Kitesurfing - Los Barriles


The long-time cult classic windsurfing destination is also incredible for kiting. The 'El Norte' winds of Los Barriles deliver consistently November - March and from March - July the south summertime winds blow perfectly on nearby beaches, La Ribera and El Rincon. The main calling card of Baja can be it's incredible swells and long, perfect, cross-shore wave rides, but Los Barriles is much more forgiving for all levels. An average day starts with a four to six foot swell, often building to eight or ten feet!


Los Barriles has miles of white-sand beaches and side-shore winds, making for great launching and landing for all levels. As you kite up and down the beaches you'll find shallower spot that, during the afternoon large swells, produce excellent kitesurfing waves. A little further offshore are widely spaced six to eight foot swells, providing fantastically smooth ramps. Travel a bit further up and down the shore-line and you'll find a bay where you can enjoy calmer waters with slightly less wind. For downwinders pick your distance, up to 28 kilometres in length, or anywhere in between. Stop off at one of the many hotels or scenic bays along the way. You can arrange a pick-up through hotels or kite shops who will meet you at your destination and return you and your gear safely back to Los Barriles.


Baja's 'El Norte' winds blow down the Sea of Cortez from November - March providing some of the best bump and jump conditions this side of the equator. Unlike the thermal winds often found along American coasts, the events that produce El Norte are hard to forecast. Many American spots have different pressure gradients from one area to the next; El Norte either blows or it doesn't. Driving 20 or 30 miles to another launch site to find wind is usually a waste of time. El Norte winds usually blow at their strongest for long periods December - March with a couple of days of light wind kiting in between. Side-shore winds average 18-25 knots with peak velocities up to 30 with a fantastic variety of water and swell conditions. Winds typically kick in around midday, although novice riders can kite on light wind mornings or low wind days. When the winds get above 18mph, as it regularly does, a widely spaced, rolling swell provides great ramps for jumping. January water temps are 18 - 23°C / 66 - 74°F, so most days you'll only need a shortie. A few cooler days may warrant a full wetsuits. Not a bad trade off as the powered riding is created by the cool water embracing the warm desert!


Los Barriles has two medical clinics, two banks, three ATM's, three super markets, two gas stations, nine hotels, multiple camp grounds and RV parks, so there's a lot going on. Car rentals and taxis in Los Barriles, but bicycle rental is one of the best ways to get around.


Hotel Palmas de Cortez is a landmark resort, arranging activities and outings as well as first class resort amenities, including a full salon and spa. Hotel Rancho Buena Vista was the getaway to the stars during Baja's pioneering days, with regular visits from John Wayne. Under new ownership this resort is evolving into the ultimate secret getaway, but a feature on 'Good Morning America' may spill the secret! Hotel Spa Buena Vista is another all-inclusive resort with full amenities and Punta Pescadero Hotel, just north of Los Barriles, can accommodate single and twin engine aircraft on their paved runway. Thankfully somewhere can, eh Jeeves?


Everything from taco stands and family style restaurants to fine-dining with grilled seafood and lobster. Twelve restaurants will satisfy anyone's taste, 15 fresh fish and taco stands, two pizza parlours, sports bars, wine bars, karaoke and dance clubs.


Your many options: sight-seeing, whale watching, fishing, diving, ATV rides, dirt biking, jet-skis, horseback, canyon zip-lines, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, SUP and local town and village culture.


There are jet services from many major US and international airports to San Jose del Cabo (SJD) or La Paz (LAP) airports, about 45 and 80 minutes respectively from Los Barriles. San Jose del Cabo has car rentals, bus and taxi services and hotel shuttles to and from Los Barriles.


LOS BARRILES has two kite boarding schools and one windsurfing school. Kite and windsurf repair is also available, including fibreglass work, sail and kite stitching.


Added: 2011-10-12

Region: Mexico

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