6 Things to do in La Paz, Mexico:
La Paz, the capital city of Baja California Sur, is one of the most beautiful places in Mexico! La Paz literally translates to “peace” in Spanish, and that’s exactly what this coastal town is – a peaceful paradise. It’s well-known for its eco-tourism, because it’s right on the Sea of Cortez, which is home to some of the most amazing sea life on the planet! If you love the ocean and love snorkeling or diving, La Paz is an absolute must-visit. It’s also about a two-hour drive from Los Cabos, so if you’re planning a trip to Baja California Sur, be sure to add some time in La Paz to your itinerary!
6 Things to do in La Paz, Mexico
1. Swim with Sea Lions at Los Islotes!
Swimming with the sea lions at Los Islotes was truly one of the most incredible experiences we’ve ever had! It was definitely a bucket list activity. The sea lions are like little water puppies that are so curious and playful. They swim and float and dive all around you and it’s truly a magical experience to see for yourself. The best time of year to swim with the sea lions is from September 1 – April 31. Tours are closed from June 1 – September 1, which is the breeding and mating season. So you can’t swim with them during this time. We went in early November, so the sea lion pups were about three-four months old, which is the perfect age where they’re not territorial or aggressive.
The water was also the perfect temperature in November. It wasn’t too hot or too cold, which made the entire experience a lot more enjoyable. We wanted to stay in and swim with them all day! But to respect the sea lions, each tour has about 30-45 minutes to snorkel. We did a full-day, private tour with Red Travel Mexico, and had a wonderful experience. It’s about an hour and a half boat ride from the La Paz marina to Los Islotes. So be prepared to spend some time on a boat to get there. We suggest bringing snacks and reef-safe sunscreen!
*Remember to be respectful of the sea lions as you’re visiting their home. Give them their space and be sure to never touch them.
2. Swim with Whale Sharks!
This is by far one of the most popular things to do in La Paz. And it’s definitely a life changing experience! From the moment you hop in the water with these magical creatures, it truly feels like you’ve entered a different world. It is so quiet and peaceful and it feels like the entire world around you has shut off. It’s just you and these massive whale sharks swimming together. It’s impossible to describe, but the feeling is absolutely ethereal. A boat takes you to the whale sharks and then a small group (normally less than 5 people) are allowed to jump in with the whales at a time. You’ll kick to try to keep up with these majestic animals, but it’s practically impossible. The best time of year to swim with the whale sharks in La Paz is from October to February.
*Remember to never touch the whale sharks and be respectful of all instructions given to you by your guide.
3. Spend the Day at Balandra Beach:
4. Take a Day Trip to Todos Santos:
Todos Santos is a charming, historic town almost exactly between La Paz and Los Cabos. It’s about a one hour drive from La Paz and it is definitely worth visiting. From the charming stores to the art galleries and delicious taco stands, you can spend a whole day just wandering the streets and taking in the history and culture. Be sure to eat at El Mirador Ocean View Restaurant. Not only is the food absolutely delicious, but also the view is breathtaking. We stared out at the ocean and even watched whales breach as we enjoyed our meal. It was truly one of the most memorable dining experiences we’ve ever had!
5. Take a Boat Tour to Isla Espíritu Santo:
Isla Espíritu Santo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Park. It’s a beautiful combination of stunning beaches and volcanic rock formations. On the island, you can kayak, stand up paddle board, fish, hike, snorkel, and dive. It’s the perfect way to spend the day on the water and get a full-day adventure at sea.
6. Glamp on the Beach:
We didn’t do this during our time there, but we saw the glamping ecocamps from the water, and we definitely want to come back and do this one day! During this experience, you can fall asleep under the stars and wake up to the sound (and view) of the waves crashing on the shore. It’s the perfect getaway to truly enjoy an escape from everyday life and connect with nature. From the ecocamp, you can kayak, swim, snorkel, and take boat tours to see sea turtles and the gray whales that migrate down from the Arctic! The best time to go to see the gray whales is from February through March.
You can also participate in conservation activities with local fishers and marine biologists, which is an incredible way to make your trip have a lasting and meaningful impact on the local environment. You can also book this experience through Red Travel México.