Everything you need to know before traveling to La Paz Mexico in 2023
One of the most underrated destinations, La Paz Mexico is the vibrant capital city of Baja California Sur.
It has 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 “big town”, whether a short or long stay.
I lived in La Paz, Baja California Sur, 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 times as possible.
Note it down, as these sunsets are special. I enjoyed working in 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 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 with amazing 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.
In fact, it is indeed a friendly place for Digital Nomads.
2023 Update – As I am updating this post, it’s January 2023 and, yes you have guessed, I am back in La Paz, again! I am doing all the possible tours available, especially whale watching and swimming with sea lions, in the cold winter water. It is freezing but well worth it. Read on to learn more about what to expect if you travel to La Paz, Mexico.
Some Facts about La Paz Mexico
Where is La Paz Mexico?
La Paz is located in the South of the Mexican State of Baja California Sur, of which it’s the capital city. Not to be confused with Bolivia’s capital city.
La Paz lies about 1470 km (913 miles) south of Tijuana on the US border, 150 km (93 miles) north of Cabo San Lucas, and over 1600 km (994 miles) northwest of Mexico City.
How do I get to La Paz?
There are Non-stop flights to La Paz from Tijuana and Mexico City while in wintertime you can also find international flights from Dallas and Phoenix.
If you are already in Mexico and on the pacific coast you can get a ferry from Mazatlan and Los Mochis to Pichilingue near La Paz and close to the best beaches in La Paz.
It’s not very practical as it’s quite a long ride but it’s a unique experience.
I suggest you rent a cabin because sleeping on a chair is not the most comfortable thing in the world.
You will arrive at La Paz around 7 am after watching one of the most spectacular sunrises from the boat!
What’s La Paz, Mexico, weather like?
The weather in La Paz is very hot in the summer from May through October and has milder temperatures in winter. Nights are always cooler for their location close to the desert.
In winter time from December through April, you will enjoy a warm weather during the day and very cool nights.
In fact when I walk out in the evening to watch the sunset i need my sweater and a light jacket on top of it sometimes. So pack accordingly.
Also during winter, when it’s whale season and you can swim with whale sharks, you will also find low sea water temperature, so a long wetsuite is recommended.
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. Read my guide on safety in Mexico to learn more.
What are the tops things to do in La Paz, Baja California Sur?
Spend a day on Balandra beach, one of the best beaches in Mexico, swim with whale sharks and tak a tour to Isla Espiritu Santo where you can swim with sea lions in the winter months.
Explore the other nearby beaches in La Paz and take a trip to La Ventana, or to the Pueblo Magico of Todo Santos, at only 1 hour distance.
When is Whale Sharks season?
Whale Shark season is in winter from December through the beginning of April. Swimming with these gentle giants of the see is an incredible experience that you should have at least once in a lifetime.
Tours in La Paz are relatively affordable and they last aroudn 3 to 4 hours in total. You can choose the morning, midday or afternoon tour.
I was told that the midday tour is better because there are fewer people and more whale sharks activity and I honestly prefere this time of the day because it’s warmer.
This tour will take you out to the Sea of Cortez guided by a knowledgeable Marine Biologist who will explain everything you need to know about these gentle giants of the sea.
When is the best season to travel to La Paz?
It 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.
Can I use UBER in La Paz Mexico?
Yes, you can! UBER does operate in La Paz and it’s much cheaper and more reliable than Taxi, however, I am in La Paz right now as I am updating this post and I realized that UBER drivers are much fewer than DIDI drivers.
I asked around and one of the DIDI drivers told me that’s because UBER raised their commissions so drivers are upset of course and they all moved onto DIDI app.
So make sure you download the DIDI app before getting to La Paz.
And that is one of the reasons why I always suggest getting a SIM card in Mexico so that you will have the data to call a UBER or DIDI among all the other things you can do.
Please note that just like in many airports, most UBER or DIDI drivers won’t get into the airport, because they can be fined or get into discussions with the taxi drivers.
If you have lighter baggage you can walk out of the airport and call a DIDI from there. Otherwise, you are going to have to get a taxi which is crazy expensive.
It’s 390 MXN (20 USD) and if you consider that’s just 10 minute drive, not even, it’s just way too much.
When I arrived there was a lady that was arranging a shared transfer for 150 to 200 MXN. I don’t think it’s official but it worked out.
