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La Paz, in Mexico’s Baja California Sur, makes a great base for venturing into the wilds of the southern Baja peninsula. The roads are few, but so is the traffic and you will enjoy every scenic route you take to get around. Visit a variety of beaches, eat some delicious food, and see some of Mexico’s most beautiful scenery all within less than three hours of La Paz.
A bohemian beach paradise, Todos Santos is near some great surf breaks and has lots of culture, food, and drinking for a town its size. Todos Santos is less than two hours by car from La Paz and is home to the infamous Hotel California, which the Eagles have debunked as the setting of their song, but the tourists still flock to for a selfie or two out front.
There are lots of companies that arrange for luxury day cruises that leave from La Paz and tour the bay. Check prices and amentities for the best experience, but most come with free snorkel gear, an open bar, and a gourmet meal. There are always opportunities for water activities like fishing and scuba diving, but it’s just as fine to lay on the deck and soak up the sun.
Like so much of Baja California’s landscape, Cabo Pulmo, the state’s beachside national park, is a desolate and stunning landscape. Take a 4X4 if you want to take the old road along the coast as it’s sandy and rough-going for a regular vehicle. There are one or two small restaurants along the several-hour trek down the coast, so better to bring a picnic, pick a tree, and hang out on the beach for a few hours—you will most likely be the only people there in the world.
Baja California’s biggest tourist destination has excellent restaurants, golf courses, high-end spas and resorts, plus lots of local activities to take in. A few hours downtown and you might just be ready for the relative peace and quiet of La Paz again, but you also might get a glimpse of some local rock star or foreign actor or actress enjoying this playground of the rich and famous.
La Paz’s Isla de Espiritu Santo is a great place to experience everything that the area has to offer in terms of water activities—kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, sport fishing, and more can be had on this UNESCO-protected site for the day. If you think you might want to stay over, try the glamping on the island at Camp Cecil, and enjoy the nature from the comfort of your fancy tent and gourmet table setting.
Los Barriles, unlike its most touristy neighbors, is an isolated and chill beach town, without prententions and with incredible beaches and opportunities to do a little fishing. Hang out with local surfers, walk barefoot downtown, and rent a rustic palapa shack to hang your hammock in. If flashy and fancy is not your aim, Los Barriles might just be your paradise.
Whether you come by boat or by car, you can take a scenic trip in less than two hours down to the Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise, located out on a tip of the East Cape. Make it your halfway stop and have a delicious lunch or a beer on their terrace, take a dip in the pool or even get a massage. This hotel is a hotspot for fishermen, but knows how to treat even the non-rod-and-reel-inclined right.