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Things To Do In La Paz, Baja California Sur

La Paz is the capital city of Baja California Sur and the largest city in the southern state of the Baja Peninsula. It is an absolutely charming Mexican city with lots of great things to do.

From swimming with whale sharks and sea lions to collecting photos of all of the amazing street art throughout the city or finding your own piece of a secluded beach, there are plenty of experiences to fill several days.

Of course, there is plenty of delicious food to eat, historical buildings and museums to visit and lots to do within a short drive from the city center. And if you catch the city during a special event, such as during Christmas and New Years, Easter, Carnaval, or El Dia de Los Muertos you’ll find that the energy of the city is even more exuberant, the decorations more elaborate and the spirit of the people more welcoming than ever!

While camping in Baja over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to visit La Paz during each of these times and although we’re not big fans of cities in general, La Paz captured our hearts and always left us sad to leave and equally excited to return! We love La Paz and think you will too once you visit!

Additionally, some of the best things to do in La Paz, Mexico are actually within a few short hours of the city, so you can engage with all sorts of sea life, culture and history and outdoor adventure with La Paz as your travel base!

On that note, let’s get into the top things to do in La Paz!

Did You Get Insurance Yet?

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that you need to be prepared for anything!

The Insurance companies I personally recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single trip cover, annual multi trip cover, and long term travel cover.

Safety Wing is great value with monthly cover starting at $39. It’s super easy to use and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here where I go into detail about the companies. 

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Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 

Best La Paz ToursClick here to check out the top La Paz tours
Best La Paz Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in La Paz
Best La Paz Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in La Paz

Top 10 Things to do In la Paz

Downtown La Paz in the “Zona Central” is the hub for most of the activities on our list. You’ll also find lots of references to the “Malecon,” which is a broad sidewalk that runs along the stretch of beach and waterfront.

Whale shark swimming La Paz Mexico | Fun Things to do in La Paz | La Paz travel guide

1. Swim with the Whale Sharks

Arguably the best thing to do in La Paz. The warm water teems with female and juvenile whale sharks that spend the winter months feeding along the coastal waters inside the bay.

Don’t forget your GoPro and be sure to have plenty of room on your SD card because this is going to be a memorable experience!

2. Visit Balandra & Tecolote beaches

Balandra Beach is perhaps the most famous beach in Baja, and one of the most famous in all of Mexico. Arrive early to claim a parking spot and rent a kayak or paddleboard for the day to explore the pristine turquoise water and picturesque white sandy beach.

Hike through the low tide to “Mushroom Rock,” or simply relax in the sun and warm water and grab a bite to eat from any of the vendors who pass you by throughout the day.

If you haven’t had your fill of beautiful beaches after Balandra, keep heading further down the road to Tecolote where you can catch amazing sunsets with dive-bombing pelicans and views of La Isla Espiritu Santo in the background.

3. Take a Day trip to La Isla Espiritu Santo

The island of Espiritu Santo sits a few short miles off the coast of La Paz and offers all sorts of adventures in visiting. Whether you opt to sail or take a motorboat, a day trip will often include stops to swim with the whale sharks and sea lions in addition to snorkeling colorful reefs.

Some tours include overnight stays in yurts on the beach. So if you have an extra day or two to feel like you’re on Gilligan’s Island, you won’t see more than a handful of other people as you explore the island and its surrounding waters.

4. Walk the Malecon

A short walk along the Malecon will give you more than enough to do for any amount of time in La Paz. Whether you’re interested in eating at any number of local restaurants, observing statues and street art by local artists, catching a boat tour or simply people watching the Malecon is the epicenter of adventure in La Paz.

If you are looking for free things to do in La Paz you can watch the sunset from any number of benches or play (or work out) in any number of activity areas along the Malecon.

During Christmas Season the Malecon is illuminated with lights and every night there are scores of festivities taking place along the 3-mile stretch of waterfront.

5. Visit the Whale Museum

As the name suggests, the Museo de la Ballena, or whale museum, is an ode to an old friend of the Baja Peninsula. As the waters surrounding the peninsula are full of migrating gray whales, blue whales and humpback whales it is only fitting that the city would host a museum in their honor.

Located a few blocks inland from the Malecon, the museum is instantaneously recognizable due to the large whale skeleton outside its front doors.

6. Rent a Kayak or SUP and paddle the bay

Although the waterfront along the Malecon is not as friendly for water activities as the nearby beaches, there are still numerous places to rent a kayak or SUP to see the city from the water.

