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Kayaking the Pacific off Nayarit

Listed under Sea Kayaking in Mexico.

  • Photo of Kayaking the Pacific off Nayarit
  • Photo of Kayaking the Pacific off Nayarit
Photo of Kayaking the Pacific off Nayarit
Photo by Hal Peat
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The area along Mexico's Pacific coast about 30 miles north from Puerto Vallarta and in the province of Nayarit has a reputation for its waves and unspoilt, unhurried small towns that has attracted the international surfing contingent since the past decade. One resort catering to both surfers and other adventure travelers is Costa Azul, in the small village of San Francisco, and they include not only surfing but kayaking expeditions which we took advantage of during our stay. We headed a short way due north from the resort to a beach that faced toward small islands, and were treated to the basics of how to handle the kayaking gear and the ocean conditions here before getting underway in single seat top-seated sea kayaks. Resort guides brought all the equipment and necessities for the day along in their own van.

Once you get out past the waves along the beach -- which in fact were not extreme at all to stay upright through - you have a fairly easy paddle although the water deepens into a midnight blue quite rapidly. Occasional gentle swells, and an amazing view behind you of the Mexican coastline, along with the total peace unbroken except for the birds makes this an exhilirating outing. It took around forty-five minutes to get out to the island's shoreline, but might have been faster except for the fact that we also paused for some snorkeling. The water here is home to many manta rays which seem to be just as curious of visiting humans. The island itself was a designated bird sanctuary for the blue-footed booby, but aside from that its main pleasure is the views back toward the Mexican coastline. The return paddle is just as easy with low currents, small amount of chop and the only thing to really past again is the surfline as you close in to the shore. The entire trip out and back was somewhere between two and three hours.

Written by  Hal Peat.

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