La Paz, Baja California Sur
Imagine a beautiful place full of contrasting landscapes. A desert, full with cactus and naturally decorated with beautiful beaches that separate the land from the sea, creating a picture postcard.
La Paz Bay is renowned for its calm waters, spectacular sunsets and wide range of turquoise tones that fade on its beaches. The city is characterized by the quiet and calm. This place make honor to its name “La paz” which means “Peace” and has become a worldwide recognized destination for rest and retirement. The hospitality and warmth of its people, make this port a comfortable and peaceful destination.
Baja California is the state with more coastal territory of the country, (2, 230 km of coastline). Therefore, activities related to the sea such as fishing, diving, kayaking and snorkeling, along with other water sports are predominant and major attractions in the area.
The historic richness and culture, which this city has, are factors that greatly multiply reasons to visit La Paz. The Malecon, where Hernán Cortes arrived in 1535, is one of the favorite places of tourists and locals, presenting the bay as a majestic and harmonious scenario surrounded by entertainment, restaurants, and comfort.
LA PAZ HISTORY
La Paz is the capital of Baja California Sur which is protected by a bay of huge dimensions and a small cove, surrounded by beautiful white sand beaches. The Baja California peninsula was inhabited for over 12,000 years, but little is known about these early settlers, since there is only knownledge of cave paintings that remain as evidence of its existence.
In the sixteenth century, the peninsula had some semi-nomadic tribes of fishermen and pickers, as Cochimi the Guaycura and Pericu.
Hernán Cortés, encouraged by the fantastic stories like that of Las Sergas Esplandian, organized the first trip to this land in 1533. He himself led the second expedition, arriving at the bay on May 3, 1535, baptized the Bay of the Holy Cross, but the camp was abandoned two years later mainly due to the dry soil that didn’t allow cultivation. Finally, in 1596, Sebastian Vizcaino disembarked in the bay, which renames of La Paz and established a permanent camp. The Spanish quickly realized the wealth pearl of this place, exploiting it to almost stop the natural production.
In 1720 he founded the mission of Nuestra Señora del Pilar de La Paz Airapí and in 1974 was finally established as a state.
WHERE IS LA PAZ LOCATED?
La Paz is located in the northwest of the country in a long peninsula, a piece of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California or Sea of Cortez. … This is the peninsula of Baja California, which is divided into two states.
The main attraction of La Paz: The beaches. For sunbathing the ideal beaches are located on the highway to Pichilingue.
No doubt "The Coromuel" is one of the closest beaches to the city of La Paz, where you can have all the necessary services to enjoy the day. "The Coromuel" is located at km 4 of Transpeninsular located just off the road.
Another famous beach-and certainly one of the more beautiful-, is “El tesoro”. This beach is located on the Highway, one kilometer before reaching the Port of Pichilingue. This beach maintains a very low water level and calm surf.
Pichilingue Center is the name of the Port of La Paz, and you will find one of the most visited beaches with the same name. Here you can enjoy delicious cuisine in a seafood restaurant, while the rest of the family plays in the ocean and all enjoy the beautiful sunset views.
Also the beach, "Balandra" and "El Tecolote" are among the most visited. "Balandra" has the famous Balandra Cup, one of the most impressive creations of nature. This is a great place to enjoy nature and tranquility.
The beach "El Tecolote" is undoubtedly the most visited beach by swimmers and lovers of all water activities. Here you have all the leisure and recreation.
Located near the city center. It is located practically in an open area. You can see many species of reptiles that inhabit this ecosystem, such as snakes, turtles, iguanas, lizards, and inhabitants of other regions of the Republic, which also includes crocodiles .
The Cactus Sanctuary is located in the Ejido El Rosario, 45 minutes far from La Paz on the south road to El Triunfo and 10 minutes of dirt road.
