La Ventana, Mexico is Baja’s outdoor adventure and wind sports capital: beautiful beaches with crystal clear, warm water for snorkeling, miles of trails snaking through the desert, and countless kiteboarders flying across the bay.
La Ventana is a small fishing town located on the east coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. Its northerly El Norte winds have made it increasingly popular with kiteboarder, who have nicknamed it “Hood River South.”
Although many refer to the entire populated area as La Ventana, the community is actually made up of two towns: La Ventana on the southern end and El Sargento to the north.
The towns are right on the shore of Bahia de la Ventana, a large bay within the calm waters of the Sea of Cortez, with a massive island, Isla Cerralvo, on the eastern horizon.
This travel guide to La Ventana, Mexico covers everything you need to know to plan your trip, including the best time to visit, where to stay, what to pack, and the best things to do in La Ventana.
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How to Get to La Ventana, Mexico
The nearest international airport is Los Cabos (SJD), about two hours driving time south of La Ventana, Mexico. There is a closer airport about 40 minutes away in La Paz, but it has mostly domestic flights.
The easiest way to get to La Ventana, Baja California Sur is to fly to Los Cabos, book a rental car at the Cabo airport, and then drive 2 hours north to La Ventana Bay.
If you’re arriving in La Paz, book a private transfer from the La Paz airport or take the daily bus from La Paz to La Ventana.
A popular alternative to flying is to do a classic Baja California road trip down Mexico’s trans-peninsular highway 1. Many kiteboarders visiting La Ventana drive their own RV or camper vans with all their gear and stay the entire windy season.
Best Time to Visit La Ventana, BCS
La Ventana wind season is from October through April, with peak wind in January and February. The wind picks up every afternoon from noon until sunset and is usually around 15-25 mph.
In the winter months, the average highs are around 80F with lows around 55F, while the summers can get up to 100+F.
For cooler temperatures and peak wind conditions, we recommend visiting La Ventana in January or February.
If you’re not into wind sports, then visit in late spring or early fall when the water and climate are warm and the winds aren’t as strong.
Read Next: 8 Tips for Visiting Baja, Mexico
La Ventana, Mexico Safety
La Ventana is a small community in Baja California Sur (one of Mexico’s safest states) that’s quite safe, with occasional petty theft being the main safety concern.
Of course, you don’t want to think about everything that can go wrong, but accidents do happen. Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
Where to Stay in La Ventana
From camping to beach front rentals to boutique hotels, La Ventana has plenty excellent options for places to stay.
La Ventana, Mexico Hotels
Ventana Bay Resort: an eco-friendly beach front resort with an onsite kiteboarding school and rentals
Casa Tara Boutique Hotel: a serene beach front boutique hotel with pool, restaurant, room service, and free bikes
Baja Joe’s Hotel: a budget-friendly beach front hotel a popular restaurant and bar, and a shared lounge and kitchen area
La Ventana Rentals
Many wind sports enthusiasts and digital nomads stay in La Ventana for the entire winter season, so make sure to book a rental ahead of time. There are a number of beautiful vacation rentals in La Ventana with fast, fiber optic internet and gorgeous views of the sea.
Vrbo (Vacation Rentals By Owner) is an excellent option for finding a place to stay in La Ventana. Vacation rentals offer a better value compared to most hotels and you get to experience life like a local. Booking.com also lists vacation rentals in La Ventana.
La Ventana Beach Front Villa: Located above La Ventana’s best beach, this 3-bedroom villa has two separate homes that sleep 9 people and is perfect for a family or group of friends. Beautiful ocean and mountain views, fast internet, 3 standup paddle boards included, and a short walk to the beach, kiteboarding schools, and restaurants.
La Ventana Studio: This cozy studio has a king size bed and a bed sofa (perfect for kids), fully equipped kitchen, and access to the exclusive community amenities (pool, gym, massage area, restaurant, playground, free bicycles and kayak) in Club Cerralvo. It’s located a short walk to La Ventana Beach.
Beach Front Lofts: These apartments are right on the beach and walking distance from the hot springs. They have sea views, balconies, outdoor grills, fully-equipped kitchens, and a pool.
