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Everything you need to know before traveling to La Paz Mexico

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One of the most underrated destinations, La Paz Mexico is the vibrant capital city of Baja California Sur. It has a very little feel of a big city and more of a happy port town brimming with amazing scenic views and exciting things to do for sea lovers. In this post I share practical tips on visiting La Paz Mexico, that will be useful if you are planning a vacation in this great town, whether a short or long stay.


I lived in La Paz, Mexico for a couple of months while housesitting and I have enjoyed the city life so much, biking or walking around the city center and trying to get to the Malecon for the special La Paz sunsets as many time as possible. Note it down, as these sunsets are special. I enjoyed working from coffee shops and exploring the markets and the beautiful beaches, the murals and I also ventured on an amazing road trip around Baja with a couple of friends.

I was so fascinated by this country that I decided to go back 2 years later on my own and explore more this time on a 2 weeks solo trip from Los Cabos to Guerrero Negro and back which ended with an unplanned lockdown in La Paz, yes it was March 2020. I was working online for a great company and I was planning to stay 2 months in La Paz, where I would have enjoyed my day off exploring around. Well. I ended up staying in La Paz for 3 months but locked in my Airbnb apartment, which was great, but definitely didn’t plan to stay locked within four walls. But I will write another post about it.

All the above to say, that La Paz is a beautiful city brimming with things to do and places to eat, beautiful homes and fantastic views, definitely a city that has a village feel and you will love either to visit as a tourist or to spend some time to live and work there. It is indeed a friendly place for Digital Nomads.

SOME FACTS ABOUT LA PAZ

Where is La Paz?

La Paz is located in the South of the Mexican State of Baja California Sur, of which it’s the capital city.

What’s  La Paz, Mexico, weather?

The weather in La Paz is very hot in the summer from May through October and milder temperatures in winter. Nights are always cooler for its location close to the desert.

Is La Paz Mexico safe?

Yes, it is indeed a safe place as much as the rest of Baja California. Normal petty theft can occur, like anywhere else in the world. So usual common sense is required.

What are the tops things to do in La Paz?

Definitely spend a day in Balandra beach, one of the best beaches in Mexico, swimming with whale sharks and taking a tour to Isla Espiritu Santo where you can swim with sea lions

When is Whale Sharks season?

Whale Shark season is in winter from January through March.

When is the best season to travel to La Paz?

It really depends on what you are looking for. If you love wildlife and come here to see whales, definitely winter is a must. However the water can be quite cold, so summer would be the best choice for those who love to swim, also for divers, visibility is much better in the summer.

HOW TO MOVE AROUND IN LA PAZ

The best thing to do is to rent a car. You can get it directly at the airport or in the city or you can also pre-book it here. I have used this website to compare different prices and I had a great experience. I rented the one with full insurance without a deductible, to be on the safe side. It’s much easier to move around by car and super safe. Roads are very well marked and well paved, except for some remote areas. By car, you can conveniently reach the beaches and explore the city. Especially if you wish to go to San Ignacio or any other spot for Whale Watching you should definitely rent a car. 

However, if you prefer to move around by public transportation it is also possible although it takes a little patience. 

 The local line is called Aguila and these are the schedules. They travel around La Paz to the beaches, but they don’t go to la Ventana apparently. For that, you need to get a car or hitch hacking.

Busses will also take you to Todos Santos, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose al Cabo, El Triunfo, Cabo Pulmo and Loreto. They also go all the way to the most northern city of Tijuana.

You can check on this site for their schedule, although if you are in La Paz, it would be better to check directly with the office, located on the Malecon. 

To move around La Paz, public transportation is very efficient. Although there is not a precise schedule you can pretty much ask at the bus stop wherever you are and bus driver can help you out. 

From Mercado Madero there are many bus going different directions.

From Airport to town the only transportations available are:

  • taxi 
  • uber
  • car rental 

RENT A CAR IN BAJA CALIFORNIA

I always suggest to rent a car and drive around because you have the freedom to visit on your own terms, without having the pressure of the tight schedules that groups normally have. I love to drive around a place and find new corners to discover, for as long as I want, just like I did it in Baja California.

INSIDER TIP – if you want to use your own insurance provided by your credit card, make sure it’s valid in Mexico, as I have heard some horror stories. If it’s not valid, make sure you book your insurance directly with the car rental and not with third parties and ask for full insurance, zero deductible.  This way you will be fully covered and don’t need to live a huge deposit.

If you are new with driving in Mexico, I have written a useful post with tips and interesting information that might be useful as there are a couple of things you need to know and need to be careful about.


HOW TO GET TO LA PAZ, MEXICO

To get to Baja California you have different options:

GETTING TO LA PAZ, MEXICO BY PLANE

To La Paz international airport (LAP) – where you will find flights from other airports in Mexico among which Mexico city and Guadalajara

to San Jose International Airport. (SJD) – about 2-hour distance from La Paz which is an international airport with flights from many different international destinations.

You can check flights availability and rates here

GETTING TO LA PAZ MEXICO BY FERRY

BAJA FERRY is the operating company and  you can check time and prices here

From Topolobambo to La Paz and return. 

This is close to Los Mochis where the famous train El Chepe takes you through the Barranca del Cobre. It’s an option if you plan to go to the Barranca del Cobre either before la Paz or after. It’s actually a great combination if you have a fair amount of time and wish to combine multiple regions.

From Mazatlan to La Paz and return 

That’s the ferry I was in. It’s a night trip.

They offer the option to stay in a room and sleep comfortably in a bed for 1000 extra pesos (about 50 USD).

I wanted to try the adventure and decided to sleep on the chair of the lounge. It was like a movie theatre, very uncomfortable to sleep, but for one night I was ok.

