*Please note that the following information is meant to provide a general overview of your tour. The specifics of your trip will be contained in a pre-trip letter you will receive prior to your confirmed departure.
Important Trip Details:
MEETING PLACE: La Hacienda Suites, Loreto
MEETING TIME: 6:00 PM MST
TRIP MILES: Varies depending on group size, weather and kayaker's abilities
PUT-IN: Puerto Escondido, 20 miles south of Loreto in Sea of Cortez
TAKE-OUT: Puerto Escondido, 20 miles south of Loreto in Sea of Cortez
RETURN TIME: 2:00 PM MST
THE LAST SUPPER: Join your guide and fellow trip guests for a non hosted farewell dinner at a favorite local restaurant.
TRIP LENGTH: 3, 4, 5, or 6 days
AGE LIMIT: Minimum age is 12
BOAT TYPE: Sea Kayak
NEAREST AIRPORTS: Loreto International Airport (LTO)
Islands of Loreto Bay Kayak Tour Itinerary
This itinerary reflects the same schedule for our 3, 4, & 5 Day kayak trips as well.
Note on Itinerary: Approximate paddling distances listed and can vary depending on group size and weather. We will do our best to adhere to the schedule listed . However, the itinerary may change due to reasons beyond our control such as wind, waves or inclement weather. Please Note: Although there is a very good chance we'll see whales and other marine life throughout the week, the frequency, proximity, and quality of sightings will ultimately be determined by the wildlife.
Day 0: Welcome to Loreto in Baja!
Upon your arrival in Loreto take a quick cab ride to your chosen hotel and check into your room (Not included in trip cost). Spend your afternoon exploring the beautiful town of Loreto. You can tour the historic Mission located in the center of town, stroll through the local market and dine on authentic Mexican cuisine before meeting your guides in the Hacienda Suites hotel lobby for an evening orientation meeting.
- Meals Included: 0 (Travel Day)
- Accommodations: Not included
Day 1: Sea Kayaking in the Sea of Cortez
Grab breakfast on your own before meeting your guides for the start of your kayaking adventure. You’ll board our van and ride to the launch site 20 minutes south of town. Before launching our kayaks your guides will provide a basic paddling overview and thorough safety orientation. We then push off for the start of our kayaking adventure, dipping our paddles into the turquoise water of the Sea of Cortez for the first time. We make our first crossing before stopping for lunch, snorkeling and hiking. Following lunch we jump back into the kayaks and head to our first campsite. Spend your evening mingling with new friends, enjoying our hors-d’oeuvre hour and feasting on an authentic Mexican dinner. As the evening comes to a close retreat to your tent and fall asleep under a blanket of stars.
- Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
- Accommodations: Camping
- Paddling duration: 3-4 hours
Day 2-5: Loreto Kayaking & Camping
Our days begin with spectacular sunrises and end with delightfully cool evenings. Expect to paddle about 4 hours per day, broken up by a long lunch break and floating rest stops. You'll have opportunities at lunch and after kayaking to snorkel, hike, swim or relax with a good book. Each day we will have the opportunity to encounter whales, dolphins, flying manta rays, incredible birds and the beautiful scenery surrounding the Sea of Cortez. Evenings find us feasting on delicious fresh food and enjoying margaritas as the sun sets on the horizon. On dark nights don’t forget to check for bio-luminescence before heading to bed. We occasionally get the pleasure of witnessing this incredible phenomenon!
- Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Accommodations: Camping
- Paddling duration: 3-4 hours
Day 6: Return to Loreto
Wake up and enjoy a hot cup of coffee or tea while taking in sunrise before your final day of kayaking. We will spend the morning exploring the shorelines and watching for a final glimpse of marine life! After lunch we break camp and paddle to our take-out site around 2 p.m. Upon arrival at the take-out site we quickly unload our kayaks before making the return drive to Loreto. Once in Loreto you will check into your hotel room. Enjoy a hot shower before joining your guides and your fellow guests for a no host farewell dinner at a favorite local restaurant.
- Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
- Accommodations: Not included
- Paddling duration: 3-4 hours
Day 7: Return home or extend your stay
Say good-bye to lovely Loreto and head back to the airport to fly home, or consider a Day tour add-on option.
- Meals Included: 0 (Travel Day)
- Accommodations: Not included
Baja has a desert climate. The weather is typically dry, warm, and sunny, with temperatures ranging between 60 - 90 F. While it may be very warm during the day, temperatures can drop down to the 60’s or lower during the evening hours. Please plan to pack appropriate layers for the evenings.
