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Exploring La Ventana

Exploring La Ventana: Getting Off the Beaten Path
Originally Published in the October 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine

Join TKB in La Ventana for the La Ventana Classic and KiteXpo January 17-24, 2010!

Every winter, hordes of windsurfers and kiteboarders make the trek to La Ventana, Mexico, located towards the bottom of the Baja Peninsula on the beautiful Sea of Cortez. Whether flying in to La Paz or Cabo San Lucas, or by driving for days through the Baja desert, most visitors stay put in the main bay for the duration of their trip. La Ventana is a great place to take a kiteboarding vacation, but it’s also much more than that. It’s a great home base from which you can explore all that Southern Baja has to offer, just a short drive away.

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Conejo:
For many people who visit La Ventana, especially those from the West Coast of California, the one glaring problem here is the lack of real waves. If waves are what you are after, don’t fret, as Baja is not very wide and the Pacific Ocean is closer than you may think. At Conejo, a two and a half hour drive north of La Paz (one hour being on dirt roads), you can find wave riding that rivals many of the more well-known spots on the Pacific side of Baja. Leave early and you can grab a surf session before the wind picks up for a full day of wave riding. Conejo has a very primitive campground and no facilities nearby.

Aguas Calientes:
Spanish for Hot Springs, Aguas Calientes is just a short drive up the road north past La Ventana. The site gets its name from the hot springs just under the sands of the beach. If you want to enjoy a natural hot tub, bring a shovel and dig a hole, which will fill in with warm water. Some people even bring plastic sheeting to line their selfmade hot tub. Here, you can expect conditions similar to those in La Ventana, but without the crowds. Whales are often seen here as well and it’s the perfect place to take off for a downwinder all the way back to the main launch sites in La Ventana. The wind often fills in here first, sometimes up to an hour or more before filling in on the rest of the bay, so don’t leave too early as you could find yourself swimming.

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La Bufadora:
South of La Ventana is La Bufadora, a reef that forms a left-breaking wave when the chop driven by the El Norte winds comes ashore. If the El Norte has been blowing especially hard for a few days, the waves can get overhead, but are usually smaller. The waves, being driven by wind chop, don’t compare (except on very rare days) to the waves of the Pacific, but they are still very fun and are a welcome change from the typical chop of La Ventana. The wind often blows onshore here and there are rocks, so use caution when kiting at this spot.

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Isla Cerralvo:
Isla Cerralvo is the island that dominates the horizon in La Ventana, and is located ten miles across the bay. You can arrange to be taken over to the island in a panga (a local fishing boat) where you can kite on your own private beach with no one around except the people you came with. There are also a few sandbars at Isla Cerralvo that cut down the chop and leave areas of butter-flat water perfect for working on unhooked moves. When you are tired of riding surrounded by amazing scenery and your closest friends, you can pile back in the boat for the trip back or simply kite across the bay back to La Ventana.

Mark your calendars for the annual La Ventana Classic and KiteXpo January 17 through 24. Plans are in the works to add clinics and day trips early in the week with the main event of competitions, kite and SUP demos, beach parties and more planned for January 20-24.

Originally Published in the October 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine

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2 comments

  1. “simply” ride back to la ventana ? you better be a very experienced kiter in order to do this and have plenty of backup ,its a big crossing with lots of variables

  2. You don’t need to be that experienced to do it, but boat support is absolutely necessary.

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