favorite spots. As we move around the islands, guided kayak excursions, snorkeling, nature walks or hikes, and fishing excursions by boat will be offered each morning and some evenings for those interested. During this time, we’ll also plan to visit a sea lion rookery where we can snorkel alongside these amazing marine animals. (B, L, D)
Morning Excursion and Return to La Paz
Enjoy a pleasant paddle or morning nature walk with your guides, early lunch at camp then transfer back to La Paz by boat, arriving mid-day. You’ll check-in to the Posada LunaSol upon arrival in La Paz. Enjoy a nice shower and relaxing afternoon exploring this lovely seaside town. Dinner is on your own. (B, L)
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before starting your travels home or on to your next destination in Baja. (B)
Meeting Time & Place
La Paz, Mexico
Anytime on Day 1
Day 8 for flights home (morning flight from La Paz or afternoon flight from San Jose del Cabo)
Dates & Prices
|2024 Departures||Adult Price||Youth Price|
|March 10, 24, 30||$1,550||$1,395|
|April 13, 27||$1,550||$1,395|
|November 17, 23||$1,600||$1,440|
• Mandatory emergency medical & evacuation coverage
• Oct. 2023 – April 2024: $120 hotel + tent, $95 single hotel + shared tent, $50 single tent + shared hotel
• November 2024: $150 hotel + tent; $120 single hotel + shared tent; $75 single tent + shared hotel
Oct. 2023 – April 2024
• Westuit: $15
• Snorkel Gear $15
• Sleeping Bag $15 | Tent Included
Nov. 2024 – April 2025
• Westuit: $20
• Snorkel Gear $20
• Sleeping Bag $20 | Tent Included
The Need-to-Know Info
Included in Your Trip Cost
Not Included in Your Trip Cost
- Flights to and from La Paz or San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
- Roundtrip ground transportation between San Jose del Cabo and La Paz
- Airport transfers
- Single hotel room supplement and/or single tent supplement
- Sleeping bag (available for rent)
- Snorkeling equipment and a wetsuit (available for rent)
- Single sea kayak (for exclusive use of a single kayak, inquire with your OARS Adventure Consultant)
- Insurance of any kind, including a travel protection plan or mandatory emergency medical & evacuation coverage
- Alcoholic beverages (other than happy hour) or sodas
Single Hotel Room & Single Tent Supplement
Single supplements must be prepaid. If you are a single traveler and willing to share, we will waive the single supplement if we’re able to pair you with another traveler of the same gender.
Oct. 2023 – April 2024
- Sleeping Bag: $15
- Snorkel gear: $15 (includes mask, snorkel & fins)
- Mask & snorkel or fins: $10 individually
- Wetsuit: $15 (3mm with short legs & long sleeves; recommended for trips late November through April)
Nov. 2024 – April 2025:
- Sleeping Bag: $20
- Snorkel gear: $20 (includes mask, snorkel & fins)
- Mask & snorkel or fins: $15 individually
- Wetsuit: $20 (3mm with short legs & long sleeves; recommended for trips late November through April)
Our fleet of sea kayaks are primarily doubles (tandems). One or two single kayaks may be brought along to be used on a shared basis. The kayaks are made by Seda and by Seaward and are of fiberglass construction with rudders. Based upon your experience, size, and group composition, your guide will help determine what kayak you will paddle. We encourage the group to rotate kayak seats so everyone has a chance to paddle to their desire.
A lightweight Swift or Nimbus paddle, PFD (personal flotation device), and a nylon spray skirt are provided to each paddler, while each guide also carries a paddle float and bilge pump. If you’re of short stature (under 5’5″ tall), you may want to bring a seat pad that adds a couple inches of height while sitting in the kayak seat, as this may improve your paddling experience. If you are over 6’2″and/or over 200 pounds, please let us know in advance and we will arrange a kayak with a large cockpit.
We offer exclusive use of a single kayak on most trips for a fee of $50 per kayak. You must be fit and experienced in kayaking and screened in advance by our office. Inquire with your OARS Adventure Consultant to learn more.
The first and last nights of your trip are spent at Posada LunaSol – a charming hotel in La Paz with a fountain pool, breakfast cafe, and rooftop terrace with views of La Paz Bay. Located in a safe neighborhood, Posada LunaSol is within convenient walking distance to the malecon (seaside walk) where restaurants, shops, and bars abound.
