Mar Y Aventuras is Spanish for Sea and Adventures. We are an outdoor adventure travel company specializing in sea kayaking and whale watching expeditions from La Paz and Loreto, Baja California Sur. Sea & Adventures, Inc. and Mar Y Aventuras, S.A. de C.V. are sister companies operating jointly to provide our guests with the best service possible. As well we have our own on-site hotel, The Posada LunaSol. We can provide our guests with fine accommodations and the consistency and ease of “one stop shopping” when booking their vacation to Baja. This is a unique service you won’t find with any other kayak outfitter in La Paz.
Ricardo Amador and Mary Harter established Sea & Adventures and Mar Y Aventuras in 1993 after many years of guiding adventures throughout Baja. Their passion is to share the beauty and magic of the Baja landscape, wildlife and people with a strong focus on education and preserving this unique and special place they call home. As a team with combined guiding experience of more than 40 years, they gained the experience necessary to provide their guests with the highest quality of service for the ultimate Baja experience. They’ve accomplished this by choosing and training knowledgeable and professional local guides who love sharing their uniquely passionate insight into Baja’s extraordinary cultural and natural history. You can meet our collective of esteemed guides below.
Montana Staff – Sea & Adventures Inc.
Owner, operator of Sea & Adventures and wildlife biologist
Mary came to Baja in 1983 working as a naturalist on gray whale watching trips in Magdalena Bay. She then guided scuba diving, sea kayaking and whale watching trips in Baja for many years to follow. She holds a BS in wildlife biology and possesses a deep knowledge and strong passion for Baja’s abundant wildlife. In 2002 she became the mother of Marysol and now juggles motherhood and marketing trips to this special place she became so enchanted with in 1983.
Our Montana based Sea & Adventures office provides pre-trip information with a toll free number in the USA to answer all your questions and prepare you for your Baja adventure. Once in Baja our Mexican based office in La Paz provides all the logistical support to take you on your sea kayaking or whale watching adventure of a lifetime.
Heather is available by phone or email at her home office in Bozeman, Montana to answer pre-trip questions and help with your travel planning to Baja. A lover of wild places, Heather holds a special place in her heart for Baja where she has traveled for many years. Having studied aquatic biology and environmental studies at UC Santa Barbara and guided river trips in Utah for 6 years, her love of the outdoors is a perfect fit for Sea & Adventures. Her passions include traveling, stand-up paddle boarding, river trips, hiking with her dogs and building furniture. Heather is excited to be part of a team that combines her love of the ocean and marine life with adventure travel in Baja!
Linn has worked in the office of Sea & Adventures since the company first started in 1993. Currently, she does the bookkeeping, maintains the web site and helps out in the US booking office when needed. Her passions include hiking, skiing, tennis, filmmaking and visiting Baja. With the help of guides from Mar Y Aventuras, she produced, directed and edited a documentary about the beautiful and unique fishing village of El Pardito Island. She feels fortunate to have met the fishing families from El Pardito by doing our Island Hopping and Baja Coast trips that travel between La Paz and Loreto. For more information about her film or to order a DVD visit,www.hereliesmyheart.org.
La Paz Staff – Mar Y Aventuras – Head Guides
Carlos Gajon Bermudez
Carlos is one of the most charismatic, professional and knowledgeable guides you’ll ever meet. A La Paz native who grew up fishing with his grandfather on the Sea of Cortez, Carlos began guiding sea kayak trips in Baja in 1998. An avid surfer Carlos was a natural in a kayak and became an ACA certified sea kayak instructor and wilderness first responder soon after assisting on kayak trips. At one time a student of international law at the University of Baja California Sur in La Paz, Carlos realized he just couldn’t imagine a life behind a desk. He left his studies and it’s obvious he’s in his element now when guiding a trip on the water. A talented photographer, Carlos’s joyful charisma and enthusiasm for adventure travel in his favorite playground of Baja are a joy to experience on any trip!