You’ll see the vast chain of desert mountains that surround the city and the busyness of the Malecon in ways that most people miss. Join an organized tour or give yourself a self-guided tour as you enjoy a picturesque sunset over the bay.

7. Sandboard the Dunes of El Mogote

Yes, there are massive sand dunes just a short ride out of the city! El Mogote is a narrow stretch of barrier island that encloses the smaller bay in front of La Paz.

Here you can both enjoy a day at the beach or tackle some sandboarding down the dunes. Bring your own board if you want. Or join a tour and enjoy spectacular scenery while having a pretty unique experience in La Paz.

8. Daydream About a Life of Luxury Aboard a Yacht

Some of the world’s wealthiest people bring their mega yachts to La Paz as their home base for exploring the Sea of Cortez, what Jacquez Cousteau has called the “Aquarium of World.”

Although it’s unlikely you’ll run into a billionaire while gawking at the large vessels, you can still daydream about what it must be like to own such a magnificent boat.

Popular places to check out sailing vessels of all sorts include Marina Cortez and the more ritzy Marina CostaBaja.

9. Visit the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de La Paz

On the cultural side of things, visiting the Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Paz is one of the best free things to do in La Paz and it reminds tourists of the rich Catholic history of the Baja Peninsula.

An active cathedral, you can step inside to partake in services or simply gawk at the beautiful architecture of the cathedral. First built in 1861, the tall building stands at the center of town the way Franciscan missions stand in most of the smaller villages and towns throughout Baja California.

10. Check out the Street Art

Uli Martinez loves Baja California Sur. And as one of the most prolific and famous contemporary artists in the southern state, he does his best to tell stories of Baja in the street art he has painted all throughout the city.

He is famous for his paintings that incorporate several different images into one united theme that pays homage to a particular aspect of life in Baja.

Whether you go on a formal tour or simply wander the city on your own you are certain to come across his unique street art among other work from street artists in the city.

Things to do in La Paz, Mexico | Street art in La Paz | La Paz, Baja California Travel Guide

Top Day Trips and Tours from La Paz

While there are many great things to do in La Paz, Mexico, the city also offers a great stepping-off point for many day tours and multi-day adventures that are well worth any visit to Baja California.

These are the best 5 things to do around La Paz:

1. Day Trip to Todos Santos

Todos Santos is an artistic and cultural hub iconized by the famous “Hotel California” (which, incidentally, has nothing to do with the famous song by the Eagles). Wander ancient cobblestone city streets, step into vast numbers of local artist shops and eat some incredible food in Todos Santos.

Then head to the beach for sunset over the Pacific Ocean and watch for humpback whales breaching just offshore as you release baby sea turtles to begin their adventure at sea. Just an hour and a half from La Paz, Todos Santos is worth more time if you have it.

2. Day Trip to Los Cabos

Depending on which airport you arrived at, you may have already explored the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula, collectively known as “Los Cabos.” Between the more renowned Cabo San Lucas and its lesser-known sister city of San Jose del Cabo there are plenty more adventures to begin.

If you’re looking for faster-paced scenery and activities, the Cabos house cruise ships and frequent airplanes full of tourists. It’s not for someone looking for quiet and solitude. But there are plenty of things to do in Cabo San Lucas here as well.

san Jose del cabo day trip | Day trips in Mexico3. Day Trip To Cabo Pulmo

If the Sea of Cortez is the Aquarium to the World, then Cabo Pulmo is the tiny window with the most action-packed section of marine life and reefs. As a Mexican national park, Cabo Pulmo is well protected.

Many years back local fishermen abandoned fishing for preserving the reef and its many marine species. It is the best place to go scuba diving and snorkeling and you’ll truly get a feel of the vastness and diversity of the sea by putting your face underwater.

While it is only an hour and a half from La Paz, the road into Cabo Pulmo is very difficult so it may be best to grab a tour in La Paz and let your tour guide navigate the bumpy roads!

4. Day Trip for Whale Watching in Magdalena Bay

If you’ve never seen a whale up close and personal, Magdalena Bay is one of the best places for a close encounter of a most incredible kind! Pregnant grey whales make their way to the protected waters along the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula around 3 hours north of La Paz.

They give birth to their babies in the winter month and nurture them until the calves are strong enough to make the summer migration to the cooler waters off the coast of Alaska abundant with food to last them until the following winter.

