Kayaking has exploded in Baja over the last few years. And is it any wonder? With over 2,000 miles of warm, diverse and starkly beautiful coastline, Baja offers some of the last unspoiled stretches of coastline in North America.
With this this much coastline available, it pay to be picky when choosing a kayaking destination in Baja. There are various levels of kayaking to choose from, enough to satisfy beginning to advanced paddleheads.
Out of over 6 billion people on the planet Earth, only one person has reviewed every foot of Baja's 2,000 mile coastline. That's right, Carlos Fiesta cruised along every inch of Baja's spectacular coastline during his solo 2,200 + mile BAJA CIRCUMNAVIGATION in a 19 foot panga. So the information regarding Baja's coastline on this page is straight from the man who saw it all in person.
Kayaking adventures in Baja range from short one or two day trips just south of the US border, to multi-day adventures deep into the Baja outback.
Since the weather in Baja can vary significantly from one location to another, planning a kayak destination with an eye on weather is a good start. While the west coast of Baja is generally cool and moist, the east side of Baja along the Sea of Cortez is often hot and dry.
Another difference in Baja kayaking is wave action. Most of the kayaking along the Pacific Coast is exposed to the ocean swells and waves, where almost all of the kayaking along the Sea of Cortez side of Baja is wave-free and often very calm.
Although the calmer waters of the Sea of Cortez are enticing, this east side of the Peninsula also has a few drawbacks for kayakers. Baja's east side has been known to have some pretty significant winds on occassion, and more than one kayaker has had to hole up in a cove for a day or two until the winds subside.
Another element common of the east side of Baja is the summer heat. Where the temperature along Baja's west coast might be 75 degrees in August, it could be 100 degrees or more that same day along parts of the Sea of Cortez.
Bad weather is not common in Baja which is one of the reasons that kayaking has gotten so popular. Hurricanes can hit the Cape region at the south end from July through October, and occassionally head up the Sea of Cortez toward Loreto and sometimes up to San Felipe. But these 'Chubascos' are not common and the weather along both of Baja's coastlines is usually good all year long.
Ocean temperatures in Baja are in the 60 to 70 degree range in winter. In summer the Sea of Cortes side of Baja warms up quite a bit more than the Pacific Ocean side, which rarely gets warmer than 75 degrees because of the coastal currents. Water temps in summer along the Sea of Cortez can get into the mid to upper 80's by late summer.
Most kayakers heading to Baja star their trip at a large city and then work their way into Baja's remote areas from there. Loreto and La Paz are two very popular starting points for kayak adventures.
Group kayaking tours have gained a significant audience over the last few years, and there's a lot to be said for tapping into the local knowledge and experience of the seasoned guides that run these treks.
For a view of Baja's coastline and kayaking options check out this view of the BAJA PENINSULA from space!
Some of Baja's most popular kayaking destinations and kayak companies are mentioned below.
PACIFIC OCEAN KAYAKING
Kayaking along Baja's west coast offers some very rugged and beautiful scenery. Ocean swells can vary from almost non-existant to huge, so checking for offshore storms is an important part of planning.
Baja's west coast begins just south of the US/Mexico border, although the coastline is pretty crowded for the first 70 miles. Baja's wide open spaces start just south of Ensenada.
ENSENADA AREA KAYAKING
There are approximately 70 miles of coastline between the US/Mexico border and the harbor at Ensenada. Even though this stretch of coastline is mostly developed, easy access and interesting scenery make this a fun destination for a quick weekend kayak trip. Water temperatures along this section of coast rarely get above 70 degrees.
Some of the best kayaking along this norther coast of Baja starts about 5 miles south of Ensenada Harbor. The rugged coastline starts near Punta Banda and wraps around the point to La Bufadoa and beyond. The Todos Santos island group is not far from shore and makes for an easy trek when the swells are down. An excursion to the Blow Hole and lunch at La Bufadora is a perfect destination.
