By: The Planet D
According to travel blog site THE PLANET the 19 BEST THINGS TO DO IN LA PAZ
There are so many things to do in La Paz, Mexico. Located in the Baja Peninsula 100 miles from Cabo San Lucas in the southern tip of Los Cabos, La Paz is a beach lovers’ playground. With non-stop flights from Los Angeles, La Paz is a great weekend getaway for those on the West Coast of Canada and the United States.
Not to be mistaken with the other La Paz in South America, La Paz, Mexico is the capital city of the state of Baja California Sur. It is located on the West Coast of Mexico in a sheltered bay of the Sea of Cortez (Also known as the Gulf of California) These are the very best things to do in La Paz.
There are only a handful of places that we’d consider living in this world, and La Paz, Mexico is one of them. By the time we had to fly home, we didn’t want to leave but never fear, we’ll be back. In the meantime, let’s check out all the reasons below we love La Paz, Mexico.
1. Sea Kayaking on the Sea of Cortez
One of the best things to do in La Paz, Mexico is to go Sea Kayaking on the Sea of Cortez. You can do day trips or multi-day tours. We took an amazing 10-day excursion with Baja Outdoor Activities to San Jose Island and it was pristine.
The turquoise waters of the Sea of Cortez were calm and crystal clear. We barely saw another soul during our expedition and had the most amazing time. It may have been a lot of work, but we also had a lot of fun.
There was also plenty of marine life encounters. Pods of dolphins swam by our group of 11 on a daily basis, we saw a whale, (and it isn’t even migration season) margaritas were flowing on the beach each evening and people spent their downtime snorkeling and hiking on the stunning coastline.
2. Kayaking Balandra Beach
If a 10-day kayaking trip isn’t on the agenda, Balandra Beach is a good spot to rent a kayak in La Paz. You can book day tours from La Paz to have a guided kayaking trip, or you can rent kayaks to explore its clear waters yourself.
It’s a lovely secluded cove tucked away from the open waters of the Sea of Cortez, so you don’t have to go far to have a great experience.
3. Sea Lions at Los Islotes at Isla Espiritu Santo Island
If you love marine life encounters, Swimming with sea lions is one of the most uplifting things you will ever do in your life and you can do that in La Paz, Mexico!
We had the opportunity to swim with sea lions on several occasions and we never give up the opportunity to jump in the water with them. One of the best things to do in La Paz is to see the sea lions. You can take a boat tour on a panga (inflatable dinghies) to Espiritu Santo Island to see the sea lions less than one hour away.
Visit the Los Islotes sea lion colony and see these playful creatures close up. You can also spy sea turtles on Los Islotes.
Espiritu Santo Island has one of the most unspoiled ecosystems of the Sea of Cortez in Baja California Sur. Read more about Isla Espiritu Santo Island at An Unforgettable Adventure at Mexico’s Isla Espíritu Santo
4. Whale Watching in La Paz, Mexico
By far, one of the most magical experiences is to go whale watching. And La Paz has no shortage of whales migrating through the area. Each year whales make their annual migration through Baja California. What makes La Paz so special is that the whales stop to have their calves and nurse in shallow lagoons.
Whale watching season is usually from January through April as whales migrate through the area. Sightings are almost guaranteed and many times they come right up to the boat and swim alongside the boat. It is definitely one of the best things to do in La Paz.
Suggested La Paz, Mexico Tours
Book a La Paz Whale watching tour with Baja Outdoor Activities in La Paz. They do day kayaking trips around the Baja Peninsula including multi-day groups and private excursions and kayak rentals. If you’re looking for the ultimate adventure in Mexico, They also offer Whale Watching, Yoga, and SUP trips. Drop Ben an email to see what they can do.
5. Swim with Whale Sharks in La Paz
No trip to La Paz would be complete without swimming with whale sharks. Every year, whale sharks pass through to feed in the waters around La Paz from Oct 1 to April 30. It is one of the best places in the world to see a whale shark in the wild.
We swam with whale sharks in Cancun and it was one of the most magical experiences of our travels. La Paz isn’t as busy as Cancun, so we feel it would be a better place to swim with these gentle giants. Seeing a whale shark close up is magnificent. These gentle giants gracefully swim through the ocean effortlessly. It’s hard work keeping up with them, but it is an experience you will never forget. Book a La Paz whale shark excursion with Get Your Guide. 24-hour free cancellation and last-minute bookings.
6. Go to the Beach
Just 15 minutes out of La Paz, you’ll find some of the best beaches in Baja California Sur. Many of the beaches are just north of La Paz. It’s no wonder we saw so many condos developing out of town. Baja City itself doesn’t have a beach downtown but it’s not far out of the city center that you’ll find yourself in some beautiful stretches of sand.