Miguel Angel Martinez
A La Paz native, Miguel began working sea kayaking trips in the mid 1980’s. He worked as a crew member driving skiffs, cooking and running sea kayak camps in the Sea of Cortez for over 10 years until he changed jobs and began working for an airline. Here he learned English then returned to working kayak trips, this time as a head guide. Since his return to kayaking trips he has completed an ACA coastal sea kayaking course and was certified as a wilderness first responder. He is our first crew member ever to become a head guide. His love and passion for what he calls his “home” of Espiritu Santo Island is infectious. Any trip shared with Miguel will leave you with a deep knowledge of the plants, animals and people that inhabited or currently inhabit this uniquely special place.
Marco Aurelio Martinez de Escobar Martinez
Marco was born and raised in La Paz. Growing up on the shores of the Sea of Cortez and visiting the nearby islands. Since he was a young boy Marco developed a deep love and appreciation for the natural areas surrounding his home. In 2002 Marco began studying marine biology at the University in La Paz then changed to Alternative Tourism in 2006 because he had a strong desire to adapt his love of the outdoors into sustainable tourist development by combining culture, nature and conservation. Marco has completed several NOLS leadership courses and works part time for NOLS. He is a wilderness first responder and has a degree in Alternative Tourism. He came to work with Mar Y Aventuras in 2008 and loves to share the passion he has for his “backyard” (especially the night sky) with people from different cultures. Marco’s sense of humor and love for Baja will surely enhance your experience with us.
Hugo Sanchez H.
Born and raised in Mexico City, Hugo found the need to escape the dense population and pollution of this city. While studying architecture there he began exploring the more rural areas of his country and developed a deep love for mountaineering and rock climbing. This love of the outdoors brought him to the University of La Paz to study alternative tourism. From guiding sea kayak trips in Baja and taking a Mexican outdoor educator course with NOLS Hugo has become specialized in outdoor education and adventure activities. He has a passion for small-scale local community development having worked for many non-profits. He spends the off season farming and bee keeping with dreams of building an eco lodge and school to educate the children of his country about mountaineering and a sustainable life style. Hugo’s calm demeanor and joyful nature will enhance any trip he leads.
Alba is a native of La Paz with a strong passion for the beautiful outdoors that surround her hometown. Growing up in La Paz offered her numerous opportunities to hike, mountain bike, snorkel and sea kayak. Her passion for the outdoors led her to study alternative tourism which earned her a degree in tourist development from the University in La Paz in 2003. Since then she has completed two NOLS sea kayaking courses and become certified as a trainee coach. Alba loves to travel and spent time traveling around Asia and summers in Canada where she learned to improve her grasp of the English language. A certified WFR, Alba’s skills, talents and knowledge of her “backyard” combined with her friendly, enthusiastic personality make her a pleasant asset to any trip.
Eloisa Guadalupe Orona Benton
Born and raised in La Paz Eloisa typifies being “Paceña” with her friendly nature and beautiful smile. We are thrilled to have two local women on our team of esteemed guides. Eloisa loves the water, especially snorkeling with whale sharks, and began guiding day trips in 2016. She is the mother of a teenage daughter, studies alternative tourism at the University of La Paz and works part time for us. Even with all this on her plate she’s managed to find time to take a kayak training course, obtain her Wilderness First Responder certification and all the required guide licenses necessary to work with tourists in Mexico. Eloisa loves sharing her home with travelers which makes her a natural when it comes to guiding. Her most difficult challenge is mastering the English language.
Alan came to La Paz in 2007 to study marine biology at the University of Baja California Sur, La Paz. He obtained his degree but continues studies there in alternative tourism while working with Mar Y Aventuras (MYA) gaining practical experience. Having grown up in Santa Cruz, with immigrant parents from Mexico, he worked at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium where he developed a profound love for the ocean and everything in it. This love drew him to La Paz and eventually to Mar Y Aventuras where we welcomed his passion and knowledge of marine biology and enthusiasm for recreating in the outdoors. You will find his radiant smile and good nature infectious as he shares his love and knowledge of the ocean. Alan worked hard to complete all the required certifications in first aid and Mexican guiding to join our staff. While relatively new to MYA we plan to hang onto him as long as possible!
