A hidden gem in baja : Travel guide to la Paz, Mexico

As a serial island hopper and on a forever hunt to discover the world’s most beautiful beaches, it is no surprise that La Paz in Mexico has always been on my bucketlist. But most people haven’t heard about this hidden gem in the Baja peninsula. La Paz is a stunning destination located on the Sea of Cortez side of the Baja with the most pristine beaches, incredible marine life and charming towns that have the most authentic Mexican vibes. When the La Paz tourism board recently invited me to be a part of a press trip to see what the destination has to offer, I was super thrilled at the opportunity – not only to experience it myself but also hopefully inspire you all to discover this new destination and travel here in the future.

 

Why La Paz?

La Paz is truly an offbeat paradise gem in Mexico that is now easily my favorite part of Mexico! Here are 5 reasons you MUST add La Paz to your travel bucketlist stat :

1) Easy direct flights to Cabo and a short drive to the destination of La Paz from there makes this a perfect long weekend getaway!

2) It has some of the best beaches in Mexico – they are calm, swimmable, postcard perfect and without any crowds. Chances that you’ll have private beaches to yourself here are plenty!

3) Incredible marine life – it is no wonder this region has been nicknamed the “Aquarium Of The World” by the legendary oceanographer, Jacques Cousteau. The opportunity to delve into an aquarium with more than 20,000 bursting unique marine species underwater awaits you in La Paz.

4) Authentic Mexican food and the most delicious fresh seafood! You must try the Chocolate clams if you visit.

5) There is so much culture and history in the town of La Paz as well as the neighboring town of Todos Santos. They both have an authentic old Mexican town feel without the commercialization.

How to get to La Paz?

I am listing out a few ways to get to La Paz here :

  • The easiest way is what we did – fly into Cabo and then drive to La Paz. ( about a 2 hour drive from Cabo to La Paz). Most US airlines all have direct flights to Cabo.
  • American airlines does have a direct flight into La Paz, so you might want to check if thats feasible for you.
  • If you would rather fly directly into La Paz and not have to do the Cabo to La Paz drive you can fly via Mexico City, Guadalajara or Tijuana.
  • Lastly if you stay in San Diego, you can take the flight from Tijuana across the border to La Paz directly! More about this here. 

How to get to and around La Paz?

If you land in Cabo you would need to rent a car and drive to La Paz. All the major car rentals are there at Cabo airport. However if you prefer not to drive you can arrange for a prearranged taxi or transfer via your hotel or local tour guide.

In La Paz if you stay in town you don’t really need a car as most things in town are either walkable or you will have to go out on a boat tour to see the rest of the attractions.

How many days?

We spent a total of 5 days – 3 days in La Paz and 2 days in Todos Santos. But I think you can easily cover the major highlights in about 3-4 days.

Where to stay?

You can either choose to stay in the La Paz region or Todos Santos (which is an hour away and the midway point between La Paz and Cabo. Here are few suggestions:

1 ) Baja Club Hotel ( boutique hotel in La Paz )

In and around Baja Club hotel

For our first 3 days we stayed at Baja Club Hotel – a newly opened boutique hotel that is a member of the Design Hotels. It was also recently voted by Travel and Leisure as one of the best new hotels in the world for 2022! Located right on the seaside promenade or Malecon of La Paz, this quaint little hotel felt like a serene escape tucked away in its own sanctuary, while also being super close to all the major spots in town! It is the perfect place to base yourself in La Paz for your trip to the destination.

 

2 ) Costa Baja Resort ( resort in La Paz )

If you are looking for a resort along the water in La Paz, then Costa Baja might be the one for you. Located along a beautiful bay of the Sea of Cortez this resort is a destination by itself with multiple restaurants and activities to do on site.

 

3 ) Paradero Hotel ( luxury resort in Todos Santos )

In and around Paradero hotel

We stayed here for the last 2 nights of our trip. Paradero is a stunning upscale luxury resort about 20 minutes from the town of Todos Santos. It is a dreamy boho desert escape, that totally makes you feel like you were whisked away to some far off oasis. The architecture and design of this property is downright gorgeous and so unique, it is definitely what drew me the most to this property. Aside from the design elements what I loved most is that the property is an experience inclusive property meaning every guest has experiences included in their stay such as – hikes, yoga, leaning to farm, garden, etc. Additional experiences were also available at a fee like a taco tour, an art and architecture walk, etc.

 

4 ) Hotel San Cristobal ( boutique hotel in Todos Santos )

Hotel San Cristóbal is a chic boutique hotel that sits on the beach on the southwestern edge of the Baja peninsula in Todos Santos, Mexico. The intimate property is home to a restaurant and bar, as well as a library, a seaside mirador, and a small retail shop.

You can also check out more hotels in La Paz here.

For more luxury resorts in the La Paz region – stay tuned for both the Chable group as well as the Fairmont group that have announced opening of their new properties here by next year!

