January 15, 2020
Duration: 15 days
Mileage: ~240 (taxi rides in Mexico)
Starting point: San Jose, CA
Budget for 2 people: $5170 ($2000 flight (last minute purchase for the holidays season), $1500 hotels, $270 taxi, $800 food, $600 equipment rental + lessons)
- Day 1: flight from San Jose to Cabo San Lucas, drive to La Ventana
- Days 2 - 14: enjoy the beach, kitesurfing, food and drinks!
- Day 15: drive to Cabo San Lucas, flight to San Jose
About La Ventana and how to get there:
La Ventana is a small village in the Baja California with a rapidly growing popularity among kitesurfing since it’s much closer to the USA’s West Coast compared to other popular destinations like the Dominican Republic. The closest airports are La Paz (40 mi) and Cabo San Lucas (120 mi). From California there are multiple regular direct flights to Cabo San Lucas. It is also located within 100 mi from the famous resort town - San Jose del Cabo.
There are multiple transportation companies that provide airport/hotel pick-up with standard prices. Every hotel/host in La Ventana can also help to organize transfers. For our first time we decided that we want to relax and kitesurf without any sightseeing so we didn't rent a car. But if we decide to come back one day a car might be a good option to explore nearby attractions.
Since it was our first visit we decided to split our stay into 2 parts. Our first week we stayed in the center of everything - Baja Joe's. It's where most people hang around and launch their kites from. They offer rooms to stay, kite school, equipment rental, bar, and restaurant. We chose this place to meet some people, understand local launch and kite rules, and safety tips. We travel with our kites but we don't want to carry a board so we also needed a rental. For our second week we moved to a much cheaper but modern Airbnb a little further down the beach. Both places were awesome and had great food and margaritas onsite.
Kitesurfing and other activities:
La Ventana is mostly famous for its wind that blows from Mid-October until April/May. There is a growing community of kitesurfers who live there permanently or come for several months during the season. But what's important to know before going there is that the wind doesn't blow every day and its direction changes often. For the best forecast follow MasViento on Facebook.
We went to LaVentana for the last week of December - first week of January. Out of 13 days there we had 3-4 good kitesurfing days, and about 2-3 lighter wind days. There was no wind at all during the remaining days. People on hydrofoil boards managed to kitesurf more on the lighter wind days. Most of the time we were on 12m kite.
Another thing to note is that the water is quite choppy. Especially when the wind gets stronger waves near the shore get bigger and it might be challenging for beginners to get in and ride those waves. Water temperature was around 18-20 degree Celcius so we always had our wetsuits on.
Many people were trying wings this season but I don't think they liked it :)
After there was no wind for several days locals went kitesurfing during the storm and rain...
No wind days on the beach look something like this:
Other popular activities in the area are mountain biking, fishing, yoga, standup paddle, hydrofoil, horse riding, and hiking. Locals quickly organize different activities based on the forecast and you can always find something different to do if the wind is light. Internet in LaVentana is really bad and you need to go to a certain area to catch it. So things like movie watching online in the room were not possible. Some people who move to the area somehow managed to get a better internet (satellite?) but there's just 1 cell tower in the area and everyone is using it for the wifi.
If you don’t want to fly far, like hydrofoiling or don’t mind not being able to kitesurf every day - La Ventana is a great place. Also, if you have plenty of time to spend in La Ventana there are multiple things to experience. However, all lessons and equipment (kitesurfing, hydrofoil, mountain biking etc) are not cheap at all! If you’re looking for a week of a stable reliable kitesurfing conditions then you should probably consider a different place.