20 Things To Do In La Paz Mexico

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If you’re looking for a seaside vacation in the sun, La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur, is a top place to go in Mexico for sun, sand and whale watching. La Paz is nestled within a large bay off the Sea of Cortez. La Paz is well-known for its beautiful beaches and a nice climate year-round. It has a popular oceanfront promenade, lovely parks and excellent bars and restaurants with water views.

The hottest months are June, July, and August (average daytime temperature more than 90°F/32°C). The coldest months are December, January and February (average daytime temperature around 75°F/23°C). The best times to visit La Paz are from late February to June and October to December to miss the hottest, most humid months of August and September and the coldest months of January/early February. Here are some things to do in La Paz.

La Paz, Mexico

Top 3 La Paz Tours

20 Things To Do In La Paz

1- Snorkel With Whale Sharks

things to do La Paz Mexico whale shark
Snorkelling with whale sharks is one of the top things to do in La Paz, Mexico.

Whale sharks are large, gentle fish that migrate into the Sea of Cortez to feed on plankton from October to May.

The best months to snorkel with whale sharks in large numbers is from November to April.

Several tour groups operate out of La Paz taking visitors to snorkel with whale sharks in the Sea of Cortez.

Dive-certified visitors can also choose to dive with whale sharks, allowing more freedom and the opportunity to stay underwater longer and swim with these giant fish. Book your whale shark snorkelling tour before you go. Here are some options:

2- Go On A Whale Watching Tour

La Paz Mexico aerial view of city and bay
As a city by the Sea of Cortez, there are plenty of things to do in La Paz both in and out of the ocean.

Gray whales migrate annually into the Sea of Cortez and humpback, blue and finback whales.

The whale-watching season starts in January and ends at the end of March.

Several tour operators in La Paz offer guided tours to find and observe whales. Here’s a good one to book.

Whales that migrate into this area are protected, and tour operators are highly regulated as to how they can navigate through waters where whales are spotted.

Visitors are not permitted to swim, snorkel or dive with whales.

The experience of seeing whales with their young ones is an incredible experience and worth a trip to La Paz.

3- Take A Trip To Espiritu Santo Island

Espiritu Santo Island clear water and blue sky
A day trip to Espiritu Santo Island is one of the things to do from La Paz.

Espiritu Santo Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site off the coast of La Paz in the Sea of Cortez.

It is a biologically diverse national park home to many species of reptiles, birds and marine mammals.

There are also archaeological ruins on this island, where shell middens were discovered in caves, rock shelters and mesa tops.

Many tour operators depart from La Paz and ferry visitors to the island for a day of fun on the beaches.

Popular activities include fishing, hiking, camping, swimming, snorkelling, diving, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) and kayaking. This tour will get you to the island and if you’re keen to swim with sea lions, this tour includes wetsuits and a photo session.

4- Stroll Along Malecon

sailor statue malecon la paz with fiery sky at sunset
One of the things to do in La Paz is to go for a walk along the Malecon and you’ll see this sailor statue.

The Malecon in La Paz is the 5-km boardwalk that runs along the city’s waterfront, with restaurants, shopping and boutiques.

Soak in the beauty of the bay as you stroll, bike or skateboard along the boardwalk.

Scattered around the Malecon are sculptures representing some aspect of La Paz’s history or culture. Join this art tour to find out more about the city’s murals and public art.

5- Escape To Ensenada Grande

Adjacent to Espiritu Santo Island is a smaller island called Isla Partida, home to a tranquil, hidden beach.

Ensenada Grande is a small beach with high rock walls or cliffs surrounding most of the beach to protect it from the waves.

So swimming in the ocean at this beach is as calm as swimming in a pool.

Visitors to this beach enjoy relaxing activities such as sunbathing and swimming, and activities like kayaking, snorkelling, stand-up paddleboarding and kite surfing are also available.

To access this beach, you need to book a tour to Espiritu Santo Island that includes a stop at this beach.

6- Visit La Paz Cathedral

things to do in la paz mexico in june Church in La Paz
Visiting the church is one of the things to do in La Paz when you’re not in the water.

Our Lady of Peace Cathedral of La Paz (Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Paz) is the city’s main Catholic church.

Built in the 19th century by Jesuits and has baroque altarpieces scavenged from older Baja California missions.

The beautiful decor combined with classic architecture makes it a lovely attraction to photograph.

If you’re into photography, you may like this photography workshop and tour to ensure you capture the best photos of your trip.

