Visit La Paz (Mexico): Top 15 Things To Do and Must-See Attractions


15 Amazing Things to See and Do in La Paz (Baja California Sur)

You’re planning to visit La Paz, Baja California Sur, and you’re looking for the best things to do?

You’ve come to the right place!

This city may not be very famous around the world, but it’s one of the most amazing places to visit in Baja California Sur.

It’s a coastal city that’s less crowded than its southern neighbor, Los Cabos. It attracts mindful travelers, hippies, surfers who want to ride the Pacific waves, and marine life enthusiasts.

Besides its stunning beaches, it’s also a great base for many excursions to the Sea of Cortez, where you can watch gray whales or swim with whale sharks.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share with you all the best things to see and do in La Paz in 1, 2 or 3 days.

You’ll also find my tips for cafes, restaurants and hotels for every budget.

So, what are the best things La Paz, Mexico has to offer?

The best tourist attractions in La Paz

1. The Malecon

The Malecon or Paseo Alvaro Obregon is a scenic walkway of over 2 miles along the Sea of Cortez, connecting the Marina Cortez and Coromuel Beach.

It’s the perfect spot in La Paz for a leisurely stroll and some photo opportunities, as it’s dotted with sand, rocks, boats, and various sculptures.

The Malecon used to host the Whale Museum, but sadly it’s no longer open.

You’ll find plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars, and the bus terminal along the way.

During the day, you’ll see people jogging and others selling their tours to the beaches or to the island of Espiritu Santo. At night, you’ll see families enjoying the breeze and youngsters skating by.

You can also rent a bike for about 100 pesos per hour (up to 3 hours) and cycle along the beautiful bike lane on the boardwalk.

And don’t miss the sunset on the Malecon!

I personally loved watching it with my toes in the sand, and also at the marina with the sailboats.

la paz méxico
la paz mexico
la paz baja california sur
la paz baja california sur
malecon la paz
El malecón or Paseo Álvaro Obregón in La Paz
marina cortez la paz
marina cortez la paz

2. Discovering street art

In 2017, La Paz welcomed about 20 artists, as part of the Ciudad Mural Project.

Thus, 27 murals appeared downtown, with elements of the local culture… and they´re stunning!


street art la paz mexico
street art la paz mexico
mural la paz méxico
mural la paz mexico
street art la paz baja california sur
street art la paz baja california sur

3. Espiritu Santo Island

The Sea of Cortez is so rich in biodiversity that UNESCO has named it a Natural World Heritage Site. The famous explorer Jacques Cousteau dubbed it the “Aquarium of the World”.

The 39 sq miles archipelago of Espiritu Santo is one of the must-see attractions of Baja California Sur and a highlight of any trip to La Paz.

It consists mainly of Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida, and it is a protected natural reserve that hosts a remarkable ecosystem (32 species of reptiles, 98 species of birds and several marine mammals) and some of the most beautiful beaches.

On the main island, you can also find an archaeological site called Ensenada El Gallo, which is 5,000 years old and shows the presence of the ancient Pericúes.

What to do on Espiritu Santo Island:

  • Watch the sea lions: several colonies of sea lions live here. You can watch them from afar, or swim or dive with them. The best time to see them is from late October to January.
  • Hike the trails: there are a few interpretive trails, which will let you enjoy the landscape and (maybe) spot some endemic species.
  • Camp under the stars (on the beach!)
  • Kayak

My advice
You need to visit Espiritu Santo Island with a tour, as a permit is required.

Tours include snorkeling gear (to see sea lions and the underwater world), lunch on the white sand beach. The price depends on the type of boat and what’s included.

Isla Espíritu Santo La Paz
Isla Espiritu Santo La Paz

4. Gray whales

Every year, at the beginning of the year, gray whales embark on a long journey from the Bering Strait, near Alaska, to the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez.

They come here to breed and put on a spectacular display of nature. Imagine: they can grow up to 53 ft and weigh up to 35 tons!

