While on our first trip to Baja, we were looking for an
opportunity to get some experience kayaking in the La Paz area
and signed up for a four day trip to Espiritu Santo Island with
Mar y Adventuras. It was great.
Briefly, I would highly recommend it for people with an interest
in snorkeling, kayaking and learning about the local flora and
fauna, in a moderately plush camp setting. If you're looking
for extended paddling they have longer trips, and if you don't
do tents or need a shower every day look elsewhere.
Our first day started in the afternoon with a panga ride from
Tecolate beach (north of La Paz) to Playa Mestano on Espiritu
Santo. We had a great look at a pod of dolphins riding the bow
wave on the way out. After situating our gear in our roomy
tents, we practiced wet exits in the kayaks and went over some
basic paddling technique. With just five people in our group
this went very smoothly and we were soon enjoying our sunset
margaritas before a great dinner. There were no other groups or
individuals camped on our beach, so we felt truly away from it
Our second day started with a great breakfast. Let me save
further comments by saying that the food was superb, every meal
cooked by Chui, who apparently has a slew of job offers from
former satisfied clients. After breakfast, we went by panga to
Los Islotes, for a snorkel with the sea lion colony there as
well as lots of colorful fish. This is a popular spot; we got
to enjoy it before most of the boats from La Paz arrived. We
returned to camp for lunch then kayaked to El Candelero beach,
getting a rinse off from the fresh water well there, and trading
off using the different kayaks. We got to see lots of birds and
the magnificent cliffs up close.
Our third day we reversed our schedule, going for a three hour
paddle around nearby Isla Ballena, with our great panga skipper
Angel on hand to give a ride to one person who felt a little
tired from the increasing wind. After lunch we all headed out
in the panga to explore some tide pools, a fish camp, and do
some more snorkeling. That night the infamous wind, el norte,
really kicked up and we were glad for the shelter of the cook
tent to eat in.
The fourth morning greeted us with continued wind, so after a
leisurely breakfast we headed back to the mainland via
panga. This trip is scheduled to coincide with flights in and out
of La Paz from the US so you can fly in day one and out day
The really outstanding feature of this trip, next to the natural beauty of
the island, was the staff. Angel, skiff driver and fisherman, was so
skillful and made sure we got a good look at the scenery, birds, and
animals, safely. Georgina, our guide, is from the area and recently
completed her Masters degree in Marine Biology in Halifax, Canada. She was
a wealth of information and instruction. Most importantly,she was
enthusiastic. Her interest in and love for the flora and fauna was obvious.
She also had the ability to lead a group of strangers, making good decisions
about what activities were appropriate for the group and the conditions. As
people who generally do things on our own, even off the beaten track, we
were pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed this trip. We did have some
free time for hiking and snorkeling at the campsite.
Mar y Adventuras can be reached at: 1-800-355-7140 or www.kayakbaja.com.
Their address in La Paz is Calle Topete 564 (between Navarro and 5 de
Febrero) and the phone is 1-123-0559.