We spent one week exploring the beautiful Island of Espíritu Santo by kayak in the Sea of Cortez, about 20 km from La Paz, Baja California. We thought one week would be enough but in the end it was too short.


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Where is Espiritu Santo Island?


May is the off season for kayaking which allowed us to have the island to ourselves. The wind was not strong but the mosquitoes were in full force.

The Sea of Cortez is one of the bodies of water with the most variety of wildlife, 31 different species of marine mammals make this sea their home. We spent the week paddling amongst pods of dolphins, sea turtles, jumping manta rays and sea lions. Camping in the islands many bays where the clear, warm turquoise water meets secluded fine white sand beaches.



What We Liked The Most

  • Camping in caves
  • Swimming in pristine clear waters
  • Plenty of wildlife: dolphins, turtles, mobula rays, sea lions…


What We Didn’t Like That Much

  • Mosquitoes at night
  • Heat during the day




You can paddle around the 2 islands, Espíritu Santo and Partida, in 3-4 days. But we would recommend to give yourself a week and you will enjoy it much more. There are plenty of isolated bays to explore and many sandy beaches to camp.

The overnight trips run from October to May. This is when the weather is best for kayaking. However, kayak rentals to experienced paddlers are available all year round.

You can start paddling from La Paz or take a ride to Tecolote beach and start from there. Shuttle service is also provided if needed. You can check their rates here.

Go around May, when the crowds are gone and it’s still not too hot to enjoy the paddling. Try to make the crossing at around noon. The wind dies almost every day between 12pm and 2pm.


Watch Video: Kayaking in Espiritu Santo Island


Final Thoughts

If you like enjoying the nature in solitude, exploring areas where there is no civilization and feeling conected to the surroundings, then Espiritu Santo Island is for you. We absolutely loved the week we spent there. It was one of the highlights of Baja California.

Pack your tent, bring plenty of food and water and get ready to enjoy one of the most beautiful and incredible places in the Sea of Cortez.


Location: La Paz, Baja California Sur. Mexico

Price: 200 USD (double sea kayak weekly rental fee)

Useful Notes: Although the conditions for sea kayaking in the Sea of Cortez are exceptional, you need to be experienced to perform this adventure independently. Tours are available for less experienced travelers.



And you? Have You Ever Been To Espiritu Santo Island? Share Your Experience Below.

29 Responses

    • Antonio Cala

      We didn’t, but we were a bit after the whale season which ends in April. We saw lots of dolphins, mobula rays, turtles and sea lions though.

    • Antonio Cala

      We only had very bad mosquitoes the first 2 nights. On the other side of the island they were not too bad which was a relief!

  1. Mary Harter

    Thanks for this comprehensive account of your trip around Espiritu Santo Island in Baja California Sur, Mexico. We were privileged to have been able to provide you with the equipment rental necessary to realize your adventure!
    As an outfitter in Baja for 22 years and having guided there for 10 years prior to opening our business in La Paz in 1993 I’m surprised to hear the mosquitoes were plentiful during your trip in May!? May is one of the driest months in Southern Baja and therefore usually provides bug free camping on the island. That said there are beaches (those with mangroves) that do have bugs year around while there are many other beaches that provide bug free camping that time of year!
    In my 32 years paddling on the island I’ve never experienced mosquitoes in May because I know what beaches to avoid. I’m sorry our office did not pass this information onto you!!
    In general December through July are the bug free months on the island (if you know what beaches to avoid) while August and September are the rainy season and October through November tend to be buggy everywhere as they follow the rainy season.


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