GUIDED KAYAK TOURS
What could be finer than exploring Catalina Island by kayak? Beginners will learn quickly, experienced paddlers will love our gear!
Most of our guided kayak tours are suitable for first-time kayakers.
If you’ve never paddled before, your guide will teach you – it’s easy. Experienced paddlers will also enjoy the trips using more advanced gear. Children 11 yrs. and younger receive a 25% discount, while the youngest (our staff & friends take their babies) are not charged. All taxes are included. Two persons are all we need to book one of our daily kayak tours.
All trips highlight the island’s natural history.
Plants, animals, birds, fish, sea mammals- never expecting to see, but always surprised by whatever flies or swims by while we are on the water. History of the island: past inhabitants & their culture; modern activity including the Catalina Island Conservancy and it’s restoration and education projects are presented by your guide.
All necessary equipment is provided.
If you don’t have your own water sandals, we do. Windbreaker jackets are sent on every trip. Dry bags are provided for your own towels. Some trips include snorkeling, and we provide shorty wetsuits in summer and full length suits when the water is cooler, with beanie hoods to keep your head & ears warm. For cooler paddling weather, we provide paddle pants, which pull on over your clothes. Otherwise, summer paddlers should paddle in bathing suits or shorts that can get wet.
Safety considerations / our staff.
Guides are CPR/First-aid current. We take along both VHF marine radios and cell phones on all our trips. All of our staff are kayak-trained by industry professionals, many are also SCUBA Instructors or DiveMasters. We are proud of our friendly and skilled crew, and know that you will be treated as one of the family when you arrive for your tour.
Our location is Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, California.
We’re located on the premises of the beautiful Descanso Beach Club, just a 3 minute walk past the famous Casino Building- keep the ocean on your right and you’ll walk right to us! The Beach Club is open to the public and features a seasonal outdoor restaurant & full beachside bar, cabanas or chaise lounges for the day, outdoor beach rinse-off showers, changing rooms & lockers.
Call for reservations.
Daily guided tours can be booked ahead or while you are on the island- Call 310-510-1226. Custom guided tours require a few days to a week advance reservation and can be arranged by calling the office Monday thru Friday at 310-510-1588.
DAILY GUIDED KAYAK TOURS
LEOPARDS AND LIONS
JOURNEY TO FROG ROCK
A fun, natural history paddling tour where you can imagine exploring the inaccessible coastline of the Catalina Island in a modern, easy to maneuver & stable sit-on-top kayak for two! Your instructor/guide will teach the basics of paddling and you’ll find how simple and fun kayaking on Catalina’s clear ocean waters can be. Once on the water, your guide will point out interesting and historical landmarks, birds & plants, discuss the island’s ancient to modern history, geology and ecology as you glide over nearshore kelp forests above colorful fishes. There’s always something WILD to see… a harbor seal may peek at you from the offshore rocks or a bald eagle may snag a fish from the water nearby. At Frog Rock, you’ll land to stretch your legs, have a yummy snack and bottle of water, take a quick dip in the sea if you desire. Suitable for all ages, non-strenuous for beginners. Advanced gear available for experienced paddlers.
Duration: Two hour excursion. (Up to 35 min. paddling each way – at your pace)
Departures: Daily at 10 am, 1 pm, also 3 pm in summer. Call to reserve 310-510-1226.
Cost: $48 per person (min. 2). Kids under 11 – 25% off. Children under 18 need parents’ signatures on waiver.
What to Wear / Bring: Paddle in bathing suit or shorts. Wear surf shoes or water sandals, hat
& sunscreen. Bring a towel.
Provided: Instruction, dry bag for your own towels, homemade snack (baked daily at Avalon’s Catalina Island Brew House) and bottled water. Protective paddle pants & windbreakers provided for winter tours.
Discover the wild side of Catalina Island
The perfect combination tour for natural history-minded explorers. Your instructor/guide will show you how easy it is to paddle a streamlined sit-on-top kayak (your choice of double or single) and you’ll be on your way in minutes along the inaccessible lee coastline of Catalina Island. There are no roads to this stretch of the shore where coastal bluff plant communities abound. At Fox Canyon, an easy 35-45 minute paddle, you’ll land to rest a bit, enjoy an energy snack and bottle of water before accessing the interior of the island along a dry streambed- up into the native grove of Catalina Cherry, Elderberry, Currant and fragrant Black Sage. You never know what will fly by or trot away as you make the leisurely walk into the canyon and back. Enjoyable for first-time kayakers, advanced gear available to experienced paddlers. Not available during our extremely dry summer season.
