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baja california espiritu santo island

Baja California, Mexico

Baja California

“Baja” as many folks call it, is a 1300km (800 mile) semi-arid/desert peninsula straddling the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. Comprised of two Mexican states, North and South Baja, the entire peninsula is the least populous region of Mexico, despite Tijuana being the 5th most populous city.

With cave paintings dating back 7,000 years, Baja California was not ‘discovered’ by the Spanish in the 16th Century, nor was culture brought to Baja by the Jesuit Missionaries a few decades later. Baja as we know it today, has a very complex and diverse ecosystem, with a rich culture dating back many thousands of years. That said, as we all know what happens to native cultures after contact, Baja’s indigenous population was nearly wiped out by disease and violence. Today, very few aboriginal populations exist, yet, Baja has remained, vibrant and dynamic. From the busy border crossing in Tijuana to sleepy towns such as Cabo Pulmo and Los Barriles on the East Cape, Baja is truly a gem with amazing aquatic sports, endless white sand beaches, ancient cave painting, 300 year old Jesuit Missions and incredible hiking potential in several of its ranges. Rich deserts with rare endemic plants and turquoise waters teeming with fish and frequented by large mammals such as Blue Whales and Orca.

Baja, or Lower California, Mexico, became  Mexico’s 29th state in 1952. Originally given to the United States as part of the peace agreement after the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), it was a Mexican territory before being integrated into the country. La Paz, the capital of southern Baja, with a little over 250, 000 people is still manageable as cities go, with a quaint malecon, or sea-side boardwalk, small shops and families strolling the cobbled streets on the weekends. La Paz is our staging area for our Isla Espiritu Santo kayaking trips.

Rich in Missions built by Jesuits, Franciscans and other orders in the time after the Spanish invasion, Baja still has that sleepy feel to it with Spanish mission towns such as Loreto and Mulage, with their shaded town squares and palm trees. Loreto was the first established Spanish mission and has been able to fend off advances from large hotel chains and resorts, keeping a handle on over development and all inclusive resorts. Thanks in part to efforts of its citizen, towns such as Loreto and Cabo Pulmo have seen World Heritage designations and eco tourism as not only a source of pride but also of income.

The Baja California Peninsula of Mexico is the perfect winter and spring getaway. Mild weather, warm waters and plenty of sunshine allow for year round beach fun.
It is a sea kayaking paradise of translucent waters, uninhabited islands and a plethora of wildlife that seems to be omnipresent, from whales that migrate into its cool waters to sea lions and many species of sea birds.
With UNESCO status and boasting several Marine Parks, the Sea of Cortez is truly the ” Aquarium of the world” as Cousteau so eloquently coined the expression. 

Los Cabos

Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, know as Los Cabos, are two cities at the very southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, known as the East Cape, which blend into each other. Cabo San Lucas, has unfortunately become “party central’ for many sun seekers and has somewhat ruined what Baja was all about; quiet beaches, secluded coves for fishing and snorkelling, taco stands and cold beer. That said, it’s sister sister San Jose, is host to a modern international airport, great shopping and a vibrant arts scene. Flying into Los Cabos is easy, renting a car and heading north even easier. Well-maintained highways and frequent highway signage make travelling by rental car easy and safe. Westjet and other major carriers offer many direct flights to Los Cabos from both the US and Canada. There are no visa requirement either, just a tourist card to be filled out before clearing Immigration Services. Friendly, English-speaking staff at the airport make getting through to the start of your holiday very easy.

 

Cabo Pulmo

Being biased as our “home away from home” is located in Cabo Pulmo, we use it as one of our bases for many of our kayaking expeditions and hiking trips. Located about 1.5 hours north of Los Cabos, Cabo Pulmo is an off-the-grid community of fishermen, divers and hoteliers and expatriates looking nostalgically for the “old Baja”. With a full-time population of less than 100 persons, Cabo Pulmo is as quiet as it gets, yet boasts the northern most coral reef in the eastern Pacific, resident bull sharks, and safe snorkelling beaches. The reef, a mere 200 metres from shore can be easily reached from Pulmo’s main beach and is an excellent introduction to SCUBA. The town hosts several PADI dive centres, one even has a pool deep enough for beginner divers to experience the joys of SCUBA. In 1995, Cabo Pulmo was designated a national park and now is a World Heritage Site Biosphere Reserve and is considered to have the largest biomass increase in any protected area.