Where to see the whales:

  • Magdalena Bay: located 3 hours north of La Paz, this bay is home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Besides gray whales, you can also spot dolphins, turtles, herons and sea lions. You can take a boat from Puerto San Carlos or Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, or join a tour from La Paz.
  • El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve: San Ignacio Lagoon (February-March) is where whales come to mate and give birth to their calves. You can even stay at some eco-friendly camps nearby. Ojo de Liebre is a group of lagoons that hosts many animal species and is a paradise for ecotourism.

Tours from La Paz cost around 2000-2500 pesos per person and include the transfer from La Paz to the departure port (3h trip) with a stop for breakfast, and the 2h boat ride.

My advice
 You can see gray whales in La Paz from mid-December to mid-April.

5. Whale sharks

One of the best things to do in La Paz is to watch and swim with the whale sharks.

They are the largest fish in the world: they can reach up to 65 ft! But they are harmless, as they feed on plankton and small fish less than 4 inches.

  • The best time to swim with whale sharks is from October to April.
  • Book the whale shark tour (small group), which includes the boat with a certified guide, all snorkeling gear and a snack with beers:

tour la paz baja california
tour la paz baja california

6. Kayaking and stand up paddle

Kayaking and stand up paddle boarding are some of the best activities to do in La Paz because they let you enjoy the clear waters.

I suggest renting them from Harker Board, which is on the boardwalk.

The water level in the area is quite low, so go early in the day (they open at 11am) when the tide is higher and avoid getting stranded on the sand.

  • Rental prices: double kayak 300 pesos per hour, single kayak 200 pesos per hour, Stand Up Paddle 200 pesos per hour.
stand up paddle la paz
stand up paddle la paz

7. Balandra Beach

Just 14 miles north (30min) from La Paz, Playa Balandra is the most beautiful beach in La Paz. It was even voted the most beautiful beach in Mexico!

It’s hard not to be impressed by its fine sand, crystal clear waters and rocky landscape.

Here you can see the Balandra Mushroom, a rock formation shaped by the wind and sea, which has become the symbol of La Paz.

Balandra Beach is in a bay, so it’s sheltered from the wind, the water is calm and you can relax in the sun.

I visited in January and the water was too cold for me to swim, but I saw some people doing it, both young and old.

There are also some small trails that let you see the scenery from above, and they’re worth it!

I especially recommend the one between the parking lot and the road: it’s an amazing viewpoint for taking pictures.

The area around the beach has been declared a protected natural area and a Ramsar site.

The place was clean, so I guess there is some control and regular cleaning.

I suggest you bring snacks and water if you plan to stay for a few hours because there was no food or drink service when I went there.

How to get to Balandra:

  • By bus: the ticket costs 100 pesos round trip. There are several departures from 10 am.
  • By cab: a cab costs 250 pesos one way (or an Uber 200 pesos).
Balandra Beach La Paz Baja California
Balandra Beach La Paz Baja California
playa balandra la paz
playa balandra la paz
balandra playa baja california sur
balandra playa baja california sur
playa balandra mexico
balandra playa mexico

8. El Tecolote Beach

El Tecolote has a truly amazing scenery.

It’s close to Balandra (30 minutes by foot or 10 minutes by car), but it’s very different because the beach is in a wide open space, so it’s usually quite windy.

The landscape is unique: between the mountains, the dunes and some RVs, I felt like I was in a Western or Tarantino movie. In fact, you can camp at Playa El Tecolote for free.

And if you look at the horizon, you’ll see Isla Espiritu Santo not too far away.

My advice
There are a few small local restaurants near the entrance. I sat on a terrace overlooking the beach, with a nice margarita (100 pesos) in hand. Nothing fancy, but very nice and I enjoyed it very much.

How to get to El Tecolote:

  • By bus: bus ticket 100 pesos round trip. Departure from La Paz at 10h, 12h, 13h30, 15h30 and 17h.

By cab: a cab costs 250 pesos one way, or uber 190 pesos

tecolote baja california mexico
tecolote baja california mexico
playa tecolote
playa tecolote
playa tecolote la paz
playa tecolote la paz

9. Other beaches in La Paz

One of the great attractions of La Paz and Baja California ia the miles of beaches with clear waters that are not too crowded.

