Whether you are already a pro or are picking up a paddle for the very first time, kayaks are a perfect way to experience Sea of Cortez marinelife up close. Whales, flying mantas, and sea turtles are just some of the creatures you might see from the surface. Throw on a mask and fins, and an entire world becomes visible below. Beach camping on uninhabited islands completes the experience. Overnight trips can take a couple of days, a full week, or more; organized trips are an appealing option, especially for novices.
Where to Go
Mulegé to Loreto: Many kayakers begin their Baja expedition paddling the islands of Carmen and Danzante, offshore from Loreto, for a week or more. Protected by land on three sides, 14-mile-long Bahía Concepción between Mulegé and Loreto is a good choice for novice kayakers who want to try a multiday paddle. It takes 5–7 days to complete the coastal trip from Mulegé to Loreto.
Loreto to La Paz: A more ambitious coastal route begins in Loreto and ends in La Paz, taking in the nearby island of Espíritu Santo at the finish. This 65-mile paddle usually takes 8–10 days. For a shorter trip, make La Paz your home base and spend two or three days camping on the islands offshore.
Bahía de los Angeles: With its many islets and islands, Bahía de los Angeles appeals to kayakers of all levels, though the strong channel currents require some caution.
Pacific Coast: Conditions are much rougher on the Pacific, even in the most protected parts of the coast. Experienced kayakers head to Punta Banda, an inlet-scalloped cape near Ensenada. Bahía Magdalena, a large, protected bay in southern Baja, attracts many kayakers during the winter whale-watching season.
When to Go
Temperatures are hottest July–September, and winds are strongest November–February, making March–May the best months for a long-distance paddle. Whale-watching trips take place on the Pacific coast November–March.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition