Guest Article - Kayaking in the Sea of Cortez
Kayaking in the Sea of Cortez can be one of the wildest most exciting things you've ever done!
We have all heard of Baja and the desert race that is held there every year. But, for Kayaking, there are things that are even more exciting than that. Further inward is the Sea of Cortez, and from here, your entire take on the sport of Kayaking will change. While you are not sailing the Pacific, you are in a large enough body of water where weather can be unpredictable and will challenge your paddling skills to the utmost. That is only the beginning.
You can see whales, dolphins, and sea life of all kinds. Some people have even seen Giant Sharks of 30 or more feet in length have been seen. Here too, the Giant Squid is also said to lurk in its depths as well so, here if you are a Paddler who wants to take their sport to the next level then the Sea of Cortez should be on your travel itinerary on your next holiday. The reason why you come here is for the adrenalin high of facing the challenge here. However, it is also a great spot just to paddle you way along the Baja coast with its numerous towns and villages which provide a contrast to what you'll experience further from shore.
One of the best places to catch anything from large game fish to crabs, and squid
One of the most exciting things is to get up and personal with a whale. The sheer size of a whale when you are within touching distance is something you will remember for the rest of your life. 1/3 of all the marine mammals can be found here. One of the best spots to watch these gentle giants is Espiritu Santo, out of La Paz near where the ocean begins and the Sea of Cortez ends. Getting here is half the fun, and you can see over 900 species of fish that makes the region a veritable aquarium with no glass to separate you’re from the denizens of the area. You can take the simple and natural approach and set up a tour with one of the premier Baja tour groups. They have everything you need from equipment, Kayaks, and they provide you with a unique Kayaking experience. However, you can also DIY and make your way to La Paz on your own. If you like, you can hit the water a bit further north and kayak San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja. Meet the whales here and interact with them one on one.
What makes it different Kayaking here, then doing it at home?
Not only can you meet whales but also kayaking the Sea of Cortez is the closest thing that you can get to cross the Pacific. In fact, some long distant Kayakers practice here before attempting to take to the waters off Alaska. The Sea of Cortez is nothing like paddling the inland waterway or that lake that is near your home. The fishing here is much better as well.
Fish in one of the most biodiverse places on earth
Fishing is another attraction of the region is just one of the things that set the Sea of Cortez apart from most other Kayaking attractions around the country. Heading down around Loreto is a fisherman's paradise. The Blue waters here are transparent to an incredible depth, and you can almost feel you can just reach into the water and snag dinner with your bare hands. You don't have to be loaded down with gear as well. Once you have caught dinner all you have to do is head in and after finding a bit of driftwood or log. You just cut in its top after setting it on its end like a table, and you have the makings of a Swedish Cook Stove or torch. It is an easy and fast way to cook your meal, and all you need is your frying pan. Then after dinner, you can have light to talk over the day's events.
However, for the sports fishermen you've come here for one of the most sought after sports fish ever, the Marlin and this is the place to bring in a beauty. Scad, Yellow Fin Tuna, and other exciting fish are here not only a wide variety (Almost 900) but in an unbelievable number as well. Once you have fished the Sea of Cortez from a kayak, doing it from a tour boat is humdrum and boring. You can catch almost any fish you desire, and Hammerhead sharks school here as well other species of shark. If you do catch one, please release it so other sportsmen can also enjoy the excitement and challenge of hooking one of the great predators to be found here.
As for travel, La Paz is your best bet to fly into the area. You can try your luck here with your kayaking holiday, or you can take one of the many daily flights to Loreto instead. However, it is a popular destination so be sure to book in advance. Driving is an option as well if you have your own vehicle, however, getting extra insurance is recommended if you go this route.
There is an element of risk for travelling here and after you hit the waves in kayaking here as well
December to February, while one of the best times to come here, you also risk high winds here as well. Damage to your personal vehicle is possible even though the roads are well kept. Nevertheless, there are also the dangers of currents and encounters with large marine mammals that dwarf your Kayak or with game fish, which can drag you for miles before tiring. Come here for whale watching, fishing, or a myriad of other reasons, and you will leave with a lifetime of memories.
Takeaways from a kayaking trip to Baja and the Sea of Cortez are many. You have the excitement and the feeling that you have the whole sea to yourself at times. You'll never know what you'll see or what your fishing or whale watching adventure will provide. For this reason for the brave of heart, Instead of just doing one or the other of the two options we've mentioned, why not combine them and fish, spend a few days sightseeing, and the remainder of your time making friends with the "Gentle Giants of the Sea." In this way, you get the widest experience possible in your first of many visits to this Paddler's Paradise. Then on your future excursions, you can branch out and see what other exciting things there are to see or revisit your favourites.
Timothy Jackson is an adventure and survival writer and founder of BeastRoar. He wants to help readers share his experiences camping, trekking, hiking and fishing. He hopes to inspire others to fully explore the depths of their passion.