Destination / Location
Loreto / La Paz, Baja Mexico
October 22 - 31 and April 15 - 24
- See 120 miles of scenic Baja coastline
- Join other avid kayakers in a long-distance journey
- Experience the history and culture of the Baja Peninsula up close
- Enjoy the expertise of our local guides
- Stop at beautiful campsites in picturesque locations
- Witness the immense variety of life along the coast
2 Weeks of Serious Kayaking Along the Baja Coast
Our favorite long-distance adventure, the La Paz Route takes 10 days for a group of experienced paddlers to complete. The seas and coastline provide the perfect environment for relaxing and exploring. If you’ve tried our Coasts & Islands trip and want to see more, or if you’re an avid kayaker who wants to experience as much of the Baja California coast as you can, this is the expedition for you.
You’ll be paddling about 4-6 hours each day, with a general plan to cover 120 miles in about two weeks. However, the schedule is flexible, and depends on what you and the guides decide is a reasonable amount of time. Each paddler will carry all the clothing, items, and equipment you will need for the duration of the trip. You form an independent, self-sufficient unit that sets its own pace. A normal itinerary looks something like this:
You’ll be met at the Loreto airport by one of our representatives and be taken to a hotel in town. An afternoon orientation will help you become familiar with the trip, and you have the rest of the evening to explore the historic cobbled streets of Loreto.
Your guides host a buffet breakfast before a 3-hour drive to the put-in at Agua Verde. We can store any gear you leave behind. If you are scheduled to fly out of La Paz, we can deliver it to you at the end of the trip. At the put-in, we’ll pack our kayaks, review basic paddling and safety instruction, and hit the water toward our first camp, the Rancho Santa Marta. Once the seat of the prolific Higuera family, the ranch is now run by old friends who will host us for the night.
Another leisurely day will include a lunchtime stop for some snorkeling, followed by us making camp at Puerto Gato, a cove with turquoise water and beautiful rounded red rock formations rising above the beach. Feel free to hike and explore the surrounding area.
The Sierra Giganta mountain range can be seen in the distance for most of the trip, but as we move south they will pull away from the coast for a while. Today takes us past the historic village of Tembabiche, built above the sand dunes in the early 19th century by the De La Toba family, who financed the construction with money from a famous pearl. If conditions permit, we camp at a site from an even earlier time, with indigenous artifacts all over the area.
A short paddling day should take us to Los Dolores Ranch by mid-morning. We generally plan a one-day layover here to rest and enjoy everything this historic area has to offer.
For the layover day, you can relax by the beach and join us on whatever activities interest you. Get out the snorkeling gear and witness the Sea of Cortez’s abundant marine life. Hike from the 150-year-old adobe ranch to the 300-year-old Mission Los Dolores, stopping to admire the towering mango trees and the freshwater canal system which has fed them for centuries. Your guides know a great deal about the history behind the mission and the first settlers to the area, and can show how nearby natural waterways helped them survive in their desert surroundings.
Today we paddle between the mainland and the Isla San Jose, where large cliffs shoot out of the sea on either side, as agave cactus and wild fig trees struggle to grow on the sheer rock. Friends await us at Punta Alta: Doña Cuca and Don Chuy León, whose fishing family provides hospitality during a rest break. The Sierra Gigantas are back near the coast, and around our campsite is one of the most astonishing examples of the area’s geological beauty.
You’ll have spent a full week paddling along a pristine, roadless coast at this point, so the appearance of San Evaristo, a small fishing village, with its yachts and handful of buildings, may feel like a return to civilization. But once we’ve paddled several hours to the campsite, the distant lights of La Paz will be our only reminder that the outside world exists.
Rounding Punta El Mechudo, you’ll paddle by green copper-laden cliffs, camping at a beautiful cove. The deep underwater canyons and colorful gorgonian sea fans make for some of the trip’s best snorkeling sights.
As we enter the curve of La Paz Bay, congratulate yourself on traveling 60 miles—half the distance to La Paz! It’s common to see mantas, dolphins, and even whales when the bay begins to open up. If your group is doing a shorter trip, this will be the last full day of paddling. Day 11 will have you paddle to the take-out near Punta Coyote, and on Day 12 you will travel back to the airport.
Your guides grew up in Baja California, so they know the land, they know the weather, and by now, they will know your group’s strengths and weaknesses, and how hard you can reasonably go. The next few days will take you past many points of interest. Where you stop, and how often, is up to the guides and you.
The journey along the bay brings you to the towns of El Potrero, Las Tarabillas, and San Juan de la Costa—all names from the historic side of the Other Mexico, the Baja peninsula of bohemian writer Fernando Jordan. Marine continues to grow in number and variety down the coast, with dozens of species in the air, and thousands in the water.
San Juan de la Costa was once described as “not really a town so much as a phosphate mine,” and when the mine was destroyed by a hurricane in 2001, the not-really-a-town was all that was left. Some old-name families still inhabit the ghost village. A ways past lies a sand beach camp. It’s a good place to stop for the night, and the only place to get a view of La Paz, now drawing near.
On this last morning we’ll round Mogote point and enter La Paz. Making our way through the ships at this tropical port, we arrive at a waterfront café, where you can celebrate the conclusion of your once-in-a-lifetime trip. An equipment truck will meet us there to take our gear to a hotel. You can shower, explore the city, and then we will meet at a restaurant in the evening for an end-of-trip dinner.
Your guides will arrange the transportation so you show up at the airport on time. If you need to leave early to make a flight, you can leave right away. If you leave later, you can take some more time to explore La Paz before saying adios.
This trip begins at Loreto. Located on the lower part of the eastern gulf coastline, this town has long been a destination for people seeking a wilderness adventure.
While many people with the time and patience enjoy driving into Loreto from San Diego via Federal Highway 1, the easiest way is to fly into the nearby international airport. Alaska Air/Horizon flies directly to Loreto from Los Angeles, and AereoCalafia offers direct flights into Loreto from Tijuana. You can also try reaching the town by flying to La Paz or Cabo, and getting a connecting flight or other form of transportation from there. Contact us for more information on traveling to Loreto.
Accommodations 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.
Packing List 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:
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