Sea Kayaking the Baja Coast & Islands

Location Baja, Mexico Adventure Level Moderate Minimum age 12 (or younger based on abilities) From $1706
Call toll-free 1 (800) 346-6277

Sea kayak, snorkel, hike, and explore Baja’s scenic coastline on this multi-sport adventure in one of the richest marine environments in the world.

Known as the “Mexican Galápagos,” the warm turquoise waters of Baja, Mexico’s Gulf of California is one of the richest marine environments in the world. On this active adventure, your days will be spent paddling, snorkeling, and exploring a remote coastal stretch of the Sea of Cortez between the charming seaside towns of Loreto and La Paz, as well as wild islands like Espiritu Santo. Nights are punctuated by magnificent sunsets and happy hour, “Baja-style.” A motorized support skiff accompanies all our OARS sea kayaking trips, carrying your gear and supplies thus leaving your tandem sea kayak light and responsive. This is our most popular OARS adventure trip among experienced kayakers.

Trip Highlights
  • Sea kayak Baja’s scenic coastline known as the “Mexican Galápagos”
  • Camp on isolated beaches such as Puerto Gato, Punta Cobre, Punta Colorada & Isla San Jose
  • Explore canyons, snorkel in the Sea of Cortez, or fish from the skiffs in the morning
  • Visit the friendly Mexican families at Tembabichi, Los Burros Punta Alta & El Pardito
  • Enjoy freshly-caught seafood & delicious Mexican food

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:

Day 1

Arrive in Loreto, Mexico

Make your way to Loreto and check in to Posada del Cortes (or similar). If time allows, enjoy a stroll along the coast, otherwise, plan to join the group for an early evening pre-trip meeting in the pool area. Enjoy dinner on your own or with others in the group at one of many restaurants in town.

Day 2

Puerto Escondido / Ballenita Cove

After an early breakfast at the hotel, we transfer by van to the marina at Puerto Escondido (a 30-minute drive), where we’ll meet our motorized skiff for the 2-hour boat ride to our first camp at Ballenita Cove. 

In camp, get settled in with your gear, enjoy a hearty lunch and then we’ll gather for an afternoon kayak orientation and group paddle along the shoreline. (B, L, D)

Days 3 – 7

Kayaking the Baja Coast

Kayaking excursions from approximately 8-16 miles per day are combined with motorized skiff rides as we move South along the Baja Peninsula coastline, camping along the main shoreline and on the islands of San Jose and Espiritu Santo. Camps are on isolated beaches as we paddle south, at locations such as Ballenita Cove, Puerto Gato, Isla San Jose, Bonanza Beach, and Isla Espiritu Santo (where we can snorkel with friendly sea lions). 

Taking a break from paddling, and depending on the season, we’ll go snorkeling in several locations and explore the fascinating underwater world of the Sea of Cortez, explore side canyons, or jump in a skiff for the occasional morning of fishing. Of course, there’s always the option of relaxing at camp with a good book. Breaks at Tembabichi, Los Burros, Punta Alta, or El Pardito give us a chance to visit friendly Mexican families living on the coast and interpret the rich history of the area from stories passed on from their ancestors who have pearled, farmed, ranched, and fished this coast since the 1800s. (B, L, D)

Day 8

La Paz

After a morning to enjoy our last campsite, some paddling, and lunch on the beach, we depart from Espiritu Santo Island and transfer by skiff to La Paz (approximately 2 hours). 

We’ll check-in to the hotel, Posada LunaSol, and then the afternoon is free for you to shower, relax and take a walk along the malecon of downtown La Paz. This evening, enjoy dinner on your own at one of the many fine restaurants in La Paz. (B, L)

Day 9

Depart La Paz

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before starting your travels home or on to your next destination in Baja. (B)

Meeting Time & Place

Location

Loreto, Mexico

Meeting time

5 PM on Day 1

Return

Day 9 for flights home (morning flight from La Paz or afternoon flight from San Jose del Cabo)

Trip Map

Dates & Prices

2024 DeparturesAdult PriceYouth Price
March 16, 30$1,895$1,706
April 13, 27$1,895$1,706
May 11$1,895$1,706
November 9$1,895$1,706