In my opinion, Balandra and El Tecolote are the best ones, but there are also other beaches near La Paz that are worth a visit:

Here they are in order of distance:

El Coromuel

It is the closest beach to La Paz and the most popular all year round.

Besides its sandy beach, you can also enjoy kayaking, stand up paddle and diving here. What sets it apart from other beaches is its more developed infrastructure. There is a water park with slides, making it the ideal beach for families.

There are also toilets, juices, coffee, snacks, etc.

There are even access ramps for people with disabilities at the main entrances.

How to get to El Coromuel

  • Walking or biking: the beach is at the end of the boardwalk and easy to reach.
  • By cab: a cab costs 100 pesos one way, or an uber about 50 pesos. You can also check out this website for more information about El Coromuel.
el coromuel la paz
el coromuel la paz

El Caimancito

This is one of the most beautiful beaches near La Paz.

Its name comes from the rock formation that looks like an alligator, but don’t worry, there are no real alligators in the water!

The beach is closed and guarded, because there is a government building on site, but you can still access it for free.

The water is calm, the sand is soft and many people come here to dive or snorkel.

It is a small and peaceful beach, perfect for going with kids or for those looking for some relaxing time close to La Paz.

El Tesoro

This is a small and quiet beach, with clear blue water, that is shallow, and has no waves. It’s perfect for swimming or snorkeling.

On the beach, there is a small restaurant where you can also rent stand up paddle boards.

  • There are bathrooms (5 pesos)
  • You can camp for free.


15 minutes from La Paz, Pichilingue is more developed: it has a marina, a hotel and condos, a beautiful white sand beach with some good (and reasonable) restaurants and a dive center.

You can also rent jet skis here.

My advice
It’s better to go in the middle of the week when it’s quiet, weekends and especially Sundays can be pretty noisy.

10. Culture and local life

La Paz has more to offer than just its landscapes and biodiversity. You can also visit some of these amazing attractions:

The cathedral: This is located in the main square, also known as Jardín de Velasco. It was founded by the Jesuits in the 18th century, but the current building was built in the mid-19th century. It has a simple neoclassical façade and some beautiful baroque altarpieces from the 18th century inside.

Museo de Arte de La Paz: This is in the same square, in the large white building that says “Casa de Gobierno” (Government House). It showcases various artworks from local and national artists.

Centro Cultural La Paz: Two blocks from the square, you can find a beautiful historical monument that now serves as a cultural center. It hosts exhibitions and events related to history and art (music, theater, cinema).

Museum of Anthropology and History of Baja California Sur: This museum displays the cultural development of the region through paleontological, archaeological and historical elements. You can see fossils that are over 60 million years old and artifacts that are more than 40,000 years old. The admission fee is 65 pesos.

catedral la paz mexico
catedral la paz mexico

What to see near La Paz

La Paz has a lot of fun and interesting things to do.

It’s true that traveling by car is more convenient, but luckily there are also several buses that depart from the malecon.

I recommend you check out these places:

11. The town of Todos Santos

This town is 1h30 away from La Paz and has become a popular destination in recent years.

I did the round trip in one day from La Paz, but I suggest you stay at least one night to enjoy its artistic boho-chic vibe.

What to do in the magical town of Todos Santos:

-Visit the Hotel California, which inspired the famous Eagles song

-Walk through its lovely streets with many shops, cafes, restaurants, etc

-Go to Tequila’s Sunrise Bar & Grill, where Tequila Sunrise was invented (and the mango margarita is yummy too! 🤤)

Surf at Playa Cerritos in the town of El Pescadero, perfect for spending the day and having a beer in the sun. There are a few surf schools that offer lessons and board rentals

My advice
A 30 minute walk from downtown I found a beach (see its location here) that no one mentions but is beautiful with its rock formations!

