La Ventana and El Sargento are two neighbouring villages in the east part of the Baja California peninsula in Mexico. Taking all of the La Ventana bay in the Sea of Cortez, the two authentically Mexican towns are made for the kitesurfers in search of wind and sun from October to mid-May. The prevailing northerly winds are amplified by the Venturi effect from the coastal Cerralvo Island and the thermal winds kicking in like a clock around noon, make this bay one of the windiest places in the area, even though it's not reflected in the forecasts. The winds blow here cross-shore to cross on-shore depending where you are in this bay and will cater for any level kitesurfer. Easy going Mexican culture, good food and laid back atmosphere with fantastic scenery and many places to explore will keep you occupied through the mornings as the wind generally kicks in after 11 am, and provides good ambience for the after kiting apres at the main kiting spots close to the kite schools. Over the years this area adapted to catering the watersports loving population; there are many healthy cafes, amazing coffee houses, plenty of yoga classes and camps and the local fresh food market. People like to keep active here, apart from kitesurfing, windsurfing & paddle boarding you can go scuba diving, fishing, kayaking, mountain biking or walking at the long treks along secluded trails or go whale & dolphin watching. If you are here between January and March, you will also be able to participate in some fantastic international events and competitions such as ‘La Ventana Windfest’, ‘The Kite Foil Gold Cup’ and ‘La Ventana Classic’.
VISAS: Mexican Tourist Card (FMM) needed prior arrival to Mexico. Can be applied online to save time or filled at the border and costs around $24. Check your country of origin requirements before travel. More information can be found in this guide. CURRENCY: MXN or USD PRICES: Beer: $1-2 Food: Lunch $5-20 Accommodation: $35-175 per night Kite Lessons: 6H $480 Kite Gear rental: $105 per day LANGUAGE: Spanish INTERNET: Offered in most accommodations, bars & cafes, but the signal can be weak. We recommended getting a local SIM card. TRAVEL ADVISE: Check this Lonely Planet guide for detailed health and insurance advise while traveling to Mexico. WIND FORECAST: The best place to check the accurate wind forecast is ikitesurf.com live station. The other forecast statistic apps don’t show the real wind potential in this area. TEMPERATURE: The water temperature during the season hovers at around 21°C / 70°F so you can kite in boardies, but bringing a 3/2 spring suit to survive longer and windier days in the water. Air temperatures range between 21-26ºC/70-80°F, but it can get a little cold in the evenings and on the windier days, so we recommend to bring some warm clothes.
NEAREST TOWN: La Ventana & El Sargento NEAREST CITY: La Paz NEAREST AIRPORT: La Paz [LAP] or Los Cabos International Airport [SJD] If you can get flights to La Paz, then you only need to take a 40 min taxi ride to your accommodation. Ask your accommodation provider to organise a reputable transfer or catch a cab at the airport. For any international flights, you will fly to the airport in Los Cabos, that's over 2hours away. You will have to take a cab/transfer to La Ventana, or you can take a bus from San Jose to La Paz and then taxi to La Ventana. Another popular option in this area is 'Airport Rideshares', check the available shares or create a new one in this The Ventana View Travel Board. If you are staying further from the main kiting hub on Playa Central and you would like to explore the kitesurfing bay further, we highly suggest renting a car from the airport. GETTING AROUND: Most accommodations are at the beachfront or walking distance to the beach where you can kite at, but you will probably want to explore the central kiting hub around Baja Joe's. Depending on where your accommodation is based you will be able to either walk there (it takes around 40 min to walk from El Sargento to La Ventana), or you can rent a bike. If you don’t want to store your gear at the local school, you will need a rental car.
The unique L-shaped bay counted from the north of El Sargento, moving downwind to La Ventana and La Bufadora point and beyond to Punta Arena, provides over 20 km of beach for watersports lovers. The shape of the bay makes this location safe for beginners as the bay will catch you if you get in trouble. The water is relatively deep here; therefore the water surface is always slightly choppy, and small kickers form with the increasing wind. Swell can be expected with the El Norte winds, but waves never really get bigger than 1-2m, perfect for some wave freestyle practice. The occasional swell can be found in front of Palapas, La Camaronera reef or at the La Bufadora reef point. Due to the prevailing northerly wind direction and the shape of the bay, the winds at the north part of this strip blows cross-shore, making El Sargento a perfect downwind starting point. DownwinderINN is the primary reference points for kiting action at this part of the bay. Downwind area from Playa Central or La Ventana campground is a perfect starting point for beginners as most of the kites school operate there and have designated areas for teaching. Baja Joe's beach bar is the central spot for kitesurfing action and after kite apres. If you prefer more on-shore winds and less crowded water space you can find plenty of secret beach space further downwind, keep in mind that this area is very scarcely populated and you will need a car and a buddy if you go there. AMENITIES: Kite School, Gear Rental, Rescue Boat, Beach Assistance, Gear Storage, Kite Shop, Kite/Gear Repair, Toilets, Shower, Parking, Accommodation, Cafe/Bar, Food shop.
The combination of three wind effects in this area creates consistent and strong winds from the north and northwest for the wind season of mid-October to mid-April. A strong thermal (sea breeze) wind, produced by the deserted like landscape add 5 to 15 knots to the forecasts in the hot summers days, as the heat rises over the land and gets circulated by the colder air of the sea. You can generally see it happening when the wind increases around midday and stays till the air cools down around 5-6pm. High-pressure storms over California brings gusty 20-35 knot ‘El Norte’ winds to la Ventana on average every few weeks. The prevailing northerly winds are also increased by the Venturi when the wind ‘squeezes’ between the mainland and the Cerralvo island. Due to these local influencing factors, the location forecast is only accurate for the El Norte winds, for the other days in the season is recommended to add at least 5-10 knots on the forecast. On a regular day, the wind hits around noon and stays till 5-6pm and average to 18-15 knots, with El Norte the winds pick up to 35 knots. The equipment choice can vary every day, but most used kites are mid-range 7m-10m. If you like strong wind kiting then pack your smaller kites and for the occasional lighter wind days consider bringing/renting a larger kite or a hydrofoil. WIND DIRECTIONS: N, NW WINDIEST MONTHS: High Season: November, December, January, February, March. Mid Season: October, April, May.
There are no such rules, just a common sense - the beach area is relatively large but due to the cross-shore wind direction, when launching the kite slightly turbulent wind can be experienced, and wind shadows are typical at certain parts of the bay. Hazards - small rocks, corals and sea urchins can be found in some parts of the beach, for beginner kitesurfers neoprene booties are recommended. *If you need kite related service like kite repairs, lessons or beach assistance please contact with the locally operating kite centre or camp. ** We always recommend seeking additional knowledge about the spot from local kite school or qualified instructors.
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