Traveller’s Guide: La Ventana
By Jill Linde
Down in Baja, the season is just getting started, and with many already heading down to one of the best global kite spots. Some of the best schools from La Ventana reached out to us to be able to offer their insight as to what makes this such an amazing spot for all skill levels.
Within a long sandy bay, La Ventana offers a plethora of options for launch access. Furthermore there is a widely popular 8km downwinder that starts at the hot springs and ends at the bottom of the bay.
Wind conditions, naturally depend on the time of year as well as weather systems over the baja region. The windy season begins as early as October, and starts to wind down around late May. La Ventana has consistent North East Thermal winds that range from 10-20 knots and frontal winds (NW, El Norte) blow a gusty 20-40 knots. Thermals dominate the spring and fall where Nortes are typically more present in the winter. Water conditions can range anywhere from flat, to ‘bump n’ jump’ chop or a double overhead rolling swell.
Water temperature in November is tropical and always warm (28C) (no wetsuit/just rashguard). By February the water temperature drops to 20, usually a 4/3 wetsuit is preferred by kiters during this time of year. Occasionally, it is possible to get Maui like wave sailing on the Pacific coast (a few hours drive from La Ventana), so it is always worth it to check the forecast!
Where Can I Find Lessons?
There are no shortage of kite schools based in La Ventana, however, it is important to do some research beforehand.We would always recommend that you find a school that follows IKO standards and employs IKO-certified instructors.
It is also generally a good idea to book jet ski-assisted lessons, as they are safer and cut down on precious learning time.
Martin Dovick has been based out of Ventana Bay resort for many years and teaches on the latest Ocean Rodeo equipment. For those staying further south along the bay, Elevation is another great option.
La Ventana offers some amazing cuisine! Fresh local seafood is a staple here, and can be found in just about any restaurant. The street meat is not only safe to eat, but also extremely tasty. If you’re feeling fancy, there are also options for more upscale dining.
Some of our favourite food places here include:
Dona Paty’s taco stand – $
Marlin Azul – $$
Cone’s – $$
Ventana Bay Resort – $$$
The local nightlife is usually centered around Baja Joe’s, Delaney’s and Playa Central.
Prices are generally low for north American standards. Food is fairly inexpensive – a meal and drinks ranges from 100-400 pesos (around 7-30 CAD) All businesses do accept USD, but be aware that cash can be hard to come by in La Ventana. There are rarely any working ATMS, so be prepared for this. Visa is increasingly being accepted in businesses, but don’t rely on it. Bring all the pesos you need for the easiest experience. Expect to spend the most on accommodation. This ranges from free camping on the beach to private luxury houses. Expect to pay a 50-100 CAD per night for a decent basic room.
No Wind Activities
No wind? No problem. La Ventana and the surrounding areas offer a plethora of interesting activities for calm days, including: Mountain biking, hiking, mountain tours, fishing, freediving, scuba, island tours, and snorkelling along the reef.
La Paz is the nearest city (about a 45 minute drive/shuttle ride) for sight-seeing, shopping, tours to Isla Espiritu, as well as swimming with whale sharks.
The Pacific coast (about 2-3 hour drive) is also a popular surfing destination.