In the first part of my guide to discover Baja California Sur I gave you some information about Los Cabos. This entry will give you an insight to La Paz, which is a little further up north the state. I had a great time in La Paz, enjoyed the beach, the sun and the nice atmosphere of this city. You can also do Whale Watching here but as I have already done that in Los Cabos, I tried to do different things in La Paz. So, here are my personal recommendations for Baja California Sur’s capital!
La Paz is a lot quieter and less touristic than Los Cabos which I really enjoyed! It still seems to be a small fishing village which creates a certain atmosphere of tranquility. However, this is also a difficult point. First of all, there are not a lot of job or education options, so they somehow need the tourism to grow in order to keep up their economy. This however will lead to the development of just another plastic tourist hotspot. Furthermore, the local infrastructure is not the best. You can definitely move around the city in local Camiones, but when it comes to the beaches, you definitely need a car. However, here are some tips of activities that I enjoyed in La Paz.
Talking about needing a car, this is definitely the case if you want to visit the Balandra beach. It’s a 40- to 45-minute ride and the streets are narrow and full of curves. There’s no Camión that goes there, so a lot of people also tramp there. However, Balandra is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It’s a beach on a lagoon and the water is so shallow that you can almost walk to the beach on the opposite side. In the end, this seemed easier than it was because you do have to swim a part and I also didn’t know that there were jellyfish that can really hurt you. Luckily, they only touched me a little, so I didn’t get hurt. But once you’re on the other side, it’s gonna be all worth it. It’s a beach that you can only reach crossing the water, so I had the beach all to myself. Plus, it was far away enough not to hear the people on the other side. Absolute silence in pure, untouched nature. This was definitely one of the most intense experiences I ever had.
In Balandra there’s also a stone formation that became an icon for this city. Enjoy a sunset view here!
The Malecón is the enormous shore that you can find in La Paz. At some parts you’ll find small beaches, at others some boats and at other monuments or tiny plazas. Palm trees guide the streets and crossing the street, there is one restaurant next to the other or bars or cafés. However, everything is super calm and the atmosphere is more relaxed than energetic. This makes a walk on the Malecón a beautiful and quiet experience. It is also the perfect place if you want to go jogging, as it is really quite long. For more tips on how to do sports on holidays, have a look at another entry I wrote on this blog about this topic.
The centre is always pretty, or at least it has been pretty in every Mexican city or village I have been to yet. The same goes for La Paz even though I must admit that the centre here is different. Most of the historical centres have a lot of buildings in a colonial style but you won’t find that much in La Paz. This is because Baja California Sur was too far away for the Spanisch conquerors. This is why La Paz was able to remain a small fishing village for such a long time. I learned that in the Centro Cultural in La Paz, a beautiful building with a free exposition of Baja California’s history. So if you’re interested in that, go check it out. Another tip for the centre is the street 21 de Agosto as you can buy typical souvenirs for reasonable prices here in the pedestrial zone.