Three wilderness islands, Danzante, Carmen, and Monserrate, form the corners of the “Blue Triangle” right in the heart of the Mexico’s Loreto Islands National Park. From 12-30 blue whales forage in the Loreto Islands between January and April. Recently discovered as the most important wintering area for blue whales, all three islands are part of an International Biosphere Reserve and remain uninhabited by humans or livestock. This Sea of Cortez kayaking tour is offered in two lengths; choose from either a 6 or 8 day adventure.
We usually spend from two to five hours sea kayaking each day. Frequent stops are made to explore coves and beaches and to stretch our legs and eat lunch. There is ample time for hiking the rugged desert terrain, snorkeling, photography, or just playing on the beach. Your Baja kayaking guides will be available to lead hikes and snorkeling trips, identify flora and fauna, and discuss the natural history of Mexico. This exploratory style Baja kayak trip does not use motorized boats or basecamps.
Sea Kayaking Mexico – Blue Whale Triangle Kayak Trip Itinerary
Please note: The Blue Whale Triangle Kayak Trip is available in both 6-day and 8-day versions. The itinerary below describes the 8-day tour. Simply remove “day 3 and day 4” from the middle of the tour to obtain the 6-day trip itinerary.
Day 1 – Arrival in Loreto Mexico Arrival day in Loreto Mexico. You are escorted by our ground agents to a van headed for the Desert Inn, located right on the Loreto beachfront. Your kayak guides meet you in the hotel lobby at 8 PM for an orientation on your adventure in Mexico. Dinner this evening is a no-host affair at a nearby restaurant.
Day 2 – First day of sea kayaking in Mexico Kayak trip guides meet you at 7 a.m. to drive to the launch site, enjoy a quick beach breakfast, and learn basic sea kayaking skills. Once prepared, we depart for one of the islands rising from Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. Our first campsite is usually on Isla Carmen, an extinct volcano with its caldera now level with the sea and filled by a giant salt pan. A long shelf of coquina limestone, made of recently fossilized marine creatures, extends underwater with a turquoise glow. Formerly paved in pearl oysters, the shelf historically attracted pre-Columbian natives and Spanish pearl harvesters. Fossils and artifacts litter the desert surface in this area. Fortunate snorkelers have frolicked with the bottlenose dolphins that hunt these shallow flats. The limestone shelf eventually plunges into the deep indigo waters of the Sea of Cortez where whales of many varieties frequently swim past.
Day 3 – Striking out for a new camp on the east side of the island, our destination will likely be remarkably different as the geology of Isla Carmen alternates between red and gray volcanic flows and peaks, with lower lying layers of white sedimentary rocks. White coquina cliffs dominate the foreshore where erosive forces have sculpted exquisite overhangs and caves. Ancient streams, now dry, carved ancient arroyos into the red and white bedrock. These arroyos have created some excellent beaches and snorkeling sites.
Day 4 – We usually explore the east side of Isla Carmen for another day and spend a layover night at the mouth of an arroyo with great snorkeling in front of camp. Besides colorful tropical fish, you may find spiny lobsters, sea fans, sponges, anemones, and more. Sharp eyes will discover survivors of the pearl oysters that once paved the limestone flats in enormous numbers. Native people feasted on these shellfish and later were forced by the Spanish to pearl dive until they became too scarce. Many of the same creatures you see while snorkeling are found perfectly fossilized in the coquina limestone.
Day 5 – Back around the south end of Isla Carmen, we turn north to explore areas up the island’s west side which is dominated by higher cliffs and pocket coves. Here we are treated to fantastic views of the sun setting over the steep cliffs and fault blocks of the Sierra de la Giganta mountains.
Click the map below to view or print a larger version of this Baja kayak tour route map.
Day 6 – Today we cross the channel that separates Carmen from Isla Danzante. The geology here is completely different from Carmen’s, as Danzante was formerly attached to the Giganta Range and split apart into the sea by the spreading crust. Our route will take us to the northern tip of Danzante where we stop at the picture perfect Honeymoon Cove for a chance to snorkel, hike, and watch for whales. Later, we sea kayak to our last campsite and watch the sun set behind the Sierra de la Giganta.
Day 7 – Last day of sea kayaking in Baja Up early for our final crossing back to the Baja peninsula with perhaps one last snorkel or swim on the inviting beaches of Danzante before leaving. Our vans will be waiting to return us to Loreto in time for lunch. The remainder of the afternoon is free for exploring this old mission town. We traditionally convene for a no-host farewell dinner at a Loreto restaurant.
Day 8 – Departure from Loreto, Mexico After bidding a final farewell to all the new friends you made sea kayaking in Mexico, you take a taxi to the Loreto airport.
Suggested Add-on We suggest you spend extra time vacationing in Mexico and join a one-day whale watching excursion in Magdalena Bay. It’s the perfect compliment to this kayak trip – ask our office staff if you’d like to add this to your Baja vacation or combine it as a package to save money!
Quick Tour Facts
8-day itinerary available from late-November through April, operating weekly from Saturday to Saturday; see our Kayak Tour Schedule page for dates. Trip fee of $1439 with a youth discount of 10% for qualified participants between 12 to 17 years of age; see our Baja Kayaking FAQ page for details on age limitations. Single supplement for this trip is $103. There will be a small group surcharge of $155 per person if there are less than 6 participants on any departure.
This Baja kayaking adventure normally uses tandem kayaks to accommodate all experience levels, including beginners. If you are an experienced kayaker that wants to use a solo kayak , ask us about our special 8-day itinerary trips for experienced paddlers only, equipped with solo kayaks.
6-day itinerary available from late November through late April, operating weekly from Sunday to Friday; see our Kayak Tour Schedule page for dates. Trip fee of $1139 with a youth discount of 10% for qualified participants between 12 to 17 years of age. Single supplement for this trip is $93. There will be a small group surcharge of $155 per person if there are less than 6 participants on any departure.