You can get in a small boat and the captain will take you to the center of the bay where, instead of pursuing the whales, you will wait patiently for them to approach you. And they certainly will come to you and even give you the opportunity to “pet” them in a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

(Note: These experiences are heavily regulated by the Mexican government to put the safety and well-being of the whales first and foremost. No harm comes to the whales in any way during this experience.)

5. Day Trip to Try Kite Surfing in La Ventana

The eastern edge of the Baja Peninsula, known as the “East Cape” is one of the best places to kiteboard or windsurf in the entire world. The wind is particularly consistent in the winter months and kiteboarders from all over the world will flock to the East Cape to enjoy the adrenaline-pumping activities in the water.

This has led to an abundance of schools offering lessons under the safety and guidance of professionals who will open your eyes to a sport you may never have known existed. The small town of La Ventana, literally “the window,” is virtually built upon the activities that harness the wind.

Kite Surfing in La Paz Mexico | Fun Things to do in La paz

Food in La Paz

As you can imagine from a peninsula, fresh seafood is the most common type of Mexican food you can find in La Paz and in any of the surrounding areas. And you really have to go out of your way to find food that is not reasonably priced, even at some of the higher-end restaurants in the city.

Some of the best fish tacos can be found in food stalls and food trucks throughout the city. But you can also enjoy ceviche of all sorts (including octopus!) and the seafood soups are typically piled high with more seafood than a platter would offer in the US!

If you aren’t into fresh seafood, other staples in la Paz include “papa rellena” (baked potatoes stuffed with meat and cheese) and “tacos al pastor” (marinated pork cooked over an open flame and cut and sauteed to order). You can find these plates in most restaurants in the city.

Most of the best restaurants are located along the Malecon within a few blocks of the water. 

El Toro Guero

It’s my go-to place for ceviche, fish tacos, and other seafood

Rancho Viejo

For serious meat eaters, I recommend Rancho Viejo for steak, chicken, and pork. Expect your choice of corn or flour tortillas wherever you go (maiz = corn, harina = flour)

La Fuente

If you have a sweet tooth, La Fuente on the Malecon is your go-to for any cold, delicious treat!

La Paz Money Saving Tips

One of the best ways to save money in La Paz is to plan to walk throughout the city. Most of the attractions and things to see and do (including people watching!) are going to be in the “Zona Central” (city center) along the Malecon. It takes 20-30 minutes to walk the entire Malecon and virtually everything is packed into that stretch of sidewalk and city blocks.

Another great way to save money is to try and organize a group tour for a larger discount on any activities you would like to do. While La Paz isn’t known for bartering, you can usually work out a better deal if you make friends before booking an adventure.

A lot of times you can walk to the Malecon where most trips are booked and see other groups standing around trying to make a decision. Be outgoing and say hi and ask if they want to book a trip together.

And, of course, if you’ve opted to stay at an Airbnb or Vrbo you will likely be able to make your own meals to save a few pesos here and there.

All of the food in La Paz is amazing and there are so many options for what and where to eat. So we usually plan to make one meal a day and allow ourselves the treat for the other two.

Learn some Spanish! It’s an instant way to save a lot of money. I took this course ran by my friends at Heart of Travel.


A beach with palm trees and buildings at sunset in La Paz.

La Paz Packing Advice

Depending on what time you plan to visit La Paz you will need to pack accordingly. During the busier and best time of year to visit, winter, you may both start and end the day with pants and a sweatshirt or light jacket. But during the day it will be warm enough that you’ll want shorts and/or a bathing suit.

The water can be a bit chilly. So if you plan to organize your own trip to all of the beaches in the area you may want a rash guard or light wetsuit top to keep your core warm. But the air will be warm and the sunshine will likely be inviting, even in the winter months of January and February, so normal beach attire will suit you well.

If you opt for any tours that include water activities you will be given (and be required to wear) a wetsuit by the tour company. And they’ll also provide any mask, snorkels and fins you may need. But if you own your own equipment and want to explore other parts of Baja California Sur then by all means snorkel and scuba diving equipment will go a long way toward memorable adventures.

And if you happen to visit during late spring to early fall, leave the long sleeves and pants behind. The southern portion of the peninsula gets so hot that most ex-pats flee to the north seeking cooler weather. Pack your hot-weather clothes for trips during this time.

Quick Tip: View my full Mexico packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my Mexico Essentials shopping list here.