You can’t swim or surf there because of the rocks and the current, but it’s worth it just to relax and admire the view. I had fun climbing up the rocks

  • How to get to Todos Santos from La Paz (1h20): the bus costs 175 pesos one way, 150 pesos return (there are cheaper tickets at 125 pesos for 12h, 16h and 23h), a taxi costs about 1000 pesos one way and an Uber about 800 pesos
rocas playa todos santos
rocas playa todos santos
playa todos santos baja california
playa todos santos baja california
playa todos santos mexico
playa todos santos mexico

12. El Triunfo

El Triunfo is a small colonial town 28 miles from La Paz that used to be a prosperous gold and silver mining center.

The main attractions of El Triunfo are its two huge chimneys that belonged to its mines: the Ramona, designed by the famous Gustave Eiffel, and La Julia.

You can also visit the museum that tells the story of its mining history: Museo Ruta de la Plata.

Another interesting place is the Music Museum (or Vieja Casona), which shows the history of El Triunfo with furniture, objects and musical instruments from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

I especially recommend the Cactus Sanctuary (free), where you can walk along a trail and discover more than 50 species of cactus and learn more about them in two informative rooms.

santuario cactus el triunfo
santuario cactus el triunfo

13. La Ventana

La Ventana is a small fishing village in a bay 27 miles from La Paz, with a gorgeous beach that has a stunning view of the Sea of Cortez.

The main attraction here is kitesurfing and windsurfing, especially from November to March, when the wind is stronger. You can rent everything you need there and even camp under the stars. The town has a market and several restaurants, which is very convenient.

  • How to get to La Ventana from La Paz: It takes 40 minutes by car, a taxi costs about 800 pesos one way and an Uber 600 pesos. There is also a bus that leaves daily at 2 pm (80 pesos) in front of the pharmacy.
la ventana basse californie
la ventana basse californie

14. Los Barriles

75 miles from La Paz, Los Barriles is an important destination for sport fishing enthusiasts (mainly whiting, but also yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, mackerel).

15. Los Cabos

Los Cabos is at the southern end of the peninsula and it’s not part of La Paz, unlike the other places I mentioned.

But it’s hard to leave it out because it’s the most developed area in Baja California Sur and one of the Top Tourist Destinations in Mexico.

Its capital is San José del Cabo and the most important city is Cabo San Lucas.

The main attractions are the beaches (like Playa el Medano, Playa del Amor), the water activities, the nightlife with its outdoor bars and clubs, and El Arco, a natural formation between the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean.

If you’re fit, I recommend this kayak tour that takes you to the Arch of Cabo San Lucas, passing by Lovers Beach. The tour includes hotel pickup, snorkeling gear and drinks:

  • How to get to Cabo San Lucas from La Paz: 2 hours by car, taxi around 2500 pesos or uber 1500 pesos, 340 pesos by bus.
arco cabo san lucas
arco cabo san lucas

Where to sleep in La Paz

Here are my suggestions for hotels in La Paz for different budgets:

  • Hostel Casa Esterito: The best budget hotel in La Paz, very quiet, only two blocks from the malecon. Good breakfast, very clean, spacious rooms. I only spent one night there, but I liked it very much. From only 24 usd in a shared room or 49 usd in a private room
  • Hotel Catedral La Paz: This is the best value for your money hotel in La Paz. Modern design hotel, tastefully decorated, right next to the cathedral. Inner courtyard, rooftop terrace with pool and nice view. Breakfast included, from 141 usd per night
  • Casa al Mar: Hotel with contemporary vibes, ideal for a stress-free weekend. Excellent location and beautiful view of the boardwalk. Breakfast included, from 195 usd per night.
  • Orchid House Baja: An option for refined tastes. Ideal for a romantic getaway, space for adults only. Incredible views and privacy. Swimming pool and bar inside the complex. Continental breakfast included, from 490 usd per night.

Is it possible to camp on the beaches?

You can camp for free at El Tecolote and El Tesoro, as they are public beaches.

