10 Reasons That La Paz, Mexico Might be Cabo’s Cooler Prima Ashlee Polarek February 4, 2019 Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on PinterestShare on RedditShare on LinkedInShare on InstagramShare on YouTubeShare on EmailShare on WhatsAppThis Mexican Vacay is Giving Cabo a Run for Its Money Written and Photographed by: Ashlee Polarek What to Do in La Paz Photo of writer making food photo credit: Alfredo Ivàn Félix Rayas For the traveler who craves more than happy hour on a beach saturated with tourists in Mexico, there is La Paz, a locale ripe with delicious fish, marine biodiversity and island vibes. Located two hours north from Cabo, La Paz is the getaway you’ve been waiting for. It’s easy to spend sun-drenched days lounging on the white sandy beaches and long evenings eating more tortilla chips than you’d like to admit. So, I’ve mapped out some of the most exciting places to see and tasty food to eat on your dream vacay in Mexico. What to Do in La Paz Go Snorkeling in the Sea of Cortez and Swim with Whale Sharks Tuna Tuna Tours Tons of different marine species call this underwater wonderland home, presumably the reason why Jacques Cousteau called the Sea of Cortez, “The Aquarium of the World.” So slip into your flippers, dig out your GoPro and dive into the warm crystalline waters. Join Tuna Tuna Tours on an eight-hour adventure—yes, eight amazing hours cruising and swimming in the sea. Included with your tour are fresh ceviche and chips (or sandwiches), drinks and beer, snorkeling gear, a ticket into the national park and a wonderful guide and captain. You’ll get to swim with baby sea lions, float over the coral reef and relax with your lunch on a white sandy beach. La Paz is also a whale shark hub. During the winter months, whale sharks head to the area to feed, offering swimmers the perfect opportunity to take a dip with the impressive creatures. The Environmental Protection Agency in Mexico, aka PROFEPA, has strict laws about when, where and how you can swim with the gentle beasts, so be sure to join a licensed tour group if you want to take a dip in the water. Whale sharks are the largest fish species in the ocean so take a moment to dip into the warm waters and admire the gentle giants. Tuna Tuna Tours Calle Topete 3040 La Paz, Baja California Sur, MX 23060 +52.1.612.120.6957 What to Do in La Paz Paddleboard Through the Mangroves Baja Desconcida Join a tour at the La Paz Marina and enjoy a boat ride to Balandra, a series of shallow turquoise blue beaches perfect for sunbathing, swimming and paddle boarding. Hop on your paddleboard and cruise around, taking time to check out the ‘hongo de Balandra,’ the mushroom-like rock formation formed over time by erosion. Then paddle into the thick mangroves taking note of the birds and fish that call the winding branches and roots home. Baja Desconcida Paseo Malecón, Interior Plaza Marina Cortez local, Ste 12 Centro 23000, La Paz, B.C.S. +52.1.612.166.2856 What to Do in La Paz Visit Todos Santos For a Bicycle Tour Locomotion Baja A one-hour drive brings you from the sandy shores of La Paz to one of Mexico’s “Pueblos Magicos.” Pueblos Magicos are pueblos with history, culture or gastronomy that have been deemed meaningful and special to Mexico’s heritage. Todos Santos is indeed a magical town. With hundreds of palm trees dotting the sky and delicious food it’s not to be missed. While there, hop on the Locomotion Tour for a group bike ride around the city. Enjoy drinks, music, history, and culture on your tour. With stops at textile shops, restaurants where you make guac, tortillas and pico de gallo, rooftop bars and wine tasting, it’s sure to be a hit with everyone. Locomotion Baja La Paz, Centro Todos Santos, B.C.S., Mexico +52.624.688.1316 Take A Stroll Down the Malecon As daylight dips from the sky, take a stroll along the three-mile boardwalk or Malecon, and enjoy color-drenched sunsets and gorgeous sculptures that dot the path. Stop for a drink at one of the many restaurants or enjoy the kayakers as they paddle by. Be sure to stop at the “La Paz” sign for the perfect sunset selfie. Stop for Coffee Doce Cuarenta and Big Sur Café Orgáníco La Paz is home to several hip and delicious coffee shops including Doce Cuarenta and Big Sur Café Orgáníco. Pop into Doce Cuarenta for delish pastries, sandwiches and other great grub, amazing souvenirs like mugs, T-shirts and postcards, and a cup of their splendid cold brew. Head to Big Sur Café Orgáníco in La Paz for a cup of small-batch roasted joe, beautiful art and fast WiFi. The outside of the coffee shop is adorned with gorgeous murals. Doce Cuarenta Francisco I. Madero, Ste 1240 Centro, La Paz, B.C.S +52.612.178.0067 Big Sur Café Orgáníco Zaragoza 16 De Septiempre N 40 La Paz, Baja California Sur 23006 +52.612.122.6806 Eat Like Royalty in Todos Santos La Casita Owner and Chef Sergio Rivera serves some mouthwatering and, honestly, heavenly food at La Casita. The menu features farm-to-table food straight from their own fields—or local farms—and the fish and seafood are caught locally. Try a little bit of everything from the salads to the tortilla soup to the Ahi tuna, flash-seared with papaya, ginger and black bean salsa. The drinks here are as delicious as they are pretty. I recommend ordering the passionfruit margarita while you soak in the ambiance of the open and breezy patio-dining area, making you feel at home while away. La Casita Avenida Benito Juárez Todos Santos, Baja California Sur 23300 +52.612.145.0192 On an “I Sea Food” Diet Nim and Restaurantes Bismark It would be a shame to not mention grubbing on some seafood while in a town that spends most of its time on or near the water. Restaurants all around La Paz offer fresh seafood caught that same day. Nim is home to Chef Cristina Kiewek, who incorporates fresh fish into thoughtful dishes inspired by worlds of flavor. The catch of the day is a great choice at Nim and for the seafood-free, the chicken breast with almond mole is some of the best I’ve ever had. Restaurantes Bismark is another gem, home to tasty fish tacos and seafood platters pretty enough for Instagram. Order an assortment of plates to share with the table including fresh fish, oysters and shrimp. With views of the Malecon and the water, this is a perfect dinner spot. Nim Revolución de 1910 1110 Zona Central, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico +52.612.122.0908 Restaurantes Bismark Paseo Alvaro Obregon entre Constitucion e Hidalgo La Paz, Mexico, 23000 +52.612.128.9900 Get your Drink On La Miserable Mezcaleria Damiana, an herbal liquor known to be a powerful aphrodisiac and a medical tool to fight stress and provide aide with digestion, was born in Baja California. Its light and sweet herbal flavor is perfect for drinking by itself or in a Damiana margarita. You can order it at most restaurants. While in Mexico, it’d be a crime not to try some mezcal. Head to La Miserable Mezcaleria for a tasting of different mezcals, and learn where they came from and enjoy the locals and travelers that frequent the bar. La Miserable Mezcaleria Calle Belisario Dominguez 274 La Paz 23006, Mexico +52 612 129 7037 Dance the Night Away When the sun dissapears below the horizon, turn your ear to the stars and follow the music to the nearest dance spot. La Paz is home to an array of bars and clubs with great music ranging from reggaeton to banda. People spill out onto the streets dancing, enjoying drinks and having a good time. Let loose and dance with your friends or a stranger. Stay at one bar or check out a few, it will be fun either way.