Ismael “Ish” Alfonso Monteverde
A La Paz local, Ismael or “Ish”, grew up enjoying the beautiful Baja elements of wind and water. He claims these elements are his passion. At an early age he realized he enjoyed interacting with tourists because they possessed the same passions for Baja’s natural areas and sports such as windsurfing, scuba diving and free diving as himself. Ismael obtained a degree in alternative tourism from the University of La Paz in 2010. He has worked in and around La Paz in tourism as a scuba dive master and wind surf instructor. Ish worked as our client service manager for several years but decided office work didn’t give him enough time with the wind and water. Ish worked hard to obtain all the certifications required for guiding tourists in Mexico and recently began working as an assistant sea kayak guide on our expeditions. He brings a special passion for the unique natural beauty of wind and water to the Mar Y Aventuras team and he can’t wait to share it with you!
Jaime A. Duarte Rivero
Jaime has lived in La Paz since arriving here from Mexico City to study marine biology in 2007 for which he completed a BS degree in 2012. His love of nature and outdoor education led him to this beautiful wilderness he now calls home. When asked what he loves most about Baja he answered, “what’s NOT to love about Baja.” His strong passion for the ocean environment and the creatures that call it home is evident in his knowledge and insight into the ecology of this special place. Leading our trips gives Jaime the chance to be outdoors in his favorite element as much as possible. He has completed NOLS kayak, leadership and first aid courses as well as obtained all the necessary certifications required for guiding in Baja. Jaime’s dream in his role as an environmental educator is to “plant the seed of nature loving” in every person that visits us. We can’t think of a better goal….You go Jaime!
Crew – Mar Y Aventuras
Jesus “Chuy” Alvarez Encinas
Born in the small fishing village of Los Burros along the Baja Coast between Loreto and La Paz, Chuy knows the Sea of Cortez like the back of his hand. With Mar Y Aventuras since our beginning in 1993 he has done it all from cook to panga driver to captain of fishing trips. A father of 2, Chuy’s great sense of humor and ability to run a first class camp makes him a great asset to the Mar Y Aventuras team.
Alberto “Jarocho” Tejeda Lile
Jarocho is originally from the state of Vera Cruz, Mexico and is now one of our top chefs. He made his way to La Paz working on yachts as a chef and began working for us in 1996. He has brought some mouth watering recipes to our tables, the most note worthy being his fresh fish Vera Cruz style from his home state.
Martin Amador Leon
Born and raised in Nopolo, on the roadless coast of Baja between Loreto and La Paz, Martin began working with Mar Y Aventuras in 1998 at just 18 years old. A bright young man he learned quickly the secrets of great tasting outdoor cooking and is now one of our head chefs.
Angel Leon Alvarez
Angel is a premier fisherman, born a few feet from the shores of the Sea of Cortez in the small fishing village of Nopolo opposite San Jose Island. From a family of 16 he began fishing as soon as he was big enough to accompany his father in the panga. Now a father of 4, Angel can handle a skiff and find the best fishing spots like no other.
Luis Ángel Moreno Márquez
Angel grew up on a ranch in the center of Baja between La Paz and the Pacific Coast. He later moved to San Carlos and learned to be a fisherman on the shores of Magdalena Bay. We found him here and hired him to start working at our whale camp. With such a pleasant demeanor and hard working ethic Angel has moved up the ranks to captain on our expeditions. He and his family have since moved to La Paz now working with us full time. His wife Joanna works as a cook in our hotel cafe kitchen and between expeditions you can find Angel helping out around the hotel and warehouse.
Jose Luis Lizarrage
Jose Luis was born in Mazatlán to a family of fisherman. He grew up fishing and learned to drive a boat at an early age. Years ago he moved to La Paz where he began working in tourism as a captain for scuba diving trips. He learned a great deal about the Sea of Cortez during this time. In 2011 Jose Luis joined the Mar Y Aventuras team. His friendly nature and knowledge of boats and the ocean as well as his ability to fix just about anything with nothing make him a great asset to any trip.
