Travel to Loreto:
The Loreto Airport (LTO) is serviced by Alaska Airlines direct from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The flights from LAX to LTO are typically in the morning. Depending on where you are traveling from, you may need to arrive in Los Angeles a day early and stay overnight in a hotel near the Airport. Many LAX Airport hotels offer a free shuttle service to and from the Airport. Westjet has seasonal Saturday service (Mid February - May) direct from Calgary (YYC) to Loreto (LTO). The Tijuana Int’l Airport (TIJA) offers regular flights through AeroMexico, Volaris Airlines, and AereoCalafia. With the new Cross Border Express you can walk across the U.S.-Mexico border via skybridge in less than 10 minutes. Fly into San Diego International, take a 30 minute cab, shuttle or bus to the CBX facility in San Diego's Otay Mesa area, print your CBX ticket, and walk across the skybridge to the Tijuana Airport.
As flight options for Loreto are limited, we recommend making your reservations as soon as your ROW Sea Kayak Adventures tour is confirmed.
Airport Transfer Loreto:
Airport transfer to and from the tour hotel is NOT included in your trip cost. Upon arrival at the Loreto Airport, make you way to the curb outside the main exit. Cabs are plentiful, and you can catch one for the transfer from the airport to the tour hotel. The short ride from the airport into town will cost you approximately $10-20 USD ($170-340 Pesos). There will likely be other ROW Sea Kayak Adventures guests on your flight into Loreto. Keep an eye out for the matching luggage tags, and if you are comfortable, share a cab into town with a fellow traveler.
Bus Information :
In general, Baja has good bus transportation options between its major cities. We recommend Aguila Auto Transportation for this service. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time on-line or at the station upon arrival. Regular service runs from the city of San Jose del Cabo to the La Paz Malecon or the Loreto City Center. If you plan to utilize bus service from San Jose del Cabo you will need to take a taxi from the airport to the bus station. Please note that the majority of ticketing agents and drivers will only speak Spanish.
Website: http://www.autobusesaguila.com/ Phone: 1-800-824-8452
Estimated costs and travel times by bus:
City of San Jose del Cabo - La Paz: Around $12 US Dollars and about 3/3.5 hours travel time
City of San Jose del Cabo – Loreto: Around $65 US Dollars and about 9 hours travel time
La Paz Malecon to Loreto: Around $45 US Dollars and about 5 hours travel time (Bus station is just a few blocks from our tour hotel in La Paz and a quick taxi ride from the Loreto Bus Station to our tour hotel in Loreto)
We highly recommend checking the weather prior to your trip for an updated forecast and current conditions. We recommend the followinng websites.
Weather in LORETO, BAJA - Weather Underground
WHEN TO GO?
The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers the perfect blend of Baja kayaking, hiking and snorkeling. Abundant wildlife, massive whales, sunny weather and warm, crystalline waters make the Sea of Cortez in Loreto Bay National Marine Park one of the best winter sea kayaking and whale watching destinations in North America. We offer kayak tours between the months of October and May with January through April being the peak whale watching time.
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 Whale Watching 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 ROW Sea Kayak Adventures
Sea Kayak Adventures provides all necessary equipment for your whale watching tour. This includes all necessary camping equipment: tent, cot, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner, and pillow with pillow case.
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 Whale Watching Packing List
- Passport – must be valid for at least six (6) months after the date of your arrival
- 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
- Plan to use cash (pesos) for small purchases, taxis and gratuities
- Credit and/or Debit/ATM card that works internationally, ideally with chip technology (Before leaving home, notify your bank of your travel to help prevent any fraud detection holds on your card)
- 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)
The evenings and early mornings at Magdalena Bay and San Ignacio Lagoon can be chilly; therefore packing according to this list is important.
- One - three pair long, lightweight, nylon pants with zipper pockets (zip off legs give you more options)
- One- two pair nylon shorts
- 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)
- One - three long sleeve shirts, ideally with SPF protection
- One wide-brim, tie-on hat
- One lightweight waterproof raincoat
- Three pair light synthetic or merino wool socks
- One synthetic or down jacket
- One pair sturdy trail shoes, or running shoes, to use for hiking and for casual camp time
- One pair of sandals with ankle straps to wear while kayaking, on the beaches, walking around towns, etc.
- Extra synthetic or wool layers (e.g. long underwear) for warmth during cool evenings
- Retaining strap for glasses and sunglasses
- Flashlight or headlamp
- One pair of paddling gloves
- Small day pack or fanny pack for hikes
- One water bottle, 1 liter or larger
- One buff or bandana for sun protection and cooling off
- 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/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
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 15-30
- 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 Whale Watching Information
Weather Report- Check the local weather before you go.
Trip Advisor - Read guest reviews
Baja Travel Guide - Additional information on travel to and from Baja
7 Best Places to Eat in Loreto, Baja - Explore our favorite restaurants
History of Magdalena Bay - A deeper look at Mag Bay
Common Birds of Magdalena Bay - Learn about birds you'll see while kayaking
The Migration of Gray Whales - Learn the migration patterns of the magnificent Gray Whales
Terms & Conditions
Please see our full Terms & Conditions HERE.