La Paz in Mexico - 5 Highlights at the Baja California

La Paz in Mexiko - 5 Highlights an der Baja California
La Paz in Mexico - 5 Highlights at the Baja California

Mexico. La Paz in Mexico is the pearl in the Baja California. The city is lively and colorful, varied and proud of its impressive street art. As the "gateway to the Sea of Cortez", La Paz is also a perfect starting point for trips to the sea. If you love the sea and its inhabitants, you will be thrilled by La Paz. In my following article I will tell you my 5 highlights of La Paz, which you should definitely put on your bucket list. At the end I also give you some helpful tips for your stay.

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What you can expect in my Article:

Snorkeling with the Whale Sharks of La Paz - an unforgettable Highlight
Street-Art of La Paz - a colourful Sea of Pictures and Sculptures
Diving with the Sea Lions of Los Islotes
Walk along the Malecón - pure Joy of Life on the colourful Beach Promenade
Diving in the "Fish Soup" of Baja California
More helpful Tips and Travel Information for La Paz in Mexico

Snorkeling with the Whale Sharks of La Paz - an unforgettable Highlight

I have to say it. The whale sharks were the main reason I came to La Paz. Because in the time between October and April it is possible to snorkel here with these huge animals. The sea is then especially rich in plankton and the whale sharks come close to the coast. Numerous tour providers drive out with boats to the specially for the whale sharks arranged protected area. After a 20 minute drive you can see the first whale sharks from the boat.

In order to affect the whale shark population off La Paz as little as possible, rules for snorkelling were introduced in 2009. For example, the number of boats and snorkelers allowed in the protected area at the same time per animal is limited and a maximum length of stay is specified.

Snorkeling with a whale shark is simply unforgettable - definitely a "once in a lifetime" experience. Only with the difference that I went snorkeling a second time two days later. It was just too beautiful. More information about this absolutely amazing experience can be found in my separate article Snorkeling with Whale Sharks off La Paz, Mexico.

Tip: From January to March (but best in February) you can also watch grey whales with calves in front of and especially in the lagoons north of La Paz. I have heard that some animals are extremely curious and come so close to the boat that you could pet them.

Street-Art of La Paz - a colourful Sea of Pictures and Sculptures

La Paz invites you to discover the city and has some surprises in store: street art at its best and original sculptures at the Malecón. Murals of whales, sharks and fishermen remind us of the history of the city and also want to open our eyes to the beauty of the nature of Baja California. And they call upon the viewer to protect the oceans. In my separate article you can learn more about Street Art in La Paz, Mexico. You also get to know some of my favorite murals and sculptures. You will also learn where you can discover the artworks.

Diving with the Sea Lions of Los Islotes

Do you feel like a good dive? For a close encounter with playful young sea lions? Then La Paz is the place for you. Because only about 35 kilometres from the coast lies the small archipelago Los Islotes. Its bare rocks are home to up to 500 Californian sea lions. It is also the largest sea lion colony in all of Baja California. And a visit to this colony is definitely one of the biggest highlights of La Paz. Because here you can dive or snorkel with the sea lions! The curious young animals come very close and even start to play with you. Here you can read my article about Diving with the Sea Lions from La Paz. You can read what to expect when diving or snorkeling with the animals. I also give you some helpful tips for your tour to the sea lion colony.

Walk along the Malecón - pure Joy of Life on the colourful Beach Promenade

The Malecón is colourful, lively and a mirror of the Mexican joie de vivre. It is the center of tourism in La Paz and also connects the city with the sea. From here the excursion boats start to the Isla Espíritu Santo as well as to the sea lions or whale sharks. But also the approximately five kilometres long boardwalk is popular among the local people. Joggers, skaters and bobby cars conquer the promenade in the early evening hours. Countless benches invite you to linger. Photographers are happy about numerous motives, as for example the sculptures that are lined up at the Malecón. But a specially nice motive is a sunset over the bay of La Paz.

Which highlights you should not miss during your walk at the Malecón in La Paz:

  • See the great sculptures. Many of them are inspired by the sea and tell the history of the city.
  • A visit with Jacques Yves Cousteau. You can reach his statue from the Muelle Fiscal after a 20-minute walk towards the north-east.
  • Enjoy the morning atmosphere at the Malecón with cinnamon buns and a coffee, for example at CinnaRolls (Paseo Alvaro Obregon 550; opening hours 7 to 23 hrs, on weekends from 8 hrs).
  • Lunch or dinner on a roof terrace with a view of the bay of La Paz, for example at Harker Board (Paseo Alvaro Obregon 299; opening hours 12-24 hrs, Tuesdays from 4 hrs).
  • Put your feet in the sand, eat an ice cream and watch people.
  • Ein Foto von dem Schriftzug “La Paz” machen.
  • Watching pelicans.
  • Just watch the sunset over the bay in a very romantic way.

