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.
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.
WHERE IS ESPIRITU SANTO ISLAND?
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
EQUIPMENT CHECK LIST
- 2-Seater Sea Kayak
- Spray Skirts (x2)
- Kayak Paddle (x3)
- MRS Mutha Hubba Tent
- Thermarest Z Lite Matress (x2)
- Exped 500 Sleeping Bags (x2)
- Sea To Summit Silk Sleeping Liner (x2)
- PRIMUS OmniLite Camping Stove
- PRIMUS Gourmet Cooking Set
- Petzl Head Torch (x2)
- Exped Dry Bag
- MSR 10L Water Sack (x4)
CLOTHING (PER PERSON)
- Arc’teryx Rain Jacket
- Arc’teryx Epsilon Soft Shell Fleece
- Icebreaker Base Layer
- T-shirts (x3)
- Swimming Suit
- Salomon Waterproof Hiking Pants
- Icebreaker Socks (x3)
- Icebreaker Undies (x3)
- Teva Sandals
- Icebreaker Beanie
- Costa del Mar Sunglasses
- Food & Water (1gallon per person/day)
- Mosquito Repellent
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.
VIDEO: KAYAKING IN ESPIRITU SANTO ISLAND
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.