2025 DeparturesAdult PriceYouth Price
April 5, 26$1,950$1,755
May 17$1,950$1,755

Deposit

$500

Additional Costs

  • Mandatory emergency medical & evacuation coverage

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT

  • Jan. 2024 – May 2024: $150 hotel + tent; $135 single hotel + shared tent; $50 single tent + shared hotel
  • November 2024:  $195 hotel + tent; $175 single hotel + shared tent; $75 single tent + shared hotel
  • April 2025 – May 2025:  $250 hotel + tent; $200 single hotel + shared tent; $75 single tent + shared hotel

Ways to Save

To book with one of our special offers, call 1-800-346-6277 or contact us today.

The Need-to-Know Info

Trip Details

Included in Your Trip Cost

  • Skilled, professional guide service provided by our affiliate operator
  • 6 nights catered camping + 2 nights hotel (based on double occupancy)
  • High-quality expedition equipment, including tandem sea kayaks, PFD and paddle, camp chair, as well as eating utensils, plates, and cups
  • 2-person tents on a shared basis (there is an additional charge for a private tent)
  • All meals as outlined in the itinerary (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner), plus purified water and some beverages 
  • Transportation starting on day 2 to La Paz on day 8

Not Included in Your Trip Cost

  • Flights to Loreto and out of La Paz or San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
  • Ground transport between La Paz and San Jose del Cabo
  • Airport transfers
  • Single hotel room supplement and/or single tent supplement
  • Sleeping bag & pad for camping (available for rent, pillow not included)
  • Snorkeling equipment and 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
  • Gratuities

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.

Rentals

Jan. 2024 – May 2024

  • Sleep Kit: $30 (includes a sleeping bag, sheet liner & pad; a pillow is not provided)
  • Sleeping bag only or sleeping pad only: $15 individually
  • 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)

November 2024:

  • Sleep Kit: $30 (includes a sleeping bag, sheet liner & pad; a pillow is not provided)
  • Sleeping bag only or sleeping pad only: $20 individually
  • 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)

Rental requests are organized and packed in La Paz ahead of the trip and brought to Loreto. Therefore, any rentals must be requested in advance – we are not able to provide rental items if they weren’t brought from La Paz.

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 an OARS Adventure Consultant to learn more.

The first night of your trip includes accommodation in Loreto at Posada del Cortes (or similar). We include accommodation on the last night of your trip in La Paz at Posada LunaSol – a charming hotel 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.

Loreto and La Paz are bustling towns, and true to Mexico’s spirited lifestyle, sounds of the surrounding residences and streets may be heard at night, sometimes loudly.

Camp Life

For the sea kayaking portion of this adventure, we camp on sand and pebble beaches along the coast and islands of the Baja Peninsula. 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 or 4-person tents are provided for double occupancy or you may choose to sleep on the beach 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

Average Air Temp (F°)Average Water Temp (F°)
October80-9580
November70-8073
March70-8565
April75-9068
May80-9570

Before booking your trip with OARS, there are a few important considerations we’d like you to know about.

  • Purchase Travel Protection: In order to take part in this trip, each participant must have a minimum of Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage in place for the dates of the trip. Learn more about the plan we recommend.

  • Essential Travel Documents: A passport is required for travel to Mexico.
  • Physical Requirements: Your outdoor adventure will be an active participatory trip. Please inform us of any physical limitations you may have as soon as possible. If you exceed 260 pounds, please give us a call. Make sure you are exercising frequently in the months leading up to your trip and can meet our Essential Eligibility Criteria.
  • Trip Forms: Each participant will need to complete the required trip forms within two weeks of making a booking. If you are reserving within 90 days of departure, your forms must be completed immediately to ensure we can properly plan for your trip.

Reservations and Deposits

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 CancellationCancellation Fee
90 or more days before your trip$300/person
89 – 60 days before your trip$500/person
59 days or less before your trip100% of the trip price/person

Requests to transfer a date will be treated as a cancellation, per the terms above.

Canceled Trips

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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