Camping in La Ventana
Camping in Baja California is one of the best ways to explore the Baja peninsula. The campgrounds in La Ventana fill up with kiteboarders from around the world during windy season.
Campground Ejido de La Ventana: Popular beachfront campground with bathrooms and showers (no hookups), walking distance to all of the action in La Ventana and next to the Playa Central kiteboarding hub with wifi, rentals, restaurant/bar, and lessons.
Camping Rates: $250 MXN/night dry camping
Campground El Sargento: RV sites with full hookups, wifi, flushing toilets, and hot showers located on a bluff overlooking El Sargento Beach.
Camping Rates: $250 MXN/night dry camping, $350/hookups, and $500/hookups with sea view.
Playa Agua Caliente: Dispersed camping on the northern edge of El Sargento, walking distance from natural hot springs. No amenities or trash pickup.
Camping Rates: Free!
12 Best Things to Do in La Ventana, Mexico
1. Kiteboard in La Ventana Bay
Whether it’s kiteboarding, windsurfing, or wing foiling, La Ventana is the perfect place for practicing wind sports. The calm water and consistent winds make it an excellent spot for both beginners and experts.
There are many kiteboarding schools and shops in La Ventana to choose from for taking lessons and renting gear. Nomad Kitesurf School is a popular and well-reviewed kiteboarding school that also offers equipment rentals.
2. Soak in the Hot Springs
Playa Agua Caliente, or Hot Springs Beach, is a beautiful beach on the northern end of El Sargento where you can soak in natural hot springs for free!
Time your visit for when the tide is low because the hot springs are located directly under the sand and pebbles along the shoreline. Bring a shovel (or just use your hands!) to dig out your own personal hot springs pool to relax in and watch the mobula rays jumping across the sea.
3. Ride the mountain biking trails
La Ventana and El Sargento has some of the best mountain biking in Baja California Sur. There are over 70 trails that span 131 kilometers, with two separate sections. The La Ventana mountain bike trail maps are available for use offline on the Trailforks app.
The south trail system (flatter and best for beginners) winds through a giant Cardón cactus forest on the southern end of La Ventana. The north trail system climbs up above the hills overlooking Playa Agua Caliente (Hot Springs Beach). The La Ventana mountain bike trails are well-maintained by La Ventana Area Mountain Bike Association (LaVAMBA).
4. Enjoy a calm morning on the sea
Kayaking, standup paddle boarding, and snorkeling are all popular activities to do in the mornings before the winds pick up during the windy season. There are places along the shore to rent kayaks and SUPs, but it’s best to pack your own inflatable kayak.
The reef in front of the undeveloped beach area north of El Sargento is a good spot for snorkeling. Nearby Bahia de los Muertos and Punta Arena are also good snorkeling spots.
5. Hike the Punta Gorda trail
One of the most beautiful hikes in Baja, Punta Gorda trail winds through a cactus wonderland along cliffs overlooking the bay and ends at a rocky beach that’s perfect for snorkeling and a picnic.
You can find all of the La Ventana hiking trails on the Trailforks app.
Read Next: The Ultimate Day Hike Packing List
6. Explore Cerralvo Island
Isla Cerralvo was recently renamed Isla Jacques Cousteau, but most locals still call it by its original name. It’s the mostly uninhabited, 18-mile-long island visible on the horizon across the bay from La Ventana.
Hiking and snorkeling tours to Cerralvo Island from La Ventana are available locally by boat.
7. Swim with whale sharks
Swimming with whale sharks is a must-do activity when visiting Baja. Whale sharks (Don’t worry! They’re harmless.) are the world’s largest fish and they live in the warm water bays along the Sea of Cortez.
If you’re in La Ventana during whale shark season (October-April), book a tour led by a local marine biologist out to swim with whale sharks in nearby La Paz Bay. La Paz is the capital of Baja California Sur and only about 1 hour away from La Ventana.
8. Take a boat to Espiritu Santo Island
Espiritu Santo Island National Park is an uninhabited island off the shores of La Paz on the Sea of Cortez. It’s home to beautiful beaches, sea lion colonies, and an abundant marine life. Isla Espiritu Santo a popular destination for boat tours, diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and camping trips.
Book a boat and snorkeling tour to Isla Espiritu Santo to explore its underwater treasures and swim with the sea lions.