If you are interested in more specific information regarding the weather in Baja, we highly suggest this website: wunderground. If you put in the location you are traveling, and the date, it will provide you with historical weather data that you can use to plan for your upcoming adventure.
WHEN TO GO?
For many people, the best time to go is the time that fits their vacation, or when they want to escape the chill of winter in the north. Here's some other information to help you decide what would be the best time to go in order to meet your expectations and desires.
Baja weather is much more mild than many places in North America, but it is still in North America, as it is north of the equator, and does have all four seasons. The summer months of June through August are blistering hot and rather humid in Baja Sur. It's a time that sport-fishers and a few other tourists come, but it's not peak season due to the heat. All the summer heat has the benefit of heating up the sea and that is appealing to people that love warm water. As the weather cools down in September and we begin our kayaking and tour season in October, the water holds that heat and the Gulf of California is wonderfully warm. If your dream is hot weather and warm water, then October through mid November is a great time to visit Baja. By early December the seas have cooled somewhat and daytime temperatures are lower. It's not cold by any means, but it's not hot either. Days are generally in the 70's (20’s C) and nights in the 60's. Clear blue skies and sunshine can make it feel warmer of course, but these are the true temperatures. We go snorkeling, but as water temperatures are in the 60's (15 C), most people wear the wetsuits that we provide.
Compared to much of North America, Baja weather is idyllic. Even the coldest day in Baja is mighty nice! With the proper clothing and expectations, it's always the "best" time to be in Baja! But consider your wishes and the experience you want to have when deciding when to go. Always feel welcome to contact our staff if you have questions.
Sea Kayak Adventures Physical Requirements
Here at Sea Kayak Adventures our first and foremost goal is for you to have an enjoyable and safe experience. While most of our trips are suitable for beginners, some of our trips are more active than others and it’s important that you understand the physical requirement of the trip you choose.
All of our sea kayaking trips are active adventures that involve some level of physical exertion and possible exposure to the elements including but not limited to wind, rain, heat, sun, cold temperatures and cold water conditions. Sea Kayak Adventures is able to accommodate people with physical limitations, disabilities and medical conditions; please speak with your Adventure Consultant if you think you will require any additional assistance while on the trip. We ask that you consult your Doctor if you have health or medical conditions that could impact your ability to participate in an active and outdoor adventure. In general, all trip participants must be able to do the following:
- Wear all protective and safety equipment that are required by Sea Kayak Adventures and recommended/required by industry wide standards.
- Load and unload, on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion, the bus and/or van providing transportation for Sea Kayak Adventures activities.
- Reach the water access points (put-in and take-out) on their own, or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Enter and exit the raft, kayak and/or inflatable kayak on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Remain seated and balanced in a floating raft, canoe, kayak or inflatable kayak w/ the aid of adaptive equipment, if necessary.
- Float on their back when entering moving and still water. The participant must be capable of turning from face-down to face-up in the water with the aid of a Personal Floatation Device and must be able to hold their breath while under water.
- Remain calm and keep breathing under control in the event of a swim.
- Climb into the kayak, with the help of another person, should an involuntary swim happen at any point on the water.
- Make progress toward the shoreline or a boat by swimming in moving water and must be able to exit the water and ascend the shoreline once reached.
- Participate as an active paddler when instructed by the guide for the duration of trip.
- Move about the campsite on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion on all trips that include overnight camping and/or lunch.
Whether you are an avid sea kayaker, or it is your first time, you’ll enjoy these incredible trips, and share in our passion for adventure, commitment to conserving the environment, and relishing unique experiences. For those new to the sport, kayaking is easy to learn in the sheltered waters that we visit, and we provide all of the camping gear, kayaking equipment and guidance needed. In addition, we keep our groups small to allow you to not only travel intimately among nature, but to ensure you receive the necessary attention from our guides.
BAJA SEA KAYAKING PACKING LIST
The packing list outlined below is meant to serve as a guide to help you plan, prepare and outfit yourself for your upcoming travels. We have provided our best recommendations and suggestions. These suggestions are broken down by your tour type and are based on the outlined itinerary, the geographic region, our knowledge of Baja, and our personal experience. We hope you find this list helpful, use it as a guide and feel free to amend it with your favorite travel items too!