 

La Paz

The capital of Baja Sur, La Paz is our staging area for our Espiritu Santo Island Kayak trips. A mere two hours from the Los Cabos Airport, La Paz, a city of 250,000 is home to our base-camp hotel, Posada Luna Sol. Located just off the waterfront, this is a perfect spot for meeting the team, taking a dip in their pool and enjoying drinks on the terrace overlooking the harbour. The Malecon, or boardwalk is the hub of activity once the temperatures drop. Runners, cyclists and families stroll along the shore enjoying the breeze, ice cream and other small shops.

The excellent Museo de la Ballena, or Whale Museum is an perfect introduction to the large aquatic mammals and turtles which frequent the waters of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific. One street off of the boardwalk is a thriving street scene, with artisans selling everything from jewelry to paintings. Banks, coffee shops and the best gelato in Baja can be found at Giulietta and Romeo, a small coffee shop serving homemade ice cream. The International Airport of La Paz is also an convenient option for reaching the start of our kayaking adventures but sees fewer direct flight from Canada and the USA than Los Cabos.

 

Loreto

Loreto is the oldest human settlement in Baja, situated on the eastern side of the Sea of Cortez, with a population of just under 5000, an oasis with a laid back feel to it. Founded by a Jesuit missionary in the 17th Century, Loreto developed into the capital of Baja before a hurricane destroyed it. 

Today, Loreto is home to a fairly large expat community, boutique hotels and great restaurants serving not only fresh seafood but also Mexican and European fine cuisine. An 18-hole golf course and modern marina round off its attributes. With the Sea of Cortez on the east and the Sierra del Giganta Mountains to the west, Loreta is an amazing playground for those seeking off-the-beaten path adventures.

With a mild climate and sleepy feel to it, this is one of the many reasons we offer kayaking journeys to the islands just off of Loreto. The 5 uninhabited islands were designated a National Maritime Park in 2000 and have since seen the waters become a refuge for Orca and the spectacular Blue whale along with species of dolphin and sea lions and over species of fish, many unique to the waters off of Baja. Why not stay in Loreta after on of our trips and take in what the city has to offer?

 

Mulege

This small oasis town located north of Loreto is ideal for many reasons. Built along one of the only rivers in all of Baja, the town has numerous date palm groves, beautiful beaches and a population of roughly 3500.

Laid back as it seems, Mulege is the hub for many activities. Mountain biking has really taken off and numerous tour companies both local and foreign have set up shop in the town. Mulege is also located near some of Baja’s best petroglyphs, requiring but a short day-trip to explore them. A guide is required by law but many reputable ones can be hired in town for a reasonable fee. The Sierra de San Francisco range is the closest and the most accessible. Guides and permits can be secured either in Mulege or in San Ignacio.

If you enjoy fishing but don’t want the hassle of carrying fishing rods and tackle from home, Mulege is the ideal point from which to fish for large game fish such as Marlin  but also, more manageable prizes such as Dorado and Yellowfin Tuna. Boats, guides and tackle can all be hired from the small marina in Mulege.

 

 

 

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Departures 2018

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Italy

Dolomites Hiking Extravaganza

This Dolomites hiking trip focuses on the area around Cortina, Corvara, and the Fassa Valley. Most days are day-trips with some hikes from one hotel to another.

Jun
29
2018
Jul
20
2018
Aug
10
2018
Aug
24
2018
Sep
07
2018
Price: CAD $4350
via ferrata dolomites

Dolomites Sampler

The Great Dolomites Traverse - South Tyrol: Italy meets Austria: Charming Alpine Villages, Hiking below Sun-drenched Limestone Cliffs, Gourmet Cuisine.

Jul
08
2018
Aug
25
2018
Sep
08
2018
Price: CAD $3850
hike gran paradiso traverse

Gran Paradiso Hiking Traverse

Gran Paradiso National Park is known for having an abundance of wildlife and beautiful scenery

Jun
21
2018
Jul
04
2018
Aug
18
2018
Price: CAD $3550
tre cime di lavaredo, dolomites trek

Hike the Dolomites Traverse

A classic hiking traverse for all levels, private tours available.

Jun
24
2018
Jul
01
2018
Aug
05
2018
Aug
12
2018
Sep
16
2018
Price: CAD $3850
in champoluc, tour de monte rosa

Hike the Tour de Monte Rosa

Hike around one of the most majestic mountain ranges in the world, the Monte Rosa Massif between Switzerland and Italy.

Jul
22
2018
Jul
29
2018
Aug
12
2018
Aug
26
2018
Sep
02
2018
Price: CAD $3950
Hiking up the Mont de la Saxe Ridge

Tour du Mont Blanc Express

Hiking around the Mont Blanc Range - one of the Alps' finest hikes through Switzerland, France and Italy.

