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La Paz boasts both old-world charm and some of the most unique beaches. In fact, with its blend of long stretches of white sand with calm turquoise waters and rich marine life, Baja California Sur capital city is home to some of the best beaches in Mexico.
Combined with the pleasant weather throughout the year, they make La Paz Mexico the perfect place for a memorable beach trip.
You can’t go wrong with any of the beaches in La Paz, but I’m here to make things even better for you. In this post, I’ll tell you about the best beaches in La Paz, Mexico. But before that, let me tell you a few things about the city itself.
La Paz is mostly used as a ferry terminal for travelers going to Cabo San Lucas, but it’s much more than that. The city has lots of popular spots, including breathtaking landscapes, stunning restaurants and cafes, traditional Mexican attractions, and of course beautiful beaches.
Its excellent location by the Sea of Cortez—the narrow piece of the Pacific Ocean between mainland Mexico and Baja California Sur—means tons of water sport activities. Moreover, the Gulf of California is home to thousands of marine species including whale sharks, sea turtles, manta rays, and sea lions.
With countless white sand beaches, outdoor activities, restaurants overlooking the calm blue water, and many more things to do, La Paz is an incredible beach destination in Mexico.
With that being said, let’s dive into the list of the best beaches in La Paz, Mexico!
Map of the best beaches in La Paz Mexico
Let’s begin with one of the most popular spots in La Paz. Balandra Beach is famous not only because of its picture-perfect views of crystal clear waters and white sands, but also the serene and relaxing atmosphere.
In fact, it was named the best beach in the whole of Mexico in 2016, and I personally think it still is.
The beach is located only half an hour from downtown La Paz, but it’s a completely tranquil retreat from the buzz of city life.
There are no restaurants or other such services here, but that only highlights the thriving nature of Balandra Bay even more.
The beach is rich with marine life, so you will even get to see incredible undersea animals like sardines, dartfish, and triggerfish swimming in the pristine waters of Playa Balandra.
El Hongo, the mushroom rock formation, is another Mexican wonder of nature to see here, so don’t forget to spot it during your trip to this magical beach.
Apart from a bucket list boat trip offered by La Paz tour operators for snorkeling and swimming with whale sharks, there aren’t many services available on this beach (which is why it’s so popular, actually).
In fact from Balandra beach, you can experience some of the best snorkeling in Mexico on your own.
Since the playa is sheltered by Balandra Bay, it’s considered a great spot for swimming and other water sports activities, while also avoiding crowds and noise.
You can also walk all the way across to the other side of the bay thanks to the shallow waters of Balandra. Luckily, making it to the beach is also just as easy as walking to the other side of the bay.
I would suggest you should plan a full day in Playa Balandra including sunset hours when you can walk to the little hill in between the two beaches and enjoy a spectacular sunset.
How to get to Playa Balandra
If you have a car rental, you can just drive there and park in the free parking lot. Or, you can take the bus from the Turistica terminal in La Paz and be here within about 40 minutes.
If you allow me, I would always recommend renting a car in Mexico, but even more in Baja California Sur because the local transportation here is very random, and with all the spectacular bays and hidden gems to discover you will really need a car.
Or you can get an UBER.
Browse through international and local car rentals and find the best deal.
Playa El Tecolote
Another one of La Paz’s most popular beaches, Playa El Tecolote is just as spectacular as Balandra Beach, but it comes with more in the way of services.
There are a few casual eateries by the white-sand beach, and water sports gear can be rented from the shops here.
Being on the northernmost tip of the Baja California Peninsula, Playa Tecolote boasts some of the finest views of the shore—including beautiful islands like the famous Espiritu Santo Island, which is a popular day trip island and a World Heritage Site.
However, you will notice more crowds on some days here, especially on weekends and holidays, because of the many spectacular features of the beach.
The three fresh seafood restaurants on the beach have loungers in the best places alongside the shoreline where you can relax (if you purchase something from the restaurant, that is).
The long stretch of white sand is also great for a short walk to admire the sublime views overlooking the pristine waters and Isla Espiritu Santo.
Tecolote Beach is also best for travelers looking for a beach day trip from nearby places like Cabo San Lucas.
The beach has lots of fun things to offer, and despite its secluded atmosphere, Tecolote is located conveniently close to the city center.
Other than sunbathing and strolls by the beach, many water sports activities like jet skis, paddleboarding, and kayaking are very popular on El Tecolote Beach.
