- La Paz Route
Paddling South - Avid Paddler - Two Week Paddle to La Paz!
Join a 12-15 day adventure paddling the spectacular southeastern coast of Baja.
A favorite route for avid paddlers, we'll be traveling 4-6 hours per day and
gliding past 120 miles of scenic desert landscape. The camping is awesome along
this coastline dotted with remote ranches and fishing villages, small islands,
and incredible coves. This is a great tour for experienced paddlers looking for
a well organized adventure, or, for those of you who have paddled with us in the
Loreto area and want to see more of the beautiful Baja peninsula. It's our favorite
long-distance paddling adventure.
Day 1 - Arrival in Loreto. You'll be met by a Paddling South representative at
the airport and will transfer by taxi van to a hotel in town. An orientation meeting
to familiarize you with the upcoming trip is scheduled for the afternoon, and we'll
recommend some great local restaurants. You'll have time to wander the historic
cobbled streets of Loreto in the evening.
Day 2 - After a buffet breakfast in the morning hosted by your guides, we'll load
trip gear into a van and head south to our put-in about a 3 hour drive to Agua Verde.
We will store any gear you need to leave behind, and deliver it to you in La Paz at
the end of the tour. (note, in making airline plans you may fly in to Loreto, and
schedule your return flight out of La Paz).
In Agua Verde at the beach put-in we'll go over paddling and safety instruction,
pack the kayaks with our expedition gear and paddle south to a great adventure.
First stop, the palm studded Rancho Santa Marta, once the remote homestead of the
prolific Higuera family. Hosts at the ranch are old friends who still ride mules
or hike the five miles by trail to the closest road head for their food and supplies.
Day 3 - Leaving the picturesque green and pink layered ridges at Santa Marta behind,
the next camp is the colorful cove of Puerto Gato. We'll get in some snorkeling, and
stop for a lunch break along the way. Then, there's great hiking and beach walking
in this area as the desert scenery turns from aquamarine bays to golden hills and
dramatic red-rock peaks.
Day 4 - Today we glide past the coastal village of Tembabiche. It's an interesting
place to take a morning break and hike up the dunes to visit the old hacienda site.
Local families have old photos and written histories of the original De La Toba family
who founded the hacienda at the turn of the 19th century, bought with money from a
famous pearl. If weather and winds permit we camp in an area rich in indigenous
artifacts, thought to be a taller, where the early cultures worked stone tools.
Day 5- We'll expect to arrive early at Los Dolores ranch, a great place to plan a
layover. The old ranch has fresh water, miles of trails to hike, and a 150 year old
adobe house, once the hub of local agriculture and ranch life.
Day 6 - Layover day. Time for snorkeling, relaxing and exploring. A hike through
the grounds of the old cattle ranch, along canals which still feed water to towering
mango trees, will take us a couple of miles inland to the ruins of Mission Los Dolores.
Founded in 1720 by Jesuit Padre Guillen the mission was an important site along the
coastal route from Loreto to La Paz. Basalt cliffs narrow as the canyon funnels a
small natural watercourse into an oasis garden. History of this area in particular
gives us an appreciation of the pioneers who settled this remote, beautiful coast.
Day 7- The next 8 miles we skirt the west side of the Isla San Jose channel.
Craggy monolithic cliffs shoot out of the sea with spare agave cactus and wild fig
trees fighting for a foothold on the sheer, rocky faces. We round Punta Alta, an
enclave of the León family. Doña Cuca and Don Chuy León, patriarchs of the
clan, lend a smile and hospitality as we greet them and visit for a short rest break.
One of the hardworking fishing families of the area, the Leóns' 10 sons have each
built houses in the tiny rocky cove. From Punta Alta we travel south to a
spectacular beach and canyon filled with most all varieties of Baja's plant life.
It's a great place for a natural history walk, and one of the most colorful
Day 8 - This morning finds us passing along the last of the roadless coast to
a lunch break in the salt mine and fishing village of San Evaristo. Yachts anchor
in the protected cove, and gulls and pelicans provide a great diving show during
the break. Then onward to a long sand spit away from road heads, with a virgin
cardon cactus forest stretching away into the hills. Tonight's camp gives us
our first view to La Paz Bay; the far away city lights glow on the horizon.
Day 9 - Rounding Punta El Mechudo where legend has it that a great pearl was
discovered, we paddle by green copper-laden cliffs, and camp at a beautiful cove
with deep underwater canyons and colorful gorgonian sea fans for some of our best
Day 10 - We're at the halfway point - 60 miles south lies La Paz. The next few
days we paddle as weather permits and group desires. We leave rocky snorkeling
sites behind and follow the curving sandy coastline which makes the sweeping
arch of La Paz Bay. As we put in the miles and glide past the colorful layered
sandstone ridges in the distance, whale, dolphin, and manta sightings are common
and sea birds dive for shallow water sardines.
Note: at this time, if we are running a shorter route or duration, our take-out
is just south of Punta Mechudo at Punta Coyote or vicinity. If the trip / group / or
weather allows us to keep on paddling… read on....
Days 11-12- 13 - El Potrero, Las Tarabillas, and San Juan de la Costa, all names
from the historic side of the Other Mexico, the Baja peninsula of bohemian writer
Fernando Jordan. San Juan is the site of a now-defunct mining village, some old-name
families still inhabit the ghost village, and we paddle past to find a sand beach
camp on the upper arm of Mogote spit, in a campsite with high dunes, the only place
to get a view of the bustle of La Paz, now drawing near.
Day 14 - On this last morning we'll round Mogote point and enter the beautiful
tropical port of La Paz. Weaving through the anchorage, saluting the yachts, we'll
make our way to a waterfront café for a celebration finish to a once-in-a-lifetime
trip. Our equipment truck will meet the group and shuttle gear to a local hotel and
welcomed hot showers. With time to explore the city streets, in the evening we'll
meet for an end-of-trip dinner at one of the city's excellent restaurants.
Day 15 - Paradise lost. Your guides will pre-arrange the transportation for your
return to the airport this morning. If your flight is in the afternoon, or if you
stay a few extra days, you'll have a chance to visit the wonderful cultural museum
and wander the downtown shopping district for gifts and crafts. Buen viaje !
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