For more information on the area drop by the ENSENADA section of Baja Expo.
SAN QUINTIN AREA KAYAKING
From Punta Colonet to the north to the entrance to Bahia San Quintin, this stretch of coastline varies from sandy beaches, rocky beaches and low cliffs.
Inside San Quintin bay the there are two main bays for kayaking. The bay to the west, Bahia Falso, is shallow especially at low tide. The bay to the east heads north to the dock at the Old Mill, where a restaurant, bar and hotel are available.
South of San Quintin the coastline turns to sand until Punta Baja, where a small fish camp is protected by an finger of land which provides protection. The tidal flow is strong when the tides are changing both ways.
South of Punta Baja lies the famous Sacramento Reef, about a mile offshore. Stories of shipwrecks and lost gold on these reefs is probably true, but the reefs are best viewed with care and at low tide.
For more information on the area drop by the SAN QUINTIN section of Baja Expo.
ROSALILLITA AREA KAYAKING
Mile after mile of sandy beaches and coves, interupted by low promitories, line the coast north of Santa Rosalillita. These are the most beautiful coves on Baja's west coast.
South of Santa Rosalillita the coastline begins to make it's large sweeping turn to the west and opens up into the large bay north of Guerrero Negro. The jetsom and flotsom covered beaches of Malarrimo face the northern currents here and beachcombing here is worls class.
Kayaking in Scammon's Lagoon from January through March while the whales are migrating is not legal.
Looking for a real adventure? Try kayaking west along Malarimmo Beach to Punta Eugina, and then south to Bahia Tortugas. Spectacular!
GUERRERO NEGRO AREA KAYAKING
Although the coastline just north of Guerrero Negro is sandy, further west the coastline evolves into low-lying cliffs until it climaxes near the fish camp at Punta Eugina.
Around the bend the coast heads south again, and basic services are available south at Bahia Tourtugas.
This harbor gets quite a bit of traffic from yachties as it is the only place between Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada for migrating boats to get fuel.
More desolate kayaking awaits you from here south to Punta Abreojos.
For more information on the area drop by the GUERRERO NEGRO section of Baja Expo.
BAHIA TORTUGAS AREA KAYAKING
The coastline north and south of Bahia Tortugas is beautiful and interesting. The bay itself is very protected, and all services are available in this growing town.
To the south tall mountains reach down and mix with the coastline, all the way south to Punta Abreojos.
Punta Abreojos is a protected stretch of coast that gradually becomes more exposed and sandy as it heads south. The California Gray whales pass this way each winter.
Contuing south the coastline transitions from low lying bluffs to sandy beaches and finally the tall bluffs and clear waters of Punta Domingo.
SAN JUANICO AREA KAYAKING
From the tall promitory at Punta Domingo to the low cliffs just north of San Juanico, the coastline varies from cliffs to sandy beachs to low lying bluffs.
The promitories just around from San Juanico become increasingly more proetected, and end up in the calmest part of the bay near town. Basic services are available in town and kayaks can be left on the beach.
Looking for a cold drink after a hard day of paddling? If the door are open at the large white house CASA JUAN Y JUAN at the top of the bluffs where the sandy beach starts come on up for a cold one. Tell 'em Carlos Fiesta sent you!
The coast from San Juanico south is sandy and beautiful all the way to Punta Gregorio. The large estuary at San Gregorio offers some spectacular kayaking and bird watching.
For more information on the area drop by the SAN JUANICO section of Baja Expo.
BAHIA MAGDALENA AREA KAYAKING
Bahia Magdalena is created by an offshore barrier island that runs on and off for almost one hundred miles.
The waters of Bahia Magdalena can be accessed for kayaking at (from north to south) La Poza Grande, Puerto Lopez Mateos, and San Carlos.
Much of this coastline is lined with sandy beaches, marshes and mangrove swamps. The innner side of this bay is extrememly well protected and very calm.
