The biggest paradox for travellers visiting La Paz is that is doesn’t really suit it’s name as the most ‘Mexican’ city in Baja. Indeed, the city is very international, and visitors are just as likely to hear Portuguese, Italian or even French while wandering the streets as they are to hear English or Spanish. It’s a town with an interesting history that includes an American occupation, and a time in which it was declared its own republic. But that was only temporary, and not La Paz is a interesting blend of relaxed, slightly antique beauty and more modern trends.
Although often overlooked by travellers La Paz has more than enough to offer travellers in the form of incredible waterfronts and quality beaches. One of these is Playa El Tesoro, which is in a protected bay surrounded by aquamarine waters. It is very quiet, and perfect for any kind of watersports that doesn’t include motors, like kayaking and canoeing. Visitors to La Paz can also visit the islands in the Sea of Cortez, which are available on boat tours that, despite the costs, are well worth doing. The incredible marine wildlife and beautiful scenery are the big draws here for sure. There are even opportunities to whale watch in the area, and see the grey whales of Magdalena Bay. Most tour operators for the whale watching provide both lunch and snorkelling equipment, so you don’t have to worry about anything.
If you’re wanting to spend the day getting some shopping done and having a walk around, make sure you check out the beachside malecón where you’ll find lots of interesting little shops and unique eateries. It is a great place to spend the day, and there are less touts here which makes for an easier shopping experience. There are also a few places on the malecón where you’ll be able to rent a bike to get around La Paz, as many visitors will tell you the town is quite spread out. But, be sure to take care if you are wandering around the city area, as getting lost is quite common. It helps to take a map, as although there is a grid patter that makes general orientation easy, there are a plethora of crooked streets and alleys with names that change on every block. Consider yourself fairly warned.
For those looking for a night out on the town, La Paz will also provide. There are a number of popular waterfront bars and clubs that are well worth checking out like Clandestino, The Jungle, La Casa De Villa, La Cantina and others. Most locals enjoy spending their evenings in the busy Exquisito coffee shops, or having a maleconeando, which in La Paz means heading down the water front at night to try and pickup and observe the nightlife. This is quite a popular pastime, and visitors need not worry themselves, as the downtown area is quite safe.
La Paz has a great balance that is worth experiencing the next time you’re planning on holidaying in Mexico, and whether it’s nature or culture, you’ll find something in this interesting coastal city.