La Paz is located on the east coast of the Baja peninsula between the cities of Cabo San Lucas and Loreto. Accessible by air, road and sea there are many options for traveling to La Paz. There are two main airports in the Baja Sur area. Los Cabos International airport (SJD) in Cabo San Lucas and Manuel Márquez de León International Airport (LAP) in La Paz. Rental cars, shuttles and taxis are available at both locations. There are two bus companies that go back and forth between the two cities, El Aguila bus lines and Eco Baja shuttles. Only Eco Baja shuttles picks up from the Los Cabos airport. The roads in Baja Sur are in good shape and driving is quite easy. Rental cars are a good way to get around on your vacation, especially if you want to visit some of the out of the way spots. It’s not advised to drive at night due to the large number of cattle on the roadways.
There are international flights from most cities in North America, landing in either La Paz or more commonly Cabo San Lucas. Direct flights to La Paz involve a stop in Mexico City.
(Airport Codes are La Paz – LAP / Cabo San Lucas- SJD).
Alaska Airlines also services nonstop flights to Cabo San Lucas from San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and Seattle.
If you’re Canadian WestJet and Air Canada have flights to Cabo San Lucas daily.
If you fly into Cabo San Lucas you’ll either have to rent a car or take a bus to La Paz. In the airport terminal there are offices for Budget, Thrifty and Advantage Rent a Car. Ten minutes from the airport are offices for National, Hertz, Avis and Alamo.
If you are staying in Cabo San Lucas you can travel with Eco Baja Tours to La Paz for $32 one way, they have four daily shuttles that leave from either the airport or the Aguila bus line terminal in San Jose del Cabo. I advise booking on-line and in advance as they do fill up quickly. The shuttle vans are comfortable, AC and Wi-Fi equipped.
There is also the Aguila Bus line, with more departure times and leaving from central San Jose Del Cabo for $19 one way. Reservations can be made on-line.
Located on the Baja Peninsula, La Paz is a coastal town popular with kayakers, wildlife watchers, fisherman, free divers and scuba divers. La Paz is far different than the neighboring tourist destination of Cabo San Lucas, with a more laid back and traditional Mexican approach to tourism. There are a range of accommodations and restaurants to suit everyone’s budget, everything from five star resorts to small family owned hotels and restaurants. The areas surrounding La Paz are full of interesting places to visit including sandy beaches, desert trails and mountains for hiking and wildlife viewing, colonial towns with artisans and markets, paddle boarding, mountain biking, surfing, kayaking tours and plain old sightseeing. For more information on the activities in La Paz and the surrounding area have a look at the Lonely Planet guide to La Paz.
There are three main beach areas close to la Paz, the La Concha Beach Resort has a private beach that non-hotel guests may use, it’s located about 10 km north of La Paz. The towns of Pichilingue, Coromuel, and Tesoro have palapa-shaded bars or restaurants, umbrellas and beach chairs for rent. These small towns are between 10 and 20 km from La Paz. The last two beaches are a further distance but worth the effort, playas Balandra and Tecolote are beautiful white sand beaches overlooking Isla Espiritu Santo and are great for snorkeling and sunbathing. Playa Balandra does not have any restaurants or bars but just a small snack truck which rents kayaks. The bay is very shallow and has some good snorkeling on the north and south side and is the entrance to a large mangrove swamp home to many birds.
The City of La Paz
La Paz which means “peace” in Spanish is the state capital of Baja California Sur and the second largest city south of Tijuana on the Baja Peninsula with a population of around 300,000. As the region’s commercial, cultural and political center, La Paz is still a tranquil and very Mexican port town. Through the years it has preserved a sort of nostalgic “old Baja” atmosphere. The main tourist area is what’s known as the Malecon, a 2 kilometer stretch of boardwalk along the bay of La Paz. There are many restaurants, bars, hotels and nightclubs along the strip and it is a very popular area for skateboarding, bicycles and jogging. In town there are a few attractions including the Serpentario De La Paz, Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace and the whale museum.
Trails & Hot Springs
North of La Paz, on the Pichilingue Peninsula you will find trails for day hikes and mountain biking. Some of these end up on the beautiful beaches of Balandra and Tecolote.
There are three hot springs within a day’s drive from La Paz, one in La Ventana and two in Santiago. Check out bajainsider.com for more information.
On the Pacific side of the peninsula, a multi-day hike out of Todos Santos climbs 5,000 feet to alpine meadows, pine trees and scenic vistas. Three canyon routes that cross the Sierra de la Lagunas east to west offer an exciting and challenging hike through cottonwoods and sub alpine meadows – totally different from the arid environment below.
Unfortunately there is no surfing in La Paz itself, the closest places are in Pescadero, Cerritos and Shipwrecks. They are all within a day trip from La Paz. There are waves for all skill levels in the Southern Baja and few surf camps and shops for those who need to rent or take lessons.
Kayaking and Paddle boarding
Isla Espiritu Santo has to be one of the most beautiful places to kayak, not to mention having the chance to kayak with whale sharks in La Paz or with the grey and humpback whales on the pacific coast. There are many local operators that offer rental and guided trips in La Paz.
Restaurants and Hotels
There are many hotels to choose from for your stay here in La Paz, you can find a full list on the Lonely Planet hotel guide or on Trip Advisor. Restaurants are numerous and include street food, fine dining and everything in between. Check out the Lonely Planet guide for La Paz.
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