Carmen is situated in the Loreto Marine National Park. Together with Isla Danzante they make a perfect size for one of our longer kayak expeditions.
- Duration: 12 days (arrival and departure day included)
- Intensity: Intermediate-Advanced
- Paddling time: 3 - 5 hours
- Trip Style: Choice of Fully Catered and Co-operatively Catered.
- Season: Late October/early November and April - June
- Minimum age: Age 12 for Fully Catered and age 16 for Cooperatively Catered
- Wildlife: Californian Sea-lions, tropical fish, whales, dolphins, manta rays, Pelicans, Blue-footed Boobies, Ospreys, Frigates, Herons and Egrets.
- Includes: Certified, bi-lingual naturalist guide(s) & cook(s). Singles and/or double kayaks, all kayaking gear, camping equipment. Also includes re-supply mid trip. Without re-supply reduce by $150USpp on either trip. Transportation to and from Loreto. Hotel on first and last night in Loreto and farewell dinner. All meals and beverages are included from breakfast on Day 2 - breakfast on Day 12.
- Does not include: Airport taxi transfer and flights.
- Available for rent: Sleeping bags, snorkel sets and wet suits.
Isla del Carmen is a similar size to Isla San Jose however the advantage is that it is not so far to paddle across to and has beautiful Isla Danzante as a handy 'stepping stone'. Thus with one or two lay over days and factoring in paddling over and back we consider 10 days the perfect time to paddle around Carmen. We will be rewarded with some spectacular beaches - some with sand dunes, sea caves, striking vistas of volcanic cliffs and mountain views of the Sierra la Giganta, and the remnants of a salt mining town. It lies in the marine national park of Loreto and is situated to the east of Loreto town. We recommend that you plan on flying in and out of Loreto with Alaska Airlines (at time of print, they fly daily from LAX).
- Day 1: Arrive in Loreto, meet for evening briefing at Hotel Posada del Cortes.
- Day 2: A half hour drive to our put in. Then paddle to Danzante. Break for lunch, and if weather continues to be favorable we will paddle to south end of Isla Carmen.
- Day 3: Paddle up dramatic west coast enjoying views back to the Baja peninsula and the Sierra de la Giganta. Today we want to put in several miles to get as far up the west coast as possible.
- Day 4: Paddle around two of the three main headlands on this exposed north coast. Camp on "El Refugio" - enjoy scrambling up the 100ft dunes that back this superb camp site.
- Day 5: Potentially our most challenging paddle around Punta Lobos - the most northeasterly point on Carmen. Then down to Salinas Bay to make a base camp for two nights.
- Day 6: 'Stroll into town' - or what's left of it - and ponder the existence of this remote hamlet with its church, few houses and the evaporative salt ponds that lie just inland.
- Day 7: A short paddle down the coast and we will arrive at a fresh water well to refill our supplies. Then paddle on down the coast to another spectacular camp site.
- Day 8: Paddle to the most southern end of Carmen camping on a sand spit with spectacular views all around. This is the prime take off point to paddle over to Isla Danzante.
- Day 9: Paddle across to Danzante and depending on wind direction we will paddle down either east or west coast to our final night's camp. Danzante is a true gem of an island and will be a fitting stop for the last two night's of our trip.
- Day 10: As with Arroyo Verde on our 10 day coastal trip - if we haven't already 'used up' all our paddling days we will have a full day and 2nd night to enjoy spectacular Danzante.
- Day 11: Paddle across to Playa Ligúi to meet Manuel with your lunch and taxi back to Loreto for farewell dinner and last night in hotel.
- Day 12: Breakfast and flight home.
Note: We are aiming to run this trip with groups that already have a proven paddling record with BOA. People that we trust to paddle hard when the need arises but more importantly, have the sense of adventure and understanding that itinerary plans rely on fair weather. Isla del Carmen is unusual in that it has a long north coast and depending on the weather we may have to revise our travel plans. For the same reason, we aim to offer this trip in the 'quieter' months: late October/early November and April - June. We look forward to hosting another wonderful adventure with our inner circle of BOA friends.
This magnificent island is located in the Loreto Marine National Park and it's roughly 50 mile circumference is a paddler's perfect expedition size. It lies 10 miles due East of Loreto which conveniently has its own international airport.
Carmen has several interesting features and numerous spectacular beaches for camping. One gorgeous beach even has a giant sand dune and several are almost completely wind protected as they sit at the back of deep enchanting bays. Remnants of an old village, mountains, mesas, Bighorn desert sheep, steep craggy cliffs and even a large sea cave add to Carmen's unique beauty. We highly recommend this trip particularly to our private groups that are looking for their next island after paddling Isla Espiritu Santo.