There are many beaches around La Paz that are easy to visit:
- Balandra Beach
- Playa el Tesoro
- Pichilingue Beach
- Ensenada Grande
You can reach the beaches of La Paz by bus, motorbike or renting a car.
7. Go Off-Roading
Off-roading is huge here. So huge, that the Baja 1000 finishes in La Paz every other year. The nearby desert terrain is the perfect setting for off-road fun. With little civilization along the tracks, a person has hundreds of miles to fun to explore.
We had a taste of the off-roading experience during our drive to our launching-off point for our kayaking trip to San Jose Island, and we can attest, it is some of the best off-roading we’ve seen outside of Mongolia.
8. Sandboarding the Sand Dunes
If the desert if your cup of tea, try a turn at sandboarding at El Mogote. It’s a ton of fun zipping down giant sand dunes on a sandboard. Trust me, it’s different than snowboarding, but it is worth giving it a go if you are an adrenaline seeker.
If you have trouble getting the hang of it, just lay on the board and use it as a toboggan. You can book sandboarding tours through Baja Desconocida.
9. Go Sailing
Sailing is a major activity in La Paz and when in Baja California, how can you not take a sailing trip on the Sea of Cortez? Book a sunset boat trip to look for wildlife and view the coast.
There is nothing better than sailing on the sea and the spectacular coastline of Baja California will take your breath away. Not to mention the spectacular sunsets.
10. Stroll Along the Malecón
Stretching 5.5 km (3.5 miles) from Hotel Marina – the hotel where we stayed in La Paz, there is a beautiful waterfront promenade known as the Malecón. There is nothing more romantic than taking a stroll around La Paz hand in hand with your honey admiring the street art.
Evenings are the best time to visit as the entire town of La Paz seems to come out to enjoy the cooler evenings. People bike, run and walk along the waterfront, stopping in restaurants for dinner or drinks and live bands play late into the night. It’s magical.
11. Paddleboarding – SUP
If any of you have been following for a while, you’ll know that Dave and I love paddleboarding and the Calm Waters of the Sea of Cortez are a good place to give it a try.
In La Paz, you can rent paddleboards and paddle along the shore. Or you can book paddleboarding trips and excursions with Baja Outdoor Activities located in La Paz.
If we could carry a paddleboard with us, we’d do it everywhere. I think that if we lived in La Paz, we would use our paddleboards for our commute. If we ever needed to go into town from our waterfront condo (I’m dreaming now) we’d just hop on our boards and paddle in.
12. Shopping in La Paz
La Paz is filled with jewelry makers and artists and there is a local co-op for artists, a walking street filled with street art and artists and various art shops throughout the town.
One of my favorite parts of visiting Mexico is to buy handmade necklaces and this trip was no different. We bought chains from street vendors and had them change them in front of our eyes to suit our taste.
13. Cathedral of La Paz (Catedral de Nuestra Senora de La Paz)
Catedral de Nuestra Senora de La Paz is a lovely church located in the centre of La Paz. It was founded by Jesuit Missionaries in the 18th century and was the church itself was built in the 19th century.
Visitors are welcome can view Baroque religious symbols and enter for free!
14. Street Art of La Paz
The Malecon is filled with art and sculptures created by local artists. A lot of the art was also donated to help preserve the cultural heritage of La Paz.
Be sure to stroll along the Malecon, in the urban parks, the waterfront pier and into the city square. There are sculptures everywhere. You can read more about the sculptures of La Paz at Tenaja Holdings, a company that donated many of the pieces.
15. Explore the Marina
We stayed at the Marina Cortez located just a short walk out of downtown La Paz.
Marvel at the yachts parked at the marina and enjoy a stroll along the pier before settling in at one of the restaurants for a candlelit dinner at sunset.
Museums In La Paz
16. Whale Museum
The Whale Museum of La Paz gives you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about whales. From their behavior and habitat to the evolution of whales and its impact on the local community.
17. Mining History Museum
A new museum that opened in 2018 is located in the mountains of La Paz. Museo Ruta de Plata (The Silver Route Museum), traces the history of the area from the early settlers of the 1500s to the silver mining heritage from 1750 – 1930.
Two more museums are in the works too! The Cowboy Museum and the Natural History Museum.
18. End With a La Paz Sunset
Find yourself a beach, a sunset patio or just a place on the Malecon and enjoy the sunset. Nothing compares to the many sunsets we watched while visiting La Paz.
To find out more about travel to La Paz, Mexico Visit Baja Sur tourism to see all the Adventures Baja California Sur that await you on your next vacation.
They do day kayaking trips around the Baja Peninsula including multi-day group and private excursions and kayak rentals.
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About The Planet D
Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.