Written by Justin Mewse
Discover the ultimate in adventure and relaxation in La Paz with our curated list of ten of the best experiences this glorious destination has to offer. Sink your toes into the soft sands of its pristine beaches, embark on thrilling kayaking adventures along rugged coastlines, and delve into the mesmerising underwater world through snorkelling excursions. Witness the majestic beauty of marine giants during whale watching tours, savour the exquisite local cuisine brimming with fresh seafood flavours, and explore the striking desert landscapes on exhilarating hikes. For the adrenaline junkies, there’s kite surfing, where the sea and wind merge in a thrilling dance. La Paz truly offers an array of experiences that will leave you spellbound.
Go Whale Watching
Whale watching in La Paz is a breathtaking experience that allows you to witness the majesty of these gentle giants up close. The best time to see these magnificent creatures is between the months of December to March (with February perhaps being the very best), when grey whales and humpback whales migrate to the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez to give birth and raise their young. As you embark on a whale-watching excursion, you’ll have the opportunity to marvel at their playful behaviours, spy their colossal tails rising gracefully from the depths, and even hear their hauntingly beautiful songs. To get a front-row seat to this extraordinary natural spectacle, we recommend heading to the tiny fishing community called Puerto Chale by way of a reputable, pre-bookable tour.
Visit Espíritu Island
A day trip to Espíritu Santo Island from La Paz typically begins with a scenic boat ride across the azure waters of the Sea of Cortez, providing a chance to spot dolphins, sea birds, and perhaps even a breaching whale or two.
One of the highlights of a visit to Espíritu Santo Island is kayaking along its rugged coastline. Paddle through crystal-clear waters, exploring hidden coves, sea caves, and secluded beaches. The island’s dramatic rock formations and vibrant marine life create a captivating underwater world for snorkelers. Slip into the water to discover colorful fish, playful sea lions, and the chance to encounter gentle whale sharks or manta rays, depending on the season.
Hiking is another fantastic way to experience the island’s natural beauty. Trekking along well-marked trails, you can take in breathtaking vistas of the surrounding sea and rugged landscapes while getting up close to the island’s unique flora and fauna.
Espíritu Santo Island is also a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, which highlights the importance of its preservation. As such, responsible tourism practices are encouraged, and visitors are often reminded to leave no trace and respect the island’s delicate ecosystem.
Head Out On A Desert Adventure
La Paz is a desert adventurer’s paradise, offering a myriad of exhilarating experiences amidst its arid landscapes. Embark on a sandboarding escapade, where you’ll carve your way down towering dunes, feeling the thrill of the desert winds in your hair. For those seeking high-octane action, ATV tours provide an adrenaline rush as you navigate rugged terrains, exploring hidden canyons and remote desert trails. If you prefer a slower pace, hiking unveils the area’s unique flora and fauna, with trails leading to panoramic vistas that capture the essence of the desert’s beauty. Mountain biking enthusiasts can tackle challenging routes, weaving through cacti-studded landscapes and rocky terrain.
Chill On The Best Beaches In Mexico
Chilling on the beaches of La Paz is an idyllic experience, with each stretch of coastline offering its unique charm and ambiance. Balandra Beach, renowned for its tranquil turquoise waters and distinctive mushroom-shaped rock formation, beckons visitors to relax on its powdery white sands and take in the stunning natural beauty. Nearby, Tecolote Beach presents a more lively atmosphere, with beachside restaurants serving up fresh seafood and refreshing drinks. It’s an ideal spot for water sports enthusiasts, offering opportunities for kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling in the clear waters.
Heading south along the coast, El Tesoro and Saltito Beaches are hidden gems where you can truly escape the crowds. These pristine shores are perfect for those seeking solitude and a quiet escape into nature. Pichilingue Beach, on the other hand, is known for its ferry terminal, making it a convenient starting point for island-hopping adventures in the Sea of Cortez.
For a more local vibe, Coromuel Beach is a favourite among La Paz residents, offering a relaxed atmosphere and gentle waves for swimming. La Ventana Bay is a haven for windsurfers and kiteboarders, with its consistent winds and welcoming kiteboarding community. And finally, Punta Arena Beach provides an excellent spot for picnics and relaxation, with its serene shores and panoramic views of the surrounding bay.
