La Paz, Mexico
La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
When I mention La Paz, Mexico, people often ask, “where’s that?” What Wikipedia will tell you is that La Paz is the state capital of Baja California Sur and has a population of approximately 290,000 people. What is doesn’t tell you is that La Paz feels like home, at least, that’s how I felt when I first visited in 2009.
I had arrived mid-September just after a hurricane hit the southern Baja peninsula. It was warm and humid that evening. As I walked along the Malecon (waterfront), I found myself surrounded by local families, sometimes 3 generations together, strolling down the street or sitting and having an ice cream. Cars were bumper to bumper, and the night air was drenched with an assortment of music blaring from different cars. The restaurants and cafes along the Malecon were filled with people eating and drinking. It was festive, and people seemed happy and content. Over the years, I have come to realize that this is just how people are in La Paz.
It is very rare to find someone in a rush in La Paz. Many of its inhabitants have flocked here from other parts of Mexico, seeking its slower pace of life, natural beauty and over 300 days of sunshine a year. Over the last few years, even some whale sharks have decided to call La Paz home. Surrounded by clear, turquoise waters, mountains and the desert, it is one of the most stunning, unknown cities I have ever visited. I think that is another draw for its inhabitants, it feels like a small town and is quiet, except for the odd tuba solo you hear occasionally late at night.
There is no shortage of activities in La Paz. For water enthusiast, there is; snorkeling, scuba-diving, free-diving, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing, fishing and yachting. For land-lovers, there is; golfing, hiking, running, biking, tennis, horseback riding and glamping. La Paz is also the jumping off point for the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Isla Espiritu Santo. This remarkable island is uninhabited except for its avid marine life. You may run into a few humans from time to time but for the most part, you will have this island and its remote, white sand beaches, all to yourself. If you are an animal lover, or just curious, a snorkel with the playful sea lion colony located off the northern tip of the island is a must.
One of my favourite things about La Paz that keeps me coming back is the food. From simple taquerias, to higher end restaurants, there is no shortage of delicious food at relatively inexpensive prices. Cuisine from all over the world can be found here as its beauty and charm have also managed to lure some incredible international chefs. But one of my favourite things to eat when I’m here is paletas. Paletas are frozen cream or juice bars on a stick like a popsicle but so much more. When I describe it to people, they are unimpressed, but after trying a paleta, they always ask to go back again the next night.
So, when people ask me what La Paz is like, I usually tell them the above, but you really have to see and experience this remarkable place for yourself to really understand what it is like. For more information about La Paz, please click here.