La Paz is located at the southern part of the peninsula which, due to its geography, would seem to be situated at the border of the world. The city, traced from east to west along the bay which carries its name, is bathed by the warm waters of the Golf of California, or Mar de Cortés (Sea of Cortes). Formerly it represented a coveted place for bandits and legendary pirates of the XVI Century, such as Thomas Cromwell or Francis Drake, due to the abundance of pearls found in its surroundings.
The birth of La Paz was not distant from misfortune, since according to some historians it was founded at least 5 times: the distance from that point with the rest of New Spain complicated the supplying of provisions, impeding a sustained colonial development, as opposed to the rest of the viceroyalties founded along Mexico by the Spanish. Hernan Cortes would found here a colony which received the name of Bahía de Santa Cruz (Bay of the Saint Cross) in 1535, but which soon succumbed. The navigator Sebastián Vizcaíno would disembark in 1596 and would name it as we know it today, La Paz, due to the pacific manifestations of the guaycura natives who inhabited the region. Nevertheless the firm conquest of Baja California and its subsequent colonization would take place until 1697 with the arrival of the jesuit father Juan María de Salvatierra, while evangelizing.
Nowadays La Paz, being a coastal town, offers tourism a great quantity of aquatic attractions, gaining international fame thanks to sport fishing, diving, and scuba diving among many other activities practiced in its beautiful beaches. The most important ones are El Coromuel, El Caimancito, Pichilingue and El Tecolote, which are characterized by performing the service of restaurant and palapas for tourists who enjoy the weather and the tranquility of such beaches. Would you like to try an exquisite lobster? Or maybe a clam, fish machaca, pork in tamarind sauce or an imperial filet, a dish which consists of pressed shrimp surrounded by bacon and grilled. These are some of the recipes that stand out of Paz’s cuisine, rich in seafood and notable for its seasonings.
Other beaches exist in La Paz which, as opposed to the previous ones, preserve the solitary quality that bestow the swimmers the sensation of being apart from the city, such beaches are Balandra and El Coyote, which absorb the visitors into a singular frame of beauty. But not only does nature spread majestically with a great quantity of attractions: La Paz also treasures a notable richness in history that transports one into a very special past while simultaneously surrounding a solid present and honoring the name of the city which is perceived throughout the entire ambient.
Walking along the malecón Alvaro Obregón, observing the old houses that date from the XIX Century and walking towards downtown brings to passersby an interesting experience. And of great cultural value would be a visit to the Museo de Antropología e Historia del Estado (Museum of Anthropology and History of the State), which has a collection of cave paintings, as well as various exhibiting rooms dedicated to the knowledge of the californian towns who inhabited the region since prehistoric times. Before the Jardín Velazco (Velazco Garden) the cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Paz (Our Lady of Peace), a recently built temple, as opposed to many of those found in mexican territory, dating from the XIX Century. Also at Parque Revolución (Revolution Park), or that which surrounds the Bello Teatro de la Ciudad (Beautiful Theatre of the City), showing proudly La Rotonda de los Hombres Ilustres (Roundabout of the Illustrious Men) and the four windmills, remembering the age old La Paz. And if you enjoy shopping or window shopping, we suggest that you be prepared with your credit cards since La Paz, being a tax-free seaport, is distinguished as one of the most attractive commercial places, offering a great range of national and international articles of all sorts.
In the outskirts of La Paz many other attractions abound and stand out because of its extraordinary marine fauna or because of the heavenly solitude of the environment, indispensable elements for those who enjoy ecotourism and the magical contact with nature. In the islands of the Espíritu Santo (Holy Spirit) and Cerralvo and its proximities there are communities that offer their services to tourists in beaches like that of Las Cruces (The Crosses), Buenavista and Los Barriles (The Barrels), ideal places for sun bathing, enjoying the waves and tasting a refreshing damiana, local drink made out of the wild plant called damiana too, possessing healthy properties that are celebrated as well as popular. On the other hand, the towns of El Triunfo (The Triumph), San Bartolo and Todos los Santos, welcome tourism by the brilliance of their handcrafts, typical candy of the region or simply by the great cultural life that characterizes the place.
It is La Paz, a city that celebrates on May the 3rd its main party which reverberates on the heart of each of its inhabitants and celebrates the foundation of what is today the beautiful capital of the wonderful state of South Baja California. Hostess city of thousands of visitors who are attracted by the joy of the famous carnival, or thanks to the great quantity of sport competitions that take place in the long gone soil of the guaycura natives. A city of peculiar beauty, always open to the tourism of the world.