Diving in the "Fish Soup" of Baja California

Die Sea of Cortez (Golf von Californien) ist aufgrund ihres Fischreichtums eines der besten Tauchreviere der Welt. Jacques-Yves Cousteau hat dieses Nebenmeer des Pazifiks das “Aquarium der Welt” genannt. Andere nennen das Meer auch “Fischsuppe”. Zu Recht. Denn hier können je nach Saison bis zu 850 Arten gezählt werden, darunter viel Großfisch. Damit gehört die Sea of Cortez zu den artenreichsten Meeren der Welt. Grund für diesen Artenreichtum ist der Nährstoffeintrag durch aufsteigende Tiefenströmungen und den Colorado River.

There are about 12 dive sites off La Paz, all of which are reached by boat. For one leg of the trip the travel time is between 45 and 90 minutes depending on wind and waves. We spent two days with Team Dive in La Paz and had a great time. I can recommend the dive center from the bottom of my heart.

At some of the dive sites you also have a good chance for extraordinary encounters: Sea lions, whales and dolphins, whale sharks, hammerheads, white tip reef sharks, mobulas, spearfish, sea turtles or large schools of fish. However, most sightings - as always in nature - are a matter of luck and also depend on the time of year:

Whale SharksOctober to April, but best September to February
Humpback Whales and Grey WhalesDecember to March
Giant MantasAugust to November
MobulasApril to May and July to October
Hammerhead SharksAugust to February
Sea Lionsall year round (The colony near Los Islotes is not diveable from June to August, because of the breeding of young. The adult males are then very territorial).

In addition to the natural reefs, there are wrecks near the coast of Isla Espíritu Santo that are popular for diving. Among them is the wreck of the 100 meter long ferry "Salvatierra", which sank at the Swannee Reef in 1975. It lies in about 15 meters depth. In addition, three other wrecks were sunk on the west coast of the island in 1999 and 2004. They lie at depths of 16 and 20 metres respectively and today give many marine animals a new home.

Diving in La Paz is possible all year round.
Visibility range: September to December to over 30 m; February to end of May approx. 15 m.
Water temperature: between 23° and 28° C, highest in October. January to March between 19° to 22°C.

Do you prefer it a little more lonely and original? Then I recommend a visit to the national park Cabo Pulmo after your stay in La Paz. Here it is all about diving and snorkeling. This secluded diving paradise in the very south of Baja California can only be reached via a gravel road. You get a small impression in my article Shark Diving with Bull Sharks in front of Cabo Pulmo.

More helpful Tips and Travel Information for La Paz in Mexico

Downtown La Paz, thus the area around the Malecón and the Pier, is the centre of tourism. Here, there are countless accommodations, restaurants, tour providers and souvenir shops. To make your search a little easier, I have put together some practical tips and travel information for you.

Getting there and best best Time to travel:

Getting there: La Paz is easily accessible via the international airport. Ferries also operate from the Mexican mainland. From the international airport Cabo San Lucas you can reach La Paz by rental car in 3 hours. The drive goes through a great mountain landscape and is a highlight in itself.

Best time to travel: The weather in La Paz is good all year round. But the warmest months are June to October. From January to June as well as in December are dry periods. But in August and September there is the most rain.

Accommodation & Food

Accommodation: La Paz offers a variety of accommodation in all price ranges. The offer ranges from simple hostels and guesthouses to luxurious resorts on the outskirts of the city. We stayed in the Hotel La Perla (approximately 50 euros for a double room with simple breakfast). It is centrally located and directly at the Malecón.

Breakfast: In the Café CinnaRoll you get good coffee and - as the name suggests - cinnamon snails. And they are really tasty. Address: Paseo Alvaro Obregon 550. Opening hours: 7-23; weekends from 8.

Lunch and Dinner: You will find many resaturants and bars at the Malecón. But many of them are closed in the early afternoon - Siesta! Often you can have your meal or drink on a roof terrace, for example at Harker Board (Paseo Alvaro Obregon 299; opening hours 12-24, Tuesdays from 4 pm). Tip: Come early enough and secure a place with a view of the sunset over the bay.

Souvenirs & Money

Souvenirs: Beautiful souvenirs as well as English books about the region and maps can be found at Allende Books at 21 de Agosto Street. There are also many small stalls selling souvenirs in this street.

ATM: With my VISA card from DKB I was able to withdraw cash at the cash machine of the Santander Bank (corner of Augustin Arriola M. / Mutualismo) without charge (maximum 8.600 Pesos per day).

Paying: Many tour operators charge 5% extra for card payment. So better pay with cash. Guide to La Paz in Mexico

Travel Guides for La Paz in Mexico

Have you ever been to La Paz and what were your highlights? Do you have any questions about my article or further tips for La Paz? If so, I would be glad about your comment.

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