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La Jolla Sea Caves Kayak Tour

star-4.5560 Reviews
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Badge of Excellence
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San Diego, United States
La Jolla Sea Caves Kayak Tour

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Number of travelers
1 Adult2 Adults3 Adults4 Adults5 Adults6 Adults7 Adults8 Adults9 Adults
Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon1 hour 30 minutes  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Overview

Enjoy the sublime coastal scenery as you spot abundant marine life during this kayaking trip in La Jolla’s sea caves and ecological reserve. Paddle along with your expert naturalist guide as you observe the numerous species of birds, dolphins, sea lions and even orcas that inhabit the area. Also, kayak among the lush kelp beds that grow in the reserve and, if conditions permit, explore inside the sea caves that dot the area’s rocky coastline. This La Jolla caves trip includes all necessary equipment, a life jacket, guide, and optional wetsuit rental.
  • La Jolla caves kayak tour
  • Paddle to the La Jolla sea caves
  • Watch for the abundant wildlife including numerous types of sea birds and usually sea lions, seals, and sometimes dolphin
  • Kayak into the fascinating kelp beds of the La Jolla Ecological Reserve
Saved to wishlist!
Kayaks (single or tandems) and Paddle
Life jacket
Professional guide
Wet suit rentals are offered during fall, winter and spring
Gratuities
Food and drink
2222 Avenida De La Playa , 2222 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA

yellow awning outside our door

This activity will end right where it started.
Explore the sublime scenery and wealth of wildlife near La Jolla during this sea kayaking trip to explore the area’s beautiful coastline and sea caves. Whether you’re a nature lover or simply looking to add a little adventure to your trip in San Diego, this excursion is a great option for kayaking novices and experts alike.

Select from a morning or afternoon departure and leave from Avenida de la Playa in La Jolla. Meet your guide for the trip and start with a short introduction to proper paddling technique and safety instructions. Then bring your boat down to the beach at La Jolla Shores to begin your ride.

Paddle along the shores of the area’s beautiful rocky coastline, heading towards the La Jolla Sea Caves. As you proceed, keep your eyes peeled for any number of marine species that populate this stretch of coastline. Most trips spot a variety of sea birds along with sea lions and seals. If you’re particularly lucky, you may also see dolphins or even orcas splashing nearby.

During your kayaking experience, pass through some of the area’s unique rock formations, journey through the sprawling forests of kelp and get a chance to explore the area’s sea caves (pending current conditions and your guide’s decision). Finish your ride with an exhilarating kayak “surf ride,” following the waves as they push you back into shore.

Please note: participants should be prepared to get wet during the ride. Entrance into the caves is not guaranteed, as it depends on the ability level of group participants, current ocean conditions and the discretion of your guide. The operator recommends participants be at least six years or older and be able to swim.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Hike Bike Kayak Adventures
No experience is needed! Your knowledgable guide will help you learn the basics and tour you around one of the premier eco-tourist destinations in San Diego. After a brief paddle instruction and safety talk, you'll take your kayak down to the beach in La Jolla Shores and paddle to the La Jolla Sea Caves taking in the gorgeous views and watching for the abundant wildlife. You'll also go through the incredible rock formations and caves (if conditions permit), through the expansive kelp forests and wildlfie hot spots and cap it all off with a kayak surf ride back to the beach. You can see numerous types of sea birds and usually sea lions, seals and sometimes dolphins or even orcas! What to Expect: Be prepared to get wet! For safety reasons, the tour operator does not guarantee going into the caves on tours. Entrance to caves based on ocean conditions, safety and participants ability as determined by guide. This tour is recommended for ages 6 and up. Participants must be able to swim.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
La Jolla Shores Park
La Jolla Shores Park
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
La Jolla Caves
La Jolla Caves
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
La Jolla Kayak
La Jolla Kayak
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 1 day of travel. In this case confirmation will be received as soon as possible, subject to availability
  • PLEASE BE IN THE KAYAK SHOP 1 HOUR BEFORE TOUR START TIME, Allow time for parking and gear set up
  • Expect to get wet, please wear appropriate clothes such as a bathing suit and shoes that can get wet (tennis shoes, 'river shoes' or flip flops)
  • Hats, sun screen and towels are strongly advised
  • Please do not bring valuables and things that cannot get wet
  • There is a weight limit of 250 pounds per single kayak and 450 pounds per double kayak
  • For safety reasons, the tour operator does not guarantee going into the caves on tours. Entrance to caves is based on ocean conditions, safety, and participants ability as determined by guide.
  • Minimum age is 6 years for a double kayak and 16 years for a single kayak
  • All participants must be able to swim
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Hike Bike Kayak Adventures
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during La Jolla Sea Caves Kayak Tour?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
See all safety measures taken by La Jolla Sea Caves Kayak Tour.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during La Jolla Sea Caves Kayak Tour?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by La Jolla Sea Caves Kayak Tour.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during La Jolla Sea Caves Kayak Tour?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by La Jolla Sea Caves Kayak Tour.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips


