Cruising around Isla Carmen is one of the best sea kayaking adventures Baja has to offer. Paddle along 60 miles of coastline, exploring the remote world of the Loreto Bay National Marine Park. See the Sierra Giganta Range soaring above the turquoise waters of the Sea of Cortez--a stunning backdrop toyour Isla Carmen circumnavigation.
Note: First and last days for all Baja tours are reserved as arrival and departure days.
Images & Videos
Land in Loreto and take a brief cab ride to your hotel. Check in and then spend the rest of your afternoon strolling through the picturesque town of Loreto. Tour Loreto's iconic Mission, explore the lively bustle of the local marketplace and indulge in your first authentic Mexican dinner of the trip. After, meet up with your guides and fellow guests to the hotel for a brief orientation meeting.
Kayaking the Sea of Cortez
Enjoy a hearty breakfast before beginning the drive south to our launch point outside Puerto Escondido. After a thorough sea kayak safety briefing step in and paddle out toward our first campsite for the evening! Take in the fresh air, clear waters and stunning views as we paddle along.
Kayaking the Sea of Cortez
We paddle 7-8 miles each day--or around 4-5 hours of paddling with a resting period every two hours. Each afternoon, take to the land and explore the surrounding wilds or strap on your snorkel gear and explore the world below the waves. Each day offers an array of activities including: a nature hike through an arroyo, wildlife viewing, swimming, beachcombing, photography and stargazing.
Return to Loreto
Enjoy a final lunch with the group before breaking up camp. Settle into your kayak for your final paddle to our take-out side, which we should reach by early afternoon. Settle into the van for the return to Loreto. Check into your hotel and then spend your evening as you wish--exploring the town or sitting down to dinner at a favorite local restaurant.
Depart Loreto and catch your return flight home. If you aren't ready to head home, extend your tour with our day tour and other add-on options.
* Note on Itinerary: We always do our best to adhere to the above schedule. However, the itinerary is contingent upon factors beyond our control such as inclement weather, wind and waves.
Dates & Rates
Single Supplement: Solo travelers will always have their own tent during kayaking tours, at no additional cost.
- Full services of our Adventure Consultants
- Professional naturalist and bi-lingual guides
- All meals and beverages as indicated on the itinerary
- All transportation while on tour
- All kayaking, camping and snorkeling equipment
- Panga supported kayaking tour
- Transportation to and from the airport
- Hotel before and after the tour (and between activities when dictated by the itinerary)
- $25 National Parks & Biosphere Reserves access fees required by itinerary
- 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
Our tours are suitable for novices. However, this particular tour is more-kayak focused than our standard Baja tours, and therefore best suited to those with some prior kayaking experience or a regular fitness program. Call us with any questions! 1-800-616-1943.
Please check out our Transportation Guide for our recommendations on how to get to Loreto.
Yes, all of our tour pricing is in US Dollars.
Included: Skilled professional guide services, ground transportation, motorboat-support to carry gear, snorkeling equipment, camping equipment including tents, sleeping bags, liners, and sleeping pads. Our camping trips include all meals from lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day.
Not Included: Airfare, transportation to and from airport, hotel accommodations before and after activities, gratuities, $25 National Parks & Biosphere Reserves access fees required by itinerary, and items of a personal nature.
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.
When you get to your evening campsite all group members must be able to help carry the kayaks above the high tide line. You will change campsites almost every night, but may have a layover day. Campsites are assigned by the National Park Service immediately prior to the tour. We endeavor to secure the very best campsites for the natural beauty and amenities of the area. Your guides will give a demonstration of how to set up and take down your provided dome tent. We also will provide you with a sleeping bag, liner sheet, pillow and an inflatable thermarest sleeping pad. There will be a kitchen/dining area and shade tarps where you can sit back and relax.
While kayaking, we can only carry enough fresh water for drinking and cooking. There are no fresh water sources on most of the coastline and islands we visit. You can clean up with saltwater and soap off above the high tide line, or bring disposable shower wipes. A porta potty will fit into a hatch of the kayak or on the panga support boat, and will be transported to each campsite and set into a sheltered area for solid waste. Liquid waste can be expelled below the high tide line, or in a separate porta-potty bucket.
