Baymount Outdoor Adventures
"Adventure, Cultural and
Natural History Tours
in Canada and The Americas"
The kayaking portion of this trip is spent exploring the beautiful island of Espiritu Santo in the Sea of Cortez. The other half of the trip offers close encounters with the Pacific gray whales in Magdalena Bay on the Pacific coast of Baja.
Kayaking from our base camp on Espiritu Santo Island allows us the opportunity to explore beautiful white sand beaches, canyons adorned with hanging fig trees, boulder up arroyos, and snorkel among friendly sea lions and tropical fish.
In Magdalena Bay, daily excursions into the bay provide close encounters with the magnificent and friendly gray whale. The whales migrate here every winter from their feeding grounds north of Alaska to court, breed, give birth and simply frolic in the warm, calm waters of Baja's Pacific bays. Motorized skiffs, skillfully and sensitively operated by local boatmen, are used for whale watching excursions. Other activities may include exploring the dunes and coast in search of whalebones, bird watching, kayaking in the mangrove estuaries, or playing beach volleyball.
This trip provides the experience of a lifetime for avid kayakers, wildlife lovers, whale watchers and outdoor enthusiasts as they encounter the magnificent gray whale and the wonders of the Sea of Cortez.
Fly to La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Evening on your own to explore La Paz and dine at one of its many fine restaurants.
Breakfast at hotel. Pick up rental gear and transfer by boat to our base camp on Espiritu Santo Island (approximately 2 hours). Lunch upon arrival at camp. During lunch we will give a camp orientation followed by sea kayak instruction and paddling. The sea kayak orientation includes a mandatory wet exit or "dunk test." So get ready to have some fun as we all take the plunge! It's a piece of cake! B/L/D
Kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, fishing and relaxing along the shores of the enchanted island of Espiritu Santo. Guided kayak excursions from 1 1/2 - 4 hours are offered daily along the coast and to outlying islands. Camp is located in a large protected bay, allowing folks additional kayaking time to explore the large sheltered bay. Other guided activities from camp include skiff excursions to nearby snorkeling "hot spots" including a sea lion rookery where we join these graceful creatures, swimming alongside them while enjoying their playful and curious nature first hand. Hiking into canyons draped with fig trees or fishing for sea bass and red snapper are other side attractions. B/L/D
After lunch, return boat ride to La Paz for a nice hot shower and a no-host dinner in town on your own (our La Paz office will be happy to give some recommendations). Overnight hotel. B/L
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Magdalena Bay by van (approximately 4 hours) and 1/2 hour skiff ride to our whale camp. Lunch and camp orientation. Possible afternoon whale watch. B/L/D
Motorized skiffs take us into the bay for close encounters of the magnificent gray whales. From 2-4 hours per day may be spent observing whales from the skiffs. Active whale watching by kayak is prohibited in Magdalena Bay. Other activities include bird watching by skiff or kayak and beach combing along miles of pristine Pacific coastline. Each evening our knowledgeable naturalists present slide shows on gray whale natural history, behavior and birds of the area. B/L/D
After morning whale watch, transfer back to your hotel in La Paz. Afternoon free to shower, shop and wander through downtown La Paz before meeting for the farewell dinner that evening. B/L/D
Transfer from hotel to airport (approximately 20 minutes) for flights home.
WHAT IS INCLUDED
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
Our fleet of kayaks on each trip is comprised of approximately 2/3 double kayaks and 1/3 single kayaks. Most are made by SEDA products of fiberglass construction and all are equipped with rudders. Based on your experience, size and the group composition, your guide will help determine what kayak you will paddle, double or single. We also encourage paddlers to rotate kayak seats so everyone has a chance to paddle to their desire. If you are particularly tall (over 6'2") or large (over 200 pounds) please let us know well in advance as we may have to arrange a special kayak to be brought to camp.
We offer exclusive use of a single kayak on most trips for a fee of $50 per kayak. You must be fit and experienced in kayaking and screened in advance by our office. Single kayaks are not available at our Magdalena Bay camp. The option of exclusive use of a single kayak is limited on the Island Hopping trip to a first-come basis and available on our Combination Trip during the Espiritu Santo Island portion only.
