Travel & Destinations

La Paz in Baja Sur: Mexico’s Most Colorful Region

Photos By: Sharon Kurtz ~ 

Texans love to head to Mexico for the sun, beach, and brilliant blue waters. Everyone knows about Cabo San Lucas on the Baja Peninsula, but bypass the crowds of Cabo and take the road less traveled. La Paz might soon be your new favorite spot.

It’s the perfect getaway in Baja California Sur’s capital. 

This charming Mexican seaside town is just two hours north along the coast with a slower pace and a fascinating local culture. It is an easy flight from DFW to SJO (Cabo San Lucas), and then a short drive up the coast.

The capital of Baja California Sur, La Paz, has plenty to offer. With warm weather year-round, it has a relaxed vibe that feels like Old Mexico, uninterrupted by international tourism.

La Paz is whimsical, colorful, and authentic.

La Paz is an eco-tourism haven, a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and water-sport lovers. Majestic mountains merge with white sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters. As the Gateway to the Sea of Cortez, there is a reason Jacques Cousteau described the area as “the world’s aquarium.” Many species of marine life can only be found here.

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Dolphin sculpture

Whale Watching and Water Sports

Migrating whales travel 20,000 miles from the Bering Sea to reach the warm waters of La Paz, where they give birth to babies and mate. The Bay of La Paz is a protected area, sheltered from the open Gulf of California, making it easy to spot the majestic creatures.

Grey whales are most frequently seen, but others in the area include blue whales, humpback whales, and pilot whales. Grey whales and whale sharks coexist in the bay from October to April.

Outside the city, Los Barriles is one of the top spots for kitesurfing. Due to its perfect weather conditions, it’s rapidly gaining a reputation as a world-class windsurfing destination. If you prefer to be underwater, there’s snorkeling or scuba diving through thriving coral reefs.

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Snorkeling with sea friends | Photo by islas-Emprhotur

Espiritu Santo Island

Espiritu Santo Island in the Sea of Cortez is a natural treasure and is one of the most diverse bodies of marine life, with tranquil turquoise waters, unspoiled land, and pristine beaches and has been a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site since 2005. I spent the day swimming with sea lions and spotting gigantic green sea turtles.

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Chocolate clams, fresh from the sea

The Seafood Is Fresh, and the Fishing Is Fine

Dining on fresh seafood in the many outdoor cafes is delicious and fun. Local cuisine ranges from humble seafood stands and market stalls to upscale experiences in laid-back settings.

The cuisine of La Paz focuses on local ingredients: Seafood, spices, herbs, and plants indigenous to the area. Traditional Mexican food, like street tacos, are filled with grilled meats.

To get your seafood fix, try the specialty of this region: Chocolate clams, named for their coffee-colored shells. The delicacies are luscious, sweet, and fresh from the sea.

Home to one of the world’s most unique sport fisheries, La Paz sits calmly on a beautiful bay. Access to great fishing waters will challenge novice and experienced anglers alike with year-round action. Fishermen head out to pursue marlin, sailfish, tuna, Mahi-mahi, and more.

The Magic of the Malecon

When you get to La Paz, head to the Malecon! It’s the beating heart of the city and bustling with locals.

My favorite activity was strolling the winding promenade with its many sculptures lining the walk and the gorgeous views out to the harbor. It stretches for 3.5 miles along the waterfront and connects the city with the sea. It’s family-friendly, safe, and picturesque — and considered the city’s highlight, pulsing with vibrant energy.

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Visit La Paz

There are many reasons travelers should escape to La Paz. It is less explored and, unsurprisingly, less expensive. You will be happy you bypassed the touristy Cabo San Lucas for a more authentic experience.   

If You Go:

Visit from November to April when the average temperatures range from the low to mid-80s, and cooler waters attract whale sharks and whales.

It is an easy direct flight From DFW to SJO. (Cabo San Lucas). There is also a direct flight from Phoenix to La Paz. I suggest renting a car if you plan to visit the other towns nearby. El Triunfo and Los Todos are magical and must-sees. For more information about La Paz, visit their website.


Sharon Kurtz

Sharon Kurtz is a freelance writer and photographer. Her passion is travel, telling stories, and tussling with her four-legged friends. As a baby boomer who loves adventure, she welcomes opportunities to share stories of people, places, food, and flavors around the corner or around the world. A regular contributor to fyi50+ Magazine, she's published 200 articles in various digital and print publications. Austin, Texas, is home with her husband and three spoiled dogs when not searching out new adventures. You can follow her travels on Instagram and Facebook.

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