Kayaking the Sea of Cortez

Baja Paddling
By Andromeda Romano-Lax
  |  Gorp.com

Baja has become one of North America's top sea kayaking spots, and for good reason. This peninsula, a crooked finger of land west of mainland Mexico, is tantalizingly close to the United States and yet still surprisingly wild and untamed. Flanked by the Sea of Cortez (or Gulf of California) to the east and the Pacific to the west, it is an 800-mile strip of desert bounded by over 2,000 miles of stunning coastline. Much of it remains inaccessible, except by boat. Despite its growing popularity, much of it remains unexplored, except by those adventurers willing to step off the beaten path.

The kayak provides an unparalleled vehicle for exploring this remote and remarkably beautiful coast. With its shallow draft, a kayak can enter any cove, navigate a lonely echoing channel, or steer a course through a maze of offshore boulders. It can be transported to almost any launching spot along the peninsula, be hauled out into a cliff niche, or pulled above the high-tide line of a beautiful, secluded beach. It is less expensive than a yacht, more unobtrusive and ecologically sound than a motorboat. It can be paddled well and safely, even by the beginner. It is great exercise, a perfect craft for the bird-, whale-, and wildlife-watcher, and a good way to burn off the pounds that creep on somewhere in Ensenada.

From San Felipe, head south along the tide-scoured northern Cortez coast, a region of endless dunes, wide desert plains, and a curious blend of cross-border cultures. Ply your paddle through Bahma de Los Angeles, an island-studded bay that offers glimpses into an unparalleled variety of environments, both desert and marine, against a backdrop of rugged mountain scenery. Set up base camp in Mulegi and take your pick of three short excursions: a lazy paddle along the Rmo Mulegi; a 15-mile jaunt north to Punta Chivato; and an equally challenging 14-mile paddle south to the beach camp of Playa Santispac. Finally, point your kayak toward Isla Espmritu Santo, a stunning, semi-tropical island with white-sand beaches, towering bluffs, and numerous secluded caves. These four kayaking trips on the Sea of Cortez will give you a taste of paddling paradise.


Best Hotels in Baja

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Capella Pedregal
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Zoetry Casa del Mar Los Cabos - All Inclusive
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One & Only Palmilla
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Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort

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