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Arrive to Loreto, Welcome Dinner
Arrive in the pretty seaside town of Loreto, which overlooks the Gulf of California in eastern Baja California Sur. Nonstop flights are available with Alaska Airlines from Los Angeles while Westjet flies from Calgary. Alternatively, you can fly via Tijuana International Airport using the Cross Border Bridge crossing. After settling into your hotel, we’ll meet for a welcome dinner, which will include a short orientation briefing from your guide.
Kayak, Snorkel or Hike
Over the next two days, you’ll have the flexibility to participate in a variety of activities, depending on your preferences and the weather. These include:
Hiking in Tabor Canyon aka “Steinbeck Canyon”
Embark on a scenic hike through a narrow canyon that leads into the Sierra La Giganta mountains. Your naturalist guide will share with you the mysteries of this unique desert system, as well as its associations with the author John Steinbeck who traveled here in 1940 aboard the “Western Flyer”. Accompanied by the biologist Edward F. Ricketts (known to readers as “Doc” in Cannery Row), he sailed south and stopped at Puerto Escondido, from where locals invited him to hike through this rugged region.
Of the experience Steinbeck wrote: “After a short climb we emerged on a level place in a deep cleft in the granite mountains. In this cleft a tiny stream of water fell hundreds of feet from pool to pool. There were palm trees and wild grapevines and large ferns, and the water was cool and sweet. This little stream, coming from so high up in the mountains and falling so far, never had the final dignity of reaching the ocean.”
After a picnic lunch beside the canyon’s small creek, we’ll descend back towards the coast and return to Loreto.
Snorkel and Swim Tour of Isla Coronado
Either by boat or kayak (depending on your preference), head from Loreto to Isla Coronado for a day spent enjoying its white sandy beaches and coral reefs. Forming part of the Loreto Bay National Marine Park, it’s home to a variety of colorful fish species that can be encountered while snorkeling, not to mention a playful sea lion colony. Spend the morning learning about the island’s native flora and fauna before a picnic lunch on the water, then return to the mainland by boat or kayak in the afternoon.
Note: During the cooler months, we will provide a light wetsuit. But for much of the year, the water is warm enough to snorkel without a wetsuit.
Kayaking to Isla Danzante and Punta Coyote
The Sea of Cortez lures paddlers from around the world, with stunning turquoise waters and dramatic coastal landscapes to explore. After a short orientation and safety briefing, you’ll get a taste of sea kayaking while paddling towards Isla Danzante within Loreto Bay National Marine Park. Framed by the Sierra La Giganta, we’ll kayak down to Punta Coyote for a short hike to see its famous cacti, with the option to go snorkeling in its idyllic cove. Keep your eyes peeled for seabirds and dolphins playing offshore, as well as blue whales that can be spotted between February and March. From Punta Coyote, we’ll paddle back to our launch point and make the return journey to Loreto.
Kayak, Snorkel or Hike
Today will be spent doing one of the activities you didn’t do yesterday. In this way, you can take advantage of the best weather conditions for kayaking and snorkeling.
San Javier and south to La Paz
After breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to Loreto as we ascend 1,400 feet above sea level to the palm-fringed town of San Javier. Watch the scenery change as we climb further into the mountains, then head out to explore the town’s 18th-century San Javier Mission on foot. It was established by the Jesuits in 1744 after they discovered their mission in Loreto didn’t have the water resources to meet their needs.
You’ll have time to explore the town at your leisure before we continue inland to admire some of the region’s prehistoric rock art. Lunch will be served at a local ranch, after which we’ll hit the road for the 3.5-hour drive to the capital of Baja Sur, La Paz. We plan to arrive in the late afternoon, with plenty of time to wander around the city before dinner.
Whale Shark Snorkel and on to El Triunfo
Rise early for an experience you’ll never forget - swimming with whale sharks! Meet your expert guide at the marina, from where our boat will take you offshore to swim with these gentle giants who live in the waters off the coast of La Paz for most of the year. Don your mask and snorkel to watch their immense mouths filter-feeding by straining the water for plankton and small invertebrates.
Enjoy lunch on board while recounting your experiences as we return to La Paz, then continue driving into the Sierra la Victoria to El Triunfo. This once-bustling town made its fortune from silver mining, with its towering smokestack standing as a legacy today.
Mining Tour El Triunfo and San Antonio
In the morning, we’ll explore the historic silver mine whose 150-foot La Romana smokestack watches over El Triunfo. Learn about the smelting operations that were once conducted here before hiking to the nearby village of San Antonio. We’ll ascend around 400 feet in elevation over the 4.5-mile route, which will take you through a variety of landscapes to a viewpoint overlooking San Antonio.
After descending to the village plaza, lunch will be served by a local family who will share their experiences living in the mountains of Baja and the secrets of their traditional cuisine. We’ll then drive into the hacienda-dotted landscapes of Santiago to spend the night at a local ranchero.
Explore San Antonia, Cabo Pulmo National Park
If you’re feeling energetic, we’ll spend the morning hiking through a boulder-strewn landscape to go swimming in a crystal-clear pool. Feeling lazy? You may also opt to visit a natural hot spring for a more leisurely soak. After a picnic lunch or meal at a local ranch, we’ll continue driving to UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, which was protected in 1995 and serves as an excellent example of reef restoration.
Stretching around five miles along the coast, Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park is one of the most biodiverse areas in the Mexican Pacific. Not only is it one of only three coral reefs on the west coast of North America, but it’s also the oldest and estimated to be around 20,000 years old. Its protected waters provide a refuge, feeding ground, and nursery for a number of marine organisms while 11 of the 14 coral species found in the Sea of Cortez are encountered here.
In the evening, we’ll stay in the small town of Cabo Pulmo, which has rapidly transitioned from fishing to tourism due to the appeal of its underwater wonders.
