Baja California’s best kept Kitesurfing secret
La Ventana Winter Kiteboarding Holiday
Best for families and travelers looking for a winter kitesurfing holiday vacation. La Ventana, Baja California Sur, Mexico is one of the best kiteboarding locations for all levels. Discovered by windsurfers in 1985, it’s become the perfect kiting spot with steady winds and an L-shaped beach. Many have said this is the new ‘Cabarete or Tarifa’ for kiteboarding in Mexico.
La Ventana (‘The Window’)
Is a small traditional Mexican fishing village in the Sea of Cortez. Located 40 minutes south of La Paz and 2 hours north of Cabo San Lucas. Well known for consistent north winds that blow in the Winter months. La Ventana has been listed in the top ten kiteboarding destinations in the world, earning the nickname ‘Hood River South’. The kiting bay stretches from El Sargento to La Ventana in a unique natural desert surrounded by a cactus forest and mountainous chain that boosts the thermal winds.
Wind Conditions in la ventana, mexico
La Ventana has a combination of three winds types, all from the north, northwest.
- Strong thermal wind
- Venturi wind between two mountain ranges
- The famous ‘El Norte’ wind.
The windy season begins in mid October and runs until late April. Many wind forecasts do not always take into account the Thermal wind speeds. (It’s best to add 10mph, 8 knots to the wind forecast to account for the thermal wind speed.)
Typical Kitesurf Day
In the mornings the turquoise ocean is like a glass surface and a great time to get out on a SUP board to explore the natural wonders beneath. By late morning the wind begins to pick up and makes great conditions for beginners. In the afternoon the wind gets stronger and is an awesome time to start practicing those jumps, back-roll and front-roll tricks. In the evening sit back and enjoy some of the social atmospheres at the local bars while watching the sunset and the moon raise out of the ocean. You may require a sweater at this time as the desert setting can get cold!
- Best Months: November, December, January, February, March
- Type of Wind: Thermal
- Direction of Wind: N, NW, NNW
- Wind Range: 12-25knots (15-30mph)
- Water Type: Choppy, small waves
- Condition of Water: Clear warm ocean water
- Water Temp: 70-80s°F (21-26°C)
- Wind Timing: 12:30pm – 5:30pm
Launching and Landing
The kiting bay is a long wide sandy beach great for downwinders with no chance of getting blown out to sea! Never too crowded with side onshore winds, making it a safe place to learn to kiteboard and practice launching and landing of your kites.
- Type: Sand
- Hazards: Rocks, Coral, Urchins
- Wind: Side onshore
How to get to La Ventana
Many people actually make a road trip down to Baja so they can save on flights and have all their kiting gear with them. The I5 is the fastest option down the West Coast of America but the 101 is more scenic. The journey takes about 6 days when driving between 6 to 8 hours a day. Of course passing through customs can add extra time. If you are taking down lots of equipment ensure you check any paperwork you may need before you travel.
Driving Safely in Mexico
This is annual journey for many from Canada and the USA. You can read some forums and blogs that suggest it can be dangerous to drive through Mexico but we have been doing it for years and faced no problems, like many other seasoned travelers. Just be smart and you will be fine.
The Roads in Mexico are a little more primitive than the USA and Canada. The roads can have large drops which are hard to see and just outside La Ventana you have to keep an eye out for cows. They like to sit on the warm road during the night and don’t move for cars!
Flying to Mexico
- Cabo San Lucas airport
- La Paz airport
The easiest way to get to La Ventana is to fly into La Paz or Cabo San Lucas. It is easy to fly to La Paz from the US but it is harder to find a direct flight or even a flight from Canada to La Paz. Check out skyscanner for deals. Flights are regular during the season from Vancouver to Cabo as it is a popular package holiday destination. Don’t worry once you pick up your hire car or jump in your shuttle, you escape the crowds and head off to the beautiful bay of La Ventana. It takes about 45 mins drive from La Paz and 2 hours to La Ventana.
With many fellow kiters venturing down to La Ventana, you may be able to catch a ride with someone. The Ventana View is a great resource for accommodation, events, restaurants and ride shares. Sign up to the newsletter in advance and check it out for others traveling at the same time as you or post your travel plans and see if anyone can offer you a ride.
There are the usual rental companies in Mexico like Hertz and Thrifty, which you might feel more comfortable choosing, however using a local company may be cheaper. If you book online, print off the paperwork and take it with you. If you can get the quote in pesos as they will convert USD to pesos anyway and give you a less favorable exchange rate. Pay for insurance, you will most probably not be covered in Mexico by your credit card insurance. It can almost double the cost of the rental car if you wait until you get there so book in advance so you are aware of the full cost.
