NOLS Mexico

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About Program

Nestled in the protected Coyote Bay, NOLS Mexico is your gateway to the coastal desert and turquoise waters of Baja California Sur. Here you’ll have access to more than 1,000 miles of mountain and marine environments across two Mexican states. NOLS Mexico is the school’s first international campus and our team’s cultural, generational, and language diversity give it a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere. Baja California wilderness classrooms range from open ocean to coastal desert—and the outdoor skills you’ll learn range from camping and backpacking to sailing and sea kayaking. You might learn how to handle a Drascombe Longboat in the Sea of Cortez or paddle a kayak along the coastline, making camp on a different beach each night. While backpacking, you might practice speaking Spanish with local communities or learn about the unique ecology of the region’s coastal desert.

Popular Programs

Students observe wildlife above the shores of Baja California Sur.

This semester combines a variety of outdoor activities. You’ll work on each activity for several weeks, gaining the skills to be self-sufficient in sea kayaking, backpacking, and kayak surfing. As you travel, you’ll have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the history and culture of Baja California through formal classes taught by your instructors and your own explorations.

A group of students paddle the shoreline of Baja California Sur.

You’ll explore its coasts and coves by sea kayak, starting with the basics like paddle technique and progressing to more advanced skills, like self-rescue. As you travel, you’ll work on leadership skills like communication and decision making. You’ll camp on beaches where you can explore tide pools and spot the unique desert wildlife that also make this area home.

Students breach a wave on a Baja Coastal Sailing expedition.

On this course, you’ll learn about sailing and working as a member of a team. Learning to navigate by nature’s rhythms, you’ll explore a sea that’s rich with marine life. You’ll start with the basics of sailing these unique Drascombe longboats—reading the wind, navigating, managing sails, and more.

Program Reviews

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Lark
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Ocean Oasis

As a gap year semester student, NOLS gave me the space to go deeper into myself and figure out what was truly important to me. Away from frontcountry pressures of school, work, family and friends, I was able to learn who I was and what I was capable of—and it was far greater than I had ever imagined. This confidence carried me through college and into my career.

Baja is an incredible classroom. The dessert travel is challenging for very different reasons than the mountains I grew up in, and the Sea of Cortez is a beautiful and magical place to explore by drascombe sailboat or sea kayak. Top that with cultural interactions with rancheros and pongeros (fisherman), and this easily sits as one of the most memorable and formative experiences of my life.

2 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Capt.
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Semester Ever!

My semester in Baja was the best part of my college career, and an important part of my life. I learned more about myself and the world around me than at any other time in life. Not only did I learn the fundamentals of sailing, which is how I make my living, but I also learned communication and leadership skills that have helped me in all aspects of my life.

2 people found this review helpful.

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