Jul
16
2018
Aug
20
2018
Sep
03
2018
Sep
17
2018
Jul
02
2018
Jul
16
2018
Price: CAD $3995
peuterey noir, tour du mont blanc

Tour du Mont Blanc, Huts & Inns

Walk the famous Tour of Mont Blanc, (TMB), through the French, Italian & Swiss Alps around the Mont Blanc Range

Jul
15
2018
Jul
28
2018
Aug
18
2018
Sep
01
2018
Price: CAD $3450

Slovenia

hiking in slovenia

Slovenia Hiking Tour

Jul
16
2018
Price: CAD $2950

Switzerland

Matterhorn, Haute Route Hike

Haute Route Classic Hike

The famous Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt is one of the classic alpine treks, no mountaineering required.

Jun
29
2018
Aug
05
2018
Aug
19
2018
Aug
27
2018
Sep
01
2018
Price: CAD $5050
hiking bernese oberland

Hike in the Bernese Oberland

Hike through the Bernese Oberland in the Swiss Alps from Meiringen to Kandersteg.

Jun
24
2018
May
08
2018
Aug
12
2018
Sep
01
2018
Price: CAD $4700
theodulpass zermatt

Hike the Essential Alps

A guided 10-day hiking tour in Switzerland and France, combining the best alpine hikes around Chamonix, Zermatt & Grindelwald, using only public transport.

Jun
17
2018
Jul
01
2018
Price: CAD $5950
cabane des dix swiss alps hike

Hike the Haute Route, Huts & Inns

Our Walker's Haute Route Huts & Inns Itinerary from Chamonix to Zermatt is one of the best hiking tours in the Swiss Alps.

Jun
29
2018
Jul
22
2018
Aug
24
2018
Sep
02
2018
Price: CAD $4250
in champoluc, tour de monte rosa

Hike the Tour de Monte Rosa

Hike around one of the most majestic mountain ranges in the world, the Monte Rosa Massif between Switzerland and Italy.

Jul
22
2018
Jul
29
2018
Aug
12
2018
Aug
26
2018
Sep
02
2018
Price: CAD $3950
Hiking up the Mont de la Saxe Ridge

Tour du Mont Blanc Express

Hiking around the Mont Blanc Range - one of the Alps' finest hikes through Switzerland, France and Italy.

Jul
16
2018
Aug
20
2018
Sep
03
2018
Sep
17
2018
Jul
02
2018
Jul
16
2018
Price: CAD $3995
peuterey noir, tour du mont blanc

Tour du Mont Blanc, Huts & Inns

Walk the famous Tour of Mont Blanc, (TMB), through the French, Italian & Swiss Alps around the Mont Blanc Range

Jul
15
2018
Jul
28
2018
Aug
18
2018
Sep
01
2018
Price: CAD $3450

Canada

Icefall Lodge hiking Canadian Rockies

Canadian Rockies Lodge Adventure

Hike in Banff, Lake Louise, and off the beaten track at Icefall Lodge, a helicopter fly-in lodge in the stunning Lyell Mountains

Jul
22
2018
Aug
26
2018
Jul
13
2018
Price: CAD $4500
hiking lake o'hara canadian rockies

Hike the Canadian Rockies

Hike the best around Banff and Lake Louise National Parks

Jul
15
2018
Jul
22
2018
Aug
26
2018
Price: CAD $3750

Mexico

view from tent espiritu santo

Baja Express Adventure

Kayaking experience for Beginner and Intermediate Paddlers out of Laz Paz and Espiritu Santo Island.

Jan
18
2019
Jan
26
2019
Feb
08
2019
Feb
22
2019
Oct
19
2018
Oct
26
2018
Nov
02
2018
Nov
09
2018
Price: CAD $1800
espiritu santo family holiday

Baja Family Getaway

Fully supported with kayaking guide and cook, and boat accompanying the group and kayakers.

Feb
09
2019
Mar
02
2019
Mar
24
2019
Mar
29
2019
Apr
05
2019
May
04
2019
Price: CAD $1950
kayaking baja california, mexico

Kayak Loreto, La Paz & Espiritu Santo Island

Great guided Baja California sea kayaking trip based in La Paz and on Espiritu Santo Island.

