La Paz Mexico, the capital of Baja California Sur, is one of the most beautiful cities in the country.
Ideally located on the coast surrounded by the Sea of Cortez, this is one of the best destinations for marine lovers in Mexico.
The best things to do in La Paz Mexico revolve around the ocean. This is a great place for scuba diving, with a biodiverse ecosystem that can’t be matched elsewhere in Mexico.
Snorkel with Whale Sharks, dive with Manta Rays or whale watch on the open seas.
The city itself has a charming old town, wonderful museums and all along the coast, there are great beaches, and inland, towering mountains.
To inspire your trip to Baja California, here are the best things to do in La Paz!
Don’t leave home without: Fodor’s Los Cabos including La Paz
32 Awesome Things to Do in La Paz, Mexico
1. Wander the Old Town
Founded in the 16th century, La Paz Mexico would remain a small town for many hundreds of years, until a more recent boom in travel and tourism saw a larger expansion of Baja California Sur’s capital city.
For that reason, the Old Town is one of the most enjoyable and well preserved in Mexico, and it’s still very much the center of life in the city as it has been for centuries.
Explore the cobbled streets, take in the cathedrals, churches and grand colonial-style houses and government palaces, and enjoy the daily bustle of the market and the main plaza.
2. Visit the Cathedral Nuestra Señora de la Paz
One of the most iconic landmarks in La Paz is the Cathedral Nuestra Señora de la Paz, or the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Peace.
This grand cathedral is the center of Catholic worship in the city and the historic church dates back to the mid 19th century.
It’s a favorite photo spot for tourists, and if there’s not a service on then you can pop inside for a look around too.
3. Eat Seafood at Marina Cortez
The Marina Cortez is where you’ll find a more modern side of the city, as this is the upscale harbor area frequented by tourists and the elite.
As well as admiring the grand yachts and boats sheltered here, you can enjoy fine dining and excellent seafood too.
It’s a great place to spend the evening, when things start to get a little cooler, as long as you don’t mind breaking into the travel budget!
4. Stroll the Malecon
The Malecon is the long, wide boulevard that fronts the city, and taking a stroll here is easily one of the best things to do in La Paz!
Stretching along the Bay that looks out over the Sea of Cortez, the Malecon is the most popular place in the city in the early mornings and later evenings, when the weather is a little cooler.
Take a jog as the sun rises, or an evening walk with the crowds of tourists and families.
There are small beaches and piers to enjoy too, or you can stop off at the restaurants and bars that line the length of the Malecon for some local flavors and dishes.
5. Take a Photo With the La Paz Sign
La Paz is one of those small cities where its charm will grab you within a few minutes of exploring it.
It is a place that’s not too touristy but still offers amazing services and accommodations for travelers. It is a perfect place to enjoy beaches, landscapes, water activities, and adventures.
It is a place where time stands still and a place where you can enjoy its tranquility away from the hustle and bustle along the Baja Peninsula.
La Paz is a magical seaside town hidden in majestic surroundings so why not capture a memorial moment by snapping a photo next to the La Paz sign along the Malecon.
It is something how a photo of a city sign can and will conjure up all the great memories you’ve had in this amazing city.
6. Relax on Balandra Beach
Baja California is well known for having some of the best beaches in all of Mexico, but the city of La Paz itself is a little way from the best sandy escapes in the area, and you’ll need to get out of the city itself to find them.
One of the closest beaches is Balandra Beach, which is found just a short drive away from the city. In less than an hour, you’ll be in stunning surroundings, enjoying white sand and Azul waters.
You can set up for the day with deck chairs, lay back in the sand and do nothing at all.
Or you can rent a kayak or canoe, bring along a mask and snorkel, and make the most of the tranquil, calm ocean that’s found at Balandra Beach.
Meet all the beauties of the city of La Paz in a single day and spend the afternoon on the most beautiful beaches with landscapes that will make you sigh. You’ll get a chance to visit Balandra Beach, Tecolote Beach, and Coromuel beach.
7. Swim with Whale Sharks
La Paz Mexico is the best place on the Pacific Coast to find Whale Sharks.
The sheltered bay provides an abundance of plankton for these beautiful creatures, who frequent the area between October and March each year.
Join a boat trip and go snorkeling with the world’s largest fish, truly a once in a lifetime experience!
Head out on the Sea of Cortez aboard a catamaran to swim near the natural habitat of whale sharks on this excursion from La Paz.
With certified guides, slip into the water, wearing the provided snorkel equipment, to get a look at these huge creatures in the waters they call home.
8. Do Not Miss the Whale Watching
It’s not just Whale Sharks that call into the Sea of Cortez either, but all other manner of whales too.
Between January and March, it’s peak whale watching season in Baja California, and the ocean is teeming with marine life.
