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Active Mexico: Camping and kayaking in Baja California

11 days from £1,819pp

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Active Mexico: Camping and kayaking in Baja California

11 days from £1,819pp
 

Private Journey

 

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.
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Mexico City

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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 Magnificent site of Teotihuacan

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.

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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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Kayaking  Baja Calafornia

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.

11 days from £1,819pp

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