As with all adventure travel, there is certainly an inherent risk that comes along with this sort of travel, as well as multiple external factors and variables that are outside of our control. However, we do take every measure to ensure that you and your family are in a safe situation while paddling. We paddle large, expedition style Sea Kayaks. Their size, girth, and weight make them very stable to paddle. We have never experienced a situation in which a whale has harmed a kayaker in the water. The whales are very aware of their surrounding, and we maintain a safe distance at all times.
If it’s too windy to paddle your guides will have alternative activities for guests to enjoy. There are opportunities to snorkel, hike or just relax on the beach with a margarita. We plan our itineraries to minimize risks posed by weather, but there is always an element of unpredictability in nature. The risk capsizing is reduced by our stable boats, but exists. All of our kayak guides are certified in kayak rescue.
The Islands of Loreto Bay are high traffic areas only to whales, dolphins, and other marine life! Boats are few and far between, and even other kayakers are seldom encountered. A few coves are popular lunch sites for passing boats or local fisherman, but otherwise you may feel as if you're alone in the wilderness. The Loreto Bay National Park Service assigns campsites on these islands, and only allows one group per site. Barring mix-ups or weather emergencies, your tour will have the beach to yourself.
The islands of Loreto National Marine Park, located in the Sea of Cortez, are home for 6 different species of whales including Blue, Fin, Sei, Humpback, Bryde's and Pilot whales. From January through April look for spectacular sightings of Blue, Fin and Humpback whales in the warm, calm waters near Loreto on our Sea of Cortez Islands tours. Magdalena Bay and San Ignacio Lagoon, on the opposite side of the peninsula, are both world-renowned winter nursery grounds of the Gray whales. From late-January to mid-March is the best time to see gray whales. We operate both Gray Whale Base Camps and Kayak/Whale Watching Combos during this short season.
In general, fishing in allowed in Loreto/La Paz. You would need to obtain a fishing license either before arriving or upon arrival. Our guides will not allow fishing if you are unable to produce a valid license. You will also need to bring all of your own fishing equipment. Along our kayaking routes there are areas where fishing is allowed, the guides will let you know where fishing is prohibited. Also, fishing is only allowed at the guide's discretion, as we have an itinerary, schedule and other group members that we have to take into consideration.
We 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 are interested in more specific information, check out our general Baja packing list here! 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!
Our renowned wilderness meals are prepared daily by our guides using local, fresh, healthy ingredients. In Baja you can expect an authentic dining experience, with savory dishes like chiles rellenos, tostadas, ceviche, and chicken mole. We even serve delicious desserts like brownies and pineapple upside-down cake! Each morning, we serve up freshly brewed coffee or tea. Throughout the day we provide an abundance of local fruits, vegetables, and other snacks. Wine and mixed drinks are served with hors d’oeuvres each evening for happy hour.
We do our best to accommodate special dietary requests, working within the parameters of the destinations in which we operate. If you have a very strict diet, we recommend packing extra snacks that you know you can eat.
To keep our group size small and our impact minimal, we typically limit our tours to 14 people or less. Our standard minimum to confirm a departure is 4 guests for our Isla Carmen Circumnavigation kayak tour.
Please check out this great website Weather Underground for temperature averages in Baja.
Contact your service provider for the best options for taking your cell phone to a different country. You are unlikely to receive cell service while paddling, but WiFi is available in many coffee shops in town. Your guides will be equipped with radios during the tour in case of emergency.
Solo travelers will always have their own tent during kayaking tours, at no additional cost.
You can leave your luggage at your hotel while you are on tour. We recommend getting a luggage lock if you are leaving any electronics in the bags. We’ve never had any issues with guests leaving their bags at the hotel but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Please confirm details at check in.
A deposit of $500 per person is required within 10 days of your reservation to hold your spaces. If the tour you are signing up for is a confirmed departure your deposit is non-refundable. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance to protect your vacation investment.
Full payment is due 60 days prior to the launch date, as indicated on your invoice. Due to the high demand for these trips, please be sure to pay your balance on time so as to not jeopardize your reservation. Your final payment must be paid by check or bank draft in US funds. Alternatively, you may pay your final balance with a credit card, but a 3% administrative fee will be added.