Secret Beaches and Coves Around La Paz, Mexico

You can enjoy beautiful Playa Balandra without the crowds if you know where to go
You can enjoy beautiful Playa Balandra without the crowds if you know where to go | © MattGush / Getty Images

While sailors and sun-seekers alike have been heading to the port city of La Paz for many years, it never exploded as a vacation destination like some other resorts in the Mexican Pacific. This has meant, despite its sprawling and cosmopolitan urbanity, it has kept a more sleepy, old-world character. It also means many of its surrounding beaches remain blissfully undeveloped. Read on for the top secluded playas around La Paz where you can sometimes even find your own slice of private paradise.

Dip into some of the most beautiful secret beaches and coves around La Paz in Mexico.

Playa Escondida

As the name Playa Escondida (Hidden Beach) suggests, this one is tucked away rather than remote, thanks to coastal rock formations that envelope it. There’s certainly no road that connects to this secluded stretch of sand; best is a short boat ride from La Paz. Alternatively, it’s about a 30-minute hike from the nearest parking spot with sturdy shoes required. But your efforts are rewarded with a deserted beauty of a beach.

Anyone who visits La Paz should make sure a trip to Isla del Espiritu Santo is on their agenda – if nothing else for the incredible beaches here. And Playa Candelero is certainly one of its dreamiest, with incredibly clear, calm and shallow waters skirted by yellow sand and backed by cactus-covered rocks. The island is a 45-minute skim across the water from La Paz – most combine it with a day trip and explore the incredible wildlife here too.

Playa el Coyote

You have to navigate dirt tracks to get to this secluded piece of coastal bliss, but that just adds to its sense of remoteness. During busier times you might find the odd shack serving cold drinks and grilled seafood, though for parts of the year it’s nothing but a broad swathe of virgin beach. Away from civilization, the clear waters teem with sea life and if you choose to camp here you’re treated to a night sky awash with stars.

Quelele Playa

This rugged stretch of untouched coast is one of the only beaches west of La Paz, and you don’t need a boat to get there. It’s about a half-hour drive from the city and long enough that you’re guaranteed to find yourself a secluded spot to enjoy the serenity. In terms of activities, horse riding is popular due to the abundance of space and lack of crowds, while the Mogote Dunes, just along the coast, is a popular zone for sandboarding.

Playa Muertitos

With a sweep of peach-colored sand, calm turquoise waters, and spectacular scenery, Playa Muertitos is more than worth a little extra journey time. It’s around a 30-minute drive northeast of La Paz, or a couple of hours by boat from the marina. Sailors should be extra careful with the abundance of coral reefs here, which also makes it a wonderful place for snorkeling among the wealth of colorful fish who make it their home.

Playa Balandra

With a spectacular, meandering coastline dotted with white-sand coves, it’s no wonder Playa Balandra is one of the most popular beaches near La Paz. The main beach, with palm-frond parasols and a parking lot, can feel far from secret, so paddle around the bay and you reach a beautifully secluded crescent of unspoiled white powder. The swimming pool-like water is uncommonly calm and shallow. Walk to the end of the beach to see the Hongo de Balandra, a curious mushroom-shaped rock formation.

Playa Pulguero Tepetates

This gorgeous stretch of coast is easy to reach yet has a feeling of absolute remoteness. Located at the tip of the peninsula that points towards Isla del Espiritu Santo, this piece of coastal wilderness is pretty much empty during the week and accessible by sea or land – though you’ll need a 4×4 to get all the way. There’s great snorkeling and particularly stunning sunsets, and it’s also a top camping spot if you come equipped.

Playa Ensenada Grande

On the west side of Isla Partida – the twin island to Isla del Espiritu Santo – Playa Ensenada Grande is considered one of the finest beaches in Mexico. Get here at the right time and there’s a chance you’ll have it all to yourself, too. It’s a genuinely swoony stretch of powdery sand, ringed by volcanic rock and overlooking water so clear you can easily make out the many fish darting beneath the surface. It’s boat-only access though with the possibility of camping on the next beach along.

Discover the secret and beaches and coves peppered along the coast from La Paz in Mexico and beyond by embarking on a sailing adventure.

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