Duration: Three hour excursion. (Up to 45 min. paddling each way – at your pace)
Departures: 9 am daily, during Fall/Winter/Spring. Enjoy the calm and quiet of morning on the water.
Cost: $60 per person (min. 2). Kids under 11 – 25% off. Kids under 18 yrs. need parents’ signatures on waiver.
What to Wear / Bring: Paddle in bathing suit or shorts. Wear surf shoes or water sandals, hat & sunscreen. Bring a towel.
Provided: Instruction, dry bag for your own towels, homemade snack (baked daily at Catalina Island Brew House) and bottled water. Protective paddle pants & windbreakers provided for winter tours.
Kayak, Snorkel, Picnic, Relax, Escape, Revitalize
Half-day Guided Paddle Expedition
This one does it all… your naturalist/guide will give kayak instruction & safety orientation before leading the 2.75 mile paddle along Catalina’s scenic coastline to Willow Cove, where you’ll enjoy a picnic on the beach and the fine snorkeling at ‘Mike Nelson Rock’ (remember television’s Sea Hunt? many episodes were filmed here) , or you can hike, or just sunbathe – it’s up to you. Suitable for all ages, non-strenuous for beginners. Advanced gear available for experienced paddlers.
Duration: Four hour excursion. (Up to 1 hr. paddling each way – at your pace)
Departures: 11:30 am daily, year ‘round. Snorkeling at the warmest time of day.
Cost: $96 per person (min. 2). Kids under 11 – 25% off. Kids under 18 yrs. need parents’ signatures on waiver.
What to Wear / Bring: Paddle in bathing suit or shorts. Wear surf shoes or water sandals, hat & sunscreen. Bring a towel, hiking shoes if desired, a book . . .prepare to relax.
Provided: Double or single kayaks, instruction, lunch, snacks & bottled water, snorkel gear including wetsuits. Dry bags to store your towels, sweatshirts, shoes, etc…
DAILY GUIDED KAYAK TOURS: Frog Rock; Fox Canyon;
and Willow Cove may be reserved by calling: 310-510-1226
CUSTOM GUIDED TOURS
the following tours require two days to a week to schedule by calling the office 310-510-1588 Monday through Friday
Fun and Fundamentals for Ocean Kayaking Adventure
Minimum class size 4. Mom & Dad can be kids too!
Class includes: Warm-up exercises; Safety instruction; Dry-land paddling practice; Water techniques; Self-rescue practice; Environmental awareness; Games; and a short, Guided natural history paddle tour.
What to wear / bring: Bathing suit or shorts (you will get wet in the seat); surf shoes or sandals, old tennis shoes or wetsuit booties (your feet will be wet and our beach is smooth, cobble rocks with little sand at the waterline – we have sandals for you if you don’t). Wear sunscreen and a hat. We will be practicing the self-rescue, kids will get all wet, so bring a towel and change of clothes (if desired). Lockers available at Descanso Beach Club. Bring signed parent permission waiver, or sign at time of class.
What we provide: Single kayaks and instruction. Souvenir certificate and sticker awarded. Sign up the day before, then mom & dad can take the morning off!
Price & Scheduling: $22 per kid, based on minimum class size of four (private and semi-private rates available). Available daily, at 9 am and 3:30 pm. except for Tuesday mornings. Allow one and 1/2 hours total time for activity +sign-up time beforehand.
See our “Groups” page for youth group specials
MEET THE MORNING
Experience the island coming alive… the colors of dawn, the birds & sealife or get a great workout on one of our stand up paddle boards on the calm morning seas!
Your guide will show you the quiet side of Catalina as you greet the new day from your kayak. Nesting ravens, fishing cormorants, herons and bald eagles are likely to be seen depending on the season. Fish and sea mammals such as dolphins & yellowtail are more active in the early morning as well!
What to wear / bring: Summer: Bathing suit or shorts. Winter: Shorts or pants that you are able to roll up above your ankles. Wear beach shoes or watersports-type sandals if you have them. (Provided if you do not).
What we provide: Double or single kayaks, or SUP (StandUp Paddle board) and instruction. Kayakers paddle pants and windbreakers to wear over your shorts or bathing suits if necessary. Dry bags for your own towels, binoculars, etc.
