Experience the best of Baja as you travel by boat to a number of islands throughout the Sea of Cortez.
Our most popular excursion for those who want an authentic Baja, Mexico experience, this OARS adventure includes Baja sea kayaking, snorkeling, nature walks, fishing, and visiting local Baja fishing villages. Traveling between destinations by boat, we’ll camp on five different islands and visit a number of others as we make our way from La Paz to Loreto. Get ready to see dolphins by the hundreds, sea lions sunning on rocky pinnacles, mantas leaping from the water, and on spring trips, possibly blue, humpback, sperm, or fin whales as we cruise from island to island.
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
Fly directly to La Paz or to San Jose del Cabo and make your way to La Paz. Upon arrival in La Paz, take a taxi to our hotel. This evening you’re on your own to explore La Paz and dine at one of its many fine restaurants.
Espiritu Santo Island
Enjoy an early breakfast and orientation with our guides at the hotel’s cafe. We then transfer by boat to the island of Espiritu Santo (approximately 2 hours). Lunch will be served upon arrival at camp before a thorough camp and kayak orientation. Once settled in camp, enjoy a short paddle, snorkel, or swim. (B, L, D)
Days 3 – 7
Sea of Cortez Island Hopping
We motor from island to island in our 30-foot passenger boat and support skiffs with kayaks on top as we travel north to Loreto. Each transfer from camp to camp takes approximately 1 to 3 hours depending on the winds and possible wildlife encounters. Once at each new camp activities include kayaking, snorkeling, nature walks, or fishing. We stay at 4 to 5 different camps, allowing for some layover days.
No two trips are ever the same as we often vary the itinerary and camps we use. This variation can be due to weather, a possible encounter with wildlife that causes a delay in getting to a certain place, or other unpredictable circumstances.
Our first camp is on the beautiful island of Espiritu Santo which sets us up for a visit to the sea lion rookery of Los Islotes where we can snorkel with these friendly, playful creatures. From here we travel north, visiting and camping at some of the following places depending on the circumstances mentioned above: San Francisquito Island, the fishing village of El Pardito, Isla San Jose, the red sandstone beach of Puerto Gato on the Baja coast, the small ranching and fishing village of Tembabichi, Santa Catalina Island, and continuing on to our last night’s camp on Danzante or Carmen Island in the National Marine Park of Loreto. (B, L, D)
After a morning excursion of paddling and/or snorkeling, we’ll transfer from camp to Loreto via boat and vehicle, then check-in to our hotel. The afternoon is yours to shower and explore the tranquil town of Loreto and dine at one of its many fine restaurants. (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 9 for flights home (depart anytime)
Dates & Prices
|2024 Departures||Adult Price||Youth Price|
|March 9, 23||$1,895||$1,706|
|April 6, 20||$1,895||$1,706|
All prices per person based on double occupancy
• Mandatory emergency medical & evacuation coverage
• October 2023 – May 2024: $150 hotel + tent; $135 single hotel + shared tent; $50 single tent + shared hotel
• Wetsuit $15
• Snorkel Gear $15
• Sleep Kit $30 | Tent included
The Need-to-Know Info
Included in Your Trip Cost
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.
Not Included in Your Trip Cost
- Flights to La Paz or San Jose del Cabo and from Loreto, Mexico
- Ground transportation from San Jose del Cabo to La Paz (if arriving at SJD)
- 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
- 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)
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 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. On the last night of your trip, we include accommodation in Loreto at La Mision (or similar).
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.
We camp on gravel and sand beaches on the islands of the Baja Peninsula. A large 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 noon-day 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°)|
Before booking your trip with OARS, there are a few important considerations we’d like you to know about.
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 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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