Office/Warehouse/Hotel – Mar Y Aventuras and Posada LunaSol
Owner, operator of Mar Y Aventuras S.A. de C.V.
Ricardo has been fishing and boating on Baja waters since the age of 8. He began working expeditions in Baja in 1979 and has been guiding sea kayaking, bicycling and whale watching trips since 1986. Ricardo is the master of trip logistics and the one behind the scenes who makes sure everything is running smoothly. He speaks excellent English; having worked river rafting trips in Idaho and Costa Rica during the late 80s early 90s. He’s often seen busily moving around the office and warehouse, assuring that the food, guides, crew and equipment are all going to the right places at the right times.
Abraham Polanco Ortiz
We are thrilled with Abraham’s return to the helm of the Mar Y Aventuras office team! Having worked for us in this same position 20 years ago he understands well the Mar Y Aventuras commitment to expert client services. Abraham came to La Paz from Mexico City in 1991 to study marine biology. His studies included research on sea lions and the endangered vaquita (small endemic porpoise in the northern Gulf of California). With a degree in marine biology he began working as a guide for Mar y Aventuras in 1996 on sea kayaking and gray whale expeditions. In 1999 he changed positions and became our client services manager. Abraham later left Mar Y Aventuras to pursue running his own company and now continues to operate an environmental consulting business in conjunction with his client services position at Mar Y Aventuras. Abraham’s expertise, friendly demeanor, and organizational skills are the perfect fit for this position on the Mar Y Aventuras team in La Paz!
Patricia Ivonne Zapata Galindo
Born in Mexico City, raised in Jalisco and having studied at the University in La Paz, Patricia joins the Posada LunaSol and Mar Y Aventuras team with a great deal of knowledge and expertise. After living and studying at the University in La Paz for 20 years she moved to Loreto and took her first job in hotel reception. She immediately enjoyed working with tourists, going the extra mile to help them create a wonderful vacation came easy to her. She enjoyed 8 years of working in the hotel business in Loreto before returning to La Paz. She’s spent the last couple years studying subjects she’s passionate about like psychology and alternative medicine while keeping fit and practicing yoga. We welcome Patricia with her organized and helpful manner as our evening receptionist at our hotel, Posada LunaSol and Mar Y Aventuras.
A La Paz native, Ulises possesses a deep love and knowledge of La Paz and its surrounding areas. An avid outdoorsman he enjoys hiking, kayaking and especially biking. Having studied English and tourism in school Ulises enjoys sharing his knowledge of the area with visitors. Providing superb client services for both our hotel and kayak business Ulises is a charming asset to our team in La Paz. In his own words, “I love to work with people, but with tourists I have fun and I am happy when I make them feel good.”
Miguel Martin Abaroa Hirales
Miguel “Mikey” is an integral part of our permanent warehouse staff. Mikey has been with Mar Y Aventuras since our first year in business in 1993. Mikey is a certified and licensed chauffeur and jack of all trades from fixing leaky faucets to loading kayaks and driving clients to various destinations.
Day Tour Guides
Angel Benjamin Mariscal Contreras
Since 2010 Benjamin has worked for Mar Y Aventuras, guiding day trips and as the weekend receptionist for Posada LunaSol. He studied eco-tourism and holds a degree in alternative tourism from the local university. He speaks English well and has a keen interest in nature and physical outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, swimming and mountain biking. Benjamin, has a great deal to offer our clients as a local outdoor enthusiast with an easy going manner and extensive knowledge of La Paz and its surrounding natural areas.
Having grown up in La Paz Angel typifies being “Pazeno” with his friendly and fun loving personality. His excellent English speaking abilities landed Angel a job working as a tour bus guide in 2014. A lover of the ocean, within a year he realized he could combine his love of the sea with being a tour guide. He began taking folks snorkeling with whale sharks in 2015 then expanded his skills to learning the art of sea kayaking. He has participated in several Mar Y Aventuras guide training trips and obtained all his government and first aid certifications required to guide folks on the water. A student at the University in La Paz studying engineering Angel works part time while attending classes. You will be enchanted by Angel’s contagious smile and extensive knowledge on any trip you join with him at the helm.