 

 

Things to do in La Paz :

1 ) Day Trip To Isla Espiritu Santo 

Do not miss out on a tour to visit the stunning Isla Espiritu Santo, an island off of the La Paz Coast. We did this tour with Onboard Baja and absolutely loved it. Espiritu Santo Island is home to a colony of more than 400 friendly sea lions. In the full day tour, you can snorkel with the sea lions, admire the frigate birds in San Gabriel Bay, see the beautiful rock formations that the island offers, stop at epic beaches such as Playa Ensenda Grande and Playa Partida – where you can enjoy some fresh seafood lunch, lounge around, go stand up paddleboarding and more!

If you are an avid diver don’t miss out on the areas of El Bajo, Los Islotes, Las Ánimas, La Reina and La Reinita, bordering the islands, which are ideal for diving. The recommended season for diving is spring and summer.

More photos from our boat day :

Can’t get over these gorgeous blue waters!

 

2 ) Visit Balandra Beach

No visit to la Paz is complete without visiting the iconic Balandra Beach – the most beautiful beach in Mexico! Balandra Beach is a large bay with about 7 coves of shallow, still, turquoise water that gently laps against a long stretch of shoreline. Throughout the bay the water is super shallow and you can even walk across from one cove to the other and find a beach all to yourself !!

It is accessible by both a short drive from La Paz or on a boat tour too ( which I preferred since you can choose which cove you want to go to and chances are you will find one with no one on it!). This is a protected beach and they limit the number of visitors if you visit by car. ( check online before you go) I think now it was 100 or 150 every 3 hours if you go by road. We visited Balandra Beach with Onboard Baja again.

with Cherrie from @Cherrielynn and Shelbi from @bucketlistbums

The stunning Balandra Beach!

Below – with the famous mushroom rock.

It is a part of the national marine park and is one of La Paz’s last undeveloped beaches and I LOVE that it is free from any commercialization. Raw, untouched, pristine and so unspoiled, easily one of my favorite beaches I have been to.

 

3 ) Sandboarding on the El Mogote Dunes

Onboard Baja also offers this  fun activity for all ages. You can start with the smallest sand dunes and gradually work your way up to the highest peak! This activity is fun for all ages. End the day with a breathtaking view of the sunset behind a landscape full of cacti.

 

4 ) Whale Watching

PC : @johnrickalmonte

Gray whales migrate to the Sea of Cortez from January to April, so this is the best time of year to go whale watching in the area. We were so lucky to see one on our way back from Playa Balandra where a gray whale swam up so close to our boat! Shortly after, we also encountered a pod of dolphins too. More on whale watching here.

 

5 ) Walking City tour of La Paz 

So much color and art around La Paz downtown

If you stay in town, all the attractions are easily walkable. Don’t miss out on

  • strolling the picturesque Malecon
  • checking out the town’s bustling art scene ( so many colorful murals and art installations in the town centre )
  • the La Paz Cathedral
  • La Paz Cultural Center

 

6 ) Visit the nearby town of Todos Santos

Located halfway between La Paz and Cabo, Todos Santos is the most charming little town that is equal parts a “cool surf town” and a “historic arts and culture hub”. It is also one of Mexico’s Pueblo Magico or Magical Towns in recognition of its rich authentic and colorful experience here. The whole town is super quaint to explore with cafes, boutiques, colorful streets, etc. My favorite street was Calle Centenario.

More scenes around Todos Santos :

Around charming Todos Santos

 

Where to eat ?

Listing out all my favorite places to eat in and around La Paz :

1 ) Dum Todos Santos

Located in a natural oasis in the heart of Todos Santos, DUM is a dreamy boho sanctuary with 3 restaurants and a pool Greta place to spend an afternoon or full day with their day pass option .

 

2 ) Origen

Chic and trendy little restaurant tucked away in its own little enclave. I loved their yummy cocktails, tacos, risotto and dessert!

 

3 ) Hambrusia

My favorite meal of the trip! Located right on the Malecon, try Hambrusia for dinner where you can enjoy some of their delicious margaritas, tacos, tostadas, ceviche, etc all while watching a magical La Paz sunset.

 

4 ) Bismarkrito 

For some authentic Baja cuisine try out this local joint! We loved the seafood here – don’t miss out on trying out their signature Chocolate Clams and delicious fish tacos.

5 ) Los Claros

Known for their legendary fish tacos!

6 ) 612 Rooftop

Chill rooftop bar and restaurant with a view. Great place for sunset drinks or a nightcap post dinner.

7) La Fuente

The best ice cream in town – I tried the Passionfruit and Taro!

 

We had the best time in La Paz, and I can’t wait to go back with Anush sometime!

Thanks for stopping by! xoxo

Jyo

 

Pin this travel guide for your future trip!

 

This trip was sponsored by Go La Paz but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

 

 

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