Gear Provided by Sea Kayak Adventures
Sea Kayak Adventures provides all necessary equipment for your selected tour. This includes all necessary camping equipment for your tour: tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner, and pillow with pillow case. We also provide all necessary kayak gear including personal flotation devices (PFDs), paddles, kayaks, and three dry bags. We provide masks, snorkels, fins and wetsuits. *Please note if you wear eyeglasses you should bring your own mask to accommodate those or your own prescription lens mask. Our wetsuits are a mix of short legs and full length legs and we will provide one for you, but can't guarantee if it will be long or short legged.
Provided Dry Bags
At the orientation meeting on the evening, before we start kayaking, we will provide each guest with 3 dry bags (two 20-Liter bags and one 10-Liter bag). Your kayaking guides will provide a full explanation of how to use and pack your dry bags. That evening you will pack all of your gear for only your kayaking tour into your three dry bags. The smallest one is best used for items you might need during the day and is stowed inside the cockpit where you sit, or on the deck of your kayak. Sleeping bags are packed separately.
The rest of your luggage can be left with the hotel the following morning before departing for your tour.
Provided Snorkeling Attire
We will provide you with a shorty wetsuit, snorkel mask, fins, and PFD.
Sea Kayak Adventures trips are best enjoyed if you travel light. We think it is wise to avoid checking any luggage under the plane. If you do check a bag, make sure that you have everything that is either essential or would be hard to replace, with you in your carry-on.
We recommend packing in one soft sided, roll-on (ideally a non-hard-sided version) or duffle luggage that meets carry-on requirements. Alternatively, if you must have a checked bag; make sure your personal item is packed with your “hard to replace items.” You will be able to leave luggage not needed for your kayaking trip in hotel storage.
We also recommend bringing one small day pack. This dual purpose pack can serve as your personal item during your flights as well as your day pack for hikes during the tour. Outside zippered pockets are nice and allow you to organize your travel gear. Carry medications, travel documents, important personal items and other essentials or “hard-to-replace” items in this on the plane.
Baja Kayak Packing List:
- Passport – must be valid for at least six (6) months after the date of your arrival
- A photo of your passport on your phone. A photocopy of your passport, inside a ziplock bag and stowed elsewhere in your luggage. (As an additional precautionary measure, consider leaving a photocopy with family or friends at home as well.)
- Copy of your air tickets with ticket numbers, placed elsewhere in your luggage and/or email someone back home your air ticket information in case you lose your phone.
- Credit and/or Debit/ATM card that works internationally, ideally with chip technology (Some banks want you to notify them of travel plans ahead of time which often can be done online.) In Loreto there are two banks where you can get pesos using your ATM debit card. The one with the best rate is Banco Azteca.
- Plan to use cash (pesos) for small purchases, taxis and incidental tipping
- USD, CAD or Euros for guide gratuities at the end of your trip
- Watch or small travel clock with alarm (if you are taking a phone, this can serve as your alarm clock)
- Money belt or concealed passport carrier to carry your passport, travel documents and money, hidden under your clothing
- TSA-accessible lock for luggage security when not on your person (optional- can buy these at any travel or outdoor recreation store)
We highly suggest that all of your kayak clothing is synthetic or wool, not cotton. Synthetics are also ideal for activity, as they wick away moisture from the body and dry quickly. Added SPF protection in your clothing is always a great option for Baja. We recommend keeping one outfit out of the following packing guidelines as a “pre and post-activity” outfit for mornings and nights at camp.
- One - three pair long, lightweight, nylon pants with zipper pockets (zip off legs give you more options)
- One pair of nylon shorts
- Rashguard - great for use as sun-protection and extra warmth when snorkeling
- Sarong (optional, but super handy for changing clothes, laying on the ground, etc.)
- One - three short sleeve button-up shirt(s) or t-shirt(s) (synthetic is best)
- One - three long sleeve shirts, ideally with SPF protection
- One light-weight bottom layer like a long-sleeve synthetic shirt or merino wool t-shirt
- One medium-weight layer of fleece - synthetic or merino wool for warmth
- One heavier-weight layer of fleece OR a "puffy jacket" of synthetic down
- One windbreaker or light raincoat (better)
- One wide-brim, tie-on hat
- Three pair light synthetic or merino wool socks
- One pair sturdy trail shoes, or running shoes, to use for hiking and for casual camp time. They will get sandy at camp
- One pair of sandals with ankle straps to wear while kayaking, on the beaches, walking around towns, etc.
- One buff - for sun protection as well as wind protection on cold days
- One warm beanie cap or ski cap (especially important on trips from November to March when cooler winds can be present)
Casual Pre & Post Activity Clothing
- One - two other comfortable pairs of bottoms: pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, etc.
