La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur, is a city located on the east side of the peninsula. This beautiful city is surrounded by amazing marine life and breathtaking sandy beaches with crystal blue turquoise waters from the Sea of Cortez. La Paz has some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico…Let’s take a closer!
1.Playa Balandra (Balandra Beach)
Playa Balandra offers a beautiful atmosphere perfect for everyone! Half an hour from downtown La Paz you will find one of the most beautiful and jaw-dropping beaches of Mexico, Playa Balandra. This beach is surrounded by cacti-full hills, soft white sand, clear waters and a mangrove forest at one end.
Playa Balandra is known for its beautiful shallow turquoise water and mushroom-shaped formation, but there is so much more that adds to its popularity. Balandra is the perfect spot for snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, and just relaxing on the beach.
The waters at Playa Balandra are shallow, around 4 feet (1.2 meters), and extremely still, making it easy to spot a variety marine life (spades (manta rays), triggerfish, sardines and dartfish, etc.) when snorkeling or kayaking. If you decide to kayak, make sure you explore the beautiful mangroves, where you can find a variety of birds and fish.
You can rent kayaks on the shore for about 200 pesos per hour. If you want to snorkel, we recommend that you bring your own snorkel gear. There are no restaurants there, so make sure you bring food and plenty of water. Also, don’t forget your tennis shoes so you can hike up the mountain and get an eagle eye view of this beautiful beach.
Some things to note:
-We recommend you get there early, no later than 6:00am as they are limiting capacity based on new regulations following COVID-19. We got there at 6:39 a.m. on Saturday and they told us it was full, and even if people leave they do not allow additional entry.
-Bring a plastic bag, as trashcans are limited and you don’t want to leave any waste behind.
-Bring plenty of water and snacks, as there are no restaurants there.
-Bring tennis shoes so you can hike and take full advantage of the scenery.
2.Playa El Tecolote (Tecolote Beach)
A little bit further north from Playa Balandra you will find Playa Tecolote, which is another one of our favorite beaches in La Paz, Mexico.
Playa Tecolote is a bit more populated than Playa Balandra, mainly because those that are unable to access Playa Balandra (due to the government limiting the amount of people that can enter per day) will drive a little bit further north to find this beautiful beach with deeper turquoise waters.
At Playa Tecolote there are a variety of water sports you can partake in such as kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling. On this beach you can find a beach front restaurant with delicious food options and ice-cold drinks.
This beautiful beach offers activities for everyone. We recommend staying and watching the breathtaking sunset at the end of your fun-filled day!
3. Playa Pichilingue
Playa Pichilingue can be found 30 minutes from downtown La Paz, Mexico. This beautiful beach sits in a bay and has shallow crystal clear waters. This beach is equally as populated (maybe less so) than Playa Tecolote, yet equally as beautiful.
At Playa Pichilingue is perfect sport to lounge on the beach, paddle board, and go snorkeling. On this beach you can find a beach front restaurant with delicious food options and ice-cold drinks.
At the marina to the left of this beach you can find tours for a variety of adventurous activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, scuba diving, parasailing, and riding on a hydroplane. We decided to get the hydroplane excursion and it was one of the most amazing and beautiful opportunities we have had partook in.
Our pilot (the owner of the hydroplane) Captain Siddarta lent us two kayaks at the end of our excursion so we could explore beyond the bay. We ended up kayaking around a small protected island that is home to thousands of birds and further along finding a private beach where we were able to relax and hike.
Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or to partake in an excursion, we highly recommend you put this beautiful beach on your to-do list.
4. Isla Espiritu Santo
Isla Espiritu Santo sits north of La Paz (18 miles), it is the home to some of the most beautiful beaches that Baja has to offer, with 30 miles from one end to another there is a lot of room for exploring what this beautiful island has to offer. This breathtaking unpopulated island on the Sea of Cortez is a protected ecological reserve popular day trip for locals and tourists.
The only way to access this island is by boat. You can find a variety of tour operators that offer a day trip to Isla Espiritu Santo. Most tours will include a combination of snorkeling with whale sharks, snorkeling with sealions, snorkeling along the beautiful reefs, paddle boarding, or kayaking making this experience more than amazing.
You can find tours to this beautiful island by:
-Booking Online: You can find a variety of options online. On our trip we booked the Whale Sharks & Sea Lions + Isla Espiritu Santo tour with Baja Desconocida and had an amazing experience!
-Booking at El Malecon: Walking down El Malecon you will see a variety of vendors with their ‘pangas’ (small boats) offering a day trip to Isla Espiritu Santo. This is usually the most cost-effective option.
-Booking a Private Tour: If you’re traveling with a large group, or you would prefer more privacy or control regarding your itinerary, then renting a private boat might be the best option for you. We recommend renting a sailboat with Dream Chaser Charter, they have a variety of options and prices to best suit your needs.
When booking a tour we recommend you go snorkeling with the sealions at San Rafaelito, snorkeling with whale sharks, and snorkeling along the beautiful reefs surrounding this breathtaking island.
If you have the opportunity to stay in this beautiful island we highly recommend it. Click here for more information regarding lodging in Isla Espiritu Santo.
Isla Espiritu Santo is said to be one of the most beautiful islands on the Sea of Cortez with some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico. If you’re in Baja California Sur we highly recommend visiting this island, as it’s one of the best things you do in La Paz!