7- El Serpentario de La Paz

things to do and see in la paz mexico parrot with blue, green and orange colouring
Looking for wildlife and birds, such as this beautiful parrot, is another of the things to do in La Paz.

El Serpentario de La Paz is an ecological park with over 150 animal species, such as turtles, tortoises, lizards, crocodiles, fish and spiders.

There are parrots and parakeets, iguanas, rabbits and guinea pigs, and Chilean animals that are being rehabilitated, such as Mexican grey foxes.

The serpent house has several species of venomous snakes on display and constrictors.

You can interact with many animals housed here, such as feeding the turtles, birds and guinea pigs.

There’s a gift shop to buy souvenirs or adopt an animal to support the park.

8- Museum of Anthropology and History of Baja California Sur

This large museum houses fossils, archaeological artifacts, historical and cultural collections that tell this region’s story for the past 60 million years.

The displayed fossil collection shows visitors the biological diversity that existed on the Baja California Peninsula.

The first inhabitants of this region settled in areas like Espiritu Santo Island approximately 40,000 years ago, and the archaeological artifacts that remain tell the story.

The historical collection in the museum explains the transition from pre-Hispanic cultures to the foreign invasions that took place on this peninsula.

Guided tours are available in this museum for visitors who are keen on delving deep into the region’s history.

9- Rancho Cactimar Desert and Sea Eco-Ranch

Rancho Cactimar is a Desert and Sea Eco-Ranch located 30 minutes from La Paz.

The desert surrounds the ranch on three sides, and the ranch lies adjacent to the Sea of Cortez.

This ranch combines permaculture practices and off-grid life and showcases how to live sustainably in the desert.

They offer a unique ecotourism experience where you can spot whale sharks and dolphins from the shore or go horse riding on the beach or through the desert.

Hammocks are scattered throughout the property, allowing visitors to relax and watch the wildlife.

All vegetables and fruits on the ranch are grown organically using permaculture techniques, and local fishermen and farmers provide the seafood and cheese served at the ranch.

The ranch accepts volunteers for one to six weeks who wish to work on the farm in exchange for lodgings.

10- Explore Dunas del Mogote

Mexico map

Dunas del Mogote or Mogote Dunes are sand dunes on the protected sand bar across the water from the city.

You can use either 4WD vehicles or bikes to access the peninsula but carry plenty of water, as there is none at the dunes.

It’s an enjoyable day climbing the dunes or sandboarding.

Tour operators offer day trips to the dunes, making it easier for out-of-town guests to experience this fun place.

From the top of the dunes, there’s a good chance of spotting migratory whales or whale sharks in the Sea of Cortez. Here are two dune tours you might like:

11- See An Exhibition At Centro Cultural La Paz

The Centro Cultural La Paz or La Paz Cultural Center is a large, historic building constructed in the early 1900s in the centre of La Paz.

Over the decades, this building has been the location of political power in Baja California Sur as the municipal palace, military barracks, and a couple of political parties.

This historic structure is now a cultural centre that currently houses art and cultural exhibitions of the region and hosts lectures, theatre, cinema, and other cultural and artistic activities in the area.

12- Swim With Sea Lions At San Rafaelito

fun things to do in la paz mexico California Sea Lions
Snorkelling or diving with sea lions is one of the best things to do in La Paz, Mexico.

Several California sea lion colonies can be found within the Sea of Cortez and one of the largest colonies is a two-hour boat ride from La Paz on Los Islotes, north of Isla Partida.

The closest colony is a short boat ride to San Rafaelito, where you can swim with these playful creatures.

San Rafaelito is a rock that juts above the ocean, and the local sea lion colony enjoys hanging out and sunning themselves on this rock or playing in the water around it.

Book a guided tour to see the sea lions and rent snorkelling or diving equipment for the ultimate sea lion encounter. Check out this tour of San Rafaelito.

13- Go Sportsfishing

The Sea of Cortez is a Mecca for sportfishing in these waters can be a truly unique experience.

What type of fish you’ll catch will depend on the time of the year you’re visiting.

Popular catch-and-release species include tuna, marlin, cabrilla, wahoo, and dorado.

Other popular game fish that you can find here include amberjack, grouper, snapper, sailfish and roosterfish.

Several tour operators offer full and multi-day fishing packages.

14- Go Snorkelling Off The Beach

top things to do in la paz mexico
Snorkelling off the beach is one of the top things to do in La Paz.

The Sea of Cortez is an extraordinary underwater destination with experiences like snorkelling with sea lions and whale sharks.