Savour The Flavours Of La Paz
In La Paz, the culinary scene is a tantalising journey that celebrates the region’s rich flavours and traditions. The city’s commitment to “farm to table” and “ranch to table” dining experiences ensures that every dish bursts with freshness and authenticity. Picture yourself savouring the vibrant colours and flavours of locally grown produce and meats, all expertly prepared to delight your taste buds.
But it’s the seafood that truly steals the show in La Paz. Nestled along the shores of the Sea of Cortez, the city serves as a gateway to an underwater treasure trove. From succulent grilled fish tacos to ceviche brimming with zesty citrus and spices, every bite offers a taste of the sea’s bounty. And if you’re a cheese aficionado, prepare to be pleasantly surprised by the artisanal cheeses produced in the region. Pair them with warm, handmade tortillas for a simple yet exquisite gastronomic experience that captures the heart and soul of Mexican cuisine.
La Paz is a diver’s paradise, boasting a wealth of captivating dive sites that beckon underwater explorers from around the world. One of the most exhilarating encounters awaits at the nearby dive sites of La Paz, where the gentle giants of the ocean, whale sharks, make seasonal appearances. These magnificent creatures, the world’s largest fish, gather in the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez from October to April, offering divers a chance to swim alongside them in a breathtaking display of marine beauty. In addition to whale sharks, the region’s dive sites offer vibrant coral reefs teeming with colourful fish, playful sea lions, and unique rock formations.
Sleep Under A Canopy Of Stars
For an extraordinary and unique experience in La Paz, we highly recommend giving glamping a try. Glamping, short for “glamorous camping,” offers the perfect blend of outdoor adventure and luxurious comfort. Imagine falling asleep under a canopy of stars, surrounded by the tranquil beauty of Baja California Sur, all while enjoying the conveniences of a comfortable bed, cosy furnishings, and even gourmet meals prepared by skilled chefs.
La Paz offers a variety of glamping options, from beachfront tents with panoramic sea views to desert oases nestled among cacti and unique eco-friendly accommodations. Whether you choose to stay on a secluded beach, in the heart of the desert, or in a lush oasis, glamping in La Paz allows you to immerse yourself in nature while indulging in the finer things in life.
This exceptional experience not only lets you disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life but also provides an opportunity to reconnect with the natural world in style and comfort.
Set Sail In Calm Blue Waters
Sailing in La Paz is a dream come true for enthusiasts and novices alike, offering an unparalleled way to explore the blue waters of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. With its consistent winds, calm seas, and year-round favourable weather, La Paz is an ideal destination for sailing adventures. Whether you’re an experienced sailor or a first-timer, there are plenty of options to enjoy this maritime paradise.
Charter a sailboat or catamaran to embark on a private voyage or join a group excursion, and you’ll have the opportunity to navigate the azure waters, taking in the stunning coastal vistas and dramatic desert landscapes that surround La Paz. Glide past picturesque coves, hidden beaches, and remote islands, many of which are home to an abundance of marine life, making for incredible snorkeling and wildlife-watching opportunities.
The Sea of Cortez, often referred to as the “Aquarium of the World” by Jacques Cousteau, is a renowned sailing destination for its vibrant underwater ecosystems, making it a must-visit for sailors and marine enthusiasts. So, whether you’re seeking a relaxing day on the water, a chance to set sail alongside dolphins and whales, or to explore hidden gems along the coast, sailing in La Paz promises an unforgettable and immersive maritime experience.
Hit The Towns
A leisurely stroll along the La Paz boardwalk, known locally as the Malecón, allows visitors to immerse themselves in the vibrant culture and natural beauty of this coastal city. As you wander along the waterfront promenade, you’ll be greeted by stunning views of the Sea of Cortez, with its ever-changing hues of blue. Lined with palm trees, sculptures, and vibrant street art, the Malecón is a visual feast that provides a glimpse into the local art scene and showcases the city’s commitment to cultural expression.
You can also encounter intriguing landmarks such as the famous “Dove of Peace” sculpture and the whale skeleton monument, reminders of the area’s rich marine life. Along the way, there are numerous restaurants, cafes, and shops where you can savour local cuisine, enjoy refreshing beverages, or pick up souvenirs. And if you visit in the evening, you’ll be treated to breathtaking sunsets that paint the sky with a spectrum of colours.
Just a short drive away from La Paz lies the charming town of Todos Santos, a destination known for its artistic spirit, historical charm, and culinary delights. As you explore the cobbled streets and colourful colonial buildings, you’ll encounter art galleries, boutique shops, and quaint cafes that beckon you to linger and appreciate the town’s creative energy. Todos Santos is famous for its vibrant arts scene, with many local artists calling the town home and showcasing their work in the numerous galleries.
