My Favorite City: La Paz, Mexico

Filed under: MY FAVOURITE CITY , LA PAZ, MX

Sunday, December 9, 2012 | 12:50 PM

 

 

 

 

Our next city stop is very unique. Featured in the John Steinbeck novel, The Pearl, and located on beautiful Baja peninsula, La Paz, Mexico  is a charming city of 200,000 inhabitants. Our friend Ian Wright, world traveller and tour guide from Baja by Bus, will guides us through his favourite city .... a serene and romantic seaside destination full with nearby natural wonders.......

lapazbajamex

(image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)

 

 

My Favourite City by Ian Wright

Originally from Cheltenham in the west of England, Ian lived and worked in London for more than twenty years before emigrating to Baja California, Mexico in 2008. He returns to Cheltenham each summer where he teaches English as a Foreign Language and escorts students on excursions to many of Southern England's finest attractions. For the rest of the year, Ian offers guided tours of the Baja California peninsula with his wife, Norma. These tours include 3 nights in La Paz, Ian's favourite city.

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Find out more about Baja by Bus and their great tour at their official website. Say hello on Facebook and Google+

Baja by Bus on Twitter @bajabybus

Baja by Bus on Pinterest

 

La Paz, Mexico-Puerto de Ilusion

La Paz may share its name with the world's highest capital, but this city's attractions are all at sea level or below!

The state capital of Baja California Sur is not a purpose built tourist resort but a functioning city, with urban attractions, but also with excellent opportunities for outdoor activities nearby. "La Paz" means "The Peace" in Spanish, and never was a city more appropriately named.  The hub of the city is the "Malecon", the road and walkway which runs along the seafront, and a wonderful venue for people watching. Young and old, day and night, on foot and on wheels, this is the place to be.

ian-malecon-la paz

(image courtesy of Ian Wright)

If you follow the Malecon north and head out of town you will encounter an excellent series of beaches; Pichilingue, from where a ferry service operates to the Mexican mainland; Balandra, with its curious rock formations, and Tecolote, which is the gateway to the Island Espiritu Santo. The waters in La Paz Bay were famously dubbed "The World's Aquarium" by legendary marine biologist Jacques Cousteau, and a delicate balance is well maintained between desires of visitors to explore and the greater need to keep the area well protected. Fishing, kayaking and diving are amongst the popular activities available.

Back in the city centre the Plaza Constitucion is home to the city's modest cathedral, and nearby the regional museum of anthropology and history comes highly recommended. Dining options are rich and varied, from the upmarket restaurants like "Las Tres Virgenes" to the many taco stands around the city. Chocolate clams are a local delicacy. The city's wealth has always laid underwater; it was here that John Steinbeck was told a traditional fable about a penniless indigenous pearl fisherman which he refashioned into his classic novella "The Pearl".

lestresvirgineslapaz

(image courtesy of tripadvisor.com)

There are hotels to suit every budget-the Malecon is lined with hotels which give an excellent view of the bay, though noise form late night traffic can be an issue with front-facing rooms. My favourite hotel lies a few streets back from the bandstand and the bus station on the Malecon: Hotel Yeneka wil either be loved or hated by anyone stays there. Seemingly entirely constructed from recycled material, and featuring such curios in its central courtyard as a rusting century old car from Venezuela, a Muay Thai punchbag and seating recovered from more modern vehicles, it won't be for everyone. I loved it, and not just for the reasonable prices and the free tequila which I was given each night I stayed there!

norma-hotel-yeneka

(image courtesy of Ian Wright)

Most of the attention in the Southern part of Baja California goes to Los Cabos, the burgeoning tourist enclave at the peninsula's southern tip, which is becoming a serious challenger to Cancun as Mexico's top resort. For the more discerning traveller, however, La Paz has atleast as much to offer, particularly if history, culture and nature are among your interests. A classic Mexican song describes La Paz as the "Puerto de Ilusion" (The "Port of Illusion'), but be under no illusion, La Paz is a fantastic and rewarding city to visit!

 

 

Thank you Ian for a wonderful description of this Mexican city. La Paz sounds like a great place to visit to have an under the radar, authentic experience of life, food and culture in Baja Mexico.

Have a question about La Paz, a travel experience or comment about Baja? Tell us about in the discussion below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags

Puerto de Ilusion, Hotel Yeneka, hidden gems, recommendations, hotels, restaurants, Les Tres Virgenes, Malecon, Baja by Bus, Ian Wright, Mexico, Baja, La Paz, city, urban, cities, tips, vacation, tourism, travel, my favorite city

The Conversation

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Paula D'Andrea wrote: 4:27pm December 10, 2012

Thanks for the picturesque & informative view
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I will keep it in mind as a future destination!

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Adam Zettler wrote: 12:54pm December 20, 2012

Thanks Paula. Some great information here about the Baja California Hwy http://cabobob.baja.org/bajahwy.htm

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