KAYAK COASTS AND ISLANDS AND WHALE WATCHING – EXPEDITION STYLE
Whale-Watching Kayak Trip in Baja California with Hiking and Snorkeling
Kayak, Whale Watching
DESTINATION / LOCATION
Loreto, Baja Mexico
Jan 30 – Feb 4,
Feb 6-11, 13-18, 20-25,
Feb 27-March 4,
March 6-11, 13-18
- Isolated islands and pristine coastline
- Snorkeling, and hiking
- Grey Whale watching at Magdalena Bay
- Experienced guides with local knowledge and connections
- Learn about ranch and village life in Mexico
COASTAL EXPLORATION AND WHALE WATCHING
Sea Trek / Paddling South’s 6-day kayaking trip through the islands and along the coast of Baja California offers a little of everything. You will spend the first half of the trip exploring the isolated islands near Loreto, and miles of pristine wilderness along the coastline. These scenic landscapes are teeming with life above and below the water, and you will have an unprecedented chance to witness the wildlife first-hand. You’ll often get to experience the cultural aspects of nearby ranches and fishing villages as well.
This trip includes a day excursion to see gray whales in their breeding/calving lagoons on the Pacific side where local guides take us out in pangas (small skiffs) to see the whales. Back on the Sea of Cortez side, during our kayaking trip, it’s the time of year where the opportunities to see Blue whales and Humpback whales are greater than normal. Please note that based on weather and whale sightings the excursion to the gray whale lagoons either happens in the beginning of your trip or at the end.
Your adventure begins with a Pre-trip orientation with your guides, on the afternoon before launch day. We will communicate and coordinate in advance with all guests the time and location for a comfortable outside meeting at a convenient location in town. At this orientation session, our guides will explain the trip in more detail, and answer any questions you may have. Afterward, you are free to explore Loreto for a place to get dinner—the guides will be happy to provide some recommendations!
Your guides will host you for breakfast this morning in town, where we will go over last minute needs and details. You’ll have your carefully selected trip items selected, and we’ll take any leftover luggage for safe storage while you are out with us. At our launch spot, after loading our gear and food in our boats, your guides will teach you the basics of kayak safety and ecologically-friendly camping. For the first paddle day it’s off to either Isla Danzante or Isla del Carmen, both of which have excellent camps. We provide high-quality tents, but the lack of rain or bugs makes sleeping under the stars an excellent option. If the weather and logistical conditions are right, your guides will include a whale watch excursion on this day, and you will have the chance to view blue and/or gray whales as they migrate for calving season. If this day does not work for whatever reason, you will have a chance to view whales on the sixth day instead.
When you first wake up to the sound of the waves lapping the shore, and the sight of the sun piercing the horizon, you’ll know your trip has truly begun. Guides allocate 3 to 4 hours a day to traveling by kayak, leaving you the rest of the day to explore each campsite. You can hike the arroyos and desert hillsides discovering the rich flora of the Sonoran desert, take your snorkel gear and marvel at the abundant and exotic marine life in the waters, or learn more about all the area has to offer from the complete natural history library we bring along on every trip. Feel free to ask our guides about Baja’s weather, geography, natural history, or anything else. As locals, they know a lot about the area, and are happy to share their knowledge. They are also good at getting you out of camp and into the water early in the day, when the water tends to be calmer and the paddling more pleasant.
After a day or two exploring the coves, bays and beaches of the islands, we’ll cross back over to the shores of the peninsula. The coastal route, with the majestic Giganta mountain range over our right shoulder offers among other attractions, longer hiking trails that reveal the inland wilderness. Your guides, who know the route well, can show you the hidden secrets of the peninsula, including many areas worth exploring by fin, foot, or paddle.
Depending on the weather for the week, and the pace of the trip, we may be ready for a rest/layover day. You can try your hand at line fishing for triggerfish, pargo, or cabrilla, which your guides will make a delicious fresh ceviche out of. Or enjoy a guided nature walk in the desert, learning about our rich local flora and fauna. There is also plenty of time for more paddling and snorkeling for those that wish to explore more…
Around the fifth day, you will camp near a small island hot spring that can be visited by wading across a sand spit at low tide. If the weather permits, you can soak in the warm mineral water, letting your muscles and mind relax after active days of paddling your kayak down the Gulf of California. There is a small local ranch in the area, and our guides have long standing relationships with these independent and self sufficient ranching families. We’ll often have a chance to visit, and share a glimpse of this special, remote, and rugged lifestyle.
There’s time for one early morning paddle into the sunrise, and by mid-morning it’s time to load up and head back. Our van arrives at the take-out to bring everyone back to Loreto. A few hours later, you’ll have a taco lunch in the town followed by a well received shower in your hotel room. If your guides have not provided a whale-watching excursion yet, this is the day they will try to do so. While it’s possible that at this time of year you will encounter whales in the natural course of your week of paddling, the fact of mating season and the special excursion will make it nearly a certainty that you get to see whales during your trip. If we head over to Magdalena Bay this morning, you will be dropped off at the hotel of your choice in Loreto, and reunited with your personal luggage in the afternoon. That evening, Paddling South hosts a farewell dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, and everyone celebrates a fun and successful trip together.