Join a Whale watching tour led by experienced boat captains who know exactly where to find these giant marine mammals, for yet another once in a lifetime experience in La Paz Mexico.
9. Swim with Sea Lions
One of the best things to do in La Paz is to join a sea lion tour. The Sea of Cortez is home to thousands of Sea Lions, from at least 6 different species.
Sea Lions can be found up and down the coast and on the islands in the ocean. The locals know exactly where to find the largest groups of these social animals, and there are dedicated sea lion tours all through the year.
You can swim and snorkel with these playful animals – just don’t touch them! – and they are curiously intrigued by humans.
10. Make the Trip to Espiritu Santo Island
One of the best places to find Sea Lions in La Paz Mexico is Espiritu Santo Island.
This small island in the Sea of Cortez is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Baja California Sur.
As well as having the chance to swim or scuba dive with sea lions, you can also enjoy lovely walks across the island, spectacular beaches, and tranquil, turquoise ocean.
This is one of the best things to do in La Paz, so don’t miss out when you are in the area.
Tours run daily to the island, weather permitting of course, or you can always hire your own private boat to make the journey in comfort and style from La Paz.
If you have only one free day in La Paz this Espiritu Santo Island Day Trip is the trip for you.
You’ll have the chance to snorkel with majestic whale sharks, multitudes of fish species, and resident sea lions. Then explore the island on foot and relax and enjoy a scrumptious lunch.
11. Visit the Museum of Anthropology and History
One of the best things to do in La Paz Mexico is to learn about the city’s anthropology and history.
While La Paz is best known for its scenery and wildlife, the city has a fascinating history too.
Explored by none other than Hernan Cortes, the Conquistador after whom the sea is named, the area had a rich indigenous history long before the Europeans arrived here.
The museum delves into both sides of history and culture, from prehispanic through to the modern-day.
12. See the Whale Museum
Another great museum to visit in La Paz Mexico is the excellent Whale Museum. As you might guess, this is a museum dedicated entirely to whales.
While you might have already seen a few of these majestic creatures out on the open ocean in the Sea of Cortez, at the local museum you can learn more about their habits and history.
13. Book a Sea Kayaking Trip
The ocean around La Paz Mexico is famously calm, at least in the dry season, and it’s well known for its tranquil conditions.
That makes this a popular place for sea Kayaking, and you’ll find lots of places offering rentals or Kayaking tours along the coast.
The famous Balandra Beach is one of the best sports for sea Kayaking, and there are lots of places here where you can rent equipment or hire a guide for a few hours.
14. Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving
It goes without saying that the best things to do in La Paz are on the ocean, or beneath the waves.
This is one of the most biodiverse parts of Mexico, and the waters of La Paz are famously rich in marine life.
While you can find whales and Whale Sharks if you’re here in the right season, all through the year you can find other sea creatures too.
There are manta rays, tropical fish, sharks and turtles waiting in the Sea of Cortez, and much more too.
Join a snorkeling or scuba diving tour to explore the depths of the ocean, and to come face to face with the underwater world of La Paz Mexico.
Enjoy all the beauty the UNESCO-protected Espiritu Santo Island National Park has to offer on this snorkeling experience.
First, spend some time snorkeling in the same turquoise bay that sea lions call home. Then, stop at one of the island’s beaches to eat lunch, and to swim, relax, or do more snorkeling.
15. Try Some Amazing Seafood
Being a coastal city, one of the best things to do in La Paz Mexico is to enjoy the delicious seafood.
You can find local specialties everywhere, and freshly caught seafood comes straight off the boats and into the local restaurants.
Of course, this is Baja California, and this is the home of the famous Fish Taco so don’t leave without trying them!
16. Explore the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains
If you’ve had your fair share of the ocean and beaches, then don’t worry because it’s still not time to leave Baja California Sur just yet.
Head inland from La Paz Mexico, and in no time at all, you’ll be away from the coast and deep in the heart of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains.
This beautiful mountain range is home to a unique ecosystem, and it’s the best place in the area to go for a hike. Different trails crisscross through the mountains, offering epic vistas and beautiful views.
Embark on an adventurous mountain hike in one of Baja’s more remote areas: the Sierra de La Laguna Biosphere Reserve.
Set out from Todos Santos for this full-day trek alongside an expert naturalist who will fill you on the diverse flora and fauna.
17. Admire the Street Art
It’s not hard to roam down any of the streets of La Paz, Mexico and admire the amazing street art. It blew us away!
There are some truly talented street artists who showcase the deep history, scenic landscapes, and area’s wildlife within their amazing art.
You will find murals of whales, sharks, sea lions, mermaids, and much more. All the street art will open up your eyes to the beauty of the nature found around La Paz.
Make sure when you are putting together your top things to do in La Paz Mexico that you add in a few hours admiring the beautiful urban street are during your visiting.
Some of the best street art in La Paz Mexico can be found along the Malecon (non-seaside of the street) and in the city center.
