I just spent a month living in La Paz, Mexico! I can confidently say that La Paz is the number one place I recommend for a family vacation in Mexico. There’s so much to do in La Paz and they’re all great activities for kids. La Paz is very accessible, convenient, and safe.
La Paz Mexico checks all the boxes for the perfect family beach vacation, and it’s also very affordable.
However, if you’re looking for a cultural Mexico trip this is not the place. La Paz feels very similar to Southern California. There’s so many destinations if you’re looking for a true “Mexico” experience: Guanajuato, Oaxaca City, Santiago de Querétaro, just to name a few that I’d recommend.
Where is La Paz Mexico?
La Paz is located in the state of Baja California Sur about two hours from Cabo on the Sea of Cortez. There is a nice international airport in La Paz. Another option is to fly to Cabo, spend a couple days there first then take a comfortable coach bus to La Paz. I always like multi-destination trips and it may be cheaper to fly into Cabo if you’re flying internationally.
Top Things to do in La Paz Mexico
Take a boat tour to Espiritu Santo Island
My top thing to do in La Paz, Mexico is take a boat tour to see Espiritu Santo Island. The water is an incredible clear turquoise color, white beaches, it truly feels like paradise. Espiritu Santo Island has multiple beaches, my favorite was Playa Ensenada Grande, it’s one of the prettiest beaches I’ve ever been to.
You’ll see tons of marine life in The Sea of Cortez especially sea lions. The sea lions come right up next to the boat! Usually tours are offered to swim with the sea lions in La Paz but not at this time due to the pandemic.
How to Visit Isla Espiritu Santo in La Paz Mexico
The tour I went on was with tour group Angel’s Friends. This was a full day tour which included snorkeling at three different locations then lunch at the beach. Tip: Bring along your own cervezas and keep them in the cooler on the boat. You can easily message him through instagram here. Angel speaks fluent English, he’s super knowledgable about the area and is reasonably priced.
Hike to the overlook of Playa Balandra
This is the best view in La Paz. Absolutely breathtaking. If you have a car it’s super easy to find, just use All Trails. If you don’t have a car there’s still options, I went with Baja Desconocida. This tour group is fantastic, I did two tours with them! Usually the view of Playa Balandra is offered as a sunset hike, which I can imagine would be amazing, but I was there during the hottest season so it was better to go early in the morning.
Visiting Playa Balandra during the pandemic
Playa Balandra is by far the most famous beach in La Paz Mexico. At this point in the pandemic it’s pretty hard to go to this beach by yourself. The line-up to get into the beach can start as early as 4-5am with van-loads of visitors. Once the capacity at Playa Balandra has been reached for the day no more cars will be let in the parking lot, it doesn’t matter if people leave. I was able to visit the beach on my boat tour to Isla Espiritu (see above). This is because there is a separate amount of tour companies allotted to visit Playa Balandra per day. The easiest way to go to Playa Balandra is on a boat tour.
Go Snorkeling in La Paz
The calm crystal clear waters of La Paz make snorkeling a must-do during your vacation. This is a great family friendly activity, if one of your kiddos has never gone snorkeling before this is the perfect place for them to learn.
Visit the Beaches of La Paz Mexico
La Paz has so many beaches it would be impossible to fit them all into one trip! The best way to see multiple beaches is by taking a boat tour. The most beautiful beaches are located a ways outside of La Paz so it’s also a great idea to think about renting a car for one day so you can experience more!
Be sure to check the status of La Paz beaches due to the pandemic HERE. The La Paz Mexico site is consistently updated announcing what the current precautions are. As of right now (August 2021) the beaches are open from 7am-7pm at 30% capacity. If you’re planning to visit some of the popular beaches you must plan to arrive early, most of the beaches have strict patrol.
Walk The Malecon
The easiest and most popular thing to do in La Paz is visit the Malecon. This boardwalk runs along the shore through the downtown area of La Paz. The malecon is lined with bars and restaurants where you can enjoy seafood and drinks with a view.
Visit the Sand Dunes and go Sand Boarding
The El Mogote sand dunes are located about twenty minutes outside of La Paz. Stunning views are not all this area has to offer, there’s also the opportunity to try sand boarding. I found sand boarding to be very different from snowboarding because you can’t carve in the sand, it’s just a straight shot down the hill. The boards don’t go that fast making this an awesome activity for kids. Book your tour here.
Dune Buggy Tours
Many tour companies in the area also offer the chance to go off roading in the dunes. I wasn’t able to do a dune buggy tour this time around but I have done it previously in Cabo and I had a blast.
Go Whale Watching
From January to March grey whales migrate to the Sea of Cortez for birthing season. The warm calm waters of La Paz present a safe place for them. Grey whale calves are known to be extremely friendly, even nudging boats and coming up to say hello.
Swimming with Whale Sharks in La Paz Mexico
Swimming with these gentle creatures is an unforgettable experience. Whale sharks are are the largest fish species in the ocean, but don’t let that fool you, they’re not dangerous to humans. Whale sharks feed on the plankton in La Paz’s bay from October through May. Book a tour with Baja Desconocida here.
Take a day trip to Todos Santos
Todos Santos is located about an hour from La Paz across Baja on the Pacific coast. Todos Santos is a popular day trip destination from both La Paz and Cabo. In Todos Santos you will find a laid back vibe with tons of market shopping. The markets are full of gorgeous handmade crafts but don’t expect bargain prices here. Todos Santos caters to the boutique hotel crowd.
Next I’ll be spending a month in Todos Santos and will update this section soon with a whole article about Todos Santos if you’re interested.
Add La Paz Mexico to your bucket list! This was such a great destination, I highly recommend it. If you have any questions feel free to message me on instagram, @madyinmexico