La Paz, Mexico has been on my travel bucket list for a few years now. It’s an hour and forty minute direct flight from LAX and you don’t have to deal with the crowds and rough surf you’ll find in Los Cabos (although there is a time and place for that too… I do love Los Cabos!). I want to visit La Paz because it seems so raw, like maybe it’s a taste of the real Baja – fewer tourists and more locals – while still offering all the splendid amenities I appreciate when visiting a resort town.
Yeah, after seeing that video, I figured you’d be adding it to your bucket list too. It has been officially “BucketListed” by TravelPlusWine. Is “BucketListed” even a word? It is now…
Here’s what there is to do in La Paz:
Escape the hustle and bustle of Los Cabos and swim in water so calm and clear, I imagine you’ll contemplate the meaning of heaven on earth. La Paz, Mexico is located on a bay in the Gulf of California and offers a slightly off-the-beaten path destination for adventure and relaxation seekers alike.
When you’ve spent enough time swimming or kayaking Balandra beach, head back to town and stroll the Malecón at sunset. It offers extraordinary bay views and you can visit a number of shops, restaurants, bars, and cafes while passing beautiful sculptures. Wine lovers will want to head to Steinbeck’s at the CostaBaja Resort for dinner for multi course meal paired with carefully selected Mexican wines. Or, for a simple meal, I’m sure fish tacos are abundant in La Paz.
If you’re in La Paz between December and March, you can’t leave town without signing up for a whale watching tour. We did this in Loreto and it was well worth the time and money. The blue whale, humpback whale, and whale shark all make this region their winter retreat. I’ve seen pictures of people swimming with these whales. If that’s a bit too up close and personal, maybe stand up paddleboarding is just the right amount of space between you and these gentle beasts. Same goes for visiting the sea lion colony at the point of Isla Partida.
Ok, so maybe La Paz is home to a few big(ish) waves. If that’s what you’re after, grab your surfboard head to the beaches of Pescadero and Los Cerritos near Todos Santos. Speaking of water sports, Baja California Sur is home to international fishing tournaments. You can hire a guide and boat complete with everything you need for a day of casting your line. Fresh mahi mahi for lunch, anyone?
Where to stay in La Paz:
A quick Internet search with turn up with a number of options. Here are a few to consider:
Photo Credit: CostaBaja Resort & Spa
The hotel is 10 minutes south of downtown and the first five star resort in La Paz. Rooms have balconies with breathtaking views, free wifi, a coffee maker, and swanky glass-enclosed showers (hello romance!). You can also arrange to stay in condos, perhaps a good option if you’re traveling with a small group. Whenever I’m staying at a resort, I always make it a point to check out the spa and treat myself to a massage. CostaBaja’s spa offers over 60 different treatments.
Photo Credit: Seven Crown
Stay right where the action is in this contemporary hotel. Maybe indulge and get an ocean view suite so you can watch people stroll the Malecón and enjoy the evening lights from the comfort of your private balcony. Soak in the jacuzzi after a long day of exploration and adventure.
Photo Credit: Seven Crown
This is Seven Crown’s newest hotel and located in the historic city center of La Paz. Some suites are fully equipped with a small lounge and kitchenette for those who prefer doing their own cooking or simply having that option. This property has a swimming pool.
Budget travelers will enjoy the ‘camping on the beach in Mexico’ option. El Coyote, San Evaristo, and San Juan de la Costa are some easy-access beaches near the city where you can camp. Just do your homework because camping permits are required. Tour companies can also take you camping and provide everything you need. Forget something? Apparently you can find it in La Paz.
Getting to La Paz:
AeroMexico has a direct flight from LAX to La Paz Thursday – Sunday. The first bag checked is free, your carry-on is free, they serve meals, snacks, and no extra charge for your beer. You could have a very pleasant buzz before even landing in Mexico, courtesy of AeroMexico.
Travel deals to La Paz:
AeroMexico Vacations offers very reasonable Air + Hotel deals to La Paz, so it’s a great site to start your vacation research.
Have you been to La Paz, Mexico? Any tips?
We recently had the chance to visit Loreto and discover the magic, the beauty, and the real paradise that this destination has to offer.
Located on the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) in the State of Baja California Sur in Mexico, Loreto is an ideal place for the perfect escape.
Whether you are looking for a quiet place to relax from it all or a more adventurous vacation full of fun and exciting things to do, Loreto will not disappoint you.
And the best place to stay just happens to be the only Five-Star resort in Loreto: Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa at the Islands of Loreto.
Villa del Palmar is a fantastic resort with 180 luxury rooms with a Jacuzzi tub in each suite and well equipped with full kitchens. It is located on 1,800 hectares of property surrounded by nature and its own beach cove at Ensenada Blanca Beach.
The resort also has 5 pools, a world-class spa, a mini market, a kids’ area, and three restaurants.
The entertainment at Villa del Palmar is endless. Every day there are fun activities scheduled all day long. Start early with a morning hike on one of the trails that overlook the beautiful islands of Loreto.
Throughout your hike, you will see the diversity of vegetation in the area, the amazing water colors of the Sea of Cortez, and if you are lucky, you could spot Baja condors flying around the coast. Just make sure you are wearing enough sunblock.
If you wish to enjoy the resort’s activities, you can join the aqua-aerobics classes at the main pool every day. On different nights, they have a variety of great shows. Don’t miss Mexican Night on Saturdays; it is a fun, colorful display of all the important traditional dances of Mexico.
As far as water activities, Loreto is a true paradise. Not only is Loreto one of the best whale-watching spots during the winter months, but all year round you can enjoy great kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and paddle boarding.
The late Sea Explorer Jacques Cousteau actually dubbed the Sea of Cortez “the aquarium of the world” due to the hundreds of species unique to the region.
Wild Loreto is a company with friendly staff and many years of experience who have an office in Villa del Palmar’s lobby.
Their staff can help you choose among all the fun activities and tours you can do during your stay in Loreto. They also have kayaks, paddle boards, and snorkeling equipment for rent.
If you wish to ride on a catamaran boat around the islands, they can help you as well.
We took a boat to Danzante Island and it was an incredible experience. We saw many dolphins on the way there and we snorkeled at Honeymoon Beach, where we saw starfish and other types of sea life.
Not many know that Loreto is of great importance in the history of California. Actually, of both Californias: the Alta California and the Baja California.
And it is from here that the Spanish went on to build missions and presidios that went all the way up north ending at the Mission San Francisco Solano de Sonoma following El Camino Real.
Furthermore, the famous “Camino Real” actually starts in Loreto. Despite this importance, the town of Loreto has remained small, with a population of about 10,000 people.
If you want to be closer to the historic downtown, Hotel Santa Fe Loreto is a great place to stay. The spacious rooms are equipped with full kitchens and the hotel offers a pool, hot tub, and plenty of parking. It’s only a short walk to visit the historical Mission of Loreto.
How to get there
Loreto is such an easy destination to get to. From LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) there are several airlines that fly there. You can get great specials on a charter flight with CalJet Airlines.
They have a fantastic schedule leaving and returning on Saturdays. And best of all, the flight only takes 1 hour 40 minutes. It’s that fast!
If you love adventure and beautiful scenic road trips, you can go by car. Driving from San Diego is about 13 hours.
Most people drive to the town of Guerrero Negro on the Pacific side and spend the night, arriving in Loreto the next day.
If you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway paired with authentic Mexican charm, Loreto is a destination you won’t want to miss. But hurry before it’s discovered!