Ispiritu Santo Island kayaking adventure tour Baja

The Baja Peninsula of Mexico is best known for the resort filled dot at the end of it, but this long stretch of desert has the Sea of Cortes and the Pacific Ocean around it, both teeming with wildlife. One of the most interesting places to explore is the Espiritu Santo Island, the heart of a protected marine reserve area.

This is easier said than done, however, since there are no permanent structures for tourists on the large island. Most adventure travelers come over for the day on a boat and do a little kayaking, paddleboarding, or swimming with sea lions. (I went for all three: see Wild Adventures and Sea Creatures in Baja Sur.

Todos Santos Eco Adventures has special permission to set up seasonal tented camps on the beach, however, so they can offer multi-day kayaking trips where you don’t have to get back into a motorboat for the mainland at sunset.

Ispiritu Santo Island Glamping Baja Sur

Since they deal with a lot of high-end clients who want to see the best of Baja, this is a level of camping that even the not-so-adventurous can embrace. That’s partly because you’ll still get a cocktail or glass of wine when you’re done paddling and there’s a great chef cooking up the catch of the day.

Chef Ivan of TOSEO on Isla Espiritu Santo, a protected Baja marine reserveHere’s a typical meal, described by our contributing writer who took the adventure, Mark Sissons:

Ivan has prepared fresh Mahi Mahi for dinner, served with tomato, aubergine, kale, and ricotta-stuffed bell peppers and carrot salad, followed by grilled pineapple and caramel sauce over tiny sweet red plums.

This is a pristine area and a big island, so the nature opportunities are extensive. You can hike the center, snorkel with the sea creatures, and explore hidden bays on a kayak. This is all done with a local guide who knows the terrain and the wildlife well, for birdwatching and the best snorkeling spots. TOSEO maintains a couple camps, so the group doesn’t have to return to the same one each trip. The group explores multiple coves and goes from desert to mangroves and back.

Typical trips are six days and five nights on the island, though groups can arrange something longer or shorter on a custom tour. Since the tour operator has a small hotel in Todos Santos, it makes sense to stay there before or after to get a beach experience on the Pacific side and explore a town that’s more mellow than any part of Los Cabos.

See the full story here: Kayaking Isla Espiritu Santo: A Migratory Glamping Adventure.