La Ventana Shuttles
Various companies offering pick up and drop off services to Los Barriles and La Ventana. When booking they will quote you a price but it really all depends on how many people they get in the same shuttle as you. Averagely expect to pay around $120 round-trip for 2 from Cabo but hope for a busy shuttle so its cheaper. Two popular choices are Road Runner Shuttle Service and EcoShuttles La Ventana.
What to Bring
Cash – Mexican Pesos
The Small town of La Ventana is quite a remote destination so cash is king. It is best to bring US Dollars and Mexican Pesos with you as there are few ATM machines and not all stores and restaurants accept credit cards. In some cases the ATM can cost you more that getting the pesos at home! One of the only ATM machines is located in the Oxxo store up the hill in El Sargento. Make sure to call your bank before traveling to Mexico, to ensure they don’t block your card!
The average kite sizes used in La Ventana is between 9m and 12m. When the wind starts you will use your bigger kite, but as the wind builds you will switch to a smaller kite. Normally you will see foilers first thing, that’s when you know the wind is on the way.
Getting Around La Ventana
La Ventana and El Sargento is a relatively small area but remember it is the desert and gets hot, so a short walk can soon turn into a sweaty, trek. If you do not have a rental car, there are options to rent a bike to get around. Or you can make friends with fellow kiters who do have a rental car and share the gas to get back from downwinders or visiting other locations, like the hot baths. Or you could hitch hike which is quite common.
Where to Stay in La Ventana
There are many places to stay in La Ventana and El Sargento depending on your budget and needs. The wind is strong all along the bay so that shouldn’t really affect your decision. There is accommodation to suit every budget, required amenities and comfort level.
One of our favourites is Baja Joe’s, a trendy little joint with a number of different equipped cabins, with access to bathrooms, a shared kitchen and a kite shop. To top it off there is also an onsite bar which serves food and offers some of the best live music in town. If you would like more money for beer, then choose one of their bunkbeds.
Just up the road from Sea to Sky Kiteboarding is ChiloChill, a resort made up entirely of tents, but this is not normal camping. This is ‘Glamping’. A number of luxurious tents of different sizes for individuals through to families, with the same amenities as any hotel, except you are directly under the stars.
For a more inclusive type of hotel, stay at the Ventana Bay Resort. A three star resort with a restaurant that can provide all three meals of the day with your accommodation.
Airbnb is popular in La Ventana and there are many types of private accommodation to choose from. There are also privately advertised casita’s like Casa Susanne.
Where to eat and drink in La Ventana
Our number one spot for morning coffee is Kijote’s Baja Craft Coffee, a Artisan Coffee Roasters & Espresso Bar. Open from around 7am, take a walk up the beach and watch the sunrise as you sip on your caramel latte. Or step into Casa Verde’s coffee bar courtyard garden and order an espresso to set you up for the day.
Most restaurants are open for lunch and dinner. For a fine dining experience, visit one of our must go to restaurants, Marlin Azul, specializing in Mexican Sea food, it is simply delicious.
For mexican eats, Pablo’s restaurant is also worth a visit for breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you need food to go, Taqueria “Doña Paty” is a great place to get mexican take out. You might not know what you are ordering but we guarantee it will taste great. If you do eat in, bring your own beer. Another firm favourite of the ex-pats is Tony’s, a friendly place, open for dinner and drinks with a pool table.
Best Margaritas go to Playa Central. They also serve American style food if you need a little taste of home.
If you have kitchen facilities and want to make some of your own food, the shuttles sometimes visit a larger supermarket on the way to La Ventana. In La Ventana the stores are small and contain limited supplies. As well as a restaurant Pablo’s has a small store and Don Ruben is just down the road.
No Wind Day Activities
Whale Sharks in La Paz
One of the most amazing trips you will never forgot and should be on your bucket List is swimming with whale sharks. A short drive to La Paz and you are moments away from seeing these graceful and beautiful sharks. We recommend the Whale Shark Research Project, as they focus on the conservation of the sharks and their safety.
Annual Kiteboarding Event in La Ventana
La Ventana Classic
Every January in La Ventana, the Classic takes place along the beach with clinics, events, an exhibition, and parties. The events raise money for charity that goes towards transportation for the local children. Competitions include the long distance race known as criss cross for foilers. There are freestyle kiteboarding events and something for everyone, SUP races and mountain bike. The kite clinics are an opportunity to learn new skills and tricks while helping local kids travel safely to school and back. For more information visit La Ventana Classic
Kiteboarding lessons in la ventana
From November until April, Sea to Sky Kiteboarding offers kiteboarding lessons. Our kite lessons are tailored to small group so that you can get the maximum out of the experience. We operate these lessons from a boat and jet-ski assisted, with the ability to take you further away from the beach and can even offer long downwinder rides. All our lessons are back with IKO qualified instructors for your safe and enjoyment of learning in La Ventana Mexico.