Sea of Cortez Island Hopping

Location Baja, Mexico Adventure Level Easier to Moderate Minimum age 5 (or younger based on abilities) From $1706
Call toll-free 1 (800) 346-6277

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.

Trip Highlights
  • Sea kayaking from Espiritu Santo Island through the Sea of Cortez
  • Visit local fishing villages
  • Snorkel at Los Islotes sea lion rookery
  • Visit Santa Catalina Island, camp on five islands
  • Paddle with dolphins and mantas leaping from the water

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 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.

Day 2

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)

Day 8

Loreto

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)

Day 9

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

Meeting Time & Place

Location

La Paz, Mexico

Meeting time

Anytime on Day 1

Return

Day 9 for flights home (depart anytime)

Trip Map

Dates & Prices

2024 DeparturesAdult PriceYouth Price
April 6, 20, 27*$1,895$1,706
May 4$1,895$1,706
November 2$1,895$1,706
2025 DeparturesAdult PriceYouth Price
March 8, 15*, 29$1,950$1,755
April 19$1,950$1,755
May 10$1,950$1,755

* April 27, 2024 and March 15, 2025 trips start in Loreto and end in La Paz

All prices per person based on double occupancy

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
  • March 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 
  • All activities as outlined in the itinerary

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
  • Gratuities

Rentals

  • 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.

View from above of camp set up on the beach next to the ocean on a Sea Kayaking Espiritu Santo Island trip in Baja Mexico

Camp Life

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°)
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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