- One pair other lightweight shoes for time in town
- One - two tops: short sleeve, long sleeve and/or button up shirt(s)
- One light sweater or jacket for warmth in the evenings and mornings
- One pair pajamas
*The suggested numbers of clothing items are based on a one week adventure tour. We suggest using 1-2 kayaking or touring outfits, and 1-2 camp outfits that you will reuse throughout the trip. You are welcome to bring extra clothing for before or after your trip.
- Retaining strap for glasses and sunglasses
- Flashlight or headlamp
- One pair of paddling gloves
- One pair of light wool gloves if you get cold easily
- Small day pack or fanny pack for hikes
- One large mouth water bottle, 1 liter or larger
- One carabiner (this is optional but useful for clipping your waterbottle to your kayak)
- Camp towel (small lightweight towel, backpacking style works great)
- Camera and appropriate charging mechanism
- Back up battery pack for electronic devices
- Waterproof camera or valuables case
- Binoculars or monocular
- Glasses or contacts if needed
- Polarized sunglasses
- Reusable dirty/clean gear bags for wet or soiled items
- Small reusable, leak-proof bags for liquid or spillable personal items
- Books or E-reader, pen and notepad, headphones, etc. If you want to listen to music, please do it privately with earbuds or headphones
Toiletries and First Aid
- Standard toiletry kit including general hygiene products, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. (keep liquids under 3.38 oz.(100ml) for carry-on)
- Insect repellent
- Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF 20-50
- Pre-moistened toilette packets or disposable shower wipes to refresh
- Prescriptions and any necessary personal medicines (please be sure to bring necessary prescriptions and any needed emergency medicine such as an EpiPen, Benadryl, etc)
- Heavy duty skin lotion for dry, sun-baked, and salted skin
- Small squeeze bottle of hand-sanitizer gel
- Shampoo and soap (we recommend biodegradable, multi-purpose options)
- Female urinary device (allows women to urinate standing up without removing clothing). Silicon or hard plastic ones work great. Popular name brands include Gogirl and Shewee.
Mosquitoes and no-see-ums (sand flies) are sometimes present during our Baja tours. Please ensure that you pack a quality insect repellent and consider full coverage clothing for the evenings and time around camp. The full coverage clothing will provide great sun protection as an added bonus. We recommend repellent with DEET or Picaridin Insect Repellent (Picaridin is less toxic and less harsh on gear/clothing than DEET. Here is one example of a Picaridin-based repellent.
Sea Kayak Adventures - Recommended Baja Reading List
Reveles, D. (2004). Tequila, Lemon & Salt from Baja...Tales of Love, Faith and Magic
The border town of Tecate comes to colorful life and the lives of its inhabitants unfold, full of surprises and a few broken dreams in this collection of stories from Daniel Reveles.
Reveles, D. (2007). Guacamole Dip: From Baja...Tales of Love, Faith and Magic
The beloved storyteller takes readers back to Tecate, Baja California, for another helping - his tales are always humorous, often magical, and sometimes poignant. Reveles captures the Hispanic culture and flare perfectly.
Minch, J. (2017). Roadside Geology and Biology of Baja California, 2nd Ed
The book contains road logs that provide kilometer-by–kilometer highlights of the roadside geology and biology of specific areas.
Botello, J. (1998). Other Side: Journeys In Baja
A tale of two journeys, one outer and one inner. The outer explores the length, breadth, and depth of Baja and its rich history, its vibrant people, and the haunting beauty of the land. The inner journey involves a border world where cultures clash illuminating the landscape of the soul.
Swartz, S.L. (2014). Lagoon Time: A Guide to Grey Whales
An extraordinary first-hand account of the experiences and discoveries made by Dr. Steven Swartz and his colleagues in San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja California Sur, Mexico, that provides visitors a look into the human and natural history of Laguna San Ignacio
Crosby, H. (2010). Cave Paintings of Baja California
The Cave Paintings of Baja California are considered one of the 5 most significant areas in the world for pictographic murals and the only one in the Western Hemisphere.
Keir, D. (2016). Baja California Land of Missions
This book contains a detailed history of the activities by the Spanish and others attempting to colonize the peninsula of California from 1535 to 1855.
Aitchison, S. (2010). The desert islands of Mexico's Sea of Cortez
The desert islands in the Sea of Cortez are little known except to a few intrepid tourists, sailors, and fishermen. Though at first glance these stark islands may appear barren, they are a refuge for an astounding variety of plants and animals
Alderfer, J., & Hess, P. (2011). National Geographic backyard guide to the birds of North America
Essential for the millions of Americans who watch and feed birds in their backyards—whether experienced birders or new birding enthusiasts.