We provide lightweight Nimbus and Werner paddles, Kokatat paddling PFD's (personal flotation devices – also known as lifejackets), nylon spray skirts, paddle floats, and bilge pumps on our expeditions.
On our Espiritu Santo self-supported trips, we provide 2 dry bags per person for personal gear. Dry bags and not necessary or provided on our skiff-supported trips because your luggage and gear are transported in the skiffs.
Baymount Adventures and our tour partners are not responsible for any costs incurred due to delays that may occur due to transportation (airline), weather, road conditions, government intervention, sickness or other contingencies for which we are unable to control.
If you have any old clothes or shoes you'd like to donate, please bring them along and we'll distribute them to the fishing villages we visit. Warm type clothes like rain jackets and fleece are especially appreciated by the fisherman as well as T-shirts, pants, and shoes (sneakers, Tevas or hiking boots, all sizes). Kids clothes and shoes are also needed. Muchas Gracias!
Getting to La Paz
Flight information for trips operating in and out of La Paz including all trips to Espiritu Santo Island, Whale Watching at Magdalena Bay and Combination Trips. Ideally you want to fly in and out of La Paz for the above trips, which is where our office and hotel are located. To get to La Paz, you have the following options.
o Option #1 - The only direct flights between the US and La Paz (LAP) is from Los Angeles (LAX) on Alaska Airlines. This 2-hour flight tends to fill fast, is only offered 2 to 4 days per week depending on the season and can be difficult to connect with to get to La Paz in one day if you are coming from anywhere other than the west coast of the US. We suggest you start here with your flight search, but if you are not having luck finding an economical, efficient flight in and out of La Paz try Option #2 below.
Flight information for trips operating between La Paz and Loreto including our Island Hopping and Baja Coast trips. Ideally you want to fly into La Paz and out of Loreto for our Island Hopping trip OR into Loreto and out of La Paz for our Baja Coast trip. To reach both of these cities, you have the following options.
o Option #1 - The only direct flights between the US and La Paz (LAP) and Loreto (LTO) are from Los Angeles (LAX) on Alaska Airlines. We suggest you start here with your flight search using one-way flights. For example, if your trip begins in Loreto you should search for one-way flights into Loreto and your return flight out of La Paz. If you are not having luck finding an economical, efficient flight in and out of these cities, try the following.
o Option #2 - Numerous airlines fly direct between various US and Canadian cities and the airport in Cabo (SJD) at reasonable rates. Cabo is also referred to as Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos and San Jose del Cabo (where the airport is actually located). Some of these airlines include Alaska, American, Continental, Frontier, Delta, Virgin America, West Jet, United and US Air.
Transportation between the Cabo airport and La Paz
Transportation between the Cabo airport and Loreto
Shuttles and Buses:
Airline information for flights to La Paz and Loreto:
o Alaska Airlines (800- 252-7522) flies direct from Los Angeles and La Paz as well as Loreto and return.
o Aeroméxico (800-237-6639) serving La Paz from Los Angeles, via connections through mainland Mexico.
Private Shuttle Service: There is also the option of arranging a private shuttle between the Cabo airport and La Paz. Prices are based on the number of passengers. If you are interested in sharing a private shuttle with other passengers possibly arriving the same day around the same time please contact our US booking office for help coordinating this.
Local Bus Service: If you are already in either Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo, you can take the bus to La Paz from the local bus stations. Please allow plenty of time and flexibility. To alleviate any stress of buses possibly being cancelled or full (especially around holiday times) you can hire a private shuttle as described above, but keep in mind this will be more expensive.
Car Rentals: It is also possible to rent a car and drive to La Paz and return or drop the car in La Paz. Prices vary and all the major car rental agencies are represented in Cabo and La Paz.
