Frequently Asked Questions about Sea Kayaking Adventures in Baja Mexico
Frequently Asked Questions about Sea Kayaking Adventures in Baja MexicoSea Quest
You likely have some frequently asked questions about your sea kayak tour in Baja Mexico that we answer in this Baja Kayaking FAQ.
Here at Sea Quest Kayak Expeditions, our goal is to make your kayaking adventure a fun and memorable vacation. If you don’t find your questions answered on this Baja Kayaking FAQ, please email us from our Contact page or call us at 888-589-4253.
Baja Mexico Kayak Tour FAQ
Click on any of the questions below to read the answer!
No experience is necessary! Mexico’s Sea of Cortez is a great location for learning how to sea kayak. The area is largely protected from surf and ocean swell although locally generated wind waves can occur.
Most of our guests have never been in a kayak before. If you are in average physical condition you can join a sea kayak adventure in Baja. Its comparable to hiking and bicycling. You don’t even need to know how to swim but you don’t want to miss out on the great snorkeling!
Regardless of age or experience, you will find that our Baja kayak tours are safe and fun. We will instruct you on proper sea kayaking technique and safety rules before leaving the beach. Our experienced guides are great instructors who will be with you the whole time.
Your safety is our top concern. Our guides are experienced mature professionals with your safety always in mind. We can proudly say that there has never been a serious accident on a Sea Quest tour since we began leading kayak tours more than 25 years ago. History demonstrates that sea kayaking is generally safer than most other outdoor sports.
The tandem kayaks we use are over 20 feet long and are very stable. Our “double” kayaks are fully loaded with gear during Baja kayak tours, and this ballast makes them even steadier than usual. Tandem kayaks are much more steady than solo kayaks. Fewer than 1 out of 1000 participants tip over, and this usually do to “horsing” around. More details on our sea kayaks are shown at the bottom of this page.
The climate of Baja is desert so rain is extremely rare. Air temperatures are warm, the water is cool, and wind can cause chilling. We recommend that you wear fabrics that dry quickly and keep a windbreaker handy at all times. Many folks wear a bathing suit all day and take frequent dips in the water to cool off. We do everything in our power to keep you comfortable throughout your tour.
This is reputedly the most cloud-free area on the planet! Nothing beats the desert sun and wilderness beaches when the winter doldrums set in. The clear, dry air can be a bit too powerful for some complexions so bring lots of sunscreen and solar protective clothing. By night, this same transparency of the atmosphere creates the best star-gazing you are likely to ever experience but can quickly chill down the nights. High temperatures range in the 70’s in January, the coolest month, and by April it hovers in the high 80’s. Infrequent cold snaps into the 50’s can occur from mid-December to mid-March. From June through September it is too hot for continuous outdoor exposure so no Baja kayak tours are scheduled in those months.
We recommend full length wetsuits throughout the kayaking season for people who want to really enjoy the snorkeling opportunities.Water temperatures are coolest in January and February, usually in the low 60’s, limiting naked swimmers to about 20 minutes in the water. These are good months for a 5mm wetsuit with a hood. By April the water has made it into the 70’s and serious snorkelers will be comfortable in 3mm wetsuits without a hood. The warmest water during the entire Baja kayak season occur in November.
The deserts of Baja do not support biting insects. After a rare rainfall, there might be a few mosquitoes for a couple of weeks. Scorpions are common but are very shy and relatively harmless as most stings are about equal to a bee. Venomous snakes do occur but usually don’t come out of hibernation until April. The main problem in Baja are cactus and other thorny plants so hikers must be careful to avoid contact.
We are very proud of our sea kayak guides in Baja Mexico. The primary guides were all born in Mexico and live in towns near Loreto and La Paz. Some have been leading our kayak tours for nearly a decade. They know the Baja environment very well and have received extensive safety training. Our kayak guides are excellent educators, naturalists, camp cooks, and trip leaders. This link takes you to our Kayak Guides page for more information.
People just like you! The common interest shared by all is a love of nature, outdoor activities, and traveling under human power. The ages of most of our kayak tour guests range from the mid-twenties through early sixties. An average group has an equal number of solo travelers, couples and friends. You can come alone and still have a super time as our small groups encourage lots of personal contact. Group size averages six to eight persons while a few trips reach the maximum of twelve participants.
If you have young children you should choose one of the “basecamp” tours, either the Espiritu Santo Kayaking Adventure or the Magdalena Bay Gray Whale Watching Tour, both originating from La Paz. These kayak tours have no age limit and children aged 2 or younger go for free!
Our Mexico kayaking tours to the Loreto Islands Park use roaming campsites and therefore have a minimum age limit of 12 and a minimum weight of 100 pounds (for physically fit children). This age/weight limit is imposed because smaller children under 100 pounds, and/or those who lack strength or fitness, will not be able to move their a tandem kayak quickly enough for safe group travel. Sometimes there are exceptions made on the Loreto kayak tours for younger/smaller children who are advanced in strength or maturity, such as kids who compete in swimming or gymnastics.
There is no upper age limit but if you are over 65 it would be smart to inform us of your health before reserving a Baja kayak tour. The basecamp kayak tours from La Paz are usually the best choice for those who aren’t in moderate physical condition. Custom kayak trips can sometimes be arranged for groups with physical limitations so call us or click here for custom kayaking tour options.