Where to eat and drink in La Paz

In one week in La Paz, I had the opportunity to go to several restaurants. Here are my top restaurant recommendations in La Paz:

Eating seafood

  • Claros Fish Jr: This is the best restaurant in La Paz! They have a very local, affordable, and extensive seafood menu with some meat options. Try the octopus tostada with cheese for 70 pesos, the coconut shrimp tacos for 50 pesos and the grilled fish for 40 pesos. You can find them at Nicolás Bravo 33, La Paz.
  • Mack Fisher: This is similar to Claros Fish, but not as good value for money, though it has a nicer atmosphere. You could try the octopus molote with cheese for 50 pesos and the octopus taco with garlic for 35 pesos. The margarita is good and well served! Their address is José María Morelos y Pavón 965, La Paz
  • Anzuelo:  This is the best restaurant in the Marina Cortez. They have good service, a nice covered terrace, and delicious chocolate clams (a Baja California specialty) with cream, onion and grilled cheese. You can visit them at General Manuel Márquez de León 2415, El Manglito, La Paz.
  • Bismarkcito: Avoid this place! It is expensive, has poor quality, and everything was either cold, dry or tasteless. A real tourist trap with its terrace on the malecon.
claros fish la paz
Claro’s Fish Jr. octopus, coconut shrimp and fish tacos
Where to Stay in Playa del Carmen
Les almejas chocolatas du restaurant Anzuelo à La Paz

Vegan and vegetarian food in La Paz

  • Cappuccino café: A somewhat bohemian place with a terrace offering vegan and vegetarian options. The portions are pretty big, so sharing it´s a good choice, Sampler Capuchino (180 pesos): black bean burger, blue corn empanadas stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, corn and cheese, tacos al pastor with falafel, guacamole. Address: Mutualismo #314, La Paz
  • Nomada Organics & Gourmet: Everything is homemade, but we had to wait more than 45 minutes to eat. The menu is varied, with vegan and vegetarian options. I liked the mango lassi, and the Entomatadas 100 pesos plate with organic tomato sauce, nixtamal tortillas with onion, local goat cheese, cream and avocado. Address: 1235 Francisco I. Madero Street, La Paz.
restaurante vegetariano la paz baja california sur
vegetarian restaurant la paz baja california sur
nomada la paz baja california sur
nomada la paz baja california sur

Having a beer

There is no shortage of bars in La Paz, especially on the Malecon, but I recommend Harker Board Co.

They have two locations, the old and the new, right next to each other. Both have Mexican craft beer (Baja Brewery) on tap, and a rooftop terrace.

I love the new spot, with its chill vibe, couch, surf shop, and kayak and paddle board rentals.

I tasted the Peyote Pale Ale (7%) and the Pelirroja Ale Ambar (6%). You can also buy a sampler to try different ones ( 5 oz – 16 oz).

  • Address: Paseo Álvaro Obregón 299, La Paz, Baja California Sur. Facebook Page
harker board la paz
harker board la paz

Having a good coffee

  • Doce Cuarenta: the service is friendly and the terrace very pleasant. Good (and huge!) cinnamon rolls, craft beers, coffee cocktails, sandwiches. Free tourist maps are available. Address: 1240 Francisco I. Madero St., La Paz. Facebook Page
  • Big Sur Café Orgánico: smaller, warmer and with a very neat decor, this is an ideal place to sit down and chill. The homemade cakes are really good and not too sweet (apple, red fruits). Address: Ignacio Zaragoza 40, La Paz. Facebook Page
cafe doce cuarenta la paz
cafe doce cuarenta la paz
cerveza baja brewing
baja beer brewing
big sur coffee la paz
big sur coffee la paz

Is La Paz BCS safe?

This is a valid question and it was the first thing I asked my Airbnb host.

She told me that there was a period of instability, but now it’s peaceful and you can walk around the city center without any trouble.

I’ve lived in Latin America for several years, so I’m used to being cautious, but I have to say that I felt safe all the time during my one week in La Paz.

My advice
If you go out at night, you’ll notice that La Paz is very quiet. But, just to be safe, I suggest staying on the malecon or a busy street as much as you can.

How to get around in La Paz?

Rent a car in La Paz Mexico

Renting a car is for sure the best way to explore Baja California and make the most of your stay!