If driving up from Cabo there are two options: You can drive through the mountains up the east coast or via Todos Santos along the Pacific Coast. If leaving from the airport we recommend driving up the east coast. Travel north on Highway 1 following signs out of the airport for La Paz. Go through Buena Vista and Los Barriles and on north into the mountains. Upon arrival into La Paz you continue on the main highway 1 into La Paz following signs for the Malecon (the La Paz water front promenade). Highway 1 becomes Forjadores St. From the first street light you encounter to your first turn you will go approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles) over many speed bumps and intersections passing Office Depot on your right about half way. When you see a large grocery store named Aramburo on your right get into the left lane and turn left at the next light onto 5 de Febrero St. (there is usually no street sign here). After turning you should immediately see McDonalds on your right. Travel north on 5 de Febrero for approximately 5 kilometers (2-3 miles) until you can see the water of the bay of La Paz directly in front of you. At this point you are at the intersection of 5 de Febrero and Abasolo Street light with a Pemex gas station on the left (northwest corner). Go straight here and look for our sign on the right, halfway through the block. Turn right into our alley and drive straight ahead for Mar Y Aventuras and Hotel Posada LunaSol.
What to Bring
A list of recommended clothing and equipment will be provided once a tour registration is completed.
For traveling to Baja and while in La Paz
o Current passport
o Credit cards (Visa, Master Card and occasionally American Express are accepted by most larger restaurants and shops but not by the smaller ones.)
The amount of cash is subject to how much you will spend shopping, on meals, and services in town and for tipping. Travelers Checks are NOT recommended as they are difficult to cash. We recommend a minimum of $200 cash in bills no larger than $20's. Please keep in mind you will need at least twice that much should you want to leave a generous tip for your guides, if joining a kayak trip, and also plan to spend money on equipment rentals at our office, meals, drinks and souvenirs in town. ATM's are available but can be unreliable. Many shops and restaurants accept US dollars but this can vary depending on where you are. Once in La Paz or Loreto you may want some pesos for purchases around town. You can change your dollars into pesos at the airport, banks (closed on weekends and holidays) or possibly a store (you pay in US dollars and receive change in pesos). Please note, no more than $300/US can be changed into pesos per month at the banks.
You may also want to bring some nice clothes you can leave behind in a bag in our storage room while on your trip that you can wear upon returning to town. For cooler months (Dec-Feb) we suggest long pants and long-sleeved shirts. During the warmer months (Oct, Nov, March-May) we recommend shorts and short-sleeved shirts or casual skirts or dresses for women.
Rental Gear in La Paz
Sleeping bags, pads and snorkeling gear may be rented in Baja. Costs per trip are:
o Sleeping bag with pad $20
o Sleeping bag or pad separately $15
o Snorkel gear (mask, snorkel and fins) $15
o Mask, snorkel or fins separately $10
o Wetsuit $15
Note: Wetsuits are highly recommended for trips in November through May. The wetsuits we rent are 3mm thick, long-sleeved, with short pants and a zipper up the front. If you tend to get cold easily, we recommend you bring a thicker and/or long sleeved wetsuit during December, January and February. Payment for rentals will be collected in Baja prior to your trip departure in cash.
Important Note for Baja Coast Trips: Since the Baja Coast trip originates in Loreto, the PFDs and rental gear must be brought up from our La Paz office. Therefore, you must provide your accurate size on the trip application form so we can assure a good fit for your PFD and wetsuit and snorkel gear if you requested them.
For all trips originating in La Paz, we will fit you with your rental gear the morning of your trip departure here at our office.
Spring and fall are the most ideal times for enjoying the Sea of Cortez. The strong northerly winds blow longest and strongest from late November through early March, so spring and fall are characterized by calmer, warmer days.
Fall trips (October & November) offer warm, clear waters for great snorkeling. Average water temperatures are 80-85° F (26-30° C) with up to 80 feet (25 meters) of visibility. Daytime high air temperatures are in the 80s to 90s (26-32° C) with little chance of rain or strong wind. An added attraction on fall trips is the opportunity to observe the Baja desert in bloom following the rainy season in August and September.
Winter trips (December through the end of February) tend to be cooler with a greater chance of wind and some chance of rain. Water temperatures are in the mid 60s (15 to 20° C) and daytime highs are from the 60s to 80s (15 to 26° C). The weather at Magdalena Bay on the Pacific coast during whale watching season in mid-winter tends to be windy and chilly although calm sunny days are common. Daytime highs may be in the 70s or 80s (21 to 26° C) with the wind it may feel more like the 50s (10 to 15° C).