18. Try Sandboarding Dunas Del Mogote
Are you looking for something new to try within our list of the best things to do in La Paz Mexico? Well, we have a fun adventure for you, how about strapping a board to your feet and trying some sandboarding?
Tucked within the iconic landscape of the Baja desert is an amazing adventure area called ” El Mogote”.
This is where the tall sand dunes meet the ocean and its where you’ll climb up to the tallest peak and slide on down.
It’s a lot like snowboarding but on the sand, it’s a great activity for all ages, and what’s amazing about this adventure is it ends with a breathtaking sunset among this amazing landscape.
19. Try a Local Craft Beer
After an adventurous day in La Paz, Mexico and soaking up the sunshine you’ll be in need of an ice-cold refreshing beer. A good thing about Mexico is they are known for their beers.
While most travelers stick to the traditional beer, Pacifico or Corona, you’ll instead want to check out BeerBox or Harker Board Co. Here you can find many great-tasting craft beers.
One that I discovered and enjoyed while exploring the Baja Peninsula was Baja Brewing.
20. Enjoy a Local Coffee
Baja Mexico produces some of the best coffee beans in the world. While that might seem like a bold statement, it’s a fact.
For example, located 40 minutes from Cabo San Lucas on the way to La Paz, the Baja beans are grown among the mountain landscape. Baja beans are just one of the many amazing coffee beans that are grown here.
If you are someone who loves a good cup of coffee and you are in La Paz you will need to check out the well-loved Doce Cuarenta.
We stumbled on this local coffee shop looking for a tourist map of La Paz. It’s a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee while snacking on its amazing desserts.
One huge bonus is that they offer free WiFi in a super comfortable spot. This isn’t an overrun tourist coffee shop, you will find many locals here enjoying their cup of joe.
21. See the Serpentario de La Paz
A visit to El Serpentario de La Paz will provide you a great look into this area’s wildlife and its native plants.
This wildlife refuge has a great variety of snakes, reptiles, fish, turtles, and spiders. The owner is one of the most knowledgeable men in Mexico about reptiles and has been featured in several discovery channel programs.
The El Serpentario de La Paz also acts as a rehabilitation area for animals, people can even adopt an animal where their contribution will help to maintain the center and help rehab its wildlife.
They also educate the locals and offer to pick up unwanted animals that they may find around their houses.
22. Shop at the Local Markets
No matter who you are, one of the top things to do in La Paz is to explore its amazing markets. We loved the local handmade jewelry, clothing, baskets and art that we found at the Mercado Medaro.
The farmers market stretches throughout the streets of La Paz starting at Rosales Street near the tourist information center.
Here you can enjoy fresh-squeezed jugo’s along with the organic vegetables and fruits. What we loved about the markets in La Paz Mexico is that they are not only for the tourist but they are mainly for the locals.
Keep in mind this is Mexico, market times vary but they should be open from 8:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., and dates are normally Tuesday and Saturday.
23. Explore La Paz by Bike
The city of La Paz Mexico is laid out perfectly to explore it by bike. Take a leisurely ride along the 3 miles long two-lane bike path that stretches the whole Malecon.
This will provide great ocean views and also endless stops for grabbing an ice cream or enjoying a bite from one of the many local restaurants for a break.
It also allows for a pleasant biking experience without worrying about cars or pedestrians.
For those who are into cycling, the paved coastal road offers amazing views with routes that take from 4 to 8 hours depending on what you are looking for.
If you are looking for a little more adventure you should grab a mountain bike and explore the countryside located just at the end of the Malecon across from Marina Palmira.
Here you will find Cerro De La Calavera that has two main mountain biking routes with amazing views of La Paz and the coast.
24. Take a Horseback Riding Tour
The countryside of the Baja Peninsula is filled with many old school ranches that have withstood the test of time all being handed down from family to family throughout the years.
Many of those ranches nowadays offer amazing horseback riding adventures. This allows visitors a unique look into a historic background that has made the Baja Peninsula legendary.
Enjoy a beautiful ride with a local vaquero who will take you along the beach or explore remote canyons just outside La Paz Mexico on horseback.
It does not matter if you are an experienced rider or someone new, this adventure will provide memories for years to come.
For someone looking for the ultimate horseback riding adventure out of La Paz, there are a few tour operators that offer multi-day horseback riding with camping experiences.
These adventures take you through the mountains down historic vaquero trails that have been used for years by family members of those who are leading you.
You won’t see any other tourists down these paths. Camp under the stars, while your local vaquero cooks an amazing dinner over a campfire like his ancestors have done for centuries.
25. Go on a UTV or ATV Adventure
I don’t know about you but when I think of the Baja Peninsula I think of some adrenaline.
Nothing beats exploring the remote countryside on a self-guided or guided UTV adventure.