To rent a car, personally, I always use, for a few reasons:

  • You can easily compare the rental cars prices between all the agencies: for sure the easiest way to find the best rate!
  • Cancellation is often offered free of charge: no need to worry if you change your mind
  • Rentalcars offers full insurance coverage at a lower price than the rental companies, so it’s an instant saving with no effort

Simply click on the green button to find your rental car at the best price:

By public transportation

If you don’t plan to rent a car in La Paz, the buses are quite convenient. This is how I visited all the places, either to the beaches or to other towns in the area.

The La Paz bus terminal is located on the malecon. It is quite small, but there are departures to various destinations in Baja California every day on a regular schedule.

Normally, it is possible to book online on their website, but it wasn’t working for me and I had to buy the tickets at the station. This was not a problem as there are many departures.

Note: the buses are not always on time, so keep this in mind when planning your visits.

  • Address: Álvaro Obregón, 125, La Paz (el malecón)
  • Website
terminal autobus la paz mexico
terminal autobus la paz mexico

How to get to La Paz?

By plane

Manuel Márquez de León airport has several domestic flights with AeroMexico, Calafia Airlines, Viva Aerobus and Volaris.

From the airport to downtown La Paz, a cab costs about 300 pesos.

I flew from Mexico City to La Paz (2h) with Volaris, a low-cost company, because the tickets were cheaper. But on the way back the flight was delayed 5 hours. Something to keep in mind if you have a tight itinerary.

To find a good deal for your flight to La Paz Bcs, and your international flight to Mexico, I recommend you to use our flight comparator in collaboration with Skyscanner, it’s a guarantee to pay the best price!

Airport Transfer
Don’t waste your precious vacation time at La Paz airport and book this transfer service (click here!) to reach your hotel safely and quickly.
aeropuerto la paz baja california sur
La Paz Airport in Baja California Sur

By ferry

The ferry is a bit pricey and slow, but if you want to try a different way of traveling while enjoying the view and maybe spotting some sea turtles and dolphins, this might be an option to think about.

You can take a ferry to La Paz (Pichilingue terminal) from two cities in the state of Sinaloa:

  • Mazatlan: trip duration 13 hours. Departures Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday (from 8 pm to 8 am) with Baja Ferries or Monday, Wednesday and Friday (at 5 pm) with Ferry TMC.
  • Topolobampo: trip duration 7 hours. Departure on Mondays (at midnight) with Baja Ferries or every day except Saturdays (at 11pm) with Ferry TMC.

In addition to the basic ticket, there are several cabin options (at additional cost). Children under 3 years old travel for free, but a ticket reservation is mandatory.

The TMC Ferry ticket includes breakfast and dinner, and the Baja Ferries ticket includes a dessert and soft drink.

My Advice
Important: you must arrive 3 hours in advance.
baja ferry mazatlan
Mazatlan Ferry

By bus

As La Paz is located at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, distances are very long to get there.

If your itinerary in Mexico is very tight I do not recommend taking the bus as it will take a lot of time.

There are direct buses to La Paz from several destinations on the peninsula such as Tijuana (23h), Mexicali (24h30), Tecate (22h), Loreto (6h), Santa Rosalia (9h).

If you want to make a route through the peninsula of Baja California to La Paz, I suggest you first fly to Tijuana, and then take the bus (ABC or Autotransportes Aguila) or rent a car to go with peace of mind.

Best time to Visit La Paz Mexico

The best time to visit La Paz is January-February, when you can witness the amazing whale sharks and gray whales.

La Paz has pleasant weather throughout the year, but the water can be cold and windy from December to June. If you join a tour, they will provide you with a wetsuit.

For warm beaches and sunny skies, summer is the perfect season to visit La Paz.

Practical map of La Paz, Mexico

To help you, here is a map with all the best attractions in and around La Paz.

Book your trip now and save money!

You’re traveling in Mexico? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Mexico: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Mexico are listed there.

You’re using Pinterest? Here is the picture to pin!

visit La Paz Mexico
visit La Paz Mexico

I have created this blog to give you all my best tips to plan your next trip to Mexico, regardless of your budget. I share detailed itineraries, advice about places to visit as well as recommendations for transportation, hotels and restaurants. I hope I will also help you to discover amazing off the beaten path destinations in Mexico!

Leave A Reply