Mexico - Four Islands Sea Kayaking Expedition
9th March 2022
UNESCO’s World Heritage list, the islands of the Gulf of California are biologically and geologically important, and absolutely stunning. Behind the Loreto National Marine Park, the Sierra la Giganta creates a mile-high mountain backdrop that layers itself with the angles of the desert sun. Clear water invites you to visit with the fishes and sea life.
The islands Danzante and Carmen are uniquely enjoyable by kayak. Paddle a 3-mile crossing to Danzante from our recommended launch, and another 2 miles to Carmen. The most outstanding arches, rock gardens, tidepools, sea stacks, seabird sanctuaries, fossils, shell middens, and a vast variety of beaches all concentrate in an area with about a 10-mile radius.
There are also 2 short hikes on Danzante Island and endless snorkeling. This trip gives the chance to probe deeper into the Park’s remoter areas.
Top Adventure Highlights
- Loreto National Marine Park - UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Mountainous backdrop of Sierra la Giganta
- Hikes optional on Danzante Island
- Endless snorkling and marine life encounters
- Circumnavigate four islands - Danzante, Carmen, Monserrate, Coronados
Day 1 - Travel to Loreto airport with a connecting flight through LA, meet for evening briefing and beers at the hotel!
Day 2 - Launch from the Loreto waterfront and paddle across to Isla Coronados, about 7 nm. Unload for camp on a white sand beach, eat some lunch, and either settle in and start the siesta tradition early, or hike a volcano! Or practice those rolls and assists in warm water to loosen up for the adventure.
Day 3 - Circumnavigate the island, about 8nm. See the sea lions, dramatic volcanic geology, and impressive views. Prepare and plan the Carmen Island leg of the journey.
Day 4 - Cross to Isla del Carmen, pausing to explore tiny Isla Cholla en route. Camp in Puerto Ballandra or paddle further along the coast before calling it a day, some 10-15 nm in total; 7nm crossing.
Day 5 - Rack up about 14nm along Isla del Carmen’s exposed and dramatic north coast. Pause for lunch in a white-walled canyon with beautiful snorkeling. Press on around the most exposed point of the island, Punta Lobos, and down along the colorful eastern cliffs.
Day 6 - Finish Carmen’s eastern arm around Punta Perico and some more odd rock formations. Salinas is a defunct salt village tucked into a 2-mile wide bay. The salt works there were once Loreto’s primary employer, and a player in the world’s salt trade. A mile offshore, a buoy marks a sunken ship in shallow enough water to enjoy snorkeling it, once we tie our kayaks to the buoy. Press on to Arroyo Blanco, another stunning beach between white cliffs. Thirteen nautical miles plus some adventures along the way.
Day 7 - Take in Carmen’s 2-mile long white marine shelf that forms its southern point. Pause for a break on Punta Baja beneath the two palms with a panoramic view of the sea. This is a 5-6nm morning to get to camp, leaving the afternoon for restocking our kayaks after the resupply boat arrives with cool beverages and fresh veggies! Great snorkeling in the area, too.
Day 8 - The horizon beckons! Isla Monserrate lies out there over the open sea. Off we go! Detour slightly for Las Galeras islands on the way for lunch (about 9nm). About 2 more nm to Monserrate itself.
Days 9 & 10. Isla Monserrate is about 11nm around, with many points of interest along the way, including snorkeling and hiking. Take 2 days to explore it.
Day 11. There are several options for the ending of this adventure. One is paddling the 11nm straight to Isla Danzante, and then around it if you’re still feeling ambitious (8nm).
Days 12 & 13. Paddle up the west side of Isla del Carmen, with its modest reefs to paddle through and around. The views of the mountain range to the west are breathtaking especially in the blush of sunrise.
Day 14. Cross 9nm directly back to Loreto and celebrate with lunch at the waterfront Oasis Hotel.
Day 15. Relax in Loreto with a drink before your return flight home.
More Information - What's Included
- 15 day tour (13 days guided kayaking)
- UK experienced kayak guide
- Sea kayak and all necessary equipment
- Tent, and inflatable mattress. 12 nights camping and 2 nights hotel accommodation
- Cooking and safety equipment
- Meals (3 dinner, 2 lunches, 3 breakfast)
- Detailed pre-tour participant information
- Free Aquapac 7l dry bag + tech t-shirt
- Access to trade deals
- Gopro footage of the trip
What’s Not Included
- Warm clothes, rain gear, swimsuit and towel (single tents are available with an extra charge, payable at the start of the tour)
- Sleeping bags / Mat
- International flights
- Travel insurance