Where to Stay in La Paz

As a metropolitan area, La Paz offers a variety of great accommodation options. As living in a van can sometimes feel confining, every now and we splurge on an Airbnb. La Paz has one of our favorites, a reasonably priced traditional bed and breakfast located in a great part of town.

Casabuena B&B has everything you could want or need in great accommodation. Susu, the owner, prepares fresh granola and homemade muffins daily in a kitchen that is open for guests to use. The bed and breakfast is securely situated behind a fence with an entry code both for vehicles and pedestrians so you can sleep soundly at night.

Each room has its own bathroom and hot water showers, a television, and a mini-fridge. There is a vast common area that includes the kitchen, dining, and a pool. And if you don’t want to drive around town, the Malecon is just a short ten-minute walk with a handful of delicious restaurants along the way!

La Paz hotels are also abundant and reasonably priced if you are interested in more traditional accommodations or rooms with a view in the heart of the city.

Seven Crown La Paz Malecon is a medium-priced option that overlooks the Malecon in the Zona Central section of the city.

We stayed here during Carnaval and watched the parades each night from the balcony of our room. It’s great for people watching any time of the year.

And if you are looking to splurge, the Costa Baja Spa and Resort offers 5-star amenities including a pool and spa at incredibly reasonable prices.

Here are other options you can find on


Puerta Cortes Residences: Las Colinas

Beachfront hotels

Playa de La Paz

Casa Kootenay Waterfront Bnb

Marea La Paz


Costa Baja Resort & Spa

The Marine Waterfront Hotel

Other nice hotels

Apartment Casa Turquesa


Hostel Casa Esterito

Pension Baja Paradise

La paz mexico street art

Map of Accommodation in La paz

How to Get to La Paz (and how to get around)

As a capital city, La Paz is very accessible to both domestic and international travel. The Manuel Marquez de Leon International Airport is just 20 minutes from the Central Zone. However, most flights to this part of the peninsula are more affordable if you fly into the Los Cabos International Airport, a scenic 2.5-hour drive to San Jose del Cabo.

Driving to La Paz is relatively quick if you are coming from the more popular nearby destinations of Cabo San Lucas or Todos Santos to the south of La Paz. From the north, La Paz is farther away from other popular destinations. So unless you are driving the length of the peninsula it’s better to plan to fly into either La Paz or Los Cabos and rent a car to get around.

If you don’t want to rent a car, Uber is the best and most affordable way to get around La Paz. Like most other cities in the world, you can hail a driver in a quick time and enjoy the scenery without having to drive yourself.

Although La Paz, Mexico is an urban center and does have its fair share of crime, it is very safe to take Uber or even to walk throughout the city. Though, with any travel, it is best to heed general safety precautions when it comes to getting around the city.

Walking is incredibly common and in the mornings and evenings, you will see many people walking or running alone along the Malecon.

What is more, many of the places you may want to go when visiting La Paz are within a short drive from the city center. So renting a car is a great option. But even if you want to visit the beaches a shared ride is reasonably priced.

And there are often tours you can arrange privately or through your hotel if you want to day trip to some of the more popular areas outside of the city.

Coworking in La paz

La Paz, Mexico is not a traditional hub for digital nomads. But there are plenty of ways to remain productive when traveling to the city. There is a relatively young population in the city so you can find numerous cafes and restaurants that offer fast WiFi.

We always encourage travelers to purchase a Mexican SIM card (approximately $1.50) and pay for a data plan to host their own hotspot  ($15 for 10 GB of data). TelCel, the local cell provider in Baja California Sur, even offers a 2-hour unlimited data option for approximately $0.75.

So if you need to upload videos or want to download a Netflix season or two of your favorite binge-worthy shows, you can do so very affordably. Just remember that you will need an unlocked device to be able to use a Mexican SIM card.

La Paz Safety Advice

Travel Tips For Mexico La Paz, Mexico is reasonably safe for a larger city. By far, it does not have the reputation of the larger cities of Tijuana, Cabo San Lucas or Ensenada. And getting around the city, whether solo or not, is quite safe.

There are areas on the outskirts of town that can be a little questionable. But the local population is incredibly hospitable to travelers and you can count on most of them to grab your attention if you happen to be heading into a difficult part of town.

And there is quite a police presence in the city, so you will not go far without seeing a police officer or vehicle standing guard. As when traveling to any city, it is best to avoid empty alleyways and walking by yourself late at night, particularly if you’ve been drinking.

