| Bulletin Board
| Spotlight Destination
Even though La Paz is becoming a popular tourist get away, it has still kept its character. La Paz has been called the "most traditional city on the peninsula."
La Paz is located 110 MI north of Cabo San Lucas and 354 km (220 MI) south of Loreto
In 1535 Hernan Cortes founded La Paz during his search for pearls. Jesuit missionaries arrived in 1720 to spread the word of God. Instead they spread the deadly disease smallpox which diminished the population within 30 years. In 1853 William Walker tried to make La Paz a slave state, but Mexicans quickly dispelled him. La Paz officially became the capital of Baja California Sur in 1974, and is the states largest settlement. La Paz continued to prosper due to pearl fishing. Unfortunately a mysterious disease wiped out the oysters drying up the pearl trade. Since the 1960s La Paz has enjoyed a booming tourist trade.
La Paz has warm winters and hot summers with cool breezes coming from the west each afternoon. August and September sees most of the annual average rainfall, which is just six inches. Temperatures in May through October hover around 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The rest of the year temperatures are in the high 70s to mid 80s (degrees Fahrenheit).
The Hotel Marina has a full service marina that offers fishing, kayaking, scuba diving, and private charters. Most hotels have an arrangement with a dive agency so its convenient to make dive tours and rent equipment. Pools, saunas, massage services, lush gardens, fitness centers, gift shops, restaurants, cafes and coffee bars make La Paz hotels a pleasure to stay in. Rates range from US$65 to US$215.
Small and pleasant reasonably priced restaurants are typical of La Paz. Restaurants along the beaches are generally more expensive than those located in town.
The most popular nighttime attraction is sitting at a caf?and watching the spectacular sunsets. At the pool side bar at La Concha Beach Resort there is a Mexican fiesta on Friday nights at 7 pm. Discos, clubs and bars are generally open until 3 or 4 am and may have a cover charge.
You can buy everything from hand woven tablecloths, rugs, and place mats to spices, pi?tas, and candy, to crafts, folk art, clothing, and handmade furniture. La Paz is full of small shops and stores. There is even a small but authentic Chinatown. At Ibarras Pottery, as well as watching pottery be made, you can purchase tableware, hand painted tiles and pottery.
French, Italian, Chinese, Spanish, and even vegetarian, as well as traditional Mexican dishes, are types of food you can dine on.
Banks: Banks are generally open Monday to Friday 9 am to 6 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm. Money exchanges follow the same hours. Most banks have ATM.
Internet: BajaNet offers service for one peso (10 cents) per minute with a minimum of a dollar charge (10 minutes).
Transportation: Its easy to see all of La Paz on foot. Public buses travel to some of the beaches located north of town. If you want to explore the beaches located around La Paz, its best to rent a car. Several agencies are located in town or you may be able to make arrangements trough your hotel.
Los Barriles and the East Cape: A string of settlements and fishing villages are located 105 km (65 MI) south of La Paz. These include Los Barriles, Buena Vista, and La Ribera.
|WHERE TO GO:
Malecon Plaza: A two-story white gazebo is the main attraction of
this plaza. On weekend nights musicians sometimes play at the small
cement square. The tourist-information center is located here also.
Biblioteca de las Californias: This library has reproductions of
local prehistoric cave paintings, oil paintings of the missions, and a
collection of historical documents. Lectures and films are sometimes
La Catedral de Nuestra Senora de La Paz: This church, built in
1860, is the biggest attraction in the downtown area.
Museum of Anthropology: Exhibits at this museum include recreations
of Las Palmas and Comondo Indian villages, copies of Cortess writings
on La Paz, and photos of cave paintings. Most display descriptions are
written in Spanish but staff will help translate.
WHERE TO EAT:
The best, and most expensive, restaurants in La Paz are along the water.
You can find some sort of seafood, from shrimp and lobster, to fish and
crab, served at the majority of La Pazs restaurants. Vegetarian meals
are becoming more and more popular. You will also find Mexican, French,
Italian, Japanese and international foods in La Paz. At the municipal
market, you will find several stands and snack bars with vendors
selling tacos and cheap foods. The Taco Hermanos Gonzalez, which sits
on the corner of the market and is said to be the best fast food place
on La Paz and is run by brothers, sells traditional, and fish tacos.
If you are willing to go a bit out of your way for a traditional
Mexican-style restaurant, go to El Bismark. Fresh-from-the-sea seafood
including, seafood cocktails, fish fillets, and large lobsters, as well
as carne asada with guacamole, beans and homemade tortillas are
specialties of this restaurant. La Paz-Lapa, also known as Carlosn
Charlies, is a loud but popular restaurant with generous platters of
fish, chicken, beef, and Mexican meals served. Most weekends you will
find a live band performing on the patio. La Pazta, for those who
want international foods, is popular with locals and recommended to
tourists. This restaurant is said to be the in?place in La Paz.
Pastas, imported wines and cheeses, vegetables, as well as specialty
coffees are on the menu here. For a vegetarian meal try the El Quinto Sol
Restaurants Vegetariano. This restaurant, with a natural-foods store in
the back, has an all-vegetarian menu. Around town you can find several
caf? and bakeries where you can people-watch while sipping a specialty
coffee and nibbling a freshly baked sweet.
|WHAT TO DO:
Beaches: At Playa Tecolote and Playa Coyote you will find
restaurants and water equipment rentals. Camping is allowed in the
parking lots. The cove in Playa Balandra is a preferred site for
snorkeling and kayaking agencies in town. Make arrangements in town as
there are no facilities or equipment rentals here.
Scuba Diving: Scuba diving is best from June to September. A
sunken ship, a colony of sea lions, underwater mountains, hammerhead
sharks, manta rays, and Cerralvo Island are attractions that making
diving interesting and spectacular. Trips to visit these sites can be
arranged through Fernando Aguilars Baja Diving and Services.
Sea Kayaking: Kayaking through La Pazs bays and coves has become
quite popular. Equipment and tours can be arranged with a local company,
Mar y Aventuras, as well as with several companies in the United States.
Sport Fishing: Attracting anglers from all over the world, La Paz
is famous for its sport fishing. Over 850 species of game fish make their
home in the waters of La Paz. Skiffs, super skiffs, and luxury cruisers
are available for rent. Trips can be arranged through hotels and tour
Whale Watching: Off of several points in the Sea of Cortez, from
January to March, you can watch over 3,000 gray whales migrate through
the waters. You can make arrangements through several companies. Rates
include breakfast, lunch, and transportation.
Pre-Lenten Mardi Gras: This carnival takes place in February.
Activities include dancing, games, and parades. Its recommended that
you book rooms in advance if youre going to visit during the festival.
|WHERE TO SHOP:
Shops and stores in La Paz carry a lot of chess sets made from onyx and
the popular sombrero. La Tiendita carries black pottery from Oaxaca as
well as embroidered dresses and shirts, picture frames and ornaments made
from tin. The Artesanias la Antigua California is said to carry the
best collection of Mexican folk art available in La Paz. There are also
sell lacquered boxes which are made in Guerrero, wooden masks, and even
several books on the Baja region. At the Artesania Cuauhtemoc, you can
watch professional weaver Fortunado Silva create tapestries, rugs,
tablecloths and mats, as well as buy these handcrafted pieces. The only
department store in La Paz is Dorians. This duty-free stores sells
almost the same items you find in a typical US department store but at
much lower prices. At Ibarras Pottery you can watch the tiles, pottery
pieces, and tableware being made as well as purchase it.
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