Baja Sea Kayaking

A seven day, six night wilderness retreat in Baja California 

Jan. 20–26, 2020

Susie Harrington

COST: $1,595, plus dana (donation) for the teacher.
Information about Retreat Dana
If you have any questions about Baja, travel, or paddling, or other logistics, please contact Sea Trek at 415.332.8494 or ST007. This retreat is similar to their Classic Islands trip, with one additional night on the islands, and much of that trip information is applicable.

Trip begins and ends in Loreto, Baja California, Mexico. Direct flights available from L.A. 4-5 days a week. We ask that you plan to fly in January 19th (or before) and fly out on January 26th or later.

This retreat is full; if you would like to be placed on the waitlist please email ST007.

    Kayaks floating on clear blue water

    Paddling in the Sea of Cortez provides a unique opportunity to explore the power of a silent meditation retreat while immersed in the beauty and wildness of the Sea of Cortez. We will participate in an age-old tradition of going into the wilderness as a support for spiritual practice and inquiry. Immersed in this coastal wilderness, we will use meditation practices to increase our receptivity to the interconnectedness, preciousness and beauty that surround us. Through our enhanced openness and quiet, we have the opportunity to explore deeply the truth of our own nature. We will be in a supportive community as we explore this inner and outer journey. And our community will most likely be inter-species as we interact with the numerous other animals that live in and around the Sea of Cortez—fish, dolphins, whales, manta rays, birds, and the many other creatures of these remote islands.


    This is a Buddhist meditation retreat and will be held in Noble Silence and requires a commitment by each participant to this practice. Keeping noble silence for seven days in the wilderness is in itself a powerful practice. This retreat welcomes those new to meditation practice and those with experience. All are welcome! On this retreat we will emphasize nature as our teacher, providing us with a special opportunity to open to the Dharma. The peace that comes from spending time near and on the water will provide a natural support for cultivating tranquility and joy in our hearts and clarity in our meditation. Sitting in the beauty of the sea and the surrounding desert gives us ready access to rapture, that quality of delighted interest and awe, and one of the seven factors of enlightenment. In many retreats, we're asked not to look around. In this retreat, we'll be encouraged to look around a lot and to delight in what we see.


    Each day will begin with a sunrise sit, and continue with additional sitting, paddling and walking meditation practices. There will be an opportunity for deeper exploration through instructions, talks, group sharing and individual meditation instruction. There will also be time for swimming, snorkeling, exploring, and simply resting in the wonder that surrounds us.


    Mexico’s Sea of Cortez has been known throughout the world as “The World’s Aquarium”. Jacques Costeau originally gave this name because it serves as a nursery for so many marine species. One of the main attractions to Loreto is observing the greatest of whales, the magnificent Blue whale. Blue Whales are the largest creature ever to exist on this planet! They weigh 170 tones, and can grow to be 30 m (98 feet) long. These endangered giants frequent the Sea of Cortez between December and March, feeding on the abundant krill. They frequent an area between three islands off of Loreto aptly named "The Blue Whale Triangle" which is a deep underwater trench, where there is an up welling of nutrient rich cold water. This area is not only a Mexican Marine Park, but a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to protect the feeding and mating grounds of these rare animals.

    During the feeding season in Baja, we often observe the Blue Whales feeding in the distance, and sometimes up close and personal while we are kayaking. We also see Fin Whales, which don't get as much hype as the Blue, but are equally impressive! Fin Whales average to be 27 meters in length, 3 meters shorter than the famous Blue. They both share similar feeding behavior, distribution, and only the shape of the blow-hole and darker color of their skin separate them in appearance. We may also observe Humpback Whales, Grey Whales, Minke Whales, Transient Orca Whales, and dolphins by the thousands in the area around Loreto. The abundance of plankton and krill create a feeding frenzy for the whole food chain, including the whales, sports fish, and bird life.


    Preliminary information from Sea Trek (additional very detailed info will be sent to you after registration): Sea Trek is pleased to provide high quality roomy tents, wetsuits, snorkeling gear, and dry bags. Each person will have their own tent (regardless of whether you might be doing the retreat with a friend or as a couple). If it is your goal to travel to Loreto with “Carry On” only to eliminate any luggage or connection delays, we do offer rentals for sleeping pads and bags. You will simply need to bring clothing and items of a personal nature.

    This is Baja, so a few changes of beach wear, some warmer extra layers for evenings and early mornings, some town clothes, and a sun protective long sleeve shirt and pant are all that you will need in the clothing department. Daytime temperatures are in the 70's, it may dip into the 50’s at night. For footwear, you will want water oriented sport sandals or booties that protect the bottom and sides of your feet for paddling, tide pooling and general water time. A light pair of walking or running type shoe is very good to have for your non-water time on the islands. Heavier hiking shoes are overkill for the terrain we encounter on our route.

    We’ll send you a thorough clothing and personal item list list when you sign up.


    Our trip will be six nights and seven days on the islands in the Sea of Cortez. If flying to Loreto we request you arrive in Loreto no later than the day before the retreat, and plan to leave no earlier than the day after the retreat. Travel to and from Loreto and lodging before January 20th and after we get back on the 26th is not included in the cost of our retreat.

    Sea Trek's professional Travel Planners, Bob and Jessica Entwisle, will welcome your call or email to help you with your air, hotel, and travel insurance needs. Both have traveled Baja extensively and have direct experience with travel to Loreto and its surrounds. Bob is also one of our longtime Baja guides. Contact Bob at: 415-819-5665 or email: BOBEN and Jessica at: 925-286-0811 or email: JESEAN. Sea Trek is happy to offer this as a complimentary service to those considering our trips.


    To register please click the link on the left to make your deposit (20% of total, via check, Visa or Mastercard), directly to Sea Trek, our hosts for the trip. Once your deposit is paid via the book now button, you will be emailed a link to fill out full registration information, and a packet of additional information.

    Your deposit is non-refundable. Any money paid in addition to the 20% deposit is refundable for cancellations before November 20th, 2019. After this date no refund is given unless we are able to fill your spot from the wait list. The balance is due 60 days prior to your trip date. We encourage you to purchase trip cancellation insurance, approximately $100-$150.

    In keeping with the Buddhist tradition of not requiring payment for teachings, Susie offers her teaching on a donation basis. The registration fee only covers Sea Trek’s fee, and Susie’s travel expenses. For more information on the practice of dana (translated as generosity), please head to this page.