But in all of the many nights that we have stayed in La Paz we have never felt unsafe or threatened by anyone.

La Paz Travel Guide planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for La Paz?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to La Paz which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for La Paz on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in La Paz?

I strongly recommend using Bookaway. You can book almost all transport in the major Mexican tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in La Paz?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are,, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack

The Best Time To Visit La Paz

The entire peninsula of Baja California is notorious for its sweltering summers. Although it has the cooler Pacific Ocean on the west and the Sea of Cortez on its east, the peninsula remains an arid desert with a corresponding climate.

As such, most people visit La Paz during the late fall to early spring months (October – April) with the height of travel during the winter. While this is the height of the tourist season, the weather is gorgeous and usually ranges between 55 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit most days.

Further, you don’t have to worry about your outdoor plans being canceled by rain as this is also the dry season in Baja California.

While tourism continues well into the summer months, we’d recommend that you plan a trip to La Paz during the winter months to make the most of the beautiful weather and incredible marine life engagement opportunities.

Writer's Biography

Christopher, his wife Lindsay, and their two Australian Cattle Dogs, Everest and Huckleberry, have been living in various RVs full-time since 2018. They run two websites and a modest YouTube channel, TikTok and Instagram account as a way to both document their experiences as well as information and inspiration to encourage others to pursue a more nomadic lifestyle on the road. Called To Wander is their first blog-style site that focuses on RV living in North America while Van Life Movement is dedicated to building a community centered on the adventures of van life.

la Paz Mexico


things to do in la paz baja california sur

What to Read in Mexico

Where would we be without the trusty Lonely Planet Mexico book?!? It really is the best all-around guide to Mexico. The only issue I ever have with these books is that often the information can be outdated, but if you want to really explore Mexico, not just the tourist trail version of Mexico then get this book on your Kindle. It’s oftern free if you have a kindle unlimited subscription.

It’s all about the food here in Mexico. Especially in Oaxaca, thought of as the culinary heart of Mexico. This Mexican cookbook is the first true introduction to Oaxacan cuisine by a native family, each dish articulates their story, from Oaxaca to the streets of Los Angeles and beyond.

The book showcases Mexican “soul food” serving up 140 authentic, yet accessible recipes using some of the purest pre-Hispanic and indigenous ingredients available. 

As much as I don’t want to perpetuate Mexico’s reputation as a county full of cartels, drugs, and danger. It can’t really be ignored, and I know many people are interested in learning more. So I’ve included Midnight in Mexico on my list of books to read. It’s a true crime book written by a Mexican-American journalist and migration lawyer. It’s about as close to the truth as you can get. Being. journalist here in Mexico is one of the most dangerous arrears you can have. But Corchado is known for never shying away from the truth reporting on government corruption, murders, and the drug cartels of Mexico. In 2007, Corchado received a tip that he could be their next target, he had twenty-four hours to find out if the threat was true…

la paz,la paz travel,la paz travel guide

Are you even alive if you don’t know who Frida Kahlo is? If you are a Friday fan then this is the perfect fictional accompaniment to your Mexican vacation. Especially if you will be visiting Mexico City.

Using several of Frida’s notebooks as inspiration acclaimed Mexican novelist F. G. Haghenbeck was inspired to write this touching fictional account of her life.  Through the book, you are taken on a magical ride through this imagined life of Freida 

An old, but a goodie! This one is for all of you lovers of romance novels! It’s described as:

“A novel of passion, food, and magic, Like Water For Chocolate is a romantic, poignant tale, touched with moments of magic, graphic earthiness, bittersweet wit – and recipes.”

Forbidden love, family obligations, and seduction by food… what more could you ask for in a novel!

I must confess, my friend Mexico Cassie wrote this book. That doesn’t mean it’s not a bloody brilliant guide to moving to Mexico, because it is. As someone who moved to Mexico there was so much of this book that resonated with me, even though I moved here myself, without a family. 

She goes in to great detail about the visa application process and some other notoriously tricky things like trying to buy a car or find a good school for your kids. 

If you are considering a move to Merida, or anywhere in Mexico actually this is a great read!

Check out My travel books

la paz,la paz travel,la paz travel guide

The Solo Girls Guide to Traveling Without Fear

la paz,la paz travel,la paz travel guide

The solo girls guide to becoming a digital nomad

Mexico Blog Posts

Top Day Trips and Tours from La Paz

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