Event Overview

This is a rough water event for experienced sea kayakers.  You don't have to be a super star, but you should be comfortable paddling 10-15 miles in a day and are well-practiced at capsize recovery techniques.  You should be comfortable in small surf and bumpy water.  Our location is a rocky peninsula that juts into the Pacific Ocean and provides the perfect playground for kayakers!  We will offer day trips for pure fun and rock-garden play, as well as skills development courses.  Top coaches will mentor groups of 4-6 paddlers at a time!

We chose Baja because we love it!  Not just for the paddling, but for the people, history, and culture as well.  We will be providing several fun opportunities to learn more about Baja and to meet some of the locals who are proud to call it home.

Our mission is to promote kayaking in Baja for international visitors as well as to promote paddlesports in Mexico, for Mexicans, by providing mentoring for local guides and coaches.

You'll find costs detailed on the registration form.


Day 1: Meet in San Diego for 10:00am departure to Mexico by auto. We will stop for lunch (street tacos) on the way, arriving at our base about 2-3pm

Days 2-6: Kayaking! (Day trips from our base)

Day7: Pack up an depart for the US. We will stop in Ensenada for lunch.



Getting Around

Once at our location, you won't need a car, but if you drive your own car down, it'll give you the freedom to explore independently.  Honestly, we expect you won't have much time for that!  Within a few minutes walk is a classic "tourist trap" of a market for all your entertainment and shopping needs!  There are also several restaurants, taco stands, and a "mini-market" for beer and essentials. We will provide any transportation needed for the event.  See "Arrivals & Departures" for info on getting to and from the event site.

Festival Location

Our event is held along a magical stretch of coastline in northern Baja where a rocky peninsula juts into the Pacific.  Here, the ocean swell interacts with the rocky, craggy coastline to produce a multitude of play spots for the adventurous kayaker!  Two small islands a few miles offshore provide a spectacular destination for intrepid explorers. The wildlife that the cold, clear waters nurture is outstanding.

One of my favorite things about kayaking is experiencing new places and meeting new people.  There's nothing like traveling at 3 or 4 mph to get to know a place!  Since we're in Mexico, we're going to enjoy the culture, food, history, and uniqueness of our location both on and off the water.

The location is about 3 hours south of San Diego and 45 minutes south of Ensenada, Baja.

View Baja Kayak Fest in a larger map

What to Bring

We expect experienced paddlers to know what they need, but here are some reminders:


Spending money.  Dollars are accepted everywhere but you'll probably get pesos as change.  Bring plenty of small bills ($1's, $5's, and $10's will be easier for most purchases and will result in a small number of pesos in your pocket.)

Clothes for paddling.  Drysuits or wetsuits are appropriate, especially for rescue practice and serious rock garden play. The water will be in the high 50's to low 60's and the air temperature can vary from low 60's and gloomy, the 70's and sunny. HELMET.  PROTECTIVE FOOTWEAR.

Safety gear for paddling. Bring your usual safety gear.  Each coach will have a good first aid kit, spare paddle, and signalling device.

Kayak, skirt, paddle, spare paddle (see "Kayak Rentals" if you are traveling)

Camp clothing.  Evenings will be cool and it could be misty/foggy during the day.  Casual layers are best.  Don't forget a warm hat and comfortable shoes!

Camping gear (if camping). 

What to Wear

ON the Water

Sure, we're in Mexico, but it's not Mazatlan!  The water will be 55-62 so drysuits are appropriate, especially for rescue practice!  We expect experienced kayakers to be able to make good risk assessments regarding their clothing choices, but feel free to ask us for advice.  The air temperature can vary significantly in the spring time from warm and sunny to cool and foggy, so a variety of options is highly recommended!  There will be areas for drying wet gear each evening and things tend to dry fast in the desert!  Beaches and landings are rocky and slippery.  Protective FOOTWEAR IS REQUIRED!!  Helmets will be required for most journeys.

OFF the Water

Casual clothing that can be layered for cool evenings.  You'll want long pants and fleeces at night.  A lightweight wind/rain jacket should be suitable outerwear.  Rain is unlikely, but mist/fog is a possibility.

Arrivals & Departures

For most participants, getting to the festival site will mean road transportation from San Diego.  Most people opt to ride in Festival vehicles, but there are other options - See belown for options and details.

Flying into San Diego is easy! There are too many hotels with too big a range of amenities and budgets for us to make recommendations  If it's on "Hotel Circle", or near the airport, San Diego Bay, or Mission Bay, it's close enough!  

It's an easy drive on good roads if you want to drive yourself.  You are also welcome to caravan with our scheduled van departure, or join us in a van ($70 for roundtrip transportation). If you would like to drive your own vehicle, we will happily try to help arrange carpooling to save expenses.  Please, if you share a ride, plan on giving your driver $50-70 (roundtrip) to cover gas, Mexican auto insurance, etc

 Please remember your valid PASSPORT!  

If you ride with us (or caravan with us):

We will depart from 5512 Via Bello in San Diego about 10:00am. Please let us know if you want to follow us with your own vehicle.

Festival vehicles will return to San Diego on the last day at about 5:00pm (although this may vary based on the boarder wait by more than 2 hours).

If you drive:  

1) Please make sure you have good directions from us as well as exchanging contact phone numbers.

2) You will need Mexican Auto Insurance which you can obtain online (try www.bajaBound.com) OR just before the border crossing at drive-through insurance providers.  You will need your registration card. The cost is about $25/day + or - depending on the value of your vehicle.  You MUST get this.  Trust us, your US policy is not sufficient.  Really.  Ask us for more details.

3) Gas is good quality and easily available at modern gas stations!  They have attendants who pump it for you.  They will accept pesos or US dollars and give you the going exchange rate, or pretty darn close to it.  Most accept credit cards, but unless you've told your credit card company about your Mexico travel plans, they may deny the charges!  

If you rent a car:

1) Not all car companies will let you take their vehicles into Baja.  Ask, and ask again.  They will require you to purchase Mexican auto insurance through them, so you will see a higher price than you expect, but this is necessary.  Your US policy is NOT sufficient.  Last I checked, Avis allowed Baja rentals (but be sure they know where you're going so there are no surprises) and www.cabaja.com specialize in it!

BUSES from/to San Diego:

There is excellent, inexpensive, and reliable bus transportation between San Diego and Ensenada.  There are several steps involved, but it's pretty straight forward.  From San Diego, you will take the trolley to the border, cross the border on foot, short taxi ride to bus station, bus ride to Ensenada where we can arrange to pick you up for the 30  minute ride to our festival location.  Simply reverse this to get back to San Diego.  We can give you all the details - just ask us!

Choose your language

Contact Information

Please contact Jen Kleck for answers to questions about this event in English: jenkleck@hotmail.com

Favor de contactar a Victor León para información en Español: shawii_ens@hotmail.com

Online Reservations!


Sponsors are welcome to inquire about opportunities to work with the festival!

Please contact Jen Kleck at (619)992-6693 for more information!