There are so many fun things to do in La Paz Mexico. You could easily fill your days with activity or simply beach hop and enjoy the sun and sand in a different location for the week.
La Paz is easy to get to from most places and is a much quieter alternative to the busy Los Cabos options. If you want beautiful beaches, delicious Mexican food (at a great price), and still a few water-based activities and tours to enjoy, then I highly recommend a trip to La Paz.
Getting to and From La Paz Mexico
There is a domestic airport in La Paz (code LAP). You can fly quite cheaply from Mexico City. I ended up getting round trip tickets from Mexico City to La Paz for under $100 per person and that was for the week just after Easter!
If you are coming into Mexico internationally, you will have to land in the San Jose del Cabo (code: SJD). There are direct flights here from LA, Pheonix and a few other west coast cities. From here you can get a shared taxi or organize transportation with your hotel.
If you are coming from New York or the east coast at all, your best option would be to connect in Mexico City. That way you can fly direct to La Paz and then you just need to take a taxi into town from there.
Is there Uber in La Paz?
There IS Uber in La Paz, but getting it from the airport into town is a little bit of a stress. There is a taxi rank inside the airport and they charge you around 300 Pesos to take you from the airport down the road into town. If you can get an Uber to come pick you up, it costs less than 100 Pesos.
Besides the airport, you can get Ubers all over the rest of town. We used them to get back to our Airbnb from the town at night. We took them to and from the beaches (including as far as Balandra and Tecolote).
If you’ve never used Uber before, I have a very comprehensive post about using Uber in Mexico here.
Where to Stay in La Paz
There are a few different parts of La Paz where you may want to stay, depending on what you want to get out of your time in this beautiful town.
For those that want to have access to a boat marina or simply want the utmost luxury, you can have in La Paz, book your stay at Costa Baja Resort & Spa. It’s where Bill Gates (among other ultra-rich) keep their yachts. It’s one of the few 5-star resorts in the area.
For those that enjoy hotels, but don’t want to spend a fortune, there are plenty of great options. These are a few that I considered when I was planning out trip:
- One La Paz: This hotel is so well located right along the Malecon as well as having rooms that start at a mere $50 per night. The rooms are simple, but comfortable and bright. Book a stay at One La Paz here.
- Hotel Posada Luna Sol: This is a cheap and more local option. Posadas are kind of like motels, but this one in particular has a great location in the town and is only a short walk to the boardwalk. There’s even a pool and a rooftop where you can enjoy a sunset drink. Rooms start at less than $50 a night and most rooms are less than $100 a night. Book a stay at Posada Luna Sol here.
- Peace Hostel: Backpackers and those looking for a budget spot (or traveling solo), may want to consider this quiet hostel. It’s close to the marina and also close to tons of great taco restaurants (I stayed nearby here and loved the location!). Beds start at $10. Book a stay at Peace Hostel here.
If you prefer Airbnb (like I do), then these are a few of the places that I looked at as well as the place where I stayed myself. The great thing about Airbnbs is that if you plan to stay for more than a few days, you can prepare food for yourself. It’s also great for those that want more privacy or simply want to get more for their money (although the hotels in La Paz are great value for money compared to most places in the US).
- This is the Airbnb where we stayed. It has a huge bedroom, a separate kitchen and a huge recently refurbished bathroom. It also includes two bicycles and is right next door to the best seafood restaurant in town. It’s also a very reasonable $35 per night. Book the Airbnb here.
- This is a great Airbnb option if you want to be right in the center of town. It’s less than $40 a night and has a balcony that faces the boardwalk. Book that airbnb here.
All of the Best Things to Do in La Paz Mexico
The Best Beaches in La Paz Mexico
One of the main reasons to come to La Paz is to enjoy the beautiful beaches and calm waters. Most of the beaches in La Paz are protected by bays, so the waves are nearly non-existent. If you enjoy simply floating in the water and swimming without much of a pull in the water, then you’ll love the beaches around La Paz.
While there is a beach along the boardwalk in the downtown area, it’s not the best place to spend a day. I also think it’s not the nicest place for swimming since there are always so many boats heading in and out. If you just want to have a good spot to enjoy the sun and don’t really want to swim, by all means, enjoy the downtown beach. It’s easily accessible and you are close enough to town that you can simply pop across the street for lunch and then head back to the sand.
There are a few palapas (like umbrellas) set up on all the beaches that are free to use. You have to get there early if you want to have one to yourself for the day.
These were the best beaches that I visited during my trip to La Paz, although there are plenty more to explore if you have the time and a vehicle.
1. Playa Balandra
This beach consistently ranks on lists for the best beaches in Mexico. When you get there you’ll be able to see why.
It is truly one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. It sits in a little bay where the water never comes up past your waist. You can literally walk through the water from one sandy spot to the next. The water is crystal clear and there are plenty of places to set up for the day.
This is definitely one of the more popular spots to spend the day, so if you are driving your own car (or a rental car) then I highly recommend getting here early. The parking lot was full by the time I got there at around 1pm.
There are not really any facilities at Balandra. If you want food or drink, I highly recommend bringing your own. There is one stand that has ceviche, hot dogs, hamburgers, and sodas, but that’s about it.
Alternatively, you could take the bus, which picks you up and drops you off at at the turnoff to the beach (about a 5-7 minute walk then to the beach). It leaves from the La Paz bus terminal. The bus costs 50 Pesos each way and leaves La Paz once and hour on the hour. It leaves Balandra quarter to every hour (roughly, this didn’t seem to be the same and often we waited for ages for a bus to show up).
