Like remote places, but don't like giving up modern comforts? This reviewer heads to a Mexican wilderness retreat for kayaking and exploring marine life in Baja California.
If the thought of rubbing shoulders with thousands of other people on board a glitzy floating resort makes you tremble in your Tevas, hop on a private aircraft from San Diego, California, then take a short motor boat ride to Baja California’s remote La Animas Wilderness Lodge in the Midland Island region of the Sea of Cortez.
John Steinbeck called this part of the world the “Galapagos of Mexico,” and marine life is indeed plentiful — expect to spot whales, dolphins, sea lions, exotic tropical fish, and more than 50 kinds of sea birds.
Once you’ve unpacked all your duffels in your beachside bungalow, you can unplug, kayak endlessly, exploring this animal-filled landscape of dramatic coastlines, desert islands, and romantic coves.
This type of trip is known as soft adventure, because your bungalow (there are just eight of them) includes comfortable beds and a bathroom with a flush toilet and a solar shower. All meals are included and served in a large Mexican-style palapa which houses the kitchen, dining area, bar, and family games lounge. As you might expect, fresh fish is a specialty; bottled water is always available and most meals come with delicious homemade tortillas.
Year round, watersports (the sea is warmest between June and November) and relaxing on the white sand beaches are the main attractions. Sport fishing is a huge draw; the resort practices a selective catch and release program and even inexperienced kids may land spotted bay bass, if not halibut, giant squid, white sea bass, gulf grouper or yellowtail. Surfers are also attracted to the region.
You can also snorkel with sea lions through the crystal clear blue water, learn to sail or windsurf, or simply loll in a hammock on the shore. Las Animas has sea and sit-on-top kayaks that seat two adults and a small child, as well as kayaking lessons and guided kayak tours for all ages and abilities.
Resort Report Card
|Name:||Baja Airventures Las Animas Wilderness Lodge|
|Seasonal Rates:||$$ – $$$|
|Choice of Activities:||B|
|Quality of Amenities:||B|
|Bonus:||A wilderness experience without the work.|
|Note:||Sun, sand, deep blue sea…and barely a soul in sight.|
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