La Paz is a bustling town and true to Mexico’s spirited lifestyle, sounds of the surrounding residences and streets may be heard at night.
For the sea kayaking portion of this adventure, we camp on beaches along the shores of Espiritu Santo Island. A large dome tent is set up by our staff and used for cooking. Meals are taken outside while enjoying the spectacular views. Chairs are provided, but not dining tables. An additional shade tarp provides protected outdoor seating and relief from the noonday sun.
Quality 3-person walk-in tents with cots are provided for double occupancy or you may choose to sleep out under the starry sky. Our staff does the cooking and you are welcome to lend a hand at any time. It’s a great way to practice your Spanish!
Meals & Beverages
We serve a combination of the best of American and Mexican traditions, prepared with local fresh ingredients. Barbecued chicken, fresh fish Vera Cruz style, grilled steak tacos accompanied by guacamole and a variety of Mexican salsas, plus fresh soups and salads prepared for lunch are just a few examples of our tasty menu. The skiffs allow us to bring large blocks of ice to store fresh produce and chill canned beverages you bring on the trip. Each evening, we serve a cocktail and appetizer for “happy hour” so you can enjoy the spectacular Baja sunset while sipping an ice-cold margarita!
We need to know as soon as possible about any dietary restrictions we must consider in planning your trip. If you have food allergies or necessary restrictions, we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
Spring and fall are the most ideal times for enjoying the Sea of Cortez. The strong northerly winds blow longest and strongest from late November through early March so spring and fall trips are characterized by calmer, warmer days.
Fall trips (Oct & Nov) offer warm and clear waters for great snorkeling and little chance of strong winds. An added attraction is the opportunity to observe the Baja desert in bloom following the rainy season in August and September.
Spring trips (Mar – May) offer warmer waters with warm calm days being common. As an added bonus on spring trips, many cetaceans migrate into the Sea of Cortez at this time and sightings may include blue, fin, sperm, and humpback whales.
Average Air & Water Temperatures
|Air (Day) °F||Water °F|
Before booking your trip with OARS, there are a few important considerations we’d like you to know about.
Reservations and Deposit
A $500/person deposit is required at the time of reservation. Deposits may be made by check, money order, or Visa/Mastercard (American Express and Discover incur a 3% processing fee). Prices are in US Dollars, and all payments must be made in US Dollars. Payment of the deposit establishes your acceptance of our complete Terms and Conditions. Individual departures and trip capacity are strictly limited by the managing agency.
Canceling your trip after your deposit is processed will incur cancellation fees because OARS has absorbed costs on your behalf and will turn others away who would like to book the spaces we’re holding for you. Final payment is due 90 days before departure. Accounts on which final payment has not been received 80 days before the departure date will be canceled without exception.
Cancellations and Refunds
Your deposit is fully refundable, less a 3% processing fee, for 7 days after you book when you submit a deposit 7 days or more before the final payment due date.
If you must cancel your reservation after the rescission period described above, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the schedule below. We regret we cannot make exceptions to the cancellation policy for any reason, including foul weather, poor air quality, wildfire activity, acts of terrorism, civil unrest, or personal emergencies. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early. For these reasons, we strongly urge you to consider purchasing a travel protection plan.
|Date of Cancellation||Cancellation Fee|
|90 or more days before your trip||$300/person|
|89 – 60 days before your trip||$500/person|
|59 days or less before your trip||100% of the trip price/person|
Requests to transfer a date will be treated as a cancellation, per the terms above.
OARS International and the outfitter Sea & Adventures, Inc. reserve the right to cancel any trip due to insufficient registration or other factors that make the trip impractical to operate. Do not make nonrefundable travel arrangements unless you have spoken to your Adventure Consultant regarding the status of your trip.
If a trip must be canceled or postponed due to force majeure (factors outside the control of OARS), OARS will provide full credit for payments made toward future travel, or a refund less a 5% service fee plus any nonrefundable payments made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers. OARS will make good faith efforts to recover deposits made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers, however, we can’t guarantee recovery of any or all of the advance payments made. OARS is not responsible for expenses incurred by participants in preparation for a canceled trip.
Our Baja trips are run by an affiliate company and arranged through O.A.R.S. International, Inc.
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