Location
  • Mexico
    • La Paz
Length
1 - 12 weeks
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships, Payment plans, 529 Plan eligibility

Program Details

Activities
Backpacking Kayaking Sailing
Timeframe
Fall Spring Winter
Housing
Tent
Primary Language
English
Age Min.
17

Pricing

Starting Price
2630
Price Details
Scholarships, Financial Aid, and Academic Credit available. Price ranges from $2630-$17,350 depending on course selection.
What's Included
Accommodation Equipment Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare
Jul 22, 2024
May 11, 2015
2 travelers are looking at this program

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.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Earn transferrable US College Credit
  • Semesters in the Spring and Fall
  • Grow and lead on the Sea of Cortez
  • Open the door to lifelong outdoor adventure
  • Unlike most tourists, you’ll spend your time far from city centers, exploring the landscape and communities of Baja California

Popular Programs

Students observe wildlife above the shores of Baja California Sur.

Open the door to lifelong outdoor adventure, leadership, and international travel on the Semester in Baja. Explore winding canyons in the Sonoran Desert. Sail quiet coves on clear blue water in the Sea of Cortez. Watch the sunset from the beach after a day of paddling your kayak. Learn from remote ranching and fishing communities. On this semester, you’ll learn the outdoor and leadership skills you need to explore these wild and beautiful places.

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.

Photo by: Heather Hatcher

Open the door to lifelong outdoor adventure, leadership, and international travel on the Semester in Baja. Explore winding canyons in the Sonoran Desert. Sail quiet coves on clear blue water in the Sea of Cortez. Watch the sunset from the beach after a day of paddling your kayak. Learn from remote ranching and fishing communities. On this semester, you’ll learn the outdoor and leadership skills you need to explore these wild and beautiful places.

Photo by: Nick Hall

Embark on an extraordinary 22-day adventure with NOLS Mexico, where you'll delve into the remarkable beauty and biodiversity of the Sea of Cortez (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Pacific Ocean. Witness the annual migration of Pacific gray whales as they journey approximately 10,000 miles round trip from their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic to the serene waters of Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 2 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Value 5
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews
Default avatar
Lark
5/5
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.

106 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Capt.
5/5
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.

104 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers