Top 5 Things to Do in La Paz
Surrounded by the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez, the tranquil city of La Paz is known for its beautiful beaches and for being an idyllic spot for water recreation activities. The capital of the state is also rich in history and for its variety of cultural activities. Its friendly, laid-back community makes visitors feel immediately at ease. So for your next visit, here are suggestions for the top five things to do in La Paz to make your trip a great experience.
1. Take a boat trip to the nearby Isla Espíritu Santo and Isla Partida: Barely divided by a sand bank at low tide, the inhabited islands are a protected natural park and in recent years, they were declared a World Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO. This water sanctuary, home of thousands of marine species, is a scuba diving and snorkeling paradise. The white sand coves and turquoise waters make the islands a great kayaking and camping destination. Once on land, hike along the canyons and cliffs to enjoy the desert landscape and spectacular views. One of the highlights of the trip for most visitors is the unique opportunity to swim among the large community of sea lions in Los Islotes.
2. Stroll down the Malecón: the esplanade onLa Paz waterfront stretches for more than 3 miles and it is the perfect place to watch a beautiful sunset. Along the walk, admire the sculptures; stop for a coffee break or for a bite at one of the many restaurants; shop for local crafts or try the best ice cream at La Fuente. On Sundays, there are often free concerts and other cultural events.
3. Tour the historic downtown: Begin at the Cultural Center (old Palacio Municipal) and visit the Sala CodexPeninsula, a compilation of text and photographs by local artists about history, environment and culture in the Peninsula. Walk around the main plaza and stop at the Cathedral, that was originally founded as a mission by the Jesuits around 1720, however the building as we know it nowadays was built around 1835. Another great stop is the Museo de Antropología e Historia. The museum has 3 permanent exhibit rooms dedicated to the history of Baja, a special exhibition room and a botanical garden of endemic species. Next to the museum is Biblioteca Justo Sierra, an interesting historic building that used to be the city’s jail and is now a public library.
4. Spend the day at the beach:La Paz has many beautiful beaches, but two of the most visited are Balandra and Tecolote. The calm shallow waters of Balandra make this beach great for relaxing and swimming. Take a short walk to El Hongo, the famous mushroom shaped rock formation. Tecolote is a pristine beach with restaurants, palapas and gear rental. On weekends, the locals enjoy family barbecues and the beach can get crowded. But if you visit during the week you will have the place to yourself.
5. Try the famous seafood tacos:La Paz has some of the best budget friendly seafood restaurants scattered through the Malecón, where you can savor delicious deep fried battered fish, scallops, oysters, clams and shrimp tacos. For raw options, try fresh Chocolatas on the sell (a local variety of clams) and the Campechana cocktails (a mix of seafood bites). Another favorite are the sword fish empanadas.
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