La Jolla Kayak is known as San Diego’s premier ocean kayaking and snorkeling destination. Located just a few blocks from the world famous La Jolla Shores beach, it’s no wonder why La Jolla Kayak is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Operating from the Shores since 1996, La Jolla Kayak provides tours of breathtaking cliffs, caves, and natural landscapes. Guests have the opportunity to venture out into La Jolla‘s 6,000 acre underwater reserve. This protected ecological site is renowned for its deep trenches, expansive marine life, and stunning reefs.
There are two convenient ways of exploring this local gem. Guests can either rent individual or double kayaks and explore the sea caves on their own, or join a guided tour with a certified instructor. La Jolla Blue Book had the privilege of experiencing one of these amazing tours and thought we would share some of the highlights. Here is just a sample of what you will experience on your tour with La Jolla Kayak:
After a quick walk to the beach, our instructors gave us a safety debrief about the kayaks and how to paddle correctly. We then arranged into pairs and were launched through the waves out into the open sea. Once all the kayaks regrouped past the shore break, we headed south towards the sea caves. From this viewpoint, you were able to see the entire backside of Mt. Soledad leading all the way to the cliffs located above the ocean. It was truly breathtaking and something that you are only able to see from out in the ocean. Once we arrived at the cliffs, our tour guide shared history and insider information about the caves. There once used to be a 100 foot high diving board located above the caves, called “Dead Man’s” cliff!
We then headed west along the coastline and looked into many of the other caves nearby. We were also able to see The Cave Store observation point from the ocean. As you paddle along the coastline, there’s an abundance of wildlife to observe. We were lucky enough to have sea lions swim right by our group. In addition, there are dozens of types of bird species perched against the cliffs.
Finally, after spending time at the sea caves, we headed back towards the shores. Paddling back to the beach is much easier due to the currents pushing you, versus paddling against them. About half way home, we stopped to regroup and look at some of the enormous kelp beds located in the reserve. We learned about how kelp can be found in daily household goods such as toothpaste, ice cream, and that they can grow up to 2 feet per day! From this location, we were able to see Dr. Seuss’s former seaside cottage located below the cliffs. You’re also able to see where the two tectonic plates collide within the cliffs that form the deep trenches in the marine reserve.
Making Our Way Back
As we approached La Jolla Shores, we were sent into the beach one kayak at a time. Keeping the kayak aimed directly at the sand allows you to ‘catch’ and surf a wave into shore. A very fun way to end an incredible tour on the ocean! The tour lasted approximately an hour and a half and is highly recommended! Not only was it very informative, but it was immensely fun for the entire group not to mention a nice workout with all that paddling!
In addition to kayak tours, they also offer biking and snorkeling tours. While reservations are required for tours, equipment rental is available without reservations. La Jolla Kayak is located at 2199 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, California. They’re open seven days a week from 8:00AM to sunset. Check out their website here to learn more. Enjoy and safe kayaking!
[Images: La Jolla Kayak]