  • "Highly recommended for fit and agile people with good arm strength." See review
  • "Word of advice: don’t do a double kayak, my boyfriend and i had a rough time." See review
  • "I plan on going back to see the caves when the tide allows, the guides know when it's best and always keep our safety in mind." See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
560 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

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Showing 1-10 of 560 reviews
star-3
Pacific Views
Analicia_S
, Jul 2022
The views were amazing and the experience of being out in the Pacific was great! I would recommend this to anyone who wants to do something different.
star-5
A great time!
Dianna_B
, Jun 2022
Dani and Jackson were super fun. A great experience was had by all adults and kids! Highly recommend! Canyons were the best part!
star-5
Fun and beautiful
Kelsey_W
, Jun 2022
Loved getting to view La Jolla from the water. Tour guides were friendly and fun! Equipment in good shape
star-4
Still a great experience
Mario_B
, Jun 2022
The guides were very knowledgeable and very helpful. Great experience! Between getting there early getting instructions walking down to the beach and getting into the water took a very long time.
star-5
Great trip!
Antonio_A
, May 2022
Sabrina and Frankie were great guides! The trip was fun and the sights were cool! La Jolla was awesome!!!
star-4
Fun but we didn’t go into caves
Tamara_K
, May 2022
Guide was nice but we didn’t go into the caves, just kayaked into the ocean for a bit and came back, was nice kayaking through the waves but we had to stop a few times to listen to the guide and we got sea sick
star-3
Extremely difficult conditions
Laura_C
, Apr 2022
The tour guides were great. Informative, entertaining & professional. They kept a “safety 1st” mindset the entire trip while still keeping it fun & informative. The poor rating is due to the fact that the tour co. forged ahead with tours that day despite “crazy, unusual, gnarly, extremely difficult” breakers & swells. (The tour guides’ literal words, not mine). I understand they cannot control weather, but at least 6 people on our group tour (3 in my family) couldn’t paddle past the breakers and missed the tour. (As a note, mine are 16 & 17 yr olds who are H.S. swim team members & are not nervous around water at all. We own a boat, kayaks & sup’s so inexperience & unwillingness were not the issue). When I asked for a refund on the 3 of our group of 6 who didn’t make it I was told there were no refunds. (We were offered a tour credit, but we’re from Boston so we’d never use it). The tour notes say very clearly that if they cancel due to weather you’ll receive a refund. I would assume this situation counts as weather-related, but the tour co. owner disagreed. Disappointing; especially when the guides themselves stated how difficult the paddling was that day. One more small annoyance.. we waited on the beach for 20 / 25 min for 5 guests who were late for the tour. (All of whom were unable to paddle through the breakers and missed the tour anyway). The tour went about 45 min later than scheduled which was irritating as we had plans afterwards that we were late for.
star-5
Would Recommend to friends when traveling
Drew_E
, Apr 2022
Traveling to San Diego was amazing. And the owners of the Participating tour group where professional and very accommodating. Highly recommend them and viator .
star-5
The guides were both...
Monica_T
, Apr 2022
The guides were both friendly and knowledgeable about the waters. Provided some history along the way. They made me feel very safe, overall a great experience. Would most definitely do it again
star-5
A not to be missed experience for locals and tourist alike
maureen_m
, Apr 2022
Owen and Christian were absolutely excellent. They were both personable and professional. They put us at ease from the start and we had one of best times in San Diego after 30 years of visits. Besides the thrill of being guided out to sea in a kayak, Owen provided us with a compendium of interesting history and knowledge about geology, ecology, local lore and even Dr. Seuss. We loved our day and the California local who recommended us was right. Many thanks to our guides, Owen and Christian. Best, Mo and Jay
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-3
Review
Ramanjit_K
, Apr 2022