How to Move Around in La Paz Mexico
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 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. 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 the bus 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 no precise schedule you can pretty much ask at the bus stop wherever you are and the bus driver can help you out.
From Mercado Madero, many buses are going in different directions.
From the Airport to town, the only transportations available are:
- UBER and DIDI, but you will need to walk up to the highway outside the airport as they are not allowed to get in.
- car rental
Renting a car in Baja California
I always suggest renting a car and driving around because you have the freedom to visit on your terms, without 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 on my amazing road trip in Baja California Sur.
Find the best car rental deals and explore around freely, at your own pace. My favorite way to enjoy a destination!
INSIDER TIP – if you want to use the 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, with a zero deductible. This way you will be fully covered and don’t need to live a huge deposit.
If you are new to 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 are Mexico City and Guadalajara
to San Jose International Airport. (SJD) – about a 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 the 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 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 on. 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 in, 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 about the 25 amazing things to do in La Paz, Mexico
LA PAZ MEXICO TRAVEL GUIDE
Where to stay in La Paz Mexico
LA POSADA HOTEL & BEACH CLUB LA PAZ
Situated at a 1-minute walk from the beach in La Paz and 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 Hotel.com | Expedia
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 | Hotel.com | Expedia
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 of restaurants, shops, and the beach.
👉 Book your stay on Booking.com | Hotel.com | Expedia
► Check out more hotel options in La Paz
Where to eat in La Paz Mexico
To be really honest I haven’t tried all the fancy restaurants in the city since I have always been working in 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:
It’s an Italian restaurant, which offers Mediterranean cuisine, is very fancy, and has vegan options
Address – Calle Francisco I. Madero 1125 Zona Central, Zona Comercial, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Phone number – +52 (612) 128 9805
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.
Address – Revolución de 1910 #1110, Zona Central, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Phone number – +52 (612) 122 0908
🍖 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.
Address – C. Francisco I. Madero 1130, Zona Central, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Phone number – +52 (612) 123 2226
It’s one of the most popular together with Nim. It’s a very elegant restaurant with an international menu.
Address – Constitucion, Zona Comercial, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Phone number – +52 (612) 128 8985
La Casa Madre
Italian restaurant looks good in the reviews especially the pizza looks like the real deal, but I still have to try it.
Address – Revolución de 1910, Manuel Pineda 696 esquina, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Phone number +52 612 1762631
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. I had grilled shrimps and they were delicious.
Address -Paseo Alvaro Obregon, Esterito, 23020 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Phone number – +52 612 125 8932
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.
Address – C. Francisco I. Madero S/N, Zona Central, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Phone number – +52 (612) 158 4881
Best coffee shops in La Paz Mexico
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.
The place is great, cozy, and well-designed.
I loved especially the internal garden. They don’t have the great choice that they used to have with food, but the coffe is delicious and they have a lot of pastry as well.
The WIFI used to be bad but I got luky the last time I was in La Paz.
Address – C. Francisco I. Madero S/N, Zona Central, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Phone number – +52 (612) 178 0067
It’s a coffe’ shop and french backery with one of the best tiramisu that I have had. The problem with this place is that they open and close randomly as they please. So you may go and find them close. But it’s worth a try because the pastry is delicious. }
Address Belisario Domínguez 291, entre 5 de Mayo y Constitucion, Zona Central, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Phone number – +52 612 125 5878
Cute little place, that replaced Big Sur, my favorite coffe place a few years ago. Although it’s not the same atmosphere, they still did a great job.
WIFI is great to work and they have delicious dishes for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner, besides inviting desserts that you cannot say no to.
Address – Ignacio Zaragoza 40, Zona Central, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Phone – +52 612 199 4052
La Paz Mexico Guide: Final thoughts
I hope this detailed guide to La Paz was helpful. Now you know everything you should know to make your plans and book your vacation in the Baja California Sur Capital City. Get ready for breathtaking sunsets, exciting adventure in the sea of cortez and incredible wildlife encounter, besides great food and lovely weather! You can’t go wrong in La Paz, Baja!
About the Author
Hello there! This is Isabella, the author of this blog, and a cat lover. I am an Italian expatriate with a Mexican permanent Residence. After 7 years of living in Cancun, I have decided to leave my job and explore my beloved Mexico and the rest of this beautiful world, starting from South America, while sharing my travel stories and offering useful travel tips about traveling as a solo female traveler and digital nomad.