Mar
02
2019
Mar
09
2019
Mar
23
2019
May
04
2019
Price: CAD $2650
baja california kayaking and snorkelling

Sea of Cortez Getaway

Fully catered sea kayaking in Baja California, Mexico, from Espiritu Santo Island just off La Paz

Feb
09
2019
Mar
02
2019
Apr
05
2019
May
04
2019
Price: CAD $1950

Patagonia

torres del paine national park, patagonia

Full Patagonia Adventure

Trekking in Patagonia: Full Patagonia Adventure: Fitz Roy and Torres del Paine

Jan
12
2019
Jan
23
2019
Mar
08
2019
Price: CAD $6150
lodge in patagonia

Patagonia – Wild & Scenic

Starting in Buenos Aires, the trip includes Cerro Torre & Fitz Roy, Torres del Paine National Park, and Perito Moreno Glacier

Jan
13
2019
Feb
23
2019
Mar
08
2019
Price: CAD $4990

France

above lac blanc, tour du mont blanc

Chamonix Hut Trek

The Chamonix Aiguilles Rouges near the Mont Blanc Range. Perfect for any hiker, including families.

Jun
29
2018
Jul
21
2018
Price: CAD $2300
aiguille verte and les drus, chamonix valley

Chamonix Trails

This hiking tour is led by local Chamoniards who have years of experience and will make sure you have the time of your life.

Jun
30
2018
Jul
21
2018
Aug
04
2018
Aug
25
2018
Price: CAD $2900
poppy fields provence walking tour

Country Walks in Provence

Walk through Provence and live the French way of life: Visit St. Remy de Provence and Avignon, vibrant Provence markets and Côte de Rhones wineries.

Mar
28
2019
May
01
2019
May
09
2019
May
23
2019
Price: CAD $5150
Matterhorn, Haute Route Hike

Haute Route Classic Hike

The famous Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt is one of the classic alpine treks, no mountaineering required.

Jun
29
2018
Aug
05
2018
Aug
19
2018
Aug
27
2018
Sep
01
2018
Price: CAD $5050
theodulpass zermatt

Hike the Essential Alps

A guided 10-day hiking tour in Switzerland and France, combining the best alpine hikes around Chamonix, Zermatt & Grindelwald, using only public transport.

Jun
17
2018
Jul
01
2018
Price: CAD $5950
cabane des dix swiss alps hike

Hike the Haute Route, Huts & Inns

Our Walker's Haute Route Huts & Inns Itinerary from Chamonix to Zermatt is one of the best hiking tours in the Swiss Alps.

Jun
29
2018
Jul
22
2018
Aug
24
2018
Sep
02
2018
Price: CAD $4250
cliffs of etretat, Normandy walking tour

Normandy – Coast, Culture & Cuisine

Our Normandy hiking tour leads through medieval towns and along the famous sandy D-Day Beaches.

May
05
2019
May
26
2019
Aug
26
2018
Sep
16
2018
Aug
25
2019
Sep
15
2019
Price: CAD $5030
Hiking up the Mont de la Saxe Ridge

Tour du Mont Blanc Express

Hiking around the Mont Blanc Range - one of the Alps' finest hikes through Switzerland, France and Italy.

Jul
16
2018
Aug
20
2018
Sep
03
2018
Sep
17
2018
Jul
02
2018
Jul
16
2018
Price: CAD $3995
peuterey noir, tour du mont blanc

Tour du Mont Blanc, Huts & Inns

Walk the famous Tour of Mont Blanc, (TMB), through the French, Italian & Swiss Alps around the Mont Blanc Range

Jul
15
2018
Jul
28
2018
Aug
18
2018
Sep
01
2018
Price: CAD $3450

Greece

phoenix near loutros, crete

Coastal Walks in Crete

A wonderful walking tour for hiking aficionados, foodies, and culture buffs. Perfect holidays during Spring and Fall along Crete, Greece's southern island.

Apr
21
2019
May
05
2019
May
19
2019
Jun
04
2019
Oct
01
2018
Price: CAD $3500

Russia

kamchatka trekking tour

The Kamchatka Peninsula

Guided Hiking and Trekking in Russia, on the peninsula of Kamchatka also known as the ring of fire.

Jul
07
2018
Jul
15
2018
Price: CAD $6450

Scotland

hiking scottish highlands, torridon inn

Hike the Scottish Highlands

Guided Hiking and Walking Tours traversing the Scottish Highlands staying in charming Scottish Inns along the way

Aug
16
2018
Aug
26
2018
Aug
31
2018
Price: CAD $3950

Nepal

everest villages trek, ama dablam,

Everest Villages & Base Camp Trek

Guided Trekking Tour to Everest Base Camp and the Khumbu Region in Nepal: Hike below Mount Everest, Nuptse and Ama Dablam in the Sherpa homeland.

Apr
13
2019
Oct
20
2018
Price: CAD $4800
machhupichare, hiking annapurna sanctuary

The Annapurna Sanctuary

Hike to Annapurna Basecamp below the Annapurna amphitheatre, ringed with many peaks over 7000m

Oct
21
2018
Nov
04
2018
Jan
29
2019
Apr
15
2019
Price: CAD $3500

 

 

 

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