Beach Vacations to La Paz, Mexico

Pelicans at the beach in La Paz, Mexico
Pelicans at the beach in La Paz, Mexico (Thomas Cristofoletti/Flickr/Getty)

La Paz is the capital of the state of Baja California Sur, but it's smaller and more laid back than that would suggest. It lies far enough from Los Cabos (136 miles) that it remains peaceful, without the rowdy nightlife of Cabo San Lucas.

La Paz is all about its natural environment. Kayakers, divers, snorkelers, and sailors have long been drawn to La Paz and still are, with good reason. The waters around it—and especially out into the protected areas of Isla Espiritu Santo —are shallow and clear, and there are hundreds of coves and inlets where sea life and landscape defy description. For divers, the presence of impressive numbers of sharks, especially hammerheads, is enticing, as is the chance to dive or snorkel with whale sharks and giant mantas. And La Paz is an excellent base from which to see the gray whales that migrate to the Sea of Cortez each year to have their young. Not surprisingly, sportfishing is big, too.

La Paz is a come-as-you-are kind of place. Most hotels aren't fancy and you can leave your dressy outfits at home—but do pack your quick-dry clothing and water shoes. La Paz is famous for sunsets over the bay and for fresh seafood (try the fish tacos at the cart on the Malecon, near where the fishermen bring in their catch—yum!).

While there are plenty of things to do in La Paz, you simply can't visit without taking a day—or many days—to go out to Isla Espiritu Santo. There you can kayak, hike, snorkel with sea lions, camp on the beach, and rejuvenate in a pristine area of incredible beauty. Those who book the overnight camping/kayaking trips to Espiritu Santo won't forget it.

Natural wonders aside, La Paz also has a little nightlife. There are romantic places to dine and bars and clubs that stay open late—it's just not quite as lively as Cancun, Cabo, or Acapulco. La Paz, even at night, is more down to earth than Mexico's true nightlife capitals.


Published: 7 Sep 2009 | Last Updated: 30 Mar 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

Best Hotels in La Paz

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