The capital of Baja California Sur, La Paz has plenty to offer: warm weather year around, a reinvigorated esplanade bustling with locals, vivid blue waters resting on white sand beaches, and in recent years, a slew of new hotels opened in historic buildings and an exceptional modern restaurant scene rooted in fine seafood products caught locally. Here, in the arid landscape sprinkled with giant cacti, the tourist infrastructure rivals nearby Cabo San Lucas with a more relaxed crowd, and a provincial vibe that feels like Mexico, uninterrupted by international tourism.
There’s plenty to do in the greater municipality of La Paz, which includes the art community of Todos Santos, world class sport fishing in Los Barriles, and a charming former mining town, El Triunfo, but we say, head first to La Paz—it might just be your favorite stop in Baja California Sur.
When to visit
Visit from November to April when the average temperatures range from the low to mid-80’s and cooler waters attract whale sharks and whales, or from May to September for peak fishing season and warmer waters for swimming and scuba diving. Make your hotel reservations early if you plan to visit January to March, which is peak season in La Paz.
Getting to La Paz
Some Southwestern U.S. cities, including Phoenix and Dallas, have direct flights on American Airlines to La Paz. Alternatively, the Los Cabos International Airport has direct flights from a number of major cities in the U.S., including Los Angeles and Chicago, and is a two-hour drive away. We suggest renting a car to make the drive if you’re planning to visit other towns in the municipality—alternatively, Todos Santos Private Transportation has a fleet of white Suburbans and Sprinters driven by chauffeurs. Taxis and buses are also an option for getting around in La Paz, and heading out of town.
Where to eat
Let’s face it—this is the real reason you’re here. Paceño (of La Paz) cuisine ranges from humble seafood stands, market stalls, and antojitos (snacks made from masa), to upscale experiences in laid-back settings—with a number of avoidable tourist trap bars and grills scattered throughout. You’ll need reservations for most sit-down restaurants during high season, though the chef-led spots listed below require advance reservations year round.
When you’ve just arrived in La Paz, hungry, the best introduction to the city is a hate: a robust regional bacon-wrapped hot dog topped with carne deshebrada (stewed beef), nacho cheese, and loads of diced tomatoes, avocado slices. There are great spots all over town but Hates El Curra, just outside the MUABCS on the corner of Belisario Domínguez and Independencia, is delicious and convenient.
To get your casual seafood fix, hit Mariscos El Empanada for sweet, firm chocolata clams, a regional delicacy named for their coffee-colored shells, served in a seafood cocktail or au gratin. Visit Taco Fish La Paz for beer battered fish and shrimp tacos, deep-fried tacos dorados stuffed with crab and stingray, and mouthwatering smoked marlin empanadas dressed with a light coleslaw—a local fish taco topping unique to La Paz. Filete imperial de camarón—grilled, bacon-wrapped shrimp stuffed with cheese and drowned in a cool cilantro dressing—is a celebrated local favorite at restaurants like Mc-Fisher.