It was a good experience overall. I just wish that I was taught how to sit properly. I was leaning back the whole time which resulted in back pain the next day. I was told to inform the tour guide I don’t know how to swim which I did. We had two tour guides who were really kind I made it all the way to the middle of the ocean but decided not to go to the caves. I told the tour guide I will head back with the other half of the group. But going back I had to paddle myself out on my own. My tour guide was no where to be seen. I would expect the tour guide to be close by especially when I stated I do not know how to swim. My recommendation to the tour is please give a demonstration on how to sit properly and the movement of the paddle while sitting in the kayak. To my fellow buyers I would recommend this tour because if I can do it so can you.
star-3
If we weren’t gonna go in the caves but we weren’t gonna see any wildlife they should’ve said something but they didnt
Marla_W
, Apr 2022
Doing this with my sister it would be the most memorable moment I can say about this. Disappointed we did not get near any caves and he see lions. I think that them telling stories about the caves in the houses last too long and it was really an interesting. If we weren’t gonna get to go in the caves they should’ve mentioned it because your brochure show that they were go to the caves and when I called the girl said we were sure to go in a K but we never did. That was the most disappointing part of the whole trip
star-5
Super fun and informative!
Geneva_H
, Mar 2022
Emma along with the rest of the staff made us feel safe and comfortable. Good company within our group as well. A little challenging, but that's what made it fun. Definitely be prepared to get wet, wear swimsuits underneath your clothes and water-friendly shoes, it's unavoidable in the ocean.
star-5
Must do
Kaylee_P
, Mar 2022
Loved the caves, and the water was so clear! There was 7 of us in one party for my friends bachelorette. We could see fish and made our way into the caves. I thought we would all go into the caves and come out on another side or something but the guides took us in two boats at a time and let us sit in there a few minutes and walked us back out and too the next two kayaks. I wish we could’ve stayed in there longer or even gone to the other side but the waves were getting a little crazy and everyone needed to get a turn! But still so fun! The guides were very welcoming and cool and made our tour awesome. We learned some stuff I didn’t know I cared to know about but our party was talking about the facts all weekend ! Lol super awesome, experience. Might just take my kayak and jump in on a tour hehe
star-5
To Trying New Things!!!
Breayn_L
, Mar 2022
This was a good experience, the caves were beautiful and Natalie was great! I wanted to try something new and it was ok, me personally I wouldn't do this again only because I'm out of shape and I didn't expect a lot of paddling lol the waves took me out at first, I'm small and petite and I kept getting tired. If your in shape and active, then this is for you lol do a double, I did a single and it was a little harder for me. Good tour and nice people!
star-5
Great Way To Experience SD!
Kerensa_P
, Mar 2022
Really enjoyed our 3 guides, very knowledgeable and personable. Got to see some wildlife and enter a sea cove, too! Don't be shy to rent a wet suite...my only regret but that's on me.
star-4
Fun, but dangerous
Diane_V
, Mar 2022
Kayaking on the ocean and into the sea caves was amazing! We had a great time, but I wasn’t completely confident in the tour company or the guides. We arrived to read a sign directing us to a different tour company down the street. I found that odd, but I am not sure if it really made a difference. The group was too large and the guides were young and inexperienced. I didn’t feel like they had control. We were lucky no one was hurt. Two of our five people were tipped over on the return to shore. The waves were really high and the guides weren’t helpful. They didn’t even come to see if we were ok. The trip was fun except for the end. I was glad we were all ok.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-4
The caves along the...
Todd_J
, Mar 2022
The caves along the cliffs were enjoyable to see. We got to enter into one of them, only briefly. The guides were friendly and courteous.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Fun In the sun
Charlotte_M
, Mar 2022
Great guides, River and Jackson, very interesting facts and a lovely location. I would recommend highly for something different to do in San Diego.
star-5
Fantastic afternoon activity!
Crystal_B
, Mar 2022
Jackson & Natalie were great tour guides! They told stories along our journey & educated the group on marine life & coastline facts. Their instructions were super clear & I felt safe the whole time. Our tour paddled out along side a sea lion, such a wonderful experience. If you're thinking about it, just book it!

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