Toward the southern end of the Baja Peninsula, nestled in the desert along the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California), laid back La Paz is the capital of the State of Baja California Sur. Backed by the reddish Sierra Gigante Mountains, this seaside city is home to roughly 200,000 people and boasts some of Mexico's best fishing waters and most diverse marine life. La Paz vacations offer swaying palm trees, white sand beaches, lots of water activities, friendly people and unspoiled Colonial charm.
With desert and mountains to one side and the picturesque, crystal blue Bahia de La Paz (Bay of La Paz) to the other, La Paz has a striking landscape. But while the setting is rustic and rugged, the city has a prosperous middle class and is attracting more modern amenities, from hotels to golf courses. Laden fruit trees and bountiful gardens are around every city corner, and all shapes and sizes of water vessels, including colorful yachts, are moored in the pretty city marina. Along the beaches, the warm waters and gentle waves are hard to resist. Pretty beach palapas provide refreshing shade while the sea shimmers and a pleasant breeze from the Sea of Cortez keeps the temperature just right.
Favorite La Paz beaches include Playa Palmira, Playa el Coromuel, Playa el Caimancito, Playa del Tesoro and Playa Pichilingue, but La Paz vacations offer much more than just sand, surf and drinks with small umbrellas in them. Amazing biodiversity and marine wonders are particular area highlights, and eco-tourism is a growing business with a wide selection of tours offered. And with 900 islands and inlets nearby, there is hardly a better place in Mexico to snorkel and SCUBA dive. In fact, twenty-five first class dive spots, marked by deep canyons and steep mountains, are in these waters. It is practically guaranteed, too, that gentle, playful sea creatures, including dolphins, sea lions and manta rays, will join in the underwater fun.
La Paz' fishing waters are renown, and world-class sport fishermen come from around the globe to compete in lively fishing competitions. Tuna, marlin, wahoo and dorado all run in abundance, and for recreational fishermen, small and large charter fishing boats and sail boats are available up and down the beaches. La Paz vacationers also enjoy kayaking, camping, golf, hiking, mountain biking and fun festivals such as Carnival and Fiesta de La Paz. Jets ski races and the Nautical Cup are always fun, and whale watching is a particular delight as gray whales, sperm whales, orcas and blue whales all roam these waters during various times of the year.
Although not as developed or well-known as some other Mexico resorts, La Paz has its share of excellent restaurants, welcoming hotels, quaint artisan shops and interesting museums, and its seaside Colonial ambiance is particularly appealing. It is a safe, low-key destination, and expatriates from the U.S. and Canada are also discovering it as a great retirement spot.
Vacationers here have a good variety of La Paz resorts and hotels from which to choose. Most are on the European plan, meaning that only the room is included in the price - everything else is extra. La Paz resorts and hotels range from budget to quiet elegant.
One of the most elegant La Paz hotels may be the Posada de las Flores, a beautiful property located on the pretty La Paz promenade. Beautiful sea views, marble bathtubs, tile floors, high-quality Mexican décor, including hand-loomed fabrics and antiques, are just a few of this La Paz' hotel's signature touches.
The Fiesta Inn, another fine La Paz resort choice, is a modern, 5-star La Paz property located directly on the marina and boasts 122 rooms, clean architectural lines, relaxing cream and orange colors and a restaurant with delicious cuisine.