La Paz

Overview

Introduction

La Paz, the capital of the state of Baja California Sur, lies near the southeastern tip of the peninsula, approximately 725 mi/1,165 km south of San Diego, California and north of the popular resort areas of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.

Although La Paz is a port city with only adequate beaches, it does have great diving and snorkeling and some of the best sportfishing on the peninsula. It's also a good jumping-off point for excursions to see gray whales, which pass by in the winter months.

La Paz also hosts a lively (and popular) Carnival celebration each year just before Ash Wednesday (reserve a hotel far in advance if you plan to see it). While in town, visit the cathedral, the Museum of Anthropology and the malecon, a waterfront sidewalk bordering playgrounds and restaurants on the sand.

La Paz is also the terminus of two ferries, from Mazatlan and Topolobambo, and the departure point for trips to Espiritu Santo Island. We recommend going there to explore the wilderness and the many caves along the beaches that were once used by the native Indians. The island is also a great place for snorkeling, kayaking and camping.

At the sea pinnacles, called El Bajo, you can scuba dive with hundreds of seemingly docile hammerhead sharks. (This is not a recommendation—only experienced divers should attempt it, and then at their own risk.)

Back on the Baja Peninsula, some of the finest less-developed beaches in Mexico lie to the northeast of La Paz, around Pichilingue—Balandra, Tecolote and Coyote. You need a car to get to them, and only Tecolote has watersports-equipment rentals.

This area has seen a new influx of expatriates in recent years as three new golf course communities (fed by desalinized water) opened in the region: Paraiso del Mar, Costa Baja and Bahia de los Suenos.

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