If you are someone who is looking at getting off the beaten path then this adventure out of La Paz is right for you and it should be on the top of your best things to do in La Paz list.
Enjoy the day exploring the countryside of the Baja Peninsula that offers beautiful dunes, canyons, mountains. You’ll see spectacular ocean side cliffs while also getting a little need for speed down the back trails where you won’t see other tourists.
A UTV or ATV adventure will give you a new perspective of Mexico than any other adventure can not provide.
26. Brush up on your Spanish
One thing I love about traveling in Mexico is the opportunity you will get to learn or brush up on your Spanish.
While traveling around the world in many locations it’s not so easy to learn a foreign language.
Most of the time people aren’t as friendly and as willing to teach you however, in La Paz that is totally different. Everyone wants to chat it up with you and brush up on their English skills.
This is magical since in return you can brush up on your Spanish skills as well.
You’ll also have the chance to learn about the rich Mexican culture and traditions right from the source who actually appreciates your efforts no matter how much you butcher the language.
27. Learn to Cook Yummy Mexican Food
I don’t know about you but I love Mexican food. Throughout the whole Baja Peninsula, there’re some amazing mouthwatering fresh foods to be had.
Naturally one of the best things to do when visiting La Paz is to learn how to cook a few of Mexico’s most popular dishes while learning from a local chef who has methods that were passed down for centuries.
The El Nopal Spanish Academy in La Pez offers an amazing cooking experience where you not only cook each dish but you learn the history behind each dish as well.
In a normal cooking class, you get familiar with the fresh ingredients before splitting off into groups.
This will allow you to connect not just with the local chefs who are helping you but with fellow travelers while making some amazing Mexican food.
Their cooking classes are limited and are normally only done once a month so it is best to check in advance.
28. Try Kitesurfing or Windsurfing
The Sea of Cortez in Mexico offers world-class kiting or windsurfing. One of the best kiteboarding or windsurfing locations in the Baja Peninsula is located just 30 minutes south of La Paz in a city called La Ventana.
This is where all the kite and windsurfers go due to a natural air tunnel that blows constant all year round.
There’s a ton of local experienced surf schools that offer beginner to more advanced experiences depending on your ability.
For those new to it we suggest taking a half-day class where you get the chance to see what it is all about.
29. Go Sport Fishing
When exploring La Paz one of the top things to do is to head out to the calm waters of the Sea of Cortez and take your chances casting a line for some sport fishing.
While fishing in the waters around La Paz, Mexico you have the chance to catch Marlin, Dorado, Yellowtail, Grouper, Snapper, and many other fish species that call this amazing area their home.
There are many fishing charters working out of La Paz, we recommend that when you do book your fishing charter pick a local provider.
They will provide you with an experience that is unmatched and it keeps your dollars local.
It is best to make sure what kind of experience you’re looking for. Some people are looking for a hardcore, once-in-a-lifetime fishing experience, and others are more interested in fishing as they soak up the sun on the water.
30. Go Birding
The Baja Peninsula is known as the Mexican Galapagos and just like the Galapagos Islands, the main draw is its wildlife.
The La Paz area has a huge diversity of birds and you can encounter over 80 species including gulls, terns, shorebirds, sparrows, warblers, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, flycatchers, egrets, herons, and so much more.
If you are in search of birds and want to search for them independently you should check out the La Paz Beachwalk, Punta Gorda, and the Balandra Beach Trail.
Make sure you bring the right camera equipment to capture that amazing photography of the wildlife you see along the way.
31. Take in a Sunset
La Paz is all about enjoying nature and one of the best things to do to end your day is to enjoy an amazing sunset.
The Malecon is set up perfectly for this. You can take a long or short walk, run, swim, sit on the beach or grab a bite to eat while enjoying a drink as the sun sets over the water.
There’s truly no other town located on the Baja peninsula that offers better sunsets than La Paz. It is one of the safest places we have visited, so don’t worry about walking around at night.
32. Enjoy the Nightlife
La Paz, Mexico is one of those places where you enjoy a beer or margarita with good friends while sharing stories of exploring the area.
La Paz isn’t known for its nightlife, unlike Cabo San Lucas and its other neighboring cities. But that doesn’t mean the city does not have some great bars and nightclubs where you can enjoy dancing the night away.
Most of the bars and nightlife in La Paz can be found along the Malecon area. Here you can grab some great food and drink the night away.
If your in search of live music you should check out La Casa de Villa, it has an open-air bar overlooking the bay along with some great pool tables.
Another great choice is Tequilas Bar and Grill, this is a small intimate bar that offers great music along with pool tables.
If you are looking for a good place to try out some local craft beer in La Paz you should check out BeerBox. Happy hour at most of the restaurants and bars in La Paz run from 4-6 P.M.
Have you been to La Paz, Mexico? Let us know some of your favorite things to do or places to visit below.
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