Glacier Bay, Alaska
There are few places on the planet more stunning than Glacier Bay, Alaska. The National Park covers 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines, and deep sheltered fjords. Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Alaska’s Inside Passage and part of a 25-million acre World Heritage Site in one of the world’s largest international protected areas.
Outfitters: Alaska Discovery, (907) 586-1911; Glacier Bay Sea Kayaks, (907) 697-2257.
Baja California, Mexico
Baja California, Mexico is truly a magical place. It boasts some of the best warm-water and warm-weather sea kayaking anywhere on the planet. The lands geography ranges from beaches to forests and deserts. Highlights of your dream sea kayak trip to Baja could include cajole with whales, swim with seals or sipping a margarita while watching the sun set. Just watch out for 40-ton California gray whales who end their 5,000-mile-long migration from the Bering Sea there every January.
Outfitters: Baja Expeditions, (800) 843-6967; Adventures Baja, (800) 231-7422.
Kadavu Island, Fiji
Seafarers of old would not believe that the “cannibal-infested islands” of Fiji would one day become a Mecca for sea kayakers. With over 300 islands–of which only 100 are inhabited–Fiji is a sea kayakers paradise. More than 97 percent of Fiji’s 709,000 square kilometers is water, meaning plenty of exploration room for paddlers.
Outfitters: Tamarillo Active Travel, tamarillo.co.nz
Johnstone Strait, British Columbia
This narrow passage separating British Columbia’s northern Vancouver Island from the mainland is considered by many to be the world’s best spot for watching killer whales in the wild. Other wildlife in the area include seals, eagles, dolphins and bear. But many people feel that the best part of kayaking the Johnstone Strait is exploring the countless sheltered inlets, islands and estuaries.
Outfitters: Canadian Outback Adventure Co., (800) 565-TREK.
Acadia National Park, Maine
The Maine Island Trail is unlike any trail you have been down before. The trail follows 325 miles of pristine Maine coast passing directly through Acadia National Park. When created in 1993 it was the first water trail in the U.S. The trail offers paddlers a chance to explore portions of the state’s 3,478 miles of coastline and islands, with pre-established launch points and campsites in protected bays. Most agree the crowning feature of the trail is Acadia.
Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand
Located at the north end of the South Island, Abel Tasman National Park boasts more than 37,000 acres to explore by kayak. The park, named after Dutchman Abel Tasman who was the first European to spot the strip of land 360 years ago, has sandy beaches for camping beneath the Southern Cross and huts for those who prefer shelter. The area is also home to an abundance of birdlife, seals, emerald-green waters and plentiful hiking trails.
Outfitter: New Zealand Adventures, (503) 932-4925.
Napali Coast, Kauai
This ancient trade route located on the rugged north coast of Kauai offers sea kayakers golden, sand beaches, towering coastal cliffs, ancient ruins and pristine snorkeling. Hawaii’s Napali Coast also boasts a variety of sea caves to explore both in and out of your boat, with a few even suitable for camping!
Outfitters: Outfitters Kauai, (808) 742-9667.
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