This morning you’ll enjoy exploring our warm and magical pueblo of Loreto on your own time. Perhaps a delicious breakfast of Huevos Rancheros, and fresh local fruit juices at one of the many outside cafes, and then don’t miss visiting the 300+ year old Mision Nuestra Senora de Loreto and her museum right off the central Plaza. Most flights home are mid day or later, so you’ll have plenty of time for discoveries and creating a list of things to see and do on your next visit.
For now, it is not goodbye…but rather Hasta Pronto!
All Sea Trek Baja trips start in the quaint little town of Loreto, located on the Baja peninsula about 600 miles south of San Diego. In most cases there is only one inbound and outbound flight a day, so our afternoon/evening meeting on day 1, and our end of trip logistics are built around that timing.
Some people choose to drive to Loreto down Federal Highway 1, but the easiest way to get there is to fly into the international airport. Direct flights are available from Los Angeles and Tijuana, or you can fly through one of the nearby Mexican cities. Talk to us for more information on traveling to Loreto.
Hotel accommodations are not included in the trip package. You will want to book accommodations for at least the night before the first published day of the trip, and then again for the night of the last published day of the trip. For our confirmed clients, we are pleased to offer the services of our preferred Travel Planners, to assist with all of your flight and hotel needs. Although limited in number, visitors to Loreto have lodging choices that range from Luxury to budget. Our travel planner will assist you in determining lodging that fits your preferences. Our Travel planners are seasoned Baja veterans, and will help you find the best flight arrangements as well, so that your trip planning is smooth and efficient.
You’ll be provided a detailed, official packing list upon reserving a trip with Paddling South & Sea Trek, but you may wish to keep the following list in mind while you prepare:
“Sea Trek Baja trip. Organized by Steve, led by Juve and Sarah as close to perfection as possible. Petting wild baby whales, paddleboarding across a glass like Sea of Cortez, sleeping under the stars. The perfect celebration with good friends, great fresh food and too much wine. This is a GREAT trip!!!!”Elizabeth S.Mill Valley, CA
“This is a terrific place to rent kayaks in marin but even better they also organize snorkeling, kayak, camping trips in Loretta Mexico in the Baja. I just took a trip there with my friend and it was a trip I'll NEVER forget. Turquoise waters , mind blowing snorkeling, The best guides , really cute panga drivers that cook delicious healthy meals. We felt reborn when it was finished. I can't recommend it enough. Loreto is a sweet authentic Mexican town.”Kathryn S.Sausalito, CA
“Sea Trek did a great job in organizing this trip, from meeting us at the airport, getting us set up at our excellent hotel on the water in Loreto, taking us out to Magdalena Bay to see the Gray whales, and organizing the kayaking and camping in Loreto Bay.”
“Everything was first class with Sea Trek in Loreto. The scenery was spectacular. There were times it felt surreal and we said to each other “are we really experiencing all this beauty?” The food was awesome — lots of it and great tasting. In addition everything was safe and clean with regards to the food. The guides were excellent.”
“I highly recommend taking the courses offered by Seatrek since they'll help you enjoy your kayaking experience that much more. I also think anyone who can, should go on their trip to Baja Mexico. I went a few years ago and still talk about how incredible an experience it was. The trip involves camping on beaches in the Sea of Cortez for a week. The guides will cook for you and you'll see a ton of marine life, I even had dolphins come up and swim beside me while I was snorkeling.”Bryan B.Brooklyn, NY
“This is a trip I’ll NEVER forget.pristine turquoise waters, a large variety of fish species to see, knowledgeable guides, whale watching and tasty food prepared by our guides.”kstrietmannSausalito, California
“The Sea Trek staff were excellent! Art and Grey were our guides; Talo was the Pangorero (drove the support boat) and Steve made sure everything done in the background was both perfect and seamless.
We couldn’t have asked for more knowledgeable, accommodating and entertaining guides and staff. With prime attention to safety and comfort, this supported expedition was appropriate for our group of paddlers whose kayaking skills ranged from novice to expert. The food was outstanding – with local fish periodically caught in the afternoon and served fresh for dinner.
We would highly recommend this Sea Trek supported kayaking expedition for anyone considering exploring the Sea of Cortez and the coast of Baja Sur California, Mexico by kayak.”trekayakGreenbrae, California
“The Classic Island and Whale Watch tour was an incredible experience. The guides were pleasant, organized, knowledgeable, accommodating, and excellent chefs! Each individual in our group was asked what they were most interested in doing/seeing during the tour and our guides delivered. We have already recommended Sea Trek to friends and family.”Greg