Along with these popular things to do, facilities like toilets are also available here, making the beach a perfectly visitor-friendly spot in La Paz—so much that you will find families and young travelers camping by the beachside for a weekend sometimes.
How to get to Playa El Tecolote
Playa Tecolote is just behind Playa Balandra, on the opposite side of the peninsula, so to get there you have the same options.
Either you can rent a car, you can just drive there and park in the free parking lot. Or, you can take the bus from the Turistica terminal in La Paz and be here within about 40 minutes.
Or you can always get an UBER.
Playa Pichilingue is a gorgeous La Paz beach similar to, and just as popular as, El Tecolote beach. Just like Tecolote, Pichilingue has plenty of restaurants, shops, and facilities to make the fun activities offered here even more fun.
There are a couple of waterfront restaurants where you can enjoy excellent seafood (I recommend trying out the chocolate clams there).
You will also have plenty of peace and quiet at Playa Pichilingue because despite its closeness to the port, the beach is almost never crowded and the overall vibe here is very laid-back.
Pichilingue Beach has a very authentic Mexican vibe to it, which includes getting to meet a lot of the locals at this beach as well.
With the amazing food and drinks, and a large area, the beach is great for walking around and mingling with the natives of La Paz.
Additionally, the beach itself is breathtaking. You will love the views and comfortable aura of the surroundings. It’s also a great location for swimming, sunbathing, and wakeboarding.
How to get to Playa Pichilingue
Playa Pichilingue is about 20 minutes from La Paz, and to make your way here from the city, you can either take a taxi/bus or drive to the beach yourself with a car rental or an UBER
Playa El Coromuel is one of the closest and most popular beaches in La Paz, among both the locals and travelers. The beach itself is stunning, and being within walking distance from the city and an abundance of facilities makes El Coromuel one of the most convenient places to go for a relaxing beach trip.
El Coromuel is a very good option if you just want to sit back and enjoy the calming views. You will definitely love the captivating beauty of its low tidewaters, a stretch of white sand filled with palapas, and the amazing boardwalk.
With a Blue Flag badge to showcase El Coromuel’s family-friendliness, safety, cleanliness, and good environment, I don’t even need to mention that the beach is very clean and tidy, which is why it’s so popular with locals going out for a family beach trip.
The beach has palm umbrellas, bathrooms, free palapas, and a parking lot to complement its many fun outdoor activities and restaurants.
Its close proximity to La Paz downtown means you will meet lots of locals here, and since many facilities are present on the beach, you can also stay the weekend (which is what many people do here).
With its convenient location, good facilities, and fun-filled activities, Coromuel Beach is absolutely a great place to go.
All you need to do is make sure to get there early, because the beach closes up by 6 p.m., and during Covid surges, there might be a limit on the number of people allowed on the beach.
If you’re looking for a resort-style beach trip, Playa La Concha is it. The beach is part of the La Concha Hotel resort, which means guest rooms are readily available on the site. You can also partake in the various events, tours, and activities offered by the resort.
La Concha is only 10 minutes from the city center, and all the facilities to make you comfortable are available here.
The resort also has an outdoor pool that guests can use, and an on-site restaurant, bar, spa, and water sports equipment rental are also present.
This hidden beach is very pretty, so it’s a great choice if you’re looking for an intimate and romantic getaway near the city.
You will love the neat atmosphere, privacy, and easily available amenities of the beach hotel.
Playa El Caimancito is an incredible beach, which is both undisturbed and very close to the city. Apart from the fact that it’s a very peaceful beach, El Caimancito is also one of the most beautiful beaches in La Paz.
Caimancito Beach is one of the top beaches in the region not just because it shares the heavenly looks of its counterparts, but also because it has coral reefs by the same name here. The playa is very close to the city, which is another one of its best features.
Located only a few minutes away from the downtown, Playa el Caimancito still holds all the charm of tranquil La Paz beaches.
The white sands of El Caimancito are visible from a distance, views of the clear blue waters are expansive, and there is no clutter of vendors either.
If you’re worried there won’t be any facilities on the beach, don’t be. There are bathrooms and a free parking lot. But there are no restaurants, cafes, or food/drink services, so make sure to bring your own food and chairs/umbrella.
How to get to Playa Caimancito
To get to playa Caimancito, you can take an easy walk along the new stretch of Malecon where you can also enjoy stunning views of the coastline and La Paz downtown. The walkway arrives right where the beach is
Playa Tesoro is arguably one of the most dazzling beaches in La Paz, because it’s a very romantic spot with swimmable waters, revitalizing views, and family-friendly facilities.