In general the southern sections of the bay tend to be more shallow.
The town of San Carlos, mid bay, has all of the services a kayaker might need.
TODOS SANTOS AREA KAYAKING
The beautiful coastline north and south of Todos Santos is changing fast. Homes now line the beach both north and south of the coast, although the view is still beautiful.
A good place to put in for kayaks is just south of Todos Santos at Playa San Pedrito. The ocean bottom goes out more slowly here making for easier portage.
Kayakers with a sprit of adventure can tackle the 45 miles from Playa San Pedrito to the tip of the Baja Peninsula at Cabo San Lucas. Celebrating with a cold cervesa under the arch is a great way to finish the trip!
For more information on the area drop by the TODOS SANTOS section of Baja Expo.
SEA OF CORTEZ KAYAKING
Except for the coastline near San Felipe, most of the kayaking areas on the Sea of Cortez side of Baja are well into the Baja outback. Many kayakers fly into Loreto or La Paz to access some of Baja's best coastline.
One area along the Sea of Cortez that is not too far from the US border and is easily accessible in a day's drive is Bahia de los Angeles. This bay offers spectacular scenery, deserted islands, and some hidden beaches that beg to be explored.
SAN FELIPE AREA KAYAKING
The coastline north of San Felipe is all sand and tidal flats, nothing to get excited about....occassionally very shallow. South of San Felipe the coastal bluffs begin, and the area between San Felipe and Puertecitos alternates between sandy beach and lowlying bluffs.
Kayakers rounding the point at Puertecitos can stop and enjoy the natural hot springs just up from the high tide line, just north of the point. The area from Puertecitos south to Gonzaga Bay offers some very remote and beautiful coastline, and several protected places to camp overnight.
For more information on the area drop by the SAN FELIPE section of Baja Expo.
GONZAGA BAY AREA KAYAKING
Punta Bufeo is located just north of Gonzaga Bay, and just south lies the protected harbor and the small village of Papa Fernandez Camp. Some services are available at Papa Fernandez Camp, and also just a bit further south at Alfonsina's.
From the point just outside Papa Fernandez Camp it is possible to get to Gonzaga Bay by either taking the outer coastal route or paddling through the back bay and then through the narrows next to Alfonsina's to the south.
From Alphonsina's at Gonzaga Bay the coastline is sandy all the way to Punta Final, where there are several beautiful coves tucked in just east of the Punta Final sand bar make for great kayaking. From this point south the bluffs pick up and then continue all the way to Bahia de los Angeles. This is some of Baja's most remote and prestine kayaking.
For more information on the area drop by the GONZAGA BAY section of Baja Expo.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES AREA KAYAKING
Bahia de los Angeles is one of the most remote kayaking areas within a one day drive of the US border and accessible by paved roads.
Unique to the LA Bay area is the many islands just off shore, easily reached by kayak from most of the local beaches.
The town itself offers many services, including gasoline, markets, camping and small hotels. A small museum details the interesting history of the area.
Kayakers looking for adventure will find spectacular beaches south of Bahia de los Angeles all the way to Las Animas. Puerto Don Juan is a protected port just 4 miles south east of LA Bay. A kayak adventure 70 miles south to Punta San Franciscquito reveals some of Baja's most remote terrain.
For more information on the area drop by the BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES section of Baja Expo.
PUNTA SAN FRANCISQUITO AREA KAYAKING
The coastline north and south of Punta San Francisquito is the spectacular Baja outback that many people hear about but few actually visit.
The resort of Punta San Francisquito offers executive camping in 5 beachfront palapas, and meals are served in a large open air palapa.
South of this area the coast is lined with beaches, cliffs, and an occassional fish camp. A huge white house on the beach 5 miles south of Punta San Francisquito (complete with air strip) is rarely occupied. There are no services for approximatley 100 miles.
