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Private Journeys

Active Mexico: Camping and kayaking in Baja California

11 days from £1,910pp

Mexico

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Essentials

Transport

Two flights (2hrs); 2 boat journeys (6hrs).

Accommodation

The hotel in Mexico City is a well-located and good quality Holiday Inn, with all the facilities you’d expect from this superior chain of no-nonsense business and leisure hotels. In La Paz, the principal hotel used is a small attractive mid-range property located on a small marina. Occasionally a homely Swiss-run guest house in town is used.

6 nights are spent on the island camping. The tents are lightweight and spacious – you can just about stand up in them. Singles and doubles are available. After a demonstration on the first night, you erect your own tent, whilst dinner is being prepared. In the rare instance that they blow over in a gale, the crew carry spare poles. 

N.B. Sleeping mats are provided but not sleeping bags – you need to hire one  in advance. Our tip: bring an inflatable pillow.

Meals

Breakfast daily; full board days 3-10.

Guides

We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.

Summary Of Nights

11 days, 10 nights: Mexico City 2; Camping Espíritu Santo Island 6; La Paz 2.

Currency

The unit of currency in Mexico is the Mexican peso.

How To Take It

Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds. We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency, and possibly some travellers’ cheques (American Express are the most widely accepted), though these are gradually falling out of use. Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.

Daily Spend

It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$40 (for the days when you are not on the kayaking trip) will cover food, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay more.

Tipping

Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. We recommend approximately $10 per person for a half day and $20 for a full day for guides and half that for drivers. For the guides accompanying you on the kayaking trip we suggest $50-$75 per person and $30 for the guide.

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 – 12% in restaurants.

Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier.
 

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page. 

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.

Airport Taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Journey Grade

Whilst the excursions in Mexico City are suitable for all, the 7-night kayak and camping adventure requires participants to have a good level of fitness. Previous experience is not necessary; a training session is given. The kayaking is not strenuous and slower paddlers are well looked-after, but you should bear in mind there are between 2 and 6 hours of kayaking a day, depending on the weather and abilities of the group. There is no upper age limit. The English-speaking trip mostly attracts outdoor aficionados from Canada, the USA and Britain.

This trip is a great option for singles, as groups are usually very friendly and there is a great atmosphere of bonhomie. Single travellers can opt for their own kayak and tent, or agree to share.

Climate

In Mexico City and the mountains towns the climate is temperate all year round and, because of the altitude it never gets too hot. Temperatures can drop to freezing in Mexico City over the winter months.

Espíritu Santo enjoys 300-360 days of sunshine a year, year round temperatures in the 20°s and 30°s C tempered by sea breezes, and little rain. The sea is colder on the Pacific side because of cold currents. 

It can be windy, especially in December-February. If it is too windy safely to kayak, alternative on-land activities will be programmed such as hikes or nature walks.

Clothing And Special Equipment

Bring practical, comfortable clothing and a light-weight jumper. If you plan to eat in smart restaurants in Mexico City, although clothing is not formal (no need for jacket and tie), something quite smart would be appropriate. 

For the kayaking light and protective clothing, a sun hat and practical sandals (they will get wet) are advised. Remember a sleeping bag, unless you prefer to hire one, and toiletries. For both the evenings and nights, bring warm and comfortable clothing; a light fleece jacket. Trousers, skirt or shorts made from light, quick-drying synthetic materials work well. 

Strong, comfortable shoes or trainers are advisable and you should bring insect repellant, sun block, sun glasses, goggles and swim wear. 

Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in Mexico.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following; typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. For specific requirements you must consult your GP.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website. 

Country info

When is the best time to go to Mexico?

It’s a year-round destination. Over half the country enjoys temperate highland weather, while the coasts are mostly sunny, hot and relatively humid. The northwest has an arid desert climate. Elsewhere most rain falls from Jun to Sep though precipitation can be expected up to Nov. Hurricanes are possible around the Gulf of Mexico and Yucatán Peninsula Jul - Nov.

For more detailed information visit our When To Go section.

What is the official language of Mexico?

Spanish and indigenous languages.

What is Mexico's official currency?

Mexican peso. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. You may have to ask your bank to authorise withdrawals before you leave leave UK, and amounts are limited to about £100.

What is the time difference between Mexico and the UK?

GMT -6 hours and - 7 hours in Southern Baja California and the Copper Canyon.  

What other countries combine well with Mexico?

A visit to neighbouring Belize, where there are luxury eco-lodges, superb diving and snorkelling all embraced in British Caribbean cultural heritage.

What are the festivals, cultural and sporting events in Mexico?

Independence Day, 16 Sep Celebrations throughout the country.
Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, 1 - 2 Nov. Celebrated throughout the country.

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and air transport within Latin America
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Full-day guided tour of Mexico City and Teotihuacan Pyramids
  • Kayaking lesson
  • Full-day kayaking excursion exploring the coastline
  • Trek up a canyon and then kayak over to Partida Island
  • Full-day excursion to visit a sea lion sanctuary
  • Full-day kayaking up the east coast of Espiritu Santo Island
  • Full-day kayaking along the coastline
  • Paddle through caves to complete circumnavigation of Espíritu Santo

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • International flights to Latin America
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and air transport within Latin America
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Full-day guided tour of Mexico City and Teotihuacan Pyramids
  • Kayaking lesson
  • Full-day kayaking excursion exploring the coastline
  • Trek up a canyon and then kayak over to Partida Island
  • Full-day excursion to visit a sea lion sanctuary
  • Full-day kayaking up the east coast of Espiritu Santo Island
  • Full-day kayaking along the coastline
  • Paddle through caves to complete circumnavigation of Espíritu Santo

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • International flights to Latin America
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

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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Your edit for Latin American inspiration

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.

View Extraordinary Inspiration

Real Latin America Experts

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.

  • Lina Fuller
    Lina Fuller - Travel Expert

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

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

  • Sophie Barber
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert

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

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert

    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.

Meet the team