Visiting the beautiful La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur, was a real surprise to me. I didn’t expect such a beauty and even less so many expats living there. The first one I got in touch with was Esther, the Swiss owner of El Angel Azul where I stayed for my 2 nights and then met a few others, mostly the owners of restaurants, bars and hotels nowadays.
I spent 4 incredible days in the town and walked it all through looking for the best tips for you. The city center looks small and it’s all easily walkable even though the terrain is a bit hilly. It does not feel like you are surrounded by around 250,000 inhabitants. In spite of being featured in John Steinbeck’s novel The Pearl, La Paz keeps its charming small town touch.
I can recommend you these 6 things to do in La Paz:
1. El malecon -the famous boardwalk is probably the most visited part of La Paz since it was built in 2004. I spent there every afternoon because the sunsets are incredible there. The boardwalk along the coast looks more like somewhere in the US or Europe with both the locals and tourists jogging, running with dogs, cycling, inline-skating etc. A few rare statues are lined up along the coast and make up for even a more beautiful sunset with the sun behind them.
el malecon La Paz
children enjoying the boardwalk
little palm trees
locals enjoying the sunset
children running along the coast
playing with dogs
a fish statue
statues on the coast
sunset over boats
beautiful sunset time from the boardwalk
sun setting down
2. Mercado Madero – amazing during the day, fresh juices, clothes, fruit and vegetables, even meat and little restaurants. Stroll around the streets to see the typical local life of shops, small restaurants and different music from every corner. I went to the market every day to get my freshly squeezed juices.
fresh juices at Mercado Madero
selling clothes and other things at the market
3. Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Paz and the main square – it is located in the center of the town where once stood the mission founded by the Jesuits in the 18th century. Nowadays it is the seat of the Diocese of La Paz and a must see when visiting. The neoclassical facade is adorned by the baroque altarpieces inside.
Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Paz
4. snorkeling with sea lions on Isla Espiritu Santo – this was the highlight of my experience in La Paz. Sergio from Eco Adventures I visited Todos Santos with too, took me on a boat trip together with the Cortez Club to Isla Espiritu Santo, a real paradise. I fulfilled one of my dreams there with so many animals in the pure nature and the most beautiful beaches. This activity is definitely one of the things to do in La Paz, no excuses. Read all about my snorkeling with sea lions. Also check out my Sexy Saturday photos from Balandra and Bonanza beaches.
observing sea lions before snorkeling
difficult to take a photo of sea lions
5. kayaking at Balandra beach -on my last day we also did a short kayaking trip to Balandra beach, once again with Todos Santos Eco Adventures and always smiling Sergio. The Balandra beach is one of the nicest beaches I’ve ever been to. Gosh, the turquoise sea color still makes me smile! The kayaking there was pretty easy as the water is not deep and you can see it through so no worries at all. The only problem might be the little stingrays in certain period of time that could bite your feet, so careful with that. But when kayaking you don’t really have to step into the water at all until you are on the coast.
ready to go kayaking on Balandra beach
6. eat – La Paz is a pretty cool place to eat different kinds of meals as the expats are all around. Together with the Mexican cuisine I love, you can get famous La Fuente ice cream on the boardwalk, fish in El Biskmarsito and pizza or salads in the picturesque garden of Il Rustico. You could easily visit La Paz just for the culinary experience.
La Fuente ice cream
fish in Il Biskmarsito
For more information about sunny La Paz, check out Go La Paz, the official website of the tourist board.
*** It took me 3 hours to write this post.