The Cactus Sanctuary is a 50 hectares nature reserve that includes a park of 6 hectares in its first stage. It is the ideal place for an approach to this ecosystem. All over the trails are panels with information on species like cactus, animals and another sort of plants.
Espíritu Santo Island
Located just 25 km from La Paz in a straight line. It consists of two major islands, Espiritu Santo which gives its name to all the islands and “La Partida”, almost five times smaller than the first. Three islands are located off the western side of the main island: “The Whale”, “The Cock” and “The Hen”, besides four rocky headlands: The Islets.
The Holy Spirit is the island closest to the Bay of La Paz and the most beautiful of all islands in the Sea of Cortez. It’s contrast between the reddish color of the limestone, the turquoise of the sea and beautiful sunsets, is a wonderful scene.
An increasing number of tourists visit this islands because of its beautiful scenery and the unique character of its biological associations. Tourists are mainly attracted to the Espíritu Santo for their conservation values and for the opportunity to enjoy nature in conditions of minimum human impact.
On Highway 1 south, 48 kilometers from La Paz is the town of El Triunfo, a place that was marked by the mining of gold and silver during colonial times. In 1878 the mining company settled Progress Mining Company and by 1890 the population increased from 175 to over 4,000 people, many of them Italian, English, French, German and Chinese as well as Mexicans who came from distant lands to work in mining engineers, operators, machinists, bakers or smelters. The “smelter chimney”, known as the "Ramona" was placed as designed by Gustav Eiffel. Because of its prosperity, this town was the first to have modern amenities such as electricity and telephone. “El Progreso” ceased operations in 1912 and the town forgot his greatness when the technology available was not sufficient to start the sales of the mineral soil it still held. It is now a place where you can stroll and visit the ruins of the smelter, the largest fire "Ramona" and a little one, called "Julia." Also you may find viewpoints, streets, old buildings that still keep secrets and the church, a small building colorfully built on the edge of the road.
Continuing along the "Camino Real de Santa Ana", which connects to “El Triunfo” and “San Antonio”, you will find buildings with more than one hundred years old and some mines as "El Hormiguero", "Santa Rosa" and "Mina Mendoceña"
San Antonio, as El triunfo, was a rich town in silver veins exploited initially in the mid-eighteenth century and spent like its neighboring village in the early twentieth century. Today, you can visit this place and reach it by the "Camino Real", a dirt road about five miles, or Highway 1 south.
HOW TO GET TO LA PAZ ?
By land: This state can be reached via Highway 1. "Benito Juarez" Transpeninsular from Tijuana to Los Cabos. This road offers the services of Federal Highway Police, “Angeles Verdes” and emergency services that can provide the authorities of the nearest town, Red Cross, Fire, Municipal Police, etc.
By air: International Airport of La Paz (LAP), located 10 km north of the city, receives daily flights from Los Angeles, Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, among other cities, through airlines such as Aerocalifornia Aeromexico and Aerolitoral.
By sea: By sea, by ferries traveling from Los Mochis and Mazatlán to La Paz.
Terminals / Terminals: Pichilingue (La Paz) Int Pichilingue Dock Altura Lote1 Manzana F km. 17.5 La Paz, B. C. S.
WHAT SHOULD YOU TRY IN LA PAZ ?
La Paz can be enjoyed in many ways, and one of them is through its cuisine. You have to try the delicious stuffed clams, fish tacos or fried shrimp, or the famous smoked marlin. It's easy to find places to eat fresh seafood seasoning with La Paz.
For dinner, La Paz offers variety of international cuisines: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Argentina, French or the classic carne asada tacos of excellent quality, which are accompanied by red onion, guacamole, chiles güeritos, cucumbers and a variety of sauces.
As part of the gastronomic tour, we recommend taking a glass of liqueur damiana, typical drink made locally, or a delicious ice cream or fresh water of naranjita or pitahaya.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BUY ?
