by Julie Trevelyan
Kayaking through the gorgeous waters of Baja, Mexico, is the sort of trip to add to your bucket list. Mix in some island hopping on the beautiful little isles in the area and you have the makings of a surprisingly luxurious adventure trip of a lifetime, complete with great guides, great food, and of course great destinations.
The Sea of Cortez boasts some of the neatest little islands on the planet. Exploring them via kayak, on foot, and by motorboat, you’ll be able to soak in all the natural wonders while also being supported by a full-accommodated camping trip. Want ice for your afternoon cocktail on the beach? You got it! How about fresh catch of the day for dinner, Vera Cruz style? No problem. Keen to do a little snorkeling and discover the underwater marvels just feet away from the beach sands? You can do that, too. On this trip, you’ll have the chance to camp on five islands and explore as many as ten. Arriba, arriba! Ándale!
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, snorkeling, and some hiking or beach walking make up the bulk of the activities. You’ll also get to enjoy delicious, authentic meals, learn some of the fascinating local history, and even bask in the glow of those amazing Baja sunsets. Bonus things to do might include seeing many frolicking dolphins, hanging out with sea lions in their rookery, some sandy fun playing beach volleyball, and catching sight of migrating whales during the spring months.
One of the islands, Los Islotes, is known as the “sea lion colony” for its numerous barking residents. A cluster of rocks protruding from the sea off the tip of Espiritu Santo Island, it allows for close interaction with these vocal creatures. Pearl fishing sustained the general Sea of Cortez area for centuries until its demise during the twentieth century, possibly due to overfishing. Vestiges of this rich past remain, however, in the stories your guides can tell you about the local villages and shipwrecks deep beneath the waves.
Who will enjoy this trip most:
The island hopping trip is a fantastic one for families because of the numerous different activities and the daily movement between islands that can help keep restless youngsters focused. However, anyone who’s interested in seeing a variety of Baja islands is likely to have a blast. Beginners to experienced kayakers are welcome, as is everyone in between. If you’re a beginner, a willingness to learn the “wet exit” is mandatory during the orientation, but don’t worry—it’s easy!
1. One-third of the entire world’s marine mammal species call the waters around Baja California home.
2. Baja California is the world’s third-longest peninsula.
3. The major native tribes associated with Baja’s history include the Cochimies, the Pericues and the Guaycuras, all of whom left their mark on the area.
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.