Snorkel the coral reefs and you might even see schools of Mobula rays.

Most resorts rent snorkelling equipment to guests and if you want to explore independently, rent a scooter here and ride around.

Some of the more popular places to snorkel on your own are Pichilingue, Caimancito, Tecolote East and West, El Saltito, Grand Sueño Resort and Bahia de Los Muertos.

To make it easy, you can join this tour of the beaches of La Paz.

15- Go Diving

things to do in la paz baja mexico swim with dolphins
Going on a snorkel cruise in the Sea of Cortez is one of the best things to do in La Paz Mexico. You might even spot dolphins.

When Jacques Cousteau famously called the Sea of Cortez the ‘world’s aquarium’, he captured the hearts of divers worldwide with his documentary about this extraordinary place.

La Paz is one of the leading diving areas in the Sea of Cortez, and the biodiversity is phenomenal.

Expect to see large schools of fish, playful sea lions, underwater caves and go wreck diving.

Several dive resorts cater to divers and many dive tour operators in the area. This is a good diving tour to get a taste of what the Sea of Cortez has to offer.

July to December typically offers the best visibility for diving, especially in October and November.

There are many different diving sites and a wide variety of experiences to choose from, so divers may need multiple days to see everything.

16- Visit the Whale Museum

Museo de La Ballena y Ciencias Del Mar or the Whale Museum is near the La Paz Cultural Center complex.

It is a small museum full of skeletons of marine animals and a great deal of information about those animals.

Guides speak Spanish and English and provide useful information about marine conservation.

17- Hike the Sierra Laguna Mountains

things to do near la paz Laguna hills bushland
Hiking in the Laguna Hills is one of the things to do in La Paz away from the ocean.

Although La Paz has a vast amount of aquatic and beach activities centred around the Sea of Cortez, Baja California Sur is also home to the beautiful Sierra de la Laguna Mountains.

These mountains stretch from La Paz to Los Cabos and are a UNESCO global biosphere reserve.

Unique and rare endemic species are found there, including two hummingbird species, one of which is only found on the peninsula.

This part of the Baja Peninsula receives far more rain than the rest and is a different climate from the surrounding areas.

Visitors can hike year-round, but the most popular time to hike is from November to March.

Joining a guided tour is essential for visitors who are not familiar with the area.

Hikes can last for one or more days, and camping is available within the mountains.

18- Eat Mexican Food

things to do in la paz mexico blog fresh fish tacos on a plate
Tasting local dishes is one of the top things to do in La Paz Mexico. Pictured here is fresh fish tacos with vegetables.

Baja California Sur has its own unique, regional food.

As La Paz is on the coast, fresh seafood is plentiful, but travellers should exercise caution with what they eat.

A good rule of thumb is if the restaurant or food cart is busy, that means it’s probably very good and likely safe to eat.

Popular Baja California Sur dishes include ceviche, fish meatballs, beef machaca, Baja-style fish tacos, Manta-Ray tacos and dragonfruit ice cream.

Check out this food and wine pairing experience.

19- Visit The Beaches Around La Paz

things to do in la paz, mexico balancing rock
Seeing the balancing rock at Balandra Beach is one of the top things to do in La Paz, Mexico.

Several beautiful beaches lie near La Paz, tucked away in picturesque coves and bays.

Many resorts also line the beaches and activities such as kayaking, swimming, snorkelling and jet skiing are popular.

The best beaches in La Paz are Balandra Beach, El Coromuel Beach, Pichilingue Beach, Caimancito Beach, El Tesoro and El Tecolote Beach.

All are within easy driving distance of La Paz.

20- Cycle Around Town

top 10 things to do in la paz mexico shop for mexican souvenirs
Mexican souvenirs in a market.

La Paz has several bike rental shops, so bicycling around town is popular.

There are bike rentals shops and bike paths.

Bikers can tour the city along the Malecon and other paths to see the many murals painted throughout the city, explore art galleries, wander through artisanal markets and enjoy the farmer’s markets.

In addition to biking in the city, there are mountain biking and cycling trails throughout the region around La Paz.

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Angie Grier is a spicy señora living in central Mexico with a penchant for freelance writing. Having spent most of her adult life writing first as a scientist and then as a teacher, she now contributes articles on a wide variety of topics for a number of print and online media sources. When she’s not shopping in Tonalá or eating chilaquiles, she writes a travel blog detailing her life and adventures in Mexico at www.onaroadleadingsomewhere.com.