As the world opens up and travel slowly increases, La Paz, the capital city of Mexico’s Baja California Sur, and sleepy sister to splashy Los Cabos has been quietly welcoming an array of new and notable attractions to the destination. New international flights, hotels, museums, and more are contributing to the evolving accommodations available to visitors.
In October 2020, American Airlines announced the introduction of two new flights into La Paz. Departing from Dallas, TX and Phoenix, AZ, regional and connecting travelers can fly directly into La Paz rather than into Los Cabos and driving two hours north. This exciting new access makes La Paz an easy escape for most Americans eager to visit the destination.
Other welcomed additions include two highly anticipated luxury hotels. In Todos Santos, the charming Pacific-facing town known for its collection of rustic-chic restaurants, cafes, shops, and art galleries, the new Paradero Todos Santos has opened its doors. With 35 suites and an “all experience inclusive” concept, Paradero Todos Santos began welcoming guests in February and refers to itself as “less of a hotel than is a high-design landscaping project with luxurious suites.” It is an excellent addition to Todos Santos’s eclectic and artistic offerings.
Across the desert on the Sea of Cortez, La Paz is pleased to welcome Grupo Habita’s Baja Club Hotel. Opening March 15, Baja Club is a 32-room lifestyle hotel made up of a restored colonial–style villa dating from the early twentieth century as well as a newly built four–story extension containing guest rooms, a spa, pool, and rooftop sunset bar. Located directly across from the recently renovated and expanded Malecon (beachfront walk) and turquoise waters of the sea, it is both an escape and conveniently central.
La Paz is also home to the new Baja California Sur Museum of Art. Currently, open by appointment only, the museum is currently showing Landscapes, an exhibition from Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City. The exhibition explores the depiction, memory, and experience of shared territory. As pandemic-related restrictions continue to ease, the museum (along with other cultural offerings in La Paz) will open to the public.
In addition to land-based enticements, since December La Paz has also been thrilled to welcome once again, its extraordinary annual influx of marine mammal visitors – whales! One of the most exciting and enduring reasons to visit La Paz, whale migration is in full swing and continues through early April. While a variety of whales make their way from Alaska all the way to these bays and lagoons, it is the friendly gray whales that come to breed and raise their young here that is most enchanting.
In addition to whales, whale sharks, the largest fish in the ocean, make their appearance during the winter months beginning in October and can sometimes linger into May. While imposing to look at, whale sharks are merely enormous plankton grazing fish. Snorkeling alongside one of these gentle giants is a bucket list experience.
The municipality of La Paz and the state of Baja California Sur take the protection of its land, water and animal life very seriously, and regulations apply to the frequency and quantity of interactions. The destination is home to many talented and highly experienced tour operators who understand how, when, and where to bring curious visitors for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Additionally, La Paz is pleased to be moving into the next phase of opening to tourism with all facilities, hotels, tours, restaurants, beaches, and more, accepting 50% capacity. For example, if a whale watching tour group normally accommodates eight guests, it would now accept four. On the ground, safety protocols continue to be strictly enforced and the destination has implemented numerous programs to assist visitors in meeting travel requirements. Both PCR and Antigen testing facilities are readily available to guests through hotels, local laboratories, and the airport. More information can be found here.
The state of Baja California Sur and the municipality of La Paz are proud recipients of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) global safety stamp of approval in recognition of its safe travel protocols: “Safe Travels”. The stamp allows international travelers to understand which destinations around the world have adopted global standardized health and hygiene protocols. Social distancing, masks, and strict, heightened safety and hygiene protocols were implemented early and remain in place today. Additionally, establishments must adhere to Punto Limpio, a countrywide mandate on safety and sanitation practices. As case numbers drop, La Paz is adjusting its precautionary measures.
Located about two hours north of Los Cabos on the eastern side of the Baja Peninsula, La Paz is one of Mexico’s most under-the-radar coastal gems. Boasting white sand beaches and the tranquil, marine-rich waters of the Sea of Cortez – famously referred to as “the world’s aquarium” by Jacques Cousteau – La Paz is a haven for eco-travelers in search of pristine nature as well as modern amenities and services. While a charmingly small city, La Paz offers an array of gastronomic offerings, accommodations both sophisticated and boutique, and world-class tour operators that facilitate bucket list experiences such as swimming with whale sharks, trophy-worthy sportfishing, whale watching, kayak treks, and more.
For more information on La Paz, visit www.golapaz.com