Jess Buchan

Forget Cabo San Lucas and it’s flashy resorts filled to the brim with tourists. The quiet, seaside city of La Paz is the secret gem of Mexico. Despite being the largest city in the Baja California Sur state, La Paz gives off a relaxed, beachy vibe that you crave when on holidays. With activities such a snorkeling with sea lions to kayaking or even just devouring delicious fresh seafood there is something unique for everybody here.

Explore and eat

The best place to stay in La Paz is close to the Malecón, which is the 5km pedestrian strip parallel to the Bay of La Paz and lined with plenty of restaurants and bars. While the rest of the city stretches out behind the seafront, it’s on the Malecón where the sleepy vibe will win you over.

Almost anywhere along the Malecón will have delicious and fresh seafood for you to enjoy. For the best fish tacos in La Paz, head to McFisher where the friendly team will serve you up home-cooked seafood dishes leaving you wanting more and more! If you’re after a coffee fix, Doce Cuarenta is the place to go.

Mexican tacos

Freshly cooked tacos are a must-eat in La Paz... Well let’s be honest, in all of Mexico!”

Fun in the water

La Paz is situated off the Sea of Cortez. It is commonly referred to as ‘The Aquarium’ because it’s one of the richest biodiverse locations in the world. Fall in love with playful sea lions as you snorkel amongst them around Espiritu Santo Island. While these puppy-like creatures are generally friendly and inquisitive, be sure not to point your GoPro to close to them as they might just take a chomp at it!

sea lions

These playful, inquisitive animals will steal your heart!

Year round, whale sharks can be found in the Bay of La Paz and you can swim beside these beautiful gentle giants. Whale shark conservation is paramount here and only a limited number of groups can go out each day so be sure to book yourself in early! These magnificent sea creatures will make you feel insignificant as you snorkel next to them but not intimidated as they glide calmly by.

 If you want to stay dry, whale-watching tours are very popular. Grey whales come to the warm waters of Magdalena Bay - which is not far from La Paz - between January and March to breed. Tour groups go daily to watch the whales during this time. To brush up on your whale knowledge, visit the Museo de la Ballena (Whale Museum) see how the people of La Paz are doing their best to help preserve these great animals.

For more physical adventures, take a sea kayak trip and perhaps see a pod of dolphins or even a whale. Paddle boarding has also become increasingly popular and the calm waters around Playa Balandra are ideal to have a paddle.

Let's go to the beach!

The waterfront of La Paz isn’t really suitable for swimming however a short drive away and you’ll be greeted by some of the most stunning beaches in Mexico. Playa Balandra is infamous for it’s azure coloured waters that are suitable for the whole family to swim in. El Tesoro is another must-visit and is where Baja’s largest pearl was found! If you’re looking for an adventure, take a day trip to Espiritu Santo Island. Here you get to explore desolate beaches so peaceful that you won’t want to leave.

Playa Balandra

The calm waters of Playa Balandra are perfect for all ages. Paddleboard around the Bay or just soak up the sun!

Get out and about

The beauty of La Paz is that there are so many unique places within 2 hours drive. Hiring a car is easy and there are several rental car agencies along the Malecon. Just be sure that you have the correct insurance before agreeing to the rental contract.

cactus

The unique, desert landscapes of La Paz make you feel like you’re on another planet!

Just half an hour from La Paz and you’ll reach the peaceful fishing village of La Ventana. Despite its laid back vibe, adrenaline junkies flock here between November and March to kite-surf the L-shaped sandy bay.

About an hour from La Paz is the Pueblo Magico, Todos Santos. This charming little town will soon be on everybody's radar. From the local boutiques to the wild surf breaks, Todos Santos will enchant you from the start. Oh, and you can’t leave without having a drink at the Hotel California which may or may not be where the Eagles wrote their legendary ‘Hotel California.’

hotel California

Whether the local lore is true or not, it’s always a good story to say that you’ve been to the Hotel California!

Lovely La Paz

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-track adventure in Mexico, La Paz is for you. While the hordes are lying by the pool at their all-inclusive resorts, explore the desert landscapes that Baja California Sur is famous for. Get up close with some of the ocean’s most elusive animals and discover some of Mexico’s finest beaches. Oh and if you do nothing else, eat ALL the fish tacos.

 

Jess Buchan is an Aussie travel blogger who has lived in Europe and loves to share her travel stories on her blog, Instagram @ablondeandherpassport and Twitter @ablondeandher.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the Policy Documents available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.