Spring trips (March, April and May) offer warmer water temperatures, ranging from 68-75° F (19 to 23° C). Days are generally calm and warm with air temperatures ranging from the mid 80s to 90s (26 to 32° C).
Summer in Baja (June-September) is hot and humid with a chance of hurricanes in August and September, but it is ideal for fishing and scuba diving.
Due to the dry desert nature of Baja, it does not tend to be buggy. However, some years have sufficient precipitation to support mosquitoes, gnats and no-see-ums, especially on the islands. It is a good idea to bring insect repellent on our October and November trips, following the rainy season. The Magdalena Bay whale watching trips, Baja Coast and Island Hopping trips in March, April and May rarely experience problems with insects. Consult with our office for current conditions before your trip.
Mexico has strict laws regarding the possession of illegal drugs. Please be sure any medication you bring is in its original prescription bottle or package.
The country of Mexico, including Baja, has a high incidence of Hepatitis A, a contagious liver disease. While we take all precautionary steps to prevent the spread of Hepatitis A at our hotel and on our trips for complete protection we recommend our clients get vaccinated for Hepatitis A, readily available at most health clinics. Check with your physician for more information.
We offer fishing as a side activity on our Sea of Cortez trips only, not on our Magdalena Bay whale watching trips. If you want to fish, please come prepared with your own lures. Small minnow-type lures are suggested such as a Rebel jointed Fastrac or mid size Rapala Magnums (4.5 to 5 inches or 9-12cm in length). Suggested colors include: blue/silver, black/silver, black/gold, green mackerel/gold or blue mackerel/silver. We supply the rod and reel. Fishing is done by trolling behind a motorized skiff (two rods at a time) from one to two hours before breakfast on certain mornings or from your kayak.
IMPORTANT! FISHING PERMIT INFORMATION
Fishing permits are required for anyone who plans to fish during our kayak trips. This includes fishing from either our motorized skiff or your kayak.
Permits cost $15/day or $30/week.
To get a permit, the preferred method is to scan your photo ID and e-mail it to our La Paz office. If you are unable to do this, you can fax a copy of your photo ID, but please make sure it is legible. Please do this at least one week in advance of your arrival. Our staff will pick up your permit and when you arrive in La Paz you must reimburse our office for the cost of the permit.
Please be sure to indicate whether you want a one day or one week permit.
What types of guided trips do you offer?
Expeditions are 7-10 days long (including your travel days to and from Baja). Hotel accommodations are included at the start and end of the trip. In La Paz, we use the hotel, Posada LunaSol. We offer 8-9 day skiff-supported expeditions to Espiritu Santo Island, the islands between La Paz and Laredo and along the remote coastline from Loreto to La Paz. We also offer a 7-day self-supported guided trip to Espiritu Santo Island.
During whale watching season (late January, February and early March), we offer our 10-day Combination Trip, which includes both whale watching at Magdalena Bay and kayaking on Espiritu Santo Island.
Quick Getaways are our shorter trips, from 2-5 days in length (not including your travel days to and from Baja). We offer Quick Getaways to our base camp on Espiritu Santo Island and our whale watching base camp on Magdalena Bay during the whale season from late January through early March. While our Quick Getaways do not include hotel accommodations we are happy to make reservations for you at the hotel Posada LunaSol, or you may select a hotel of your choice.
What is a skiff-supported guided trip?
One or more 30-foot motorized skiffs accompany all skiff-supported trips. Having the skiff allows us to carry all gear, luggage, food and beverages (including large coolers with ice for fresh food and cold drinks) and supplies from camp to camp, leaving your kayak light and easy to paddle. Skiffs also offer an additional measure of safety for possible evacuations from remote locations.
What is a self-supported guided trip?
This is the original classic sea kayaking trip where all the gear, community and personal, is packed and stowed in the kayaks and carried from camp to camp via your muscle power.
What is included in the trip cost?
This varies from skiff-supported expeditions to self-supported expeditions and quick getaways so check specific trips for this information.
What is your season for guided trips?
