Baja Sea Kayaking

A seven day, six night wilderness retreat in Baja California Sur 

November 26 – December 2, 2023

RETREAT TEACHER: Susie Harrington

COST: $1,790, plus dana (donation) for the teacher.
Information about Retreat Dana
If you have any questions about Baja, travel, paddling, or other logistics, please contact Sea Kayak Baja Mexico at ISKBM2. These retreats aren’t exactly the same as any of the trips offered by SKBM but you can look at their website for more pictures and general information.

After reading through the information, if you have questions, you can contact Laurel, the registrar, at LSMGM.

The retreat begins and ends in Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Direct flights available from L.A., Phoenix, Dallas, and Tijuana 4-5 days a week.

At this time this retreat is full, and the waitlist is open. Please complete the Online Registration Form to reserve your space on the waitlist. Cancellations happen every year and at least some applicants on the waitlist are admitted.

    • Sunset
    • Kayaking in a calm cove
    • View across a bay to desert mountains
    • Setting up camp on an island
    • Dinner prep on a palm beach at sunset

    Paddling in the Loreto National Marine Park 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.

    Meditation circle

    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.

    Kayaks floating on clear blue water

    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.

    Birds on rocks in the sea

    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. Though we may see whales (often in the distance), it is the pods of dolphins and their delightful play that are more often part of our days - sometimes curious, sometimes shy, always jumping, spouting and often quite nearby. Above the waters surface, the sea birds soar and dive, and often perch and call from nearby rocks – pelicans, cormorants, herons, boobies, and many others. And when you put on a mask and fins and join the watery world, the ocean is teeming with tropical fish, and the full range of underwater animals and plants. Wetsuits, fins, masks and snorkels are all provided.

    Kayaks on a beach

    Sea Kayak Baja Mexico is pleased to provide high quality tents, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, 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). Our intention is that you can travel light. If you prefer to bring any of your own equipment, such as a sleeping bag or snorkeling gear, you are welcome to do so.

    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.


    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. With some late afternoon flights it may be possible to fly out the same day if you prefer (though we recommend staying if your schedule allows). Please check with us if you are considering same day fly out. If you have any questions about Baja, travel, paddling, or other logistics, please contact Sea Kayak Baja Mexico at ISKBM2. You can also check their website for additional contact information. For additional travel questions, you can contact Jessica Entwisle Giannini. She will welcome your call or email to help you with your air, hotel, and travel insurance needs. Jessica has traveled Baja extensively and has provided travel planning services for Loreto trips for many years. Contact Jessica at: (925) 286-0811 or email: JESEAN. This additional travel planning Is offered as a complimentary service to those doing the sea kayaking retreat.

    Trip Insurance
    You will need to purchase trip insurance, available online, and at any travel agency. It will protect your investment in non-refundable costs if you have to cancel or if the retreat is canceled due to circumstances beyond our control. Cancellations for Covid-19 related issues are generally only covered in the ‘cancelation for any reason’ clause, so if you desire that coverage be sure it is included. Given the retreat is in a remote location in Mexico, we also recommend that your policy covers medical evacuation costs in case of sickness or injury.


    The deposit and completed application form will reserve your place unless we go to a waitlist. The registrar will confirm your space. Reservations are confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis. Please fill out a separate form for each person. If the retreat is full, you'll be placed on a waitlist. If that happens, don't be disheartened, as there will probably be cancellations. If you are on the waitlist, we will not collect a deposit. You will pay the deposit when you accept a place on the retreat.

    A non-refundable deposit of $400 is due at the time of registration. The rest of your payment is due in full by 60 days before the retreat. If it is not received on time, the reservation may be canceled and the deposit forfeited. We prefer that you send a check for the balance of your payment. If you would prefer to pay by credit card, we can do that – there will be a $55 fee to cover credit card fees.

    Refund and Cancellation Policy
    If SMR finds it necessary to cancel a trip due to under-enrollment or other unexpected conditions, your deposit and any payments on the balance of the fee will be returned.

    Retreats often have a waitlist; in order to respect those on the waitlist and to encourage timely cancellations, we have the following cancellation policy:

    1. If you cancel 4 months or more before the start of the trip: we will refund half of your deposit, provided we can fill your spot from the waitlist.
    2. if you cancel 2 - 4 months before the retreat, your full deposit is nonrefundable.
    3. If you cancel 60 – 30 days before the start of the retreat, we will retain 75% of the fee. And refund the difference.
    4. If you cancel 30 days or less we will not be able to refund any of your fee.

    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 SKBM’s fee, and Susie’s travel expenses. For more information on the practice of dana (translated as generosity), please head to this page.


    Sea Kayak Baja Mexico will provide the guides, equipment, motorized support boats, and expertise for the safety and well being of the group. We have worked with them for years and they do an amazing job. This is a wilderness camping trip requiring moderate physical exertion, ability to walk on uneven terrain, paddling on the water for two hours at a time, and adaptability to inclement weather. Because of the remoteness and in consideration of the other retreatants, we ask that you be in good health and physical condition adequate for the demands of this retreat. Please call or email if you are unsure of the appropriateness of this retreat for you. We want it to be accessible, and will work with you if you may need extra support.

    You are expected to carefully review all information furnished, understanding that this is a meditation retreat rather than a recreational outing, requiring a commitment to noble silence and practice. Part of our practice will be to mindfully commit to non-harming, so that our impact on the environment is minimal and the rights and privacy of other retreatants are respected. All SMR events are strictly non-smoking. Alcohol and drugs are also not allowed.