The tides are low here, and with its shallow waters, the initial bit of the playa is safe to walk into as well.
The playa also has a legend attached to it. It’s said that a pirate ship once hid its treasures on Tesoro Beach, and in fact, some gold coins and pearls were found here back in the day.
But even if you don’t find those during your visit here, you are sure to find that Playa Tesoro is a treasure of its own.
Being a hidden gem, Playa Tesoro is almost never crowded. But it has lots of restaurants and vendors, so you won’t have to bring anything on your own.
The long stretch of Tesoro Beach is peaceful, the vendors are very respectful, and you can also make use of umbrellas, chairs, and tables for free.
As for the views, I can assure you it’s pretty as a picture.
Apart from the white sands and crystal clear waters, the beach has mangroves and natural retreats. You can also try out plenty of kayaking because gear rentals are available here.
Besides the restaurants and quality service, Tesoro Beach also has free parking and restrooms.
The calm tide and shallow water of the beach are perfect for a family visit—especially if you have children along—and the serene atmosphere makes it ideal for anyone looking for a great experience.
Beach hotels in La Paz
If you want to stay right on the beach during your vacation in La Paz here are a few options.
La Concha beach resort – affordable beach hotel in La Paz – view rates and availability on Booking.com
Costa Baja Resort and Spa – a high-end beachfront hotel in La Paz – view rates and availability on Booking.com
Playa de La Paz – Luxury apartments – view rates and availability on Booking.com
Check out more hotel options in La Paz
La Paz beaches FAQ
Does La Paz Mexico have good beaches?
Yes, La Paz Mexico, has incredible beaches, but the best ones are at about 20 minutes’ drive. Balandra is the absolute best beach not only in La Paz, but arguably in all of Mexico. It’s definitely the first reason why you want to go to La Paz.
Can you swim in ocean in La Paz?
Of course, you can swim in the ocean in La Paz, also because it’s actually the Sea of Cortez, with little to no currents and shallow water off the coast. La Paz coastline is made of small protected bays where it’s very easy to access the water and very suitable for kids too.
Where can I swim in La Paz?
Swimming right in front of La Paz is not recommendable because there are two marinas and the water is not very suitable for swimming.
However, if you walk just 20 minutes left you will find playa Corumuel and further north Playas La Concha and Caimancito, all of them at a walking distance from La Paz center and swimmable.
How safe is La Paz Mexico for tourists?
I lived in La Paz for a few months and I felt completely safe. I stayed in two different neighborhoods but both in the downtown area and I would walk around during the day and by bike at night without any issue at all. Locals are very friendly and there is a good community of expats as well, and lots of boat owners and crews passing by while their boat is having service which makes quite a cosmopolitan environment.
Is La Paz better than Cabo?
It’s very difficult to tell. It really depends on what you are looking for. La Paz is less pretentious I would say, with a more tranquil and slow-paced life, less touristy in a way, but with stunning beaches and great natural wonders.
Cabo has a more touristy feel and many more luxurious hotels and if you want to swim with the whale sharks you need to come all the way to La Paz (there are tours available though)
What is La Paz Mexico known for?
Well, first of all, La Paz is the capital city of Baja California Sur. Then the second reason for being so renewed is for being home to one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico, Playa Balandra, but also for the swimming with whale sharks tour and the Espiritu Santo tour where you swim with sea lions.
Both are amazing experiences that you should include in your Baja California Itinerary.
Where should I stay in La Paz Mexico?
There are many pretty hotels and home rentals in Baja California. My favorites are:
- Baja Club – spectacular modern hotel in a charming historical building
- Hotel Casa BO – cute minimal boutique hotel
- Hotel Catedral La Paz – iconic mid range hotel in the heart of La Paz
Check out more hotel options in La Paz
Do you need a car in La Paz Mexico?
You don’t really need it, BUT I would recommend it for the best experience. If you rent a car you have the flexibility to explore around to your liking without relying on taxis, UBER, or busses.
Also driving in Baja Peninsula is completely safe and easy to find your way around.
Is Balandra Beach Open?
Yes, it is indeed open, after remaining close for quite a long time during the recent health emergency.
The small-city charm of La Paz is nowhere else to be found, and its beaches are one of the biggest parts of this charm. With all of the best beaches in La Paz Mexico laid out in front of you, all that’s left is to go get your hands on the unforgettable experiences they have to offer. Feliz Viaje in Baja California sur!