The following morning I wasn’t sure if I was more excited to see the sunrise from the boat or to get to La Paz, which has always been one of my dream destinations, or both.

I didn’t sleep much and went out just in time to see the sunrise: surreal.


TOP THINGS TO DO IN LA PAZ MEXICO

  • Watch the sunset from the Malecon
  • Spend a day in Playa Balandra (and stay for the sunset)
  • Join a tour to Spiritu Santu
  • Join a tour to swim with the Whale Sharks (from December through April only)
  • Walk around the city to admire the beautiful murals

Read more amazing things to do in La Paz, Mexico


WHERE TO STAY IN LA PAZ

EL ANGEL AZUL HACIENDA

The cozy property is structured like an old hacienda with an internal patio and big wooden windows and doors.

The elegant Mexican style decoration makes it a soothing place where you will feel like home.

You also have a spacious and fully equipped shared kitchen where you can cook your own meals if you don’t feel like going out.

Restaurants and bars are located at a walking distance as the property is right in the heart of the vibrant city.

Book your stay on Booking.com I Hotel.com I Agoda.com

Check out reviews on TripAdvisor

LA POSADA HOTEL & BEACH CLUB LA PAZ

Situated at a 1-minute walk from the beach in La Paz and at 3 km from the city center, this beautiful contemporary property features also an outdoor pool for those who wish to enjoy the tranquillity of the hotel, a gym, and a spa with a temazcal sauna and beauty treatments. All the stylish suites have ocean views with a private balcony or terrace. The hotel rates include breakfast.

Book your stay on Booking.com Hotel.com Agoda.com

Check out reviews on TripAdvisor

HOTEL LA CATEDRAL 

The Hotel  Catedral is located right in the heart of the city by the main plaza and at walking distance to the Malecon, coffee’ shops, and restaurants.

The rooms are essential but elegant. The highlight of this property is definitely the rooftop from which you can enjoy the views of the city and the horizon while laying in the comfortable cushions sipping your drink.

Book your stay on Booking.com I Hotel.com I Agoda.com

Check out reviews on TripAdvisor

HOTEL POSADA LAS FLORES

This boutique hotel is an icon in La Paz and the sister property of La Posada in Loreto, which I have praised so much. The interior decorations merge the colored Mexican style with the elegant Italian taste. The result is a cozy little place offering tranquillity and peace in the middle of La Paz. At walking distance from restaurants, shops, and the beach.

Book your stay on Booking.com I Hotel.com I Agoda.com

Check out reviews on TripAdvisor


Find out the best places to stay in La Paz on this easy interactive map where you can choose by price and by location.


WHERE TO EAT IN LA PAZ

To be really honest I haven’t tried all the fancy restaurants in the city since I have always been working from cafes and eating salads and sandwiches for 3 weeks. However, I made quite a bit of local friends and this is what they suggested to me:

Prana

It’s an Italian restaurant, which offers Mediterranean cuisine, very fancy and has vegan options

See reviews on TripAdvisor

Nim

I have tried Nim, for a quick soup. I enjoyed the internal garden and fancy decorations. They have a very varied menu and a few vegan options, but basic. It’s closed on Mondays.

It’s first on TripAdvisor! I guess it’s quite all right 😉

See reviews on TripAdvisor

Las Tres Virgenes

I liked the internal court and the majestic old fashioned entrance. They have a vast menu with vegan options but they specialize in meat.

See reviews on TripAdvisor

Sorstris

It’s one of the most popular together with Nim. It’s a very elegant restaurant with an international menu.

See reviews on TripAdvisor

Il Rustico

Italian restaurant looks good in the reviews. The menu is a mix of Italian cuisine and local flavors.

See reviews on TripAdvisor

Los Laureles

For tacos and seafood, you can try Los Laureles on the Malecon. My friends went there twice in three days as they were so impressed. It’s a very basic restaurant, nothing fancy but apparently very good.

See reviews on TripAdvisor

El Mezquite grill

This is a great local option both for meat lovers and vegans. I had an amazing salad with juicy grilled portobello mushrooms and my friend had his freshly made hamburger. Great service.

See reviews on TripAdvisor


MY FAVORITE COFFEE SHOPS IN LA PAZ

So, if you are following me for a while you might have realized that I am a fan of coffee-shops from where I love to write my blog and work online. Unfortunately in La  Paz wifi is terrible everywhere, I have tried a few spots but it’s all the same.

However, except for the WIFI quality, here is a list of coffee-shops that I have loved the most.

Doce Cuarenta

The place is great, cozy and well designed.

I loved especially the internal garden. They have many dishes also suitable for vegan and vegetarian. Lots of pastry choices, soups salad, and smoothies. The vibes were great and I felt also comfortable staying there all day working.

The big issue of this place is that WI-FI is the worse ever.

And it seems they cannot do anything about that.

It was disappointing to have to leave the place in the middle of a productive day, just because it just didn’t work.

See reviews on TripAdvisor

Capuchino

It’s a tiny place with great vegan options and the wifi is working quite well most of the time. The only problem I had was that I wasn’t feeling very comfortable as I was being asked if I wanted something all the time. I felt like I wasn’t welcomed to stay so long. It’s true that they didn’t have many tables but I have never seen it full.  But maybe that was just me and my perception.

Velvet

It’s a super tiny place and I only went there one time because they made vegan pastry, which was delicious. They don’t have it every day, though.

See reviews on TripAdvisor

Bagel

The place is really nice but I have never gone to sit and work, just a couple of times for coffee and I really enjoyed it. They have vegan options too and my sandwich was hummus and veggies was extremely delicious. The vegan chai latte as well.  The waiters are also super nice. They also sell roasted coffee and delicious wheat bread.

See reviews on TripAdvisor

I hope this huge guide to La Paz was helpful. Let me know should you have any questions.


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