9. See the famous Balandra Beach
Playa Balandra was recently voted as the most beautiful beach in Mexico and has since become one of the most popular beaches in Baja. The beach has turquoise blue, calm water and white sand with palapas lining the shore. It’s located inside the extremely shallow Balandra Bay, where you can wade from one side of the bay to the other to check out the mangroves.
Take a tour to Playa Balandra to snorkel and relax on one of Mexico’s most beautiful beaches.
10. Visit El Triunfo mining town
For a bit of Baja history and a change of scenery, take the 30-minute drive into the mountains to the old mining town of El Triunfo. Tour the mining ruins, stroll around the quaint Mexican town, and enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many highly-rated restaurants.
11. Surf in Todos Santos
Todos Santos is a charming town and popular surfing destination that’s only a little over 1.5 hours from La Ventana. The sandy shore and long waves make Playa Los Cerritos the best spot for beginners learning to surf.
There are multiple surfboard rental stands and surfing schools to choose from along the shore at Los Cerritos Beach.
12. Go gray whale watching
Getting face-to-face with a giant gray whale is one the most incredible wildlife encounters on Earth. There are multiple bays on the Pacific side for gray whale watching in Baja, but the closest one to La Ventana is Magdalena Bay.
Gray whale season in Magdalena Bay is January-April and that’s when mothers swim down from colder northern waters to give birth and raise their calves in the warmer water bays of Baja.
Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime experience! If you’re in La Ventana during whale watching season, make sure to book a boat tour to see gray whales up close.
What to Pack for La Ventana
La Ventana is a small fishing town with laid-back vibes where people walk around in casual beach wear. You won’t need to pack much more than beach attire and sun protection for your trip.
Here are some essentials to pack when visiting La Ventana:
Reef-safe sunscreen: Please, please, please don’t use “regular” chemical sunscreen when going into any natural water source! The chemicals are kill coral, and are toxic to animals and plants. We only use mineral SPF because it’s much safer for the environment and our skin. This one is our favorite because it doesn’t burn when it gets into our eyes and rubs in easily.
Travel towel: This towel absorbs 4x its weight in water and packs down into its travel bag. It wrings out practically dry and has a secure hanging loop so it won’t fly away when the Baja winter wind hits.
UPF shirt: These shirts are the best for Baja sun protection! They are made from lightweight UPF materials (basically SPF for clothing) and have flaps for airflow that helps you stay cool.
Wide-brim hat: It’s the classic Baja Hat. A super wide-brim, straw hat that protects your shoulders and upper back from the sun. Plus, it dries quickly when it gets wet.
Snorkel and mask set: Definitely buy this BEFORE you head into Mexico. Adult snorkel sets are hard to find down here unless you’re in a major city’s dive shop. It’s tempting to buy a cheap set or a full-face mask, but don’t. You’ll have a much better snorkel experience if you invest in a quality snorkel and mask set like this one. Otherwise, water can and will leak into your mask and snorkel and that can be a hassle for beginners. We use this spray to prevent fog from building up on the inside of the mask.
Mexico guidebook: More of an intro to Mexico and its culture than a directory of attractions and accommodations, but if you really want to explore Mexico and immerse yourself in the culture, you need this book to figure out how things work (or don’t) around here. The People’s Guide to Mexico is the classic guide to “living, traveling, and taking things as they come” in Mexico.
Baja travel guide: A Baja-specific guidebook with detailed maps and plenty of listings for places to stay, where to eat, and top attractions.
Final Thoughts on La Ventana, Baja California Sur
La Ventana makes for the perfect home base for kitesurfers and mountain bikers looking to explore Baja’s thriving wind sports and outdoor adventure scene.
La Ventana is a short driving distance from La Paz, Todos Santos, and Los Cabos, allowing for multiple day trips out to some of Baja’s most popular destinations during your stay, while coming back to a quiet and lesser known fishing town.
Looking for more things to do in Baja? Check out these articles:
- Guide to Gray Whale Watching in Baja
- 14 Amazing Things to Do in Loreto
- Ultimate Guide to Bahia de los Angeles
- Top 9 Things to Do in San Felipe
Have you been to La Ventana? Leave us a comment below with your favorite things to do in the area.