Additionally, Todos Santos boasts a rich agricultural heritage, with local farms producing an array of delicious fruits and vegetables. Visitors can savour farm-to-table cuisine at its finest in the town’s restaurants, where traditional Mexican flavours are elevated to gourmet levels. Don’t forget to visit the iconic Hotel California, known for inspiring the Eagles’ famous song, and immerse yourself in the town’s laid-back atmosphere.
Enjoy Some Kitesurfing
If you haven’t given kitesurfing a try before, why not experience it in La Paz? It’s a thrilling activity that allows you to harness the power of wind and sea while surrounded by the stunning landscapes of Baja California Sur. With its consistent winds and clear, warm waters, La Paz is a kitesurfer’s paradise. Beginners and seasoned enthusiasts alike can take to the waves, feeling the exhilarating rush as they glide across the water or soar above it, propelled by the colourful kite above. The Sea of Cortez offers an ideal playground for kitesurfing, where the meeting of desert and ocean creates a unique setting for this high-energy sport.
Discover The Best Holiday Options In La Paz With These Recommended Adventures
We’ve delved into the holiday offerings from a number of our favourite travel experts to find what we think are the best trip you can book to enjoy La Paz.
11-Day Camping & Kayaking in Baja California Sur
Small Group Escorted Tour
A sea-kayaking holiday in sheltered Sea of Cortez, Baja California Sur, circumnavigating Espíritu Santo Island. Closely guided, it’s a camping-based group trip for beginners and experienced paddlers alike.
Why we love this trip…
Enjoy a full-day guided tour of Mexico City and Teotihuacan Pyramids
Take a speedboat to Espíritu Santo Island for a kayak expedition around the island
Experience swimming and snorkelling with sea lions
Paddle through coastal caves
Trek up a canyon and then kayak over to Partida Island
Spend some fun nights under the stars
ABTA & ATOL protected
Price includes 6 nights tented accommodation, 2 nights La Paz hotel, 2 nights Mexico City hotel, daily breakfasts, 8 days full board, excursions as per the itinerary, services of fluent, English-speaking local representatives and guides, all land and air transport within Latin America
Operated by Journey Latin America
11-Day Mexico City & Baja California Sur Road Trip: From City to Coast
Premium Tailor-Made Self-Drive Tour
This itinerary focuses on soaking up Mexican culture, lifestyle and local food including a road trip from the Sea of Cortez to the Pacific Ocean
Why we love this trip…
Start in Mexico City with a private visit to the Teotihuacan archaeological site
Whizz across incredible desert landscapes, passing giant cacti and golden beaches
See the colonies of sea lions, dolphins, manta rays on a private day trip of Espiritu Santo
Head to the beaches of the southern tip of the peninsula
Enjoy some downtime, lounging by your boutique hotel pool
Opt to take a hike to the Santiago de Los Coras natural spring, surf, kayak or enjoy horseriding
Stay in charming, colonial accommodations
ABTA & ATOL protected
Price includes 9 nights accommodation, daily breakfasts, 2 lunches, day trip to the archaeological site of Teotihuacan, with private expert guide, day trip to Espiritu Santo with a guide and loan of diving equipment mask and snorkel, use of a local mobile phone, 7 days car hire, private transfers, domestic flight and international return flights
Operated by Original Travel
12-Day Discover Baja California Sur & The Sea Of Cortez
Premium Self-Drive Tour
Explore the raw desert scenery of the southern Baja Peninsula, its palm-sheltered oases, small colonial mission towns and secret white-sand beaches with the freedom guaranteed by a self-drive hire car.
Why we love this trip…
Go whale watching in the serene Baja Californian Sur bay
Visit the pretty colonial lagoon-side town San Ignacio, set in a desert oasis
Kayak in the turquoise blue waters of Balandra Bay
Explore the little 18th century town of Todos Santos
Swim with whale sharks – the world’s largest species of fish
See Mexico City’s crowning jewel, Teotihuacán, an ancient city in a remarkable state of preservation
Stay in delightfully authentic accommodations
ABTA & ATOL protected
Price includes 11 nights accommodation, daily breakfasts, 2 lunches, 7 days car hire and 3 domestic flights
Operated by Journey Latin America
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