Ecotourism has for decades been the economic engine of La Paz, thanks to Espíritu Santo Archipelago, a UNESCO-protected marine park where the sea teems with wildlife.
The accommodations have generally catered to those looking for fuss-free quarters after a day of snorkeling with sea lions.
My lodging, the Baja Club Hotel, offered a glimpse into how the city, like the region, has been slyly evolving to attract travelers who crave off-the-grid enrichment and, increasingly, refined places to stay.
Skye Parrott. Model: Gaby Collado. Wardrobe: Courtesy of Nomad Chic, Todos Santos From left: The dining room at the Baja Club Hotel, in La Paz; the hotel’s pool.
The 32-room property is the latest offering from Mexico-based hotel brand Grupo Habita, and is constructed around a restored early-20th-century hacienda that faces the promenade skirting the bay.
That evening, I took in the sunset from the roof of the Baja Club before wandering away from the main drag to get a sense of a town that feels built for actual living, rather than visiting. I stopped at La Miserable, an unassuming bar with a slapdash courtyard, for what I thought would be a quick cocktail. Instead, it turned into a languid, multi-hour affair thanks to my server, Attila Cocchi, a young, tattooed dude in a pageboy cap, who exuded laid-back warmth and insisted on giving me an extensive tutorial in mezcal.