Shopping in La Paz is a very rewarding experience, because the city has several outlets. The main shopping centers are Cerralvo Square, located between Paseo Alvaro Obregón and Esquerro; Square Mall, in the alley 21 de agosto, Pasaje Madero, between Calle Madero and 16 de Septiembre and Moyrión Square, between 16 de Septiembre & Revolution, which offers boutiques, shoe shops, jewelers, among other stores. For the acquisition of typical souvenirs and gifts you may visit the Bazar de Sol, La Antigua California and Mexico Lindo, located on Paseo Alvaro Obregón.
HOW IS THE WEATHER IN LA PAZ?
In the lowlands the climate is desert. Dry and very hot in summer with maximum temperatures above 40º C in the afternoon. However, Coromuel blows a gentle breeze and fresh from the sea. The winter is mild and brings cold winds, with minimum temperatures of 10° C, while in the area of the Sierra de la Laguna, temperatures reach 0 ° C during this time.
The activities promoted in the area are closely related to the enjoyment and preservation of the ecosystem.
Among the activities to perform are:
- Surfing and kayaking
- Sports Diving
- Mountain biking
- Windsurf & Kitesurf
- Sport fishing
Historical Tours: The Regional Museum of Anthropology and History, located in the city center of La Paz, has archaeological and ethnographic pieces that will introduce you to a magical and fascinating world.
Another part of the historical heritage that can be visited starting from La Paz is "The Route of the Missions." A tour of the missions founded between the late seventeenth and eighteenth century in a colonizing and evangelizing zeal, a task in which the military conquerors had failed and that the Jesuits were able earnestly. Beginning in 1697 with the founding of Nuestra Sra. de Loreto Conchó and extending across the peninsula in a constant struggle with the environment and the resistance of the natives.
San Ignacio Kadakaaman, Santa Rosalia de Mulege, San Francisco Javier Vigge Biaundó, San Jose de Comondú, Caamanc Cadeú, Nuestra Señora La Paz Airapí, Santiago de los Coras, San Jose del Cabo Añuiti, Santa Rosa de las Palmas and San Luis Gonzaga Chiriyaki are other examples of these impressive buildings.
May 2012 Festival of La Paz Foundation
Find great performances from many artists and cultural activities. It is the best opportunity to meet the warm people and its beautiful bay in a party atmosphere.
October 2012 Festival of Fantasy and Horror Film Fest, La Paz
For the first time in La Paz a film festival dedicated 100% to fantasy and horror. The International Film Festival is a cultural exchange space where they encounter disciplines such as dance, theater and of course film.
June 2012: Fishing Tournament "Golden Cup"
July 2012: International Fishing Tournament La Paz Bay
September 2012: Nauticopa "La Paz"
YOU MAY WANT TO KNOW….
The Sea of Cortez is considered one of the world's richest flora and fauna seas. The extraordinary richness of this ecosystem is mainly due to the heat, the wind and ocean currents in this sea baptized by Jacques Cousteau as the largest aquarium in the world. Millions of species inhabit the coast surrounding La Paz, from colorful invertebrates like sea urchins, sea anemones and corals to whale sharks, manta rays and several species of giant marine mammals, not to mention the fish shapes and colors unique, as the angel of Cortez and the seahorse. Many of these can be observed with only a mask and snorkel.
Baja California Sur is also home to the gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus). From January to March each year you can visit the sites of mating and delivery that are found mainly in Scammon Lagoon in Guerrero Black, Laguna San Ignacio and in the Bahía Magdalena lagoon system (Puerto San Carlos and Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos), which is the closest to La Paz and is in the municipality of Comondu, three hours for the Highway to the north.
In the city of La Paz is the Community Museum of the gray whale that gathers information about these marine mammals and where we can learn more about the life and history of these animals have a complete skeleton impressive gray whale.
WHO WILL ENJOY LA PAZ?
For sure ecotourism lovers. All people enjoying the nature, the sounds of our world and like living the simple life. For it, there is no better place than La Paz and its surroundings.