MULEGE AREA KAYAKING
Mulege offers a kayaking opportunity unlike anywhere else in Baja. When else can you put in along the coast and then head inland into a river? Kind of like the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland, but this is the real deal, Lucille. Try it at high tide to avoid getting stuck.
Another great kayak run is along the coast from Mulege south to Bahia Concepcion. There are a few places in Bahia Concepcion to grab a lunch, and the calm waters of the bay are spectacular!
For more information on the area drop by the MULEGE section of Baja Expo.
BAHIA CONCEPCION AREA KAYAKING
Bahia Concepcion offers some of the most clear and protected waters on the entire Baja Peninsula. Sandy beaches, desolate islands, and a few fun places along the shore to eat make this a prime kayak destination.
A good place to start is in Bahia Coyote, more specifically Playa Santispac. From here you can head south into the bay and cruise past islands and beautiful coves.
Making a run from here north along the coast to Mulege allows for the unique opportunity to kakak up one of Baja's only coastal rivers.
For more information on the area drop by the BAHIA CONCEPCION section of Baja Expo.
LORETO AREA KAYAKING
Although the shores near Loreto offer decent kayaking, the best kayaking is south of town, or east along the offshore islands.
South along the coast to Danzante offers a beautiful and diverse coastline, including some populated areas near Nopolo that include two hotels and an oceanfront golf course.
Continuing south Puerto Escondido is a very large and protected bay where many boats are at anchor all year long. The further south one goes from here the more remote the coastline.
Looking for a full adventure? Head south to the magical green waters of Agua Verde. Bring a mask and snorkel!
For more information on the area drop by the LORETO section of Baja Expo.
LA PAZ AREA KAYAKING
La Paz is a kayaker's paradise. Northeast of town you can put in along one of many beaches and then kayak around some of the most unbelievably beautiful coves in Mexico. A stop at Playa Tecolote for a waterfront lunch is the perfect reward.
Looking for a little more adventure? From Playa Tecolote it's only a short paddle over to desolate Ispirito Santos Island and dozens of spectacular coves and sandy beaches.
Circumnavigating the island is a great goal, with a very special reward at the north end. Los Islotes is a small island at the very north end where you can swim with the seals!
There are additonal empty coves and beaches south of La Paz. This stretch of coast looks a lot like Cabo San Lucas before the crowds arrived. No services.
For more information on the area drop by the LA PAZ section of Baja Expo.
EAST CAPE AREA KAYAKING
There are several great kayaking areas along the East Cape. From Punta Arena to Punta Pescadero some very remote coastline runs uninterupted for dozens of miles.
The coastline from Punta Pescadero to Punta Colorado is becoming developed with houses and hotels, but it is still a very beautifil stretch of shoreline.
From Punta Colorado to Cabo Pulmo the coastline is spectacular, with the added advantage of some of the best coral reef diving in Baja just offshore at Cabo Pulmo.
South of Cabo Pulmo the coast runs past beautiful Los Frailes and then up the cape to San Jose del Cabo. The developement from Los Cabos continues to head further up the coast each year.
For more information on the area drop by the EAST CAPE section of Baja Expo.
LOS CABOS KAYAKING
The 20 mile stretch of coast from San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas is called Los Cabos. Even though it has been developed with hotels and golf courses, it is truly a spectacular stretch of coast.
This run from San Jose to Cabo consists of spectacular sandy beaches, beautiful protected coves, reefs and more. This natural beauty, combined with the man-made beauty of some amazing hotels, makes for a very interesting paddle.
Watercraft activity increases significantly near the mouth of the Cabo San Lucas harbor. Kayaking into the harbor is possible, and tying up for a meal at one of the many restaurants along the marina is a fun way to stretch the legs.
BAJA KAYAK COMPANIES
Telephone 011 52 (624) 142-5300.
Web site: www.bajawild.com.
Sea kayak tours in the Los Cabos area.
Also offering snorkeling tours.
Check out their web site for additional information!
Telephone (208) 765-3116.
