Private Journeys

Active Mexico: Camping and kayaking in Baja California

11 days from £1,995pp

Mexico

Itinerary

map marker Map

Day 1

Arrive in Mexico City. Transfer to hotel in the city centre.

Transfer to your hotel in the historic centre of the city. Mexico City, known by the local people simply as ‘DF’ (Distrito Federal), was built on the site of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire, and it lies at 2,250m above sea level. Vast, chaotic and vibrant, this sprawling megalopolis of more than 20 million people has a multitude of attractions.

CONDOR VERDE MEXICO ©

Day 2

Full day guided tour of Mexico City and Teotihuacan Pyramids.

Begin with a guided tour of Mexico City in the morning, when the historical centre is at its least frenetic.  Your visit includes the area around the main square (zócalo) surrounded by prestigious buildings such as the National Palace (with murals by Diego Rivera) and the sixteenth-century cathedral. Continue to the archaeological site of Teotihuacan, 50km away.

This huge, impressive pre-Columbian city was built on a drained lake floor. Teotihuacan was once one of the largest cities in the world. It is hugely influential in the historic narrative of modern Mexico and, although it had already been abandoned by the time of the Aztecs, even this great empire held it in awe.

Soak up the history as you stroll along the imposing Avenue of the Dead, leading to the vast Pyramid of the Sun, and take the opportunity to climb its vertiginous, ancient steps for a panorama of the ruins and the surrounding countryside.

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Day 3

Fly to La Paz, Baja California,

Transfer to the airport and fly to the port city of La Paz (2hrs), on the coast of the Sea of Cortés, Baja California. Your group meets up at the hotel in La Paz – usually a pleasant mid-range property with pool in a small marina at the end of the malecón (promenade) – for a briefing in the evening.

Most clients are American or Canadian, outdoor types but not extremely so, couples, friends and singles, ages 20s to 70s. The group is usually composed of around 10 participants, there are 2 guides, a cook and an assistant. The kayaking adventure is conducted in English: your guides are fluent.

Day 4

Speedboat to Espíritu Santo Island for kayak expedition around the island.

It’s an early departure by speedboat for the island. You take your own take sleeping bag, clothing and toiletries (it can get cold at night, we suggest thermals and 3-season bag), windproof jacket, hat and sun block. Other equipment such as mats and wet suits can be provided. The rest of your gear and your valuables can be stored at the hotel. Cameras and binoculars can be taken safely.

Where you actually land, and the specific itinerary for the next few days depend on the weather. If it is too windy to embark, you do a hike instead, so you have to have a flexible outlook, and realise that conditions dictate what happens.

Before you go out kayaking there is a brief training session on how to use the boat (many participants have little or no experience) and a “wet exit” practice where you throw yourself out into the sea and have to escape from the confines of your craft (ie release the “skirt” which protects you in the kayak).

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Days 5-9

Explore the coastline by kayak: beaches, sea-lion colony, caves.

Proceed to circumnavigate the beautiful, rugged, uninhabited island. The guides watch over everyone’s kayaking progress, though not necessarily at front and back, although the group always waits for the slower kayaks. You aren’t allowed too close to the cliffs or to launch out to sea. There are regular breaks in sheltered spots for regrouping. If the wind is behind you it is a fairly easy, Hawaii 5 O experience. Kayaking into the wind is another story!

Every day, there is a stop for lunch at a beach. Once it is clear where you are going to stop (guided by weather and kayaking progress), the launch will go on ahead, set up a kitchen and produce a lovely fresh meal. The same thing happens in the late afternoon: when you arrive at the overnight stop, you put up your tent and have a “happy hour” cocktail, a different mix every day! There are chairs provided where you can sit to enjoy the sunset and chat. Wine is served with dinner. People usually retire by 9pm (it gets dark by 6.30). 

Also included is a swimming with sea-lions experience at the north end of the island. Here there is a bay like a mini Galápagos Islands: a cacophony of calls from the sea-lions, gulls, frigate birds, blue footed boobies, cormorants and pelicans. The sea-lions are very playful: you snorkel with them (snorkels and wet suits can be hired)while the jostle with each other but sometimes come up and give you a friendly nibble too. The sea is heaving with fish, massive shoals of sardines, angel fish and many other varieties swim around  the live coral. Highly recommended!

 

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Day 10

Transfer to La Paz airport and connect with international flight home.

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Real Latin America Experts

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Consultant

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

  • Lina Fuller
    Lina Fuller - Travel Consultant

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Consultant

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Evie Oswald
    Evie Oswald - Travel Consultant

    It’s hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.

  • Mary Anne Nelson
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Consultant

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made team.

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.

Meet the team