Our sea kayak tours in Mexico are rated as “moderate” effort from Loreto and “easy” from La Paz. We usually move at a leisurely pace but some kayak trips encounter headwinds which could require temporarily strenuous exertion. Folks who like hiking, bicycling, or swimming will surely enjoy sea kayaking, too. Depending on your shape, it may be smart to devote a couple of weeks before your kayak tour to light upper body exercise such as rowing, swimming, or calisthenics.
Yes. Our kayak guides can show you many skills to improve your abilities. Be sure to let them know of your interests. You might ask them for tips on navigation, how to choose a kayaking route, interpreting data on tides and currents, how to brace, etc.
Our Mexico kayaks trips are designed to visit the most important whale watching habitat in the Baja region. You are virtually guaranteed to see gray whales on whale watching tours to Magdalena Bay on the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula. Over on the Sea of Cortez side, we see whales on nearly every trip from Loreto, sometimes almost daily. Most sightings are of Bryde’s and fin whales, followed by blue whales. Sometimes humpback whales, sperm whales and orca whales are found, but this is by no means the limit of possibilities! The Espiritu Santo Island kayak tour from La Paz only occasionally finds whales. Please refer to our whale watching page for more details on this topic.
Absolutely, and it is a thrill that you will never forget! Whales are intelligent, sociable, and remarkably agile for their size. It is rare for them to bump into kayak and the few times it has happened it was because they were so intent on feeding and the kayak moved directly into the whale’s path. Usually they peacefully go about their business as we enjoy their company from a respectful distance. Nevertheless, they do occasionally come very close, even swimming under our kayaks! Please visit to our whale watching page for more information.
Our sea kayaking adventures definitely create healthy appetites so we provide hot and hearty meals in the field. Fresh nourishing ingredients are the foundation of our healthy, tasty meals that include baked goods, vegetables, salads, fruits, and edibles we’ve gathered from the sea. Our kayak guides have a lot of pride in preparing great meals for you to enjoy. The written comments that we receive from guests frequently refer to how impressed they are by the high quality of our camping meals.
The campsites are chosen for their beauty, views of whale watching waters, and ease of camping and beaching kayaks. Our campsites in Mexico are all in wilderness locations, and some are in the Loreto Islands National Park.
The basecamp tours from La Paz have solar showers, but not the roving kayak expeditions from Loreto. Fortunately, sea kayaking is a clean sport and we don’t get very dirty or sweaty. Most people swim and snorkel frequently and stay very clean this way. From both locations we use portable toilets much like river rafting tours do.
Your sea kayaking gear is provided, as are tents and camping equipment. You need to bring a sleeping bag and pad, and any snorkeling gear. But if this is inconvenient we have these to rent for a nominal fee. You need to wear and bring the same kind of clothing that you would for a hike on the beach. When you reserve your kayak trip, we send you a thorough checklist with packing instructions. If you follow this guidance you will be comfortable during your kayaking adventure in Baja Mexico.
Its quite good and passes all required safety standards. We want your first experience to sea kayaking to be outstanding. So we supply kayaking gear that is comfortable, safe, and high-performance. Our kayaks are in good condition, are frequently inspected, and maintained with pride. Click here to read more about our modern sea kayaking equipment.
We use tandem (double) kayaks on most of our adventure tours in Mexico. We usually don’t use solo kayaks in Baja because they can be difficult for beginners to handle. If you can provide us with proof of moderate to advanced sea kayaking experience, we may be able to supply you with a solo kayak in Mexico. Other kayaking companies with the same emphasis on safety will have the same protocol. If you are a beginner and want to give a solo kayak a try, sometimes the guide will have a solo kayak, and if conditions are safe, you can ask to use it for part of the day.
Speed – When it comes to kayaks, length equals speed. The long waterline of a tandem makes it much speedier than a solo kayak. Speed is important when we are faced with crossing an open body of water when the wind is increasing.
Stability – Tandem kayaks are wide enough to produce excellent stability. This is great if we encounter any choppy water. This steadiness is also helpful when watching wildlife, photographing whales., or putting on more sunscreen The extra stability of tandems gives us the freedom to kayak in a wider range of sea conditions.
Flexibility – When you come with a partner you can expect to share a tandem with them for the entire trip. But in certain circumstances, tandems give us the ability to temporarily pair kayakers of different strengths so the group can move at the same rate and prevent stragglers. Tandems are also helpful whenever someone needs a break from paddling because their partner can keep up with the group. Tandems can be most valuable in the wilderness if someone becomes ill or injured during the kayak tour.
Sometimes we get requests to use a solo sea kayak and there are exceptions to our rule of only using tandems. Our Isla Espiritu Santo kayaking adventure basecamp has several solo kayaks for anyone bold enough to try them out as this is a very protected area. For the Loreto Islands kayaking expeditions, you must be advanced to moderately skilled to be equipped with a solo kayak. You must have completed a sea kayak rescue class from a quality program and provide proof from your trainer. Solo kayaks may be limited depending on the exact date of the tour and might need to be shared during the adventure, or restricted to calm weather and/or sheltered locations depending on your abilities. There are no solo kayaks available in Magdalena Bay.
Use the tabbed links across the top of this page to check out detailed information on a variety of Baja kayaking tour topics. Call 360-378-5767 to speak with us or email your questions from our Contact page.