Like a blank canvass, blue cloudless skies floated in front of the kayak. Off in the distance, a white sandy beach came into view. Nope, not the legendary Coronado Island. With the bow pointed toward Carmen Island, I chased away the hunger pangs with a handful of trail mix. Soon our fleet of 12 kayaks descended at the lunchtime paradise. Freshly prepared Ceviche atop crispy tostadas satisfied my clock-like appetite. Soft adventure travel like this boosts the fun factor with a tab bit of challenge.
After the quick geology lesson and lunchtime clean up, we plunged into the.sea, like kids released at recess. The reef bloomed with sergeant majors, torpedo fish and moray eels. Snorkeling among schools of fish had me wondering when the Discovery Channel’s Blue Planet film crew would show up. In flash speed, silver fish darted in any direction. Once overfished, the now protected waters of Loreto Bay National Park, in the Sea of Cortez boast crystal clear waters, secluded beaches and rare seashells that tempt any beachcomber’s heart. Located in the Baja California Sur, Mexico just 700 miles from the U.S. border, Loreto, is home to some of the best eco-adventures, from snorkeling and whale watching to hiking. How to fly-in? Alaska Airlines is the only carrier.
Next stop, Honeymoon Cove. Brilliant turquoise waters cast against cobalt skies offered picturesque hikes. Avocado and cheese sandwiches always taste better with a hit of hot sauce and a million dollar view. Running Sea Kayak Adventures Inc, a fully licensed guide service since 1993, owner Terry Prichard, who doubles as a geologist, knows this landscape better than most. Whether he’s giving a quick geology lesson, sharing historical facts or eyeballing flora and fauna, guests take away more than pretty pictures and fond memories.
Grab the camera, Prichard and his local guides point out endangered blue footed boobies and brown pelicans perched atop cliffs. Entertainment includes watching the birds dive-bomb from hundreds of feet in the air. Incepted into UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2005, the region attracts tourists and scientists. Often referred to as the Galapagos of North America, the magical waters give birth to 890 fish species while one third of the whale species harbor here along with 696 plant species.”
Go with guides. On the four day excursion, we meandered along island coastlines with unforgettable views. From equipment, safety, food prep to expert navigation, the guides managed all the details. Did someone mention happy hour? Even night caps showed up with smiles. At dinner time, our hungry bellies filled up on authentic dishes like Mexican rice and sautéed chicken dripping in mole sauce; chocolate cake stacked as high as a YellowPages book. With tent in tow, resting our heads on new ground each night made me feel like Goldilocks—because some beaches feel softer than others. By midnight, an eye-popping spectacle dropped millions of stars right inside my tent.
Next time adventure calls, consider sea kayaking and leave civilization behind. With a paddle in one hand, camera in the other, spectacular images will etch themselves into your mind. Then a longing to re-visit this enchanted place where the mountains look like sand castles and Hershey Kisses will have you obsessively searching for the quickest flight. Whale watching tours take place from January through mid-March.
Find out more at www.seakayakadventures.com.