5-Day Kiteboarding Adventure in La Ventana, Mexico
So often I'm asked, "What is the best way to learn to kiteboard? Do I need lessons?". And my answer is pretty much always: "Go to La Ventana for a week!" This sweet little town where the desert meets the Sea of Cortez is full of character, wildlife and wind sports experts. Whether you want to learn to kiteboard, wing foil or windsurf, La Ventana is the place. With consistent wind all winter and a beginner-friendly L-shaped beach downwind, this is the setup for success. It was quite rustic when I started kiting 12 years ago, but it's grown significantly, now offering boutique hotels and delicious beachfront restaurants. If you are on the East Coast, or otherwise out of reach for Baja, please reach out as I have other ideas for you!
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Where to stay
Todo Bien Hotel & Resort
Nestled along the coast in the heart of La Ventana, this small upscale hotel is a sparkling beachfront oasis.
Casa Tara Retreat
Secluded boutique hotel on the coast of Baja Sur with yoga and wellness retreats.
Ventana Bay Resort
Set on a quiet beach in La Ventana, this upscale hotel offers beachside bungalows with a gorgeous pool and onsite activities.
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Day 1: Arrive in La Ventana
Most likely you've flown into SJD in Los Cabos, which is about a 2-hour drive from La Ventana. I recommend renting a car over shuttle options, as the infrastructure in La Ventana remains a bit rustic and it's nice to have a car, even for heading to dinner. If possible, plan to land no later than 1pm as the drive is definitely best in daylight and this part of Mexico is 1 hour ahead of PST. I like to grab snacks/water for the drive at the airport to avoid unnecessary stops along the way. Enjoy the drive and keep an eye out for the incredible cactus forest on the way.
If you prefer to stop for a bite on the way, keep an eye out for the small signs pointing you to the pizzeria in San Antonio. Their homemade crust is delicious.
Check into your hotel and watch the sunset with a cerveza! Things tend to wind down early in La Ventana, as the wind turns on by 11 and everyone has usually had a long day on the water or trails. Grab dinner at your hotel restaurant (all three properties I've recommended have great food) and rest for the day ahead.
Day 2: First day of kite school
Check in with your chosen kite school to reconfirm your day's lesson and head to breakfast at Km-0 Cafe. Their croissants and breakfast sandwiches (upstairs) are excellent.
Grab your gear and head over to your very first kite lesson! This almost always takes place on land for the first 30-60 minutes, so make sure you have sun protection other than your wetsuit if you desire. Today you'll learn the basics of reading the wind, gear function/safety, self-rescue techniques, etiquette and more.
Enjoy a quick lunch at Playa Central or Baja Joe's and get ready for part 2 of your first lesson, on the water!
Shower up and head to an early dinner at La Tuna. This super unique restaurant is on the sand right by Saladita Kite School and the atmosphere cannot be beaten. Their creative tacos and Japanese and Latin fusion-inspired dishes are delicious. They usually have live music and plenty of insta-worthy photo ops as well. Dessert tip: don't miss the ice cream stand located just up the hill.
Day 3: Second day on the water
After breakfast at your hotel, mix up your morning with a much-needed stretch at the yoga pavilion at Casa Tara. Even if you aren't staying at this beautiful spot, drop-ins are welcome for a nominal fee.
Grab an early lunch at El Palmar - their Torre Especial is not to be missed. Then get ready for your second day on the water.
Today you will likely get up and ride for the first time and perfect your body-dragging skills. If you're as tired as I think you'll be, pick up a quick tasty dinner from the uber-authentic taqueria Dona Paty on your way back to the hotel. They are known for their Al Pastor.
Day 4: Snorkel, hike or mountain bike
At this point in the trip, I'd say practice, practice, practice. But, if you want a break from the wind or are traveling with non-kiters, there are two fantastic morning activities to consider.
Head to Cerralvo Island for amazing snorkeling and private beaches. You can book a boat ride (private or otherwise) with Palapas Ventana. Their captains and guides will take care of you and lunch and gear are provided. The Sea of Cortez is teeming with life, particularly so at this uninhabited island (being renamed after Jacques Cousteau). One of the best reefs is just barely offshore with a depth of no more than 12ft and plenty of fish to meet. You may even get lucky and see a sea turtle or moray eel. Just beyond the reef is a sandbar where garden eels can be viewed if you can surprise them.
Mountain bike or hike on some of Ventana's amazing desert trails. Rancho Cacachilas offers a wide range of tours from hiking through a historic village to full send on MTB off-boulder features, each with farm-to-table lunch provided.
If you're feeling motivated, squeeze in an afternoon lesson or practice session on the water.
Reward yourself with an incredible dinner at Pitaya, one of the most elegant dining experiences to be had in Ventana. It's technically in El Sargento but only a five min drive from Ventana.
Day 5: Depart La Ventana
It's checkout day, and I recommend booking the latest flight possible out of Cabo. You've got a two-hour drive ahead of you, but there's still time to squeeze in one last lesson or practice sesh! Grab breakfast at your hotel (the chilaquiles at Todo Bien are not to be missed) and pack up everything but your wetsuit and harness for the hotel to hold while you hit the water. Let your gear dry in the sun (because who likes paying overweight baggage fees?) while you have lunch. Enjoy the drive back to Cabo and get ready for bragging rights as a newly minted kiteboarder!
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Mexico.