Berger, B. (1998). Almost an island: Travels in Baja California
Berger takes readers beyond the Baja of guidebooks and offers a wildly entertaining look at the real Baja California.
Carwardine, M. (1995). Whales, dolphins, and porpoises
The perfect introduction to 96 species of whale, dolphin, and porpoise. This pocket-size guide is essential for the family reference shelf, helping you to identify each species and discover more about them.
Day, T. (2006). Whale watcher: A comprehensive guide to the whales of the world and where to see them
Every year, more than four million people go whale watching, and the numbers keep growing.
Dedina, S. (2000). Saving the Gray Whale: People, Politics, and Conservation in Baja California
Once hunted by whalers and now the darling of ecotourists, the gray whale has become part of the culture, history, politics, and geography of Mexico's most isolated region.
Gotshall, D. (1998). Sea of Cortez marine animals: A guide to common fishes and invertebrates, Baja California to Panama
Howell, S. (1999). A Bird-finding Guide to Mexico
With a rich variety of stunning avifauna, Mexico provides the first taste of the Neotropics for many birders. At last here is a guide to Mexico's best birdwatching sites, from Baja California to the Yucatan Peninsula.
Hupp, B., & Malone, M. (2008). The edge of the Sea of Cortez: Tidewalkers' guide to the upper Gulf of California
Krutch, J. (1961). The Forgotten Peninsula; a Naturalist in Baja California
Krutch describes the desert plants and marine animals as well as the human and natural history of Baja California.
McPeak, R. (2000). Amphibians and Reptiles of Baja California
Covers species that occur on the Baja California Peninsula, islands of the Gulf of California, and the islands along the Pacific Coast.
Niemann, G. (2002). Baja Legends: The historic characters, events, and locations that put Baja California on the map
Perlo, B. (2006). Birds of Mexico and Central America
This is the only field guide to illustrate and describe every species of bird in Central America from Mexico to Panama, including Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. This handsome work covers more than 1,500 species.
Rebman, J., & Roberts, N. (2012). Baja California Plant Field Guide (3rd ed.)
This new edition of the Baja California Plant Field Guide discusses or describes over 715 different plants in more than 350 genera in 111 families.
Russell, D. (2001). Eye of the Whale epic passage from Baja to Siberia
Named a Best Book of the Year by three major newspapers upon its initial publication, and now available for the first time in paperback, Eye of the Whale offers an exhilarating blend of adventure and natural history as Dick Russell follows the migration of the gray whale from Mexico's Baja peninsula to the Arctic's Bering Strait.
Steinbeck, J., & Ricketts, E. (1976). The log from the Sea of Cortez: The narrative portion of the book, Sea of Cortez
1941, here reissued with a profile "About Ed Ricketts" In search of a respite from the national stage, Steinbeck and his close friend, biologist Ed Ricketts, embarked on a month long marine specimen-collecting expedition in the Gulf of California, which resulted in their collaboration on the Sea of Cortez.
Thomson, D., & Findley, L. (1979). Reef fishes of the Sea of Cortez: The rocky-shore fishes of the Gulf of California
Wilson, B., & Wilson, A. (2006). The complete whale-watching handbook: A guide to whales, dolphins, and porpoises of the world
Additional Baja and Sea Kayaking Information
Weather Report- Check the local weather before you go.
Trip Advisor - Read guest reviews
Sea of Cortez - The amazing geology, flora, and fauna of this region
Baja Travel Guide - Additional information on travel to and from Baja
Meet the SKA Fleet - The boats of Sea Kayak Adventures
7 Best Places to Eat in Loreto, Baja - Explore our favorite restaurants
Best Things To Do in Loreto, Baja - Fill your extra days with the best experiences in Loreto.
7 Tips for Staying Clean on an Ocean Kayaking Adventure - Expert tips for staying clean on your SKA trip
Anatomy of a Sea Kayak - Brush up on your sea kayak anatomy
Common Birds of Magdalena Bay - Learn about the birds you'll see while kayaking
Birds of the Sea of Cortez - Get to know the birds of the area
Insiders Guide to Loreto, Baja - Everything to see and do in Loreto
Guide to Loreto Bay National Marine Park - Learn about the five islands that make up the national park
Top 6 Places to Sea Kayak for Whale Watching and Wildlife Viewing - See why Baja is a great destination for sea kayaking with whales.
Terms & Conditions
Please see our full Terms & Conditions HERE.