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This trip has something for everyone - you'll get a taste of all that is on offer from the crystal clear waters, stunning landscape and culture on the Baja Peninsula. With water temperatures around 27°C you'll feel like you're swimming in the bath, except the Sea of Cortez is much clearer and bluer, and you'd never get the sandy beaches, dramatic cliff faces and amazing marine life in your bathroom!

You will have plenty of time to experience all that this UNESCO protected area of unspoiled beauty has to offer. In addition to our stunning swims in this national park you can borrow the camp’s kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, snorkel with the sea life and learn about the island while you camp amongst giant cacti in the desert landscape. But wait, there's more; while camping on Espiritu Santo Island you'll taste the best of the local cuisine with chefs providing fresh food every day and a cocktail to watch the sun set!

Base camp is comfortable and relaxing glamour camping with cabin style tents, camp beds, sleeping pads, and solar heated showers.

Who is this trip for?

Swimmers should have a basic understanding of open water swimming and be capable of completing the average daily swim distance of around 6km prior to the start of the trip. As well as swimming in the beautiful National Park, this trip combines snorkelling, kayaking and hiking through the spectacular desert vegetation of the interior where you can see such wonders as Giant Cardon Cactus and wild figs clinging to volcanic cliffs.

What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday in Baja Mexico
  • Technique coaching
  • Hotel accommodation on first night of the tour
  • Cabin style 'glamping' for the other nights
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included on most days and nights of the tour (see below for exceptions)

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Dinner on day one
  • Hotel accommodation on day seven
  • The conservation fee of $30

Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy tranquil beaches and discover isolated coves

  • Swim alongside Sea Lions and discover the incredible marine life that Baja has to offer

  • Camp in a UNESCO protected area of unspoilt natural beauty

  • Swim in clear blue 27°C + waters

  • Destress and unwind from the hustle and bustle of everyday life

Accommodation

P1060798 small
Espiritu Santo Island Base Camp

The Espiritu Santo Island Base Camp is located on the beach of a remote island on the Baja Peninsula, just a few steps from the water's edge. The camp sleeps guests in Cabin-Style tents with beds, sleeping pads and solar showers.

Day 1

Arrive in La Paz and check in to the Hotel Perla. Make sure to have a stroll around this colourful, vibrant city. There will be welcome drinks and a safety briefing with your guides and the other SwimTrekers at 5pm followed by some time to pick up any extras you may need for the week. This will be followed by dinner at the hotel restaurant if you’d care to join them.

Day 2

Meet in the lobby of your hotel early in the morning, packed and ready to go. A two-hour boat ride brings us to our base camp at Ensenada del Candelero (Candelabra Cove). Once there, we’ll have camp orientation, a short acclimatisation swim and lunch. After lunch you will have some free time to explore the camp, kayak or have a siesta before a swim along the shoreline to neighbouring Ensenada el Mezteno. Tonight we’ll enjoy a beautiful sunset over the Sea of Cortez while the staff prepare our first delicious dinner on the island.

Day 3

We start the morning with a swim in the beautiful Bahia San Gabriel (former home of the pearl beds made famous by John Steinbeck in “The Pearl”). Prepare to be impressed as we swim directly past a breeding ground of magnificent frigate birds. Following lunch we head to Las Calaveritas to videotape your stroke, and finish with a swim back to base camp. After our sunset cocktails we will review your swimming videos.

Day 4

We start off the day with a hike from Ensenada el Embudo up to a dramatic overlook of Isla la Partida (about 30 minutes up and 25 minutes back down). Our first swim of the day begins at El Erizoso Punto. We swim from point to point to point ending at Ensenada del Raza. Back at base camp we enjoy a wonderful lunch. Later in the afternoon, we swim from Isla Espiritu Santo to the sister island of Isla La Partida. On our way back to camp there be some time for snorkelling off El Cardoncito.

Day 5

This morning we circumnavigate Isla Ballena (keep your eyes open for the beautiful fish that inhabit the underwater rocks and crannies). Following lunch it’s time to swim along the dramatic bluffs in Ensenada el Cardoncito. Along the way, you’ll swim over an abandoned pearl farm and end on a beautiful sandy beach.

Day 6

This morning we swim in the long bay of Ensenada el Cardonal. Along the way, you’ll swim over an abandoned pearl farm to end on a beautiful sandy beach. Then it’s time to visit Los Islotes, home to a colony of friendly and curious sea lions. After some time to snorkel in this unique environment (don’t be surprised if the younger pups come up to check you out) it’s back to base camp. For our final afternoon swim, we head to beautiful Ensenada Grande where we do a “puntos cuatro” swim. Last night in camp promises an extra special dinner and a final chance to watch for shooting stars.

Day 7

After a varied week of swimming in these glorious islands, it’s time to pack up and leave for La Paz but not before we have one last final swim in the bay surrounding the campsite. Following our swim and a quick lunch, we motor back to La Paz savouring our final moments of this incredible getaway. On arrival into La Paz the tour ends.

