Most Frequently Asked Questions
How long have you been operating tours?
1983-2017 Celebrating 33 years offering small groups great Outdoor Adventures !
What is the usual group size? (ask our office for group sizes on custom tours)
10 participants is usually the maximum group size, with 2 guides.We feel that
our guests receive a more intimate experience with the environment and culture by
traveling in a smaller group. If you are a single traveler you can share a room
with another same-gender trip member (your tent will be private, just for you),
or take advantage of our low single-supplement for a private room. Sometimes our
tours will operate with just a few folks, and our private custom trips may even be
run with a minimum group size of 2 traveling friends! See Private Trip Rate
Sheet located along with the trip itinerary lists.
I don't have any experience paddling, can I do this?
Our tours are designed to give novices and advanced guests a great vacation.
We teach basic skills on the first day, and offer help throughout the tour for
those who wish to improve technique.
Kayak Tours - Paddling time between campsites is about 2-4 hours or 5-10 miles per day. [see the Avid Paddler itineraries for our longer routes]
If you are an active person who likes to camp and learn about new environments,
these are the ideal trips for you. We send you some pre-trip information to help get
you prepared ....which, along with your adventurous attitude could make this a 'trip
of a lifetime' !
On kayak trips do you run self-supported trips or is there skiff (boat) support?
Though we offer a few tours a season with skiff support, we like to think of travel
in sea kayaks as a quiet way to slip away to our favorite beaches and bays. On most
trips we load all of our gear into the kayaks and are free to travel as the group,
weather and route deem best. To date our safety record is 100% accident free, as we
rely on nature's signs and the guides' local knowledge of the area. In packing and
paddling on our own, we gain a closer wilderness experience.
If paddling a lighter weight kayak with basic gear sounds like the way to go for you,
check our tour listings for boat supported trips through our sister company, Sea Trek.
If you would like to arrange a private group tour and prefer a support boat, let us
know and we can customize a tour for you.
Some Paddling South kayak tours include whale watching. How does that
For the best Gray whale viewing, come visit in the month of February to mid March.
Most whale-watching in our area happens on the west coast of the peninsula during
calving season in the Magdalena Bay lagoons. It's about a two hour drive from Loreto
to a small town called Lopez Mateos; the jumping off place
Where is Loreto, and how do we get there?
Loreto is located 750 miles south of San Diego on the Lower California peninsula
in Mexico (the peninsula is comprised of the 2 most northwestern states of Mexico,
Baja California, and Baja California Sur). Though Loreto is a more remote destination
than other more touristy areas in "Baja", we do have the service of an
international airport with arrivals from major US and Mexican airports.
Driving is a great option for folks who have some time before and after the tours.
Please see the Travel notes on the Information
pages of our site.
There are many flight options from US cities to San Jose del Cabo on the south tip
of the peninsula, then travel north to Loreto is easy and safe. Ask us for more helpful
hints. See Alaskaair.com or contact AereoCalafia.com.mx for direct flights to Loreto.
When is the best time to travel to Baja?
Often the "best time" is dependent upon your interests: In early fall
and late spring the water and air temperatures are warmer, allowing more focus on water
activity like snorkeling and swimming. Note that there is often a day or two added
onto our mid-winter kayaking schedules to allow for wind conditions that can sometimes
go on for several days. With the extra day(s) that we add, we can still plan to take
you out on our favorite routes to see the best of Baja's spectacular islands and coast.
What kind of training do the guides have? Do the guides cook?
We are proud to claim that our guides and staff are long-time local experts with
special insights, cultural, and natural history knowledge to share. All of our trip
leaders are trained in kayaking technique and safety, as well as wilderness first
Many of the Paddling South guides are graduates of the National Outdoor Leadership
School's Baja Sea Kayak programs and local courses in Natural History of the area as
well as our in-house training programs. Guides cook the meals and often add their
favorite family recipes to our menus, making a very special addition to your cultural
experience of Baja.
What is the minimum age for the tours?
Most tours find group member ages ranging between the 30s to 60s. During spring break
and holidays is when families generally look for an active outdoor winter vacation and
so...the minimum age on trips is 12 years old. For families with younger children we
can schedule a private trip and plan the route according to needs.
What equipment do I have to bring?
We supply everything except your personal clothing gear and sleeping bag, although
with advance notice you may rent a bag and sleep pad for $25 for the week. You'll
receive an equipment list in the pre-trip packet we send you upon making a reservation
in order to help you get ready for your tour.
How do I sign up?
Please check with our office first for space availability, then print out and mail
(or email) the reservation form from the web site and follow instructions for payment.
We accept personal checks, VISA, Mastercard, American Express and Paypal.
What kinds of kayaks does Paddling South use? May I use a single kayak?
Single (Viking) and double (Tango) fiberglass
Seda touring kayaks are used on our trips. Usually
the guides will pack and paddle the single kayaks, and guests will be given the double
kayaks. If you would like some practice in a single kayak there is often time at camp
for guides to help you hone your skills, and sometimes there is a single kayak to be
shared between guests while paddling from camp to camp.
For a small "dedicated single kayak" fee ($50), a single may be used by
a guest during the whole trip. We require that you have prior experience paddling a
fully loaded expedition single sea kayak (not just a sit-on-top style). And we may
request that you demonstrate a self-rescue to determine your skill. Ask in the Paddling
South office about availability.