Toll free (800) 616-1943.
Fax (208) 765-5254.
Web site: www.seakayakadventures.com.
Sea kayak tours in the Bay of Loreto National Marine Park.
Also offering whale watching tours in Magdalena Bay.
Your hosts Terry Prichard and Nancy Mertz at your service.
Check out their web site for additional information!
Telephone 011-52 (612) 124-6629.
U.S. Telephone (760) 721-8433.
Toll free (877) 560-2252.
Fax (760) 433-9863.
603 Seagaze Drive, #732, Oceanside, California, 92054.
Web site: www.bajaecotours.com
Kayaking in the waters and islands off of La Paz.
Review their web site for additional information.
Telephone (800) 398-6200.
Fax (707) 942-8017.
Web site: www.tourbaja.com.
Mountain bikes, sea kayaking, horse pack trips and sailing in the southern Baja area.
Trudi Angeli and Douglas Knapp settled into Baja 20 years ago and have enjoyed sharing the special magic of the Baja with visitors for many years.
They specialize in culturally sensitive tourism.
Review their web site for additional information!
Telephone 011-52 (613) 135-1134.
Toll free (888) 649-5951.
Kayak rentals and tours in the waters off of Loreto.
Lodging available in rooms across from the Sea of Cortez!
Telephone 011-52 (612) 122-7039.
Topete #564 Interior, at 5 de Febrero y Navarro, La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Kayak trips to Espiritu Santos Island and Los Islotes.
Review their web site for additional information.
Trips include lunch, drinks, and transportation.
Telephone (800) 843-6967.
Fax (858) 581-6542.
E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Calle Sonora # 585, La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
5 to 7 day kayak tours, Mag Bay trips also available!
Telephone (208) 765-3116.
Fax (208) 765-5254.
1036 Pine Avenue, Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, 83814.
Wilderness kayak adventures and whale watch excursions in Baja.
More information on their web site!
Telephone (800) 599-8676.
271 Magnolia Avenue, Costa Mesa, California, 92627.
Custom kayak tours off of Baja's Magdalena Bay islands.
Friendly service, good food, great adventure kayaking in pristine calm waters!
Over 15 years of experience.
Telephone 011-52 (624) 143-1706.
Post Office Box 2143, Port Hueneme, California, 93044.
Custom kayak adventures in Baja's Magdelana Bay.
Telephone (800) 465-8884.
Fax (604) 214-7485.
5640 Hollybridge Way, #130, Vancouver, British Columbia, Cananda, V7C 4N3.
Annual kayak adventures in Baja's lagoons and the Sea of Cortez.
Telephone (800) 258-8434.
Fax (520) 773-9965.
Post Office Box 1724, Flagstaff, Arizona, 86002.
Custom kayak trips to Baja from October through May.
Telephone (415) 669-2600.
Post Office Box 983, Inverness, California, 94937.
Kayaking tours in Baja for all experience levels.
Telephone (800) 945-2742.
Custom kayak trips in and around La Paz.
Telephone 011-52 (112) 1-6121 * (206) 322-5262.
La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
State of the art high quality kayak adventures in Baja.
Telephone 011 (52) 112) 5-5636.
La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Kayak excursions out of La Paz, Baja.
Telephone 011-52 (115) 3-0409.
Fax 011-52 (115) 3-0190.
Playa Santispac #17, Post Office Box 60, Mulege, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Kayak rentals in Mulege and Bahia Concepcion.
OUTDOOR ADVENTURE SPECIALISTS
Telephone (800) 346-6277 * (209) 736-4677.
Fax (209) 736-2902.
Post Office Box 67, Angeles Camp, California, 95222.
6-8 day kayak trips in Baja, Mexico.
Call for more information.
Telephone (800) 647-4621 * (206) 361-0717.
12003 23rd Avenue NE, Seattle, Washington, 98125.
Kayak tours out of Loreto and La Paz, in Baja.
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