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Painted Cave Combo

World's Largest Sea Cave | Seals and Sea Lions | Lunch Included

Kayaking and Modified Snorkeling (farmer john wetsuits and snorkel gear provided)


$375/senior (65+)
$365/child (7-16)
$325/person - Groups of 10 or more

Expedition Details

What your day looks like:

  • Boarding Begins: 6:30 AM*
  • TRUTH Departs: 7:00 AM
  • Lunch on the Truth aprox 1:30pm.
  • Return to Santa Barbara Harbor: 5:30pm

You can add additional “non-paddlers” to the boat trip only if you would like.

*We have bunks below deck that are open and available for you to catch an extra hour or two of sleep on our crossing to Santa Cruz Island.

Check-in at the Santa Barbara Landing and hop onto the Truth for the day. We take great care in making your journey comfortable.

Your Expedition Vessel – Truth

  • 64′ USCG Inspected Vessel
  • Bunks below deck for guest gear and napping
  • Coffee and Tea all day
  • Sundeck


  • Destination: Painted Cave region of west Santa Cruz Island
  • Spend all day in Channel Islands National Park and National Marine Sanctuary

Departure Harbor

Santa Barbara Landing – Santa Barbara Harbor
301 West Cabrillo Blvd
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Downwind Kayaking

Downwind Kayaking is unique to our day trips at Channel Islands Expeditions. We put you in a point A and pick you up at point B, meaning you generally don’t have to double back or paddle into a headwind.

Kayaking into the sea caves here at Painted Cave is like no where else in the world, these are some of the largest caves you can explore in person. They are also in a more exposed area of the islands and this can mean the seas can be rougher than they are on the EPIC Sea Caves of Anacapa Day Trip. This is why we have an older minimum age and we do recommend you have some kayaking experience or are ready for a wetter adventure!

Modified Snorkeling

Snorkeling at the Painted Cave conservation area is a great place to experience the Garibaldi fish and seals and sea lions. The snorkeling spot is in a protected cove and this means you will snorkeling from the kayaks, which makes this “modified snorkeling”. We do not provide fins since you will be wearing a PFD while snorkeling. We do provide a farmer john (overall) wetsuit that you can use while kayaking AND snorkeling.

In some cases we have to cut snorkeling short to make sure we can return home on time. If Snorkeling is something you have your heart set on, we do recommend our EPIC Sea Caves of Anacapa Combo, this trip has more dedicated time for snorkeling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need boat transportation?

We own and operate a custom expedition vessel fleet, boat transportation is included in your trip!

What is the age limit?

The minimum age on this trip is 7.

Our age limits are for your safety and enjoyment.

Do I need to know how to swim?

You must be able to swim with a lifejacket on to kayak. You must attest to be able to swim unassisted in order to snorkel at the end of the tour.

If I am solo or in an odd number group will I be in a tandem kayak with a stranger?

We provide tandem kayaks by default and have single kayaks on head for solo paddlers and odd number groups. We may ask you go join a tandem if space or solo kayaks are not available, but that is not our preference. 

Can we land and hike on the island?

Sorry no, this is a NON LANDING trip. 

If you would like to land and hike at the Channel Islands National Park on a day trip, please visit Island Packers or call 805-642-1393

Do we offer private trips to Painted Cave?

Yes, prices vary based on day of week and season. Please call or email with the dates you are interested in and we’ll get you a quote.

What is your cancellation policy?

100% credit up until 10 days prior to departure.

  • All sales are final unless we have to cancel due to weather.
  • You can get a 100% credit for a future trip 10 days or more from your departure date.
  • We do not accept changes within 10 days unless in some extreme cases.
  • If you purchase CIEx Trip Protect, you can get a full refund for each ticket protected at anytime* for any reason.

*No same day cancellations please, this makes our morning very difficult as we try to locate our missing paddlers before we leave!

Customer Reviews of our Expeditions