by Julie Trevelyan
If you like to sea kayak, this is the trip for you. In the lovely waters of Baja, kayaking is the name of the game as you paddle along remote stretches of coastline and explore the natural beauties of the islands there. To enjoy warm waters—meaning around 80 degrees Fahrenheit!—book your trip for the fall. To bask in warm days and possibly catch a glimpse of migrating whales, head to the Sea of Cortez in the spring. Either way, the Baja coast beckons in the most inviting way on this kayaker’s dream trip.
Water temps range from the mid-60s to mid-80s (Fahrenheit) depending on time of year. Air temperatures have a similar range, reaching upwards of 90 degrees in the hottest summer months. Specifics for each month’s temperatures can help you decide what time of year is best for a trip.
Kayaking is the main gig, of course! You’ll also get a chance to hike up some pretty island canyons, maybe push off in the skiff for an evening’s fishing expedition, or explore the fascinating underwater world of the Sea of Cortez by snorkel. Famously called the “Aquarium of the World,” the area waters offer up some of the best of all those activities. Oh, and don’t forget the delicious meals prepared by your local guides. Eating is a serious pastime in itself, especially during the evenings when you can relax with a cocktail on the beach as you settle in to view a spectacular Baja sunset.
Spanish conquistador Don Hernán Cortés played an essential role in the creation of today’s Mexico. Seeking fame and glory as he set sail from his native Spain on a mission to explore and claim, he took on the Herculean task of sweeping over the Aztec nation, which then counted its warriors in the tens of thousands if not more. With a mere 600 soldiers at his disposal, Cortés relied heavily on his wits, with a big dose of sheer dumb luck helping him along. Although he is not remembered with any particular fondness by the modern descendants of those he conquered and subsequently enslaved, his name still graces one of today’s most popular vacation destinations: the Sea of Cortez in beautiful Baja.
Who will enjoy this trip most:
Kayaking probably tops your list of favorite ways to explore the outdoors. Slipping through the lovely waters is a daily event as you head to new islands and new campsites. Sea kayaking is an adventure in itself. Even beginners should enjoy this trip, with a willingness to paddle every day to those amazing new sights.
1. The Yellow-Footed Gull breeds only in the Gulf of California (aka the Sea of Cortez).
2. Spanish explorers hoped to find gold in Baja, but they found black pearls instead.
3. The beautiful, endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle, which enjoys Baja as much as the next kayaker, grows up to seven feet in length and can weigh over 2,000 pounds. It is one of the world’s largest reptiles.
Written by Julie Trevelyan.
Julie is a freelance writer and wilderness guide in southern Utah. She especially enjoys books, coffee, yoga, wild country, horses, and dark chocolate.