If you want to get there or back without waiting for a bus, you can take Uber. Getting an Uber in La Paz to go to Balandra is very easy. Getting back is another story. You won’t have a problem getting an Uber if you are trying to come back in the early afternoon, however, do not try to get an Uber back after sunset. There simply won’t be any around. An Uber each way costs about 150 Pesos.
There are taxis that wait in the parking lot in Balandra. I didn’t inquire as to how much they would cost, but I assume slightly more than an Uber (or much more if you’ve missed the last bus which leaves at around 6:45).
2. Playa Tecolote
This beach is the furthest point away on the little peninsula in La Paz. It’s about 5 minutes away from Playa Balandra and has much more parking and a lot more amenities. There are restaurants, bars, shops where you can buy cans of beer, umbrella and chair rentals, and the water has more of a break, so you can bodyboard if you want.
This beach is known for being very long, 2 kilometers long in fact. Further down the beach, some people actually drive their cars onto the sand.
We took an Uber here which cost us about 160 Pesos and then we got the bus back. There is an actual bus stop in the parking lot at Playa Tecolote so it’s much easier to spot people lining up (a clear sign the bus is about to arrive soon). The buses are pink, white, and teal and most of them have a whale tail on the side.
3. Playa El Coromuel
This is one of the closest beaches to the town of La Paz. We actually rode bikes here from the downtown. It’s one of the first beaches you hit as you walk (or ride) along the Malecon. It took us about 25 minutes to casually cycle from our Airbnb at one end of town to the beach. It would probably only be 15 minutes if you’re staying near the Malecon.
This beach has two sides split by a long dock that sticks out into the water. Both sides have palapas, but the side to the right (as you look at the ocean) is where you’ll get more amenities. There are a few places to eat here as well as bathrooms and even a water slide if you want to take to the water in a different way!
Things to Do in La Paz Mexico
There aren’t a ton of things to do in La Paz. It’s the act of not doing which I love most about beach holidays. That being said, there are still a few very (very) fun and beautiful experiences that you should definitely have while you’re in La Paz.
1. Take a Boat Tour of Espiritu Santo
If you only do one thing (besides lay on the beach) when you come to La Paz, I truly believe it should be this. Of all the things to do in La Paz, the island of Espiritu Santo is the most stunning.
There are literally dozens of tour operators along the main street across from the boardwalk. We used Espiritu Baja tours (you can see some of the experience in this YouTube video over on my channel here) and I highly recommend them. The guides we had were bilingual, funny, and very helpful and nice.
Most tours include snorkeling with sea lions at a sea lion colony, a boat trip around Espiritu Santo, and lunch on one of the white sand beaches that surround this stunning place. It’s a haven for marine life and while you snorkel you’ll see so much colorful coral and so many beautiful fish.
I really loved the fact that our guide was pointing out different types of marine life while we were snorkeling. He talked a lot about respecting the coral, the sea lions, and the land that we were visiting. It was nice to know that we picked a company that cared about the places we were visiting so much.
2. Swim with Whale Sharks
This is one of the main reasons many people come to La Paz. During the winter months, you can swim with whale sharks. These gentle giants are well protected around Mexico and the government has a lot of regulations in place to make sure that nothing gets in the way of their migration patterns.
Before you decide to swim with them, I recommend reading a little bit about the conservation and protection of these giants just to make sure that you choose a company that isn’t skirting the rules and doing things that could potentially harm these wonderful creatures. Here are some interesting articles:
3. Walk Along the Malecon
One of my favorite things to do was to take the boardwalk, or Malecon in Spanish, every evening. La Paz is very hot during the day, so if you head out and go for a stroll at midday, you’ll likely be one of the only people walking along the boardwalk. However, come 6 o’clock (or just before sunset), the beach and boardwalk in La Paz comes to life. There are people having beers on a bench, families playing football on the beach, and people running/biking/rollerblading through the bike lane.
4. Eat Seafood
There’s nothing better than delicious seafood while you can smell the sea air, hear the crashing waves, and you still have some sand between your toes from your day out at the beach. There are so many great places to enjoy seafood in La Paz, but there are a few that really stood out for me.
- Mariscos El Toro Guero – this was recommended to us by every single local and we loved it so much we ate here twice.
- Mc-Fisher – the best place to have Baja style fish tacos (battered and fried).
- El Mangle – this little place was one of my favorite spots for ceviche and grilled fish.
It’s worth noting that seafood is mostly a lunchtime thing in Mexico. Most really great seafood restaurants are only open until 6 or 7pm. Get your fill during the day and then enjoy all of the delicious taquerias around La Paz after dark.
5. Try Some Local Craft Beer
If you love craft beer as much as I do, then you’ll really enjoy the craft beer on offer in La Paz. Right along the waterfront is a great spot called Harker Board. They have their own beers as well as a ton of other craft beers from Mexico (especially around Baja). Most are on draft. Head up to the rooftop for one of the best sunset views along the strip.
There is one other really great spot where Luke and I headed back to again and again during our evenings in La Paz, Cerveceria Paceña. It’s slightly away from the boardwalk in the center of the downtown area. In addition to some of the best Mexican craft IPAs that I’ve had, they also have a food truck parked outside making lots of delicious bar foods.
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