Snorkel Cabo Pulmo National Park, On to Cabo San Lucas
On your final day, we’ll head underwater to snorkel with some of the 875 marine species that inhabit the Gulf of California. In addition to more than 200 species of reef fish, the area is home to colorful corals, sea turtles, and rays.
After lunch, we’ll make the two-hour drive south to Cabo San Lucas and have a farewell dinner to celebrate our adventure together.
Dates & Rates
Daily Departures available for private groups November through May:
- 2 People $3500 per person
- 3-4 People $3100 per person
- 5-8 People $2600 per person
Single Supplement: If you are a solo traveler and wish to have your own hotel room an additional single supplement of $355.00 is required. Please inquire at time of booking if you have any questions.
- Full services of our Adventure Consultants
- Professional bi-lingual guide
- All meals and beverages as indicated on the itinerary
- Hotel accommodations between activities as dictated by the itinerary
All transportation while on tour
All kayaking, camping and snorkeling equipment
All entrance fees and National Park fees
Tour Does Not Include:
- Transportation to and from the airport
- Hotel accommodations before and after tour
- Items of a personal nature
ALL PRICES IN US DOLLARS. We will do our best to adhere to the itineraries and trip descriptions listed on our website. However, tour itineraries or sub contractors (such as taxi, cruise boats or hotels) may change slightly due to reasons beyond our control including but not limited to Acts of God, wind, waves, inclement weather or other. We always welcome you to call us to clarify any item - often this is the best way to fully clarify expectations - call us collect or on our toll-free number. You will be sent pre-trip email with latest details within a month of your tour - it is your responsibility to check in with us prior to your trip to see if you have all the information you need. We will always do our best to provide you with the best possible tour and to fully meet your expectations to the best of our ability.
FAQ & More
Airport transfers are not included in your tour package price.
Yes, all of our tour pricing is in US Dollars.
Packages Include: Hotel accommodations in between activities only, all paddling and camping equipment, all snorkeling gear, all meals and beverages once the tour begins, all National Parks & Biosphere Reserve access fees required by itinerary, bi-lingual certified Guides and the full service of our Adventure Consultants. Dates provided reflect your arrival date; all packages include an arrival and departure day.
Packages do not Include: Airfare, transportation to and from airport, Hotel accommodations before and after tour, gratuities, $25 National Parks & Biosphere Reserves access fees required by itinerary, and items of a personal nature.
Our Combo tours are offered late January through mid-March, when the gray whales are present in Magdalena Bay to calve. We GUARANTEE gray whale sightings on our combo tours! This time of year in Baja can have cooler days (75-80*F/23-27*C) and a chance of wind, with temperatures rising in late February and March. As an added bonus to spring trips, the islands of Loreto National Marine Park, located in the Sea of Cortez (where you will kayak), are home for 6 different species of whales including Blue, Fin, Sei, Humpback, Bryde's and Pilot whales. They swim up into the Sea of Cortez from late January through April. There are few other places that harbor such a concentration and diversity of whales.
For all of our Baja tours we use high quality, fiberglass kayaks, made by Seward. The majority of our fleet is comprised of tandems, as these boats offer the greatest stability, speed, and ease of paddling. There are typically a small number of single kayaks present on the tour, which will be utilized by the guides. Depending on weather conditions, and interest, they may allow guests to rotate into singles; however this will be at the guide's' discretion based on safety and the paddling objectives for the day. We also have a limited number of solo kayaks available to reserve and use throughout the trip (for an additional cost) for paddlers who have ocean kayaking experience.
Yes, if at any time a guest does not want to paddle they are welcome to ride in the panga instead.
We have single kayaks available to reserve and use throughout the trip (for an additional cost of $100) for paddlers who have previous ocean paddling experience. If you would like to reserve a single kayak for your trip you will need to contact our Adventure Consultants to add this to your reservation and provide a summary of your ocean paddling experience.
When stopping at shore, you should be able to climb in and out of the kayaks on your own. They will be floating in calf-deep water. Your guides are happy to assist, but balance and limberness are required. When you get to your evening campsite, all group members must to be able to help carry the kayaks above the high tide line, in teams of 6-8, before the group disperses. You will change camp sites almost every night, but may have a layover day. Camp sites are assigned by the National Park Service immediately prior to the tour.
Sea Kayak Adventures will provide you with a detailed packing list prior to your trip. We provide all of the necessary camping, paddling and snorkeling equipment, which you will need to fully enjoy your adventure. If you have any questions, or need help deciding what to bring, you can call or e-mail one of our friendly Adventure Consultants at any time for some extra advice!
We know your Guide will make the biggest difference on your trip! Which is why we pride ourselves on employing only the best local guides for all of the incredible locations that we visit. Part of this is to support our eco-tourism efforts, but we also believe that there is no better way to experience a new destination than through they eyes of a local! We find talented and skilled local guides, train and certify them, and provide a positive and consistent source of income to them and their families. Most of our guides are with us for the long-term, despite the seasonal nature of the industry.
Please check out this great website Weather Underground for temperature averages in Baja.
Our tour costs are based on double occupancy on any included hotel nights. Solo travelers who would like their own single hotel room can pay a single supplement or can be matched up with another solo traveler of the same gender if one is available and willing to share. If we are unable to pair you with another solo traveler, we must apply the single supplement charge to cover our hotel costs. Solo travelers will always have their own tent during kayaking tours, and will typically have their own tent at whale camp, both at no additional cost. However, we are unable to guarantee individual tents at whale camp due to limited tent capacity. If you are asked to share a tent at our whale camp, rest assured that tents are very spacious, full-height canvas wall tents, with two cots and plenty of room to stand and maneuver around your tent-mate without difficulty.