Accommodation

P1060798 small
Espiritu Santo Island Base Camp

The Espiritu Santo Island Base Camp is located on the beach of a remote island on the Baja Peninsula, just a few steps from the water's edge. The camp sleeps guests in Cabin-Style tents with beds, sleeping pads and solar showers.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Hotel Perla, La Paz

Start Time: 17:00 on Day 1

Finish Point: Hotel Perla, La Paz

Finish Time: 15:00 on Day 7

Trip Information

Equipment checklist

In addition to your daily non-swimming clothes, we also recommend that you bring the following items:

Item Item
Swimming Costume (x2) Small Daypack
Swimming Googles* (x2) Waterproof Jacket
Sunhat and Sunglasses Sweater / Fleece
Waterproof Sun Cream Walking Shoes
Water bottle Tight Fitting Rashvest
(Head)Torch and extra batteries Insect Repellent
Sweater/Fleece and trousers Biodegradable Shampoo
Towel Aqua Shoes

*Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens for different light conditions.

SwimTrek will supply swim hats. We will have a limited supply/range of flippers, rash vests and wetsuits available on the trip, however we cannot guarantee sizes for all. If you have your own flippers, rash vest or wetsuit, we would recommend you bring these with you in order to maximise your enjoyment of the trip. Please note that SwimTrek will provide water and electrolyte drinks in shared water bottles on your safety boat. If you prefer to use your own drink bottle, please feel free to bring one along.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distances
Ensenada El Mezteno 3km
Las Calaveritas 2km
Isla Espiritu Santo - Isla La Partida 2km
Ensenada El Cardonal 2km
Ensenada Grande 2km
Bahia San Gabriel 4km
El Erizoso Punto – Ensenada Del Raza 4km
Isla Ballena 3km
Ensenada El Cardonal 3½km

Swimming Conditions

Swimming in the sea is a fantastic experience, however you should be aware that certain marine life such as sea lice, jellyfish, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures, however if you suffer from anaphylaxis, please consult the office prior to booking.

Walking Distances

There are no roads on the island. Most walks take place on recognised paths and tracks, however there may be cases where we walk along trails or other unsealed surfaces and care should be taken in these areas.

Temperatures

Month Water Temp Daytime Air Temp Night Time Air Temp
November 24-26°C / 75-79°F 26-28°C / 79-82°F 16-19°C / 61-66°F

*Please note that these temperatures are indicative and should be used as a guide only.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. As a consequence, open water swimming holidays require a certain degree of on-trip flexibility which can result in changes to the planned itinerary. These changes often add a touch of uniqueness to your trip and will be communicated to you by your SwimTrek guides as quickly as possible.

Group Size

This trip has a maximum group size of 15. The group will be split into a maximum of three groups, based on speed, with each group being accompanied by their own safety vessel/escort.

Boat support on this trip includes two Panga boats to be piloted by your SwimTrek guides and a local boat pilot. Please note that this boat support is subject to change without notice and cannot be guaranteed.

Getting There

To reach La Perla Hotel you can fly direct into La Paz Airport and take a local taxi into the city. This is only a 10 minute journey and costs between $8 - $12. The alternative option is to fly into Cabo San Lucas International Airport which is approximately a 3 hour transfer away.

While we have outlined various travel options below, they are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. Whichever route you choose to take, we recommend confirming your flights and other travel arrangements as early as possible in order to avoid price rises and availability issues. We suggest that you use the following websites to search for alternative flight options for this trip.

Flights: www.skyscanner.net

Travel Via La Paz

Flights to La Paz are available from various British and European cities as well as many US, Mexican and South American cities. A small selection of the airlines which fly are included below.

Airline Departure Airport
Aero Mexico London Heathrow, many cities in South America and USA
Volaris Many cities in Mexico and USA

For full details on all airlines that fly into La Paz please click here.

Taxi from La Paz to Perla Hotel

The easiest way to get to the hotel is via a radio taxi, the journey only takes 10 minutes and costs between $8 - $12 however prices can vary. The taxi’s here aren't metered, so we recommend you agree on a fare before getting in.

Travel via Los Cabos International Airport

Direct flights to Los Cabos International Airport are available from many US and Mexican cities. A small selection of the airlines which fly are included below.

Airline Departure Airport
Aero Mexico Mexico City, Ontario, San Diego
Alaska Air Los Angeles, Seattle/Tacoma, San Francisco, Portland (OR)
United Airlines Chicago O’Hare, Denver, San Francisco
American Airlines New York JFK, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles

Private Transfer from Cabo San Lucas Airport to Perla Hotel

Once you arrive into Cabo San Lucas the simplest way to travel is via private transfer. We recommend Baja Ground Services Inc. The takes approximately 2 - 3 hours (each way) and prices vary depending on the number of people in your group. For more information please use the following link here or phone them on +1-800-352-4990.

Shuttle Bus Transfer from Cabo San Lucas

Most international flights arrive at Terminal 2 at Cabo San Lucas. From here you can catch an air-conditioned shuttle directly to La Paz.