We offer guided overnight trips from October through May.
How do I get there?
For detailed information on getting to your destination in Baja check our trip planning page.
Where can I store items that I don't need while I'm on your trip?
You can leave extra luggage and other items that you won't need on your trip at our office in a safe storage room.
What is a typical day like?
Kayaking and camping on the Sea of Cortez: Coffee is usually ready between 6:30-7:00 AM and breakfast usually served around 8:00 AM. Folks interested in fishing take off just after coffee is served and return before breakfast. After breakfast, we embark on our morning activity which may include sea kayaking, hiking or snorkeling or combination of any two. We break for lunch anytime from noon to 1:00 PM, enjoy an hour or so of siesta, then embark on our afternoon activity with the same options as the morning. We settle into camp for the night by late afternoon and enjoy happy hour with a cocktail and appetizer at sunset then dinner shortly afterwards. Once the sun has set and dinner is completed with dessert, we enjoy stargazing, entertainment by the guides and crew, or friendly conversations with our fellow traveling companions.
Whale Watching on Magdalena Bay: Coffee is usually ready between 6:30-7:00 AM and breakfast is usually served around 8:00 AM. After breakfast, we embark on our morning activity of whale watching in our 30-foot motorized skiffs for about 2-3 hours. Other choices of activities might include walking along the beautiful beach at our base camp or across the dunes to the Pacific Coast, kayaking into the nearby mangrove estuary, clamming when tides allow, or visiting a local fishing village. We break for lunch anytime from noon to 1:00 PM, enjoy an hour or so of siesta, then embark on our afternoon activity with the same options as the morning. We return to camp for the night by late afternoon and enjoy happy hour with cocktail and appetizer at sunset, followed by dinner shortly afterwards. Once the sun has set and dinner is completed with dessert, we enjoy a presentation by our guides on the ecology of the area and biology of the gray whale, stargazing, or conversations with our fellow traveling companions.
What clothing and equipment should I bring?
A list of recommended clothing and equipment will be provided upon registration.
How physically demanding are the trips?
Each trip is different as to its physical demands. No previous kayaking or camping experience is required for any of our trips although we recommend you have at least tried kayaking prior to joining one of our more strenuous paddling trips such as the Baja Coast or Espiritu Santo Circumnavigation. It is also a good idea to do some basic physical training before your trip if you are not used to getting much exercise.
Can I fish on your kayak trips?
There are opportunities for fishing on our kayak trips. Licenses are required and you need to secure these ahead of time through our La Paz office. Please let us know if you wish to purchase a daily or weekly fishing license.
What are the air and water temperatures?
Air and water temperatures vary month by month. Visit the Weather section of the Trip Planning Page to see the approximate temperatures you can expect on your trip.
What type of bathroom facilities are provided during the trip?
Portable toilets in secluded locations and washing facilities are set up at each camping location. Your guides will give you basic instructions on their operation.
What training do the guides have for emergencies?
Our guides are certified WFR (Wilderness First Responder) professionals and carry an extensive first aid kit recommended by the Wilderness First Aid Association. Most all our trips are accompanied by motorized skiff, so in case of serious injury, evacuation by skiff will be arranged. Patients will be transported to a hospital in La Paz. Guides and crew members have cell phones and marine band radios on hand.
What if someone from home needs to reach me while I'm on a trip?
We will provide you with a contact number for our office in La Paz, Mexico prior to your trip. If someone needs to reach you, he or she can phone our La Paz office. If is an emergency, our office staff can attempt getting a message to you on the trip as they are in touch with our camps regularly.
What about tipping around town and the guides and crew?
For restaurants, shuttle drivers or taxis the gratuity scale in Mexico is much like that in the US at about 10-20% of your payment depending upon the service given. Many people ask, "should I tip the guides and how much?" Tipping is voluntary and any amount you leave is greatly appreciated! If you would like to leave your guides a generous tip showing appreciation for an excellent job, 10% of the trip cost is standard in the adventure travel industry. Gratuities are pooled and distributed among your trip guides and staff evenly. If you do choose to leave a tip, please leave cash only. No travelers checks, personal checks or credit cards can be accepted.