Sea Kayak in Baja
Come kayak Baja with Sea Kayak Adventures! It's a paddler's dream-world of dramatic contrasts where russet peaks meet turquoise waters in one of the world's best sea kayaking, snorkeling, and whale watching destinations. The Sea of Cortez, home to 1/3 of the world’s marine mammals, is world-renowned for close encounters with friendly wild whales. It's a paradise come true. Sea Kayak Adventures is honored to hold one of the few permits to kayak Baja’s Islands of Loreto Bay UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Marine Park since 1993. As well, Sea Kayak Adventures holds one of the exclusive permits to operate Baja kayak tours on the island of Espiritu Santo, near La Paz, where we have two boats licensed and permitted to offer one of the world's greatest wildlife experiences, swimming with whale sharks! In all, we offer more sea kayaking tours and options than any other kayak company in Baja.
As you kayak Baja’s stunning seascape of natural wonder and beauty, you'll wonder why you haven't experienced it sooner. Visit desert islands, snorkel over reefs with over 900 species of brightly-colored fish, for which Jacques Cousteau named the area 'The World’s Aquarium.' Hike an arroyo full of fascinating geology and sleep on white sand beach beneath a star-filled sky.
Choosing the Perfect Baja Kayaking Trip
While all of our Baja sea kayak tour options are great choices, below we've provided a guide to help you find the trip you’d enjoy most. The fact is you really can’t go wrong choosing a sea kayaking trip in Baja, and many of our guests return several times and try all our itineraries! In fact, Sea Kayak Adventures offers more different itineraries on a regular basis than any other sea kayak company in Baja.
- The Season: We run our Baja kayak tours in the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez) from October to May. From May to September it’s really hot in Baja, California, and not comfortable for kayaking.
- Location: We offer our sea kayaking tours from two different towns, La Paz and Loreto. La Paz is the capital city of Baja California Sur with a population of around 250,000. It has a lovely waterfront to explore, excellent restaurants, a couple of museums, and more. Loreto is a much smaller town, with a population of around 20,000 and has a laid-back fishing village feel. Baja’s oldest mission is here and there are lovely quiet squares to explore. Which is the easiest and most cost-effective to get to? That depends where you live.
- La Paz: If you live in the central or eastern part of the USA or Canada, there are connecting flights directly to La Paz via Mexico City, Guadalajara, and other cities. Or, you can fly to Cabo San Lucas and take a 2 ½ hour shuttle north to La Paz for about $35. If you live in the western USA or Canada, it’s faster, cheaper, and simpler to fly to Cabo San Lucas and transfer 2 ½ hours by shuttle to La Paz for about $35.
- Loreto: Loreto has nonstop service from Los Angeles on Alaska Airlines, and from Calgary, Alberta on WestJet. It’s also possible to cross the border at San Diego using the SkyBridge and get a domestic flight from Tijuana to Loreto on AeroCalafia and Volaris.
- Length of Trips: While we love our longer five to ten-day trips, we know that not everyone has that much time. Thus we do offer three and four-day options. How much time you have will help you narrow your choices.
- Difficulty of Trips: Many of our Baja sea kayaking tours are suitable for beginners or those with very little kayaking experience. Some are better suited to those with moderate experience. A few are best for those with previous kayaking experience and fit enough for longer paddling days.
- Remoteness of Trips: Trips on Isla Espiritu Santos near La Paz tend to feel less remote than some of our other trips. The island is quite popular with Baja kayak tours, but also for day trips coming from La Paz to snorkel, swim and lunch on a beach. Many nights we share our beach with another group. We are separated, but it’s not the same as having a beach entirely to ourselves. Trips to the Islands of Loreto tend to be less busy as day trips don’t visit the islands where we kayak. See the chart below for the trips that provide the highest level of solitude and remoteness.
- Wildlife: In the comparison chart you will see an indication of what types of wildlife you are likely to see while kayaking in Baja. The gray whales are only around on the Pacific Coast from mid-January to mid-April. Blue whales are most likely to be seen in the Gulf of California during February. Many other Baja wildlife species are present during our entire kayak season.
- When to Go: In the comparison chart below you will note that some trips are offered all season, while others are available only in specific windows. This is generally determined by weather patterns. For example, Isla San Jose often has high winds from December through February, so we avoid it during that time frame.
Why Kayak Baja with Sea Kayak Adventures?
Sea Kayak Adventures founders Nancy and Terry began guiding Baja kayak tours in the ‘80s, which means our tour operations are perfected from over 25 years of experience. Our proven expertise kayaking in Baja leads to not only high-quality tours with hand-picked highlights but a finesse of operations that sets us apart from other outfitters. For example:
- All-inclusive. We like to make vacation fun and easy for our guests, so just bring a carry-on with your clothing! Kayaking equipment (high-quality fiberglass kayaks, paddles, spray skirts and PFDs), all camping gear (tents, sleeping bags, pillows, sleeping pads, complete kitchen set-up), and snorkeling equipment (mask, snorkel, fins, and wetsuits) are included. In addition, we include all transportation to and from meeting points in either Loreto or LaPaz while on tour. No other company includes so much!
- Best Guides and highest guide-to-guest ratios in the industry. With 2-3 guides for every tour (6-13 guests max). The vast majority of our guides are Mexican citizens. Many are marine biologists, zoologists, geologists, etc with degrees from Mexican universities. Others grew up in fishing families and have non-academic expertise that is inspiring. All are certified to high standards of sea kayak guiding including either BCU or ACA certification. All have Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder. And finally, all are bilingual, professional, and fun to be with!
- We leave only footprints. The Islands of Loreto Bay and Espiritu Santo are protected as a National Marine Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. We proudly adhere to “leave no trace” camping ethics when kayaking in Baja and support a number of local marine conservation organizations.
- Green doesn’t mean lean! Kayak Baja’s waters and camp in style with top of the line equipment, full catering with gourmet meals freshly prepared from scratch, and optional motorboat support.
- We emphasize wildlife and natural history. It really is a kayak adventure in splendor, and our guides are highly educated about the wilderness in which you are immersed. Nature presentations are built into the itinerary.
How do I get to your Baja kayak tours?
Sea Kayak Adventures has bases of operation in both La Paz and Loreto in Baja California Sur. Loreto boasts a small international airport with direct flights from LAX and Calgary and is easily accessible by bus from other parts of the peninsula, including La Paz and Los Cabos. La Paz has direct flights from the mainland of Mexico and is easily reached via a 2.5-hour shuttle from Los Cabos airport. Read about the differences between kayaking in Loreto and La Paz.
Select from a variety of multi-day itineraries, including wilderness camping and sea kayaking in Baja’s blue whale realm of the Sea of Cortez and whale watching tours in the federally protected gray whale lagoons of Magdalena Bay. Our most popular Baja kayak tours combine both areas.
We also offer a number of day tours to extend your vacation, including:
- Swimming with Whale Sharks near La Paz.
- Hiking in the historic mining areas near La Paz
- Visiting San Javier Mission near Loreto
- Blue Whale watching near Loreto
- Skiff and Snorkel Tour to Isla Coronado near Loreto
- Gray whale watching in Magdalena Bay (offered from both La Paz and Loreto)