Price and scheduling: MEET the MORNING PADDLE is available year ‘round, weather permitting. Leaves from Descanso Beach, by reservation only, at 6:30 or 7 am. Duration of tour is one and one-half hours. COST – $54 each (two persons minimum).
The quietude of the ocean from dusk to dark. It’s the paddle to take a few days before Full Moon for a gorgeous moonrise!
One and one-half hours of serenity. The sound of your paddles dipping, and flying fish zipping…
What to wear and bring: Shorts or pants that you are able to roll up above your ankles. Wear beach shoes or watersports-type sandals if you have them. (Provided if you do not). Bring a towel and change of clothes plus a warm jacket or sweatshirt to change into after you return.
What we provide: Double kayaks and instruction. Paddle pants and windbreakers to wear over your clothes or bathing suits. Storage for your bags during your paddle trip.
Price and scheduling: EVENING PADDLE is available year ‘round, weather permitting. Leaves from Descanso Beach, by reservation only, at dusk (time varies per the season). Duration of tour is one and one-half hours. COST – $54 each (two persons minimum).
Stars, Constellations, Mythology, Planets… Watch out for Flying Fish!
Your Guide: An avid kayaker and passionate amateur astronomer, Kathleen Hill Carlisle will direct you down the coast away from the lights of the “big city” of Avalon so you can really experience the night sky. Back on shore, enjoy a hot beverage while Kathleen sets up her 8″ reflector telescope to get a closer look at the moon and/or planets.
What to wear and bring: Shorts or pants that you are able to roll up above your ankles. Wear beach shoes or watersports-type sandals if you have them (provided if you do not). Bring a towel and change of clothes and warm jacket or sweatshirt for the telescope session.
What we provide: Double kayaks and instruction. Sandals if you don’t have your own. Paddle pants and windbreakers to wear over your clothes. Hot beverage back on the beach.
Price and scheduling: ASTRONOMY PADDLE has been discontinued, but Kathleen and her husband are offering a unique astronomy experience on their own charter vessel. Please contact them directly at Catalina Coastal Tours 626-290-2888 and tell them DBOS sent you!
Guided Natural History Excursion of Wild Catalina- get up close and personal with 9 miles of scenic coastline in one full day
COASTAL CRUISE / HIKE / PICNIC / SNORKEL / KAYAK
If you only have one day to spend, and want to see and experience our pristine coastline, this is the tour for you! A narrated Tour as we MOTOR up the coast to an inaccessible seacave past Little Gibraltar Pt. (approx. 9 miles from Avalon). PADDLE into cave (tides/weather permitting) & continue along the coastline to picnic spot. ENJOY lunch on a secluded beach or hike inland – your guide knows the way. COOL off with a swim, relax on the beach, or snorkel – wetsuits & hoods included. PADDLE back to Descanso Beach the easy direction with the wind at your back.
Your Guide: Your trip begins on the “Ama” with Captain Randy, who’s knowledge of Catalina’s coastline and marine life is unparalleled. Your personal guide for the remainder of the trip, an expert kayaker and experienced Catalina Island hiking guide with current First Aid & CPR certification is equally at home on the sea or shore and will introduce you to the island’s stories – from sea, land, and sky. You’ll be learning, working-out, chilling out and having fun.
What to wear / bring: For paddling – bathing suit or shorts (because your seat will be wet), wear beach shoes or watersports sandals. For hiking – bring clothing suitable for the season, versatile layers are best. Bring your hiking shoes. Wear sun protection including sunscreen, hat sunglasses with retainers. Bring a towel, wear swimsuit under your shorts.
What we provide: Transportation along the coastline aboard the 25′ twin engine vessel “Ama”. Gourmet picnic lunch (your choice) and plenty of snacks and bottled water. Complete snorkel gear including wetsuits. Windbreakers and paddle pants as the weather dictates. Open-deck ( sit-on-top) single or double kayaks depending on your experience level. Dry bags for your towels and change of clothes/shoes.
Price and scheduling: EXPERIENCE CATALINA DAY TRIP leaves from Descanso Beach at 9 am by advance reservation only. Plan for a seven hour day, but allow an extra hour just in case. You should be paddling back to Descanso Beach by 4 pm but may take a little longer. We paddle at a comfortable pace, with stops along the way. COST for single to four people for the entire day is only $675.
CUSTOM GUIDED KAYAK TOURS: Kayak Kids; Meet the Morning; Evening; Astronomy and Experience Catalina may be reserved by calling:310-510-1588 Monday through Friday. (our Groups and Custom Tours office phone. Leave message after hours)