Things to Do in La Paz Mexico include just about everything a sun, sand, and sea destination has to offer as well as some more “urban” sightseeing in town. This includes the traditional Mexican siesta from about one to three or four in the afternoon. Other than that, most of your time will be spent out exploring the town.
Isla Espiritu Santo
Isla Espiritu Santo Image: Sam Beebe / Ecotrust (flickr)
Isla Espiritu Santo is the larger of the two uninhabited islands at the tip of the peninsula north of town. Isla Partida is the smaller of the islands, and these two La Paz tourist attractions are protected as an important UNESCO Biosphere. Ensenada Grande Beach on Isla Partida, with its crystal clear turquoise waters and sugar fine sand, has been voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Hiking, scuba diving, and sea kayaking are popular activities here in order to view and interact with the unique marine and birdlife that thrive on and around the islands. There is an abundance of colorful reef fish along the shores, including rainbow wrasse, angel fish, and parrot fish. Underwater, view vibrant sea coral and swaying seahorses. There are fiddler crabs, shore birds, egrets, brown pelicans, snowy egrets, brown boobies, occasional blue-footed boobies, and gulls and terns. There are mangrove swamps, desert-like canyons with thorn bushes and cactus, hummingbirds, ring-tailed cats, jack rabbits, and feral goats. You can view a large sea lion colony, see dolphins, and a variety of whales. You can book boat tours to the island from town, and there are kayak rentals available at El Tecolote Beach just across the channel on the mainland.
While there are some good city beaches along the Malecon seaside promenade, it is the stunning beaches north of town that attract most visitors. They stretch from Playa El Corumel, which can be accessed by walking, to stunning El Tecolote about 20 miles away. Balandra is one of the most famous of these beaches, and home to the famous balancing rock seen on postcards in many souvenir shops. This is a great beach for families with children, as the water is shallow quite far out. There are no facilities here, although vendors do come here with food, beverages, and umbrellas on weekends and on most days during peak season.
Most Latin American cities of any size have a seaside promenade called Malecon, and one of the first things to do in La Paz Mexico is take a stroll along this one. Head out in the late afternoon in order to catch the sunset. This is also the time that bars and dining spots have musicians, and there are often street entertainers and vendors out at this time. There is a central bandstand that is used for public celebrations, and plenty of public art like sculptures and murals. There are also beaches here with palapas for shade and a children’s playground.
Two colorful La Paz tourist attractions are the public markets – Mercado Madero and Mercado Bravo. Mercado Madero is filled with vendors offering heaps of local fruits and vegetables, fresh caught seafood and fish, and other items especially useful if you’ve taken advantage of vacation rentals equipped with a kitchen. There are also restaurants and burrito and taco stands. Mercado Bravo is an indoor market offering many of the same items. You won’t find a lot of handcraft souvenirs from mainland Mexico, but you will find a number of excellent shops in the streets between the Malecon and the cathedral. There is a weavers shop where you can often see the weavers at work before purchasing your textiles, and the Ibarra Pottery shop where members of the family have been making ceramics for generations.
Lighthouse & Fishing
Lighthouse & Fishing
There is a picturesque watchtower lighthouse located on the Malecon next to the welcome arch. Just north of this is where the local panga fleet puts in. One of the most popular things to do in La Paz Mexico is to fish, and many of the fishing pangas are available for fishing trips. There are also numerous operators with larger vessels that seek out the big sport fish like marlin, tuna, dorado, wahoo, and sailfish. Many restaurants and La Paz hotels will be happy to cook the fish you catch.
If you don’t want to catch the giants of the sea, you can book boats for whale watching excursions from mid-October through April. A number of species come here to breed and wait out the cold northern winter. The area is known for its blue whales, largest of the great beasts. Sperm, humpback, gray, finback, sei and orcas are also to be seen – as well as dolphins.
Another of the La Paz tourist attractions is the Our Lady of La Paz Cathedral, located on the main square in the Velasco Gardens. Completed in 1865, it is part of the history of the area. It originally had no towers; one was built in 1910, and the other in 1920. The interior is quite stunning, with exquisite statues, gilt ornamentation, and beautiful stained glass windows.