All shuttles leave from Terminal 1 and tickets can be bought at the Eco Baja Tours ticket counter. The journey takes approximately 4 hours with shuttles departing at 12:30, 13:30, 14:30 and 15:30. For advance reservations and to check shuttle times please visit Eco Baja Tours and select ‘Los Cabos Airport (SJD)’ as your departure and ‘La Paz Malecon’ as your arrival. The cost each way is 545 Mexican pesos (or about $32). Once you arrive in La Paz, Hotel La Perla is a short 3-block walk to down the waterfront.

Practical Information

Accommodation

The first night’s stay will be in the Hotel Perla (Hotel Perla Baja) in La Paz. For the rest of the trip we will be staying in the Espiritu Santo Island Base Camp. The camp is made up of twin share cabin-style tents with beds and sleeping pads. Camp food is superb and cooked by local chefs on site, meals typically consist of wraps, salads and freshly caught fish.

Basecamp is clean and comfortable and consists of dry toilets and very basic shared showers. Swimmers often choose to shampoo and wash in the sea followed by a freshwater rinse in the shower. You can also visit the well for a wash with a view!

Off the grid

Isla Espiritu Santo is entirely off the grid. There is no Wifi or mobile reception. In the event it is necessary to contact the outside world, camp staff are able to radio back to our partner Baja Expeditions. If someone needs to contact you in the event of an emergency, they should phone 1 800 843 6967 from the United States or Canada or 0052 612 125 4900 from elsewhere.

Meals

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included on days 2 through to day 6. On your first day dinner is not included and on day 7 breakfast and lunch are provided.

Before dinner, cocktails are served while watching the sunset, guests will be offered a beer or glass of wine with each dinner too. Any alcohol that you might want on top of this should be purchased in La Paz and taken to the camp. Drinks can be stored in a cool box at the campsite.

Extra Expenses

You should bring extra money with you to cover dinner on two of the days, souvenirs, the conservation fee and your time in La Paz. Local currency is the Mexican Peso. Please note, tipping is very much part of Mexican culture and with this in mind we suggest that a tip of between 5-10% depending on the level of service you have received. All the gratuities are pooled and distributed evenly between the Mexican guide and camp crew.

Passports and Visas

Mexico is part of North America. Non-residents of Mexico require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. Citizens of most countries, including all E.U. member states, U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand will require a visa to enter Mexico. Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Vaccinations

There have been reported cases of the Zika virus in locations near to Baja. If you are pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant, suffer from a severe, chronic medical condition or have medical condition that weakens your immune system, please contact us for further advice prior to booking on this trip. Other than this, please check your immunity to tetanus and polio are up-to-date.

Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy tranquil beaches and discover isolated coves

  • Swim alongside Sea Lions and discover the incredible marine life that Baja has to offer

  • Camp in a UNESCO protected area of unspoilt natural beauty

  • Swim in clear blue 27°C + waters

  • Destress and unwind from the hustle and bustle of everyday life

Accommodation

P1060798 small
Espiritu Santo Island Base Camp

The Espiritu Santo Island Base Camp is located on the beach of a remote island on the Baja Peninsula, just a few steps from the water's edge. The camp sleeps guests in Cabin-Style tents with beds, sleeping pads and solar showers.

  • I met a great bunch of people, had some amazing swims and was looked after by extremely knowledgeable and entertaining crew. I felt very privileged to be in such a completely unspoilt and special location

    Ruth B - 2016
  • A once in a lifetime experience I would do again in a heartbeat!

    John T, 2016
  • Go to Baja. Unplug. Unwind. Swim. Experience the beauty of this place and the people that make it possible.

    James J. 2016 - USA
  • This was a trip of a lifetime for me. My paradigm of pool swimming shifted and I am now an open water convert! The staff, the location, every swim - were perfect! Being off the grid was an unexpected bonus. I highly recommend going on this trip!

    Catharine S. 2015 - Canada
  • Incredible feels like an understatement.

    Ellie R. 2015 - UK
  • I especially loved meeting people from all over the world with a shared interest in athletic adventures. The camaraderie on our boat was great, and we worked well together as a team. We are already talking about meeting up next year to do a distance swim together.

    Catherine L. 2015 - USA
  • Baja Espiritu Santo Island was an incredible week! Everything from the guides, food, swims, and wild life was beyond expectations. We would do it all again in a heartbeat!

    Gisela & Nicholas B. 2014

Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy tranquil beaches and discover isolated coves

  • Swim alongside Sea Lions and discover the incredible marine life that Baja has to offer

  • Camp in a UNESCO protected area of unspoilt natural beauty

  • Swim in clear blue 27°C + waters

  • Destress and unwind from the hustle and bustle of everyday life

Accommodation

P1060798 small
Espiritu Santo Island Base Camp

The Espiritu Santo Island Base Camp is located on the beach of a remote island on the Baja Peninsula, just a few steps from the water's edge. The camp sleeps guests in Cabin-Style tents with beds, sleeping pads and solar showers.

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29 Oct -
04 Nov, 2017
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25 Nov, 2017
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