La Paz, the capital city of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, is located almost 140 miles north of Los Cabos at the southern tip of the Peninsula and is not only an important regional commercial center but now a fast growing tourist destination for visitors from all over the world.
This once hostile environment was first visited by Hernan Cortez en 1535 but only later permanently colonized in 1811 by Jose Espinoza, becoming the state’s capital in 1830. Today it is a vibrant, growing port city that blends laid back, old world architecture with modern, upscale and cosmopolitan trends. It is also probably the most “Mexican” of all the southern state’s cities and offers visitors a wide variety of restaurants, local handcraft stores and interesting historical museums. The beachside “malecón” (“promenade” or “esplanade”) is a great place to walk at sunset just before setting off to dinner and dancing.
It is however the surrounding natural marine environment that has pushed La Paz to prominence as Baja California’s ecotourism capital. Here from the city of La Paz licensed operators offer visitors the opportunity to swim with whale sharks, an incredible snorkeling experience with one of the world’s largest fish. These gentle giants feed on plankton during season and can grow up to 65 feet and weigh up to a whopping 75,000 pounds. This is definitely an experience not to be missed.
Heading north by sea leads to the wilderness islands of El Espiritu Santo, La Partida and Los Islotes. These islands are popular destinations for scuba divers, kayakers, snorkelers, hikers and beach lovers. Local conservationists are working to protect these pristine habitats with their endemic flora and fauna in order for future visitors to be able to enjoy these wonderful natural treasures, including the white sand beaches, the multi-colored geology and the abundant and colorful sea life.
It is here, with the natural protection that the islands afford, that one is able to enjoy one of the most memorable experiences ever: swimming and snorkeling with sea lions. These playful, intelligent mammals will amaze you with their underwater antics and their insatiable curiosity. With great water visibility one could spend hours playing in the water with them but soon their limitless energy leaves you exhausted but wanting so much more. This is definitely a bucket list experience for everyone.
So snorkel with playful sea lions or scuba dive with hammerhead sharks and giant mantas. Kayak alongside friendly dolphins and whales or venture into the tranquil bays of Espiritu Santo Island. Discover ancient cave paintings in distant canyons. Or just relax and do nothing at all on hidden white sand beaches. It’s all here waiting for you in La Paz, Mexico.