A Comparison of La Jolla Sea Cave Tours

by Paul Joseph  |  Published March 17, 2023

Carved out of sandstone cliffs, the seven sea caves of La Jolla, California are truly unique attractions and a must-see for visitors.

(Photo: Everyday California Adventures & Apparel / Courtesy GetYourGuide)

Located within the San Diego – La Jolla Underwater Park & Ecological Reserve, the caves are renowned for their natural beauty and the mystery that surrounds them. Six of the seven can only be accessed by water, and as you paddle your way to these eye-catching formations, you’re likely to see seals, California sea lions, harbor porpoises, sea otters, fish, sea birds, leopard sharks, and more. To help choose the right La Jolla Sea Cave tour for you, we’ve compared a varied selection of those available below.

Sea Cave Kayaking Tour with Guide

Explore La Jolla’s Ecological Reserve and Seven Sea Caves by double kayak, led by a certified trained tour guide, on this tour run by renowned local company Everyday California. Over 1.5 hours, you’ll paddle through the marine protected area, which is home to a thriving ecosystem that boasts one of the highest concentrations of sea life in all of California, including a variety of fish, birds, dolphins, turtles, sea-lions, and whales. In the summer and fall months, you might spot harmless leopard sharks, and in the winter look out for migrating grey whales. The tour price includes all equipment rental, safety briefing and your professional guide. From $111 per group (max 2 people).

Book at GetYourGuide

Kayak and Snorkel Tour

(Photo: Bike and Kayak Tours, Inc. / Courtesy GetYourGuide)

This 2.5-hour tour is similar to our first recommendation, with the additional activity of snorkelling in the Ecological Reserve’s crystal-clear waters. In the company of a professional tour guide, you’ll paddle by kayak to the sea caves and explore their unique structures before donning snorkelling gear, disembarking and delving deep to get up close and personal with the Garibaldi, Leopard sharks, rays, and other unique local sea creatures. You’re then free to make use of your snorkelling gear at your leisure for the remainder of the day. From $142 per group (max 2 people).

Book at GetYourGuide

The Summit to the Sea La Jolla Bike Tour

Cycle with the wind in your hair from Mt. Soledad , also known as Soledad Mountain, to the sun-soaked beaches of Windansea on the way to La Jolla Cove and its magical caves during this 2-hour bike tour. Along the way, you’ll get to take in such diverse sights as luxury homes, sea-lions, and Ellen Browning Scripps Park too. Other highlights include stop-offs at La Jolla Village, a residential neighbourhood in the coastal San Diego community of La Jolla, where you can duck into a variety of stores and restaurants to round off your adventure. The tour starts and ends at Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial in La Jolla. From $222 per person.

Book at Viator

La Jolla City and Coast Guided Sightseeing Tour

(Photo: I Walk San Diego / GetYourGuide)

Combine a trip to one of La Jolla’s most unique caves with a look around the area’s quaint coastal stretch on this 1.5-hour tour. Feel the salty breeze in your hair as you walk along the La Jolla coastline, marvel at the stunning views of Scripps Ecological Reserve & Children’s Pool, and spot seals, sea lions, pelicans, and cormorants at Ellen Browning Scripps Park. Later, visit the fascinating Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave, the original residence of Gustav Schultz who hired two Chinese laborers to dig a 144-stair tunnel from inside of his house to the cave below. The tour concludes with a stroll up bustling and historic Prospect Street in downtown La Jolla. From $45 per person.

Book at GetYourGuide

Incredible Slot Canyons to the Pacific

For an alternative cave experience, this 2-hour guided tour invites you to explore the majestic slot canyons of Torrey Pines, just north of La Jolla. Discover spectacular hard-to-reach areas, take in views of the Pacific Ocean, visit sandstone slot canyons and wind caves and stop at a majestic grotto with a waterfall. The hike up can be strenuous at times, but you’re rewarded by stunning views after summiting the cliffs. Your guide/photographer will provide photos of the experience Sunrise, full moon, and private tours are all available. From $57 per person.

Book at Viator