Still the best: Baja for sea kayaking

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of May 29-June 5, 1996
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Still the best: Baja for sea kayaking
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Still the best: Baja for sea kayaking
Question: My wife and I will be celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary this summer. I think a romantic trip would be a tandem sea kayak trek in a place where there's tropical weather, crystal clear sapphire water, and white sand. Where would you suggest?

Jim McCracken
Clarkston, WA
[email protected]

No wonder it's popular:
Trekking Baja by sea kayak

Adventure Adviser: In a word: Baja. But here's the hitch, Jim. You may have to wait until October, because that's when most trips are scheduled for this sea kayaking mecca.

If you're experienced paddlers, you can rent tandems or single kayaks from Baja Tropicales in Mulege, about midway down the peninsula, and plot your own route through the Gulf of California. Tandems go for about $20 per day for seven days or more. They also rent snorkeling gear, camping equipment, and wetsuits--as well as provide pre- and post-trip shuttle service. For more details, call 011-52-115-30409.

If you're paddling neophytes, however, you'll need to sign on with a guided group trip, since most companies don't want to take the chance of getting slapped with a huge liability suit. Plenty of outfitters run weeklong paddles up and down both the Pacific and Gulf of California sides of Baja, with nights spent camping on small islands and short day hikes to break up the paddling. A seven-day trip in Magdalena Bay with Baja Expeditions (800-843-6967), for example, will run you $1,250 per person, not including round-trip airfare to La Paz. REI Adventures (800-622-2236), Paddling South Tours (707-942-4550), and OARS (800-346-6776) are good bets, too.

As I mentioned, most trips are scheduled from October through May. If you have your heart set on a summer paddle, you should consider Hawaii. Although sea kayaking isn't as big a business in the Aloha State (yet), Kayak Kauai Outfitters does offer a six-day kayaking/camping/hiking expedition up Kauai's Na Pali coast from May through September for about $175 per person per day. Call 800-437-3507 for details.

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