10 Best Things to Do in La Paz

There’s more to Mexico than Cancun, Cozumel and Puerto Vallarta—and sometimes it’s the under-the-radar locales that offer the most spectacular experiences. La Paz, located in the southern portion of the Baja California Peninsula, has everything you’d want in a sunny getaway. Here’s what you can do in Mexico’s best-kept secret.

Things to do in La PazPhoto: Javier Garcia/Shutterstock

Why Choose La Paz, Mexico?

There’s no doubt that Mexico offers something for everyone: scenic landscapes, breathtaking marine life, fascinating history, and a world-class food and drink scene. But would you believe there’s one city in this perennial holiday hot spot that offers all of the above and is relatively unknown? Welcome to La Paz. Located two hours north of Los Cabos, the capital city of Baja California Sur in northwest Mexico could very well be the country’s most underrated destination. La Paz is home to about 245,000 residents—including a large expat community—and offers a plethora of outdoor activities for travellers seeking off-the-beaten-path adventures. Whether you’re planning a weekend stop from Los Cabos or coming in direct via Mexico City, give this list of the best things to do in La Paz top priority.

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The Day of the Dead celebrations in La Paz, MexicoPhoto: Robert Liwanag/Reader’s Digest

Celebrate the Day of the Dead

Every year from October 31 to November 2, Mexico explodes with music, art, dance and partying as people across the country pay tribute to deceased family members. In La Paz, Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) celebrations mostly take place in the historic city centre. Expect an abundance of marigold flowers, altars adorned with old photographs of the dearly departed, live music, costume contests, and women dressed as La Calavera Catrina: a Mexican folklore figure brought to life via skull face paintings and ornate dresses and hats. Mexico’s Day of the Dead may sound like a tourist spectacle, but La Paz’s smaller-scale festivities make it easier for travellers to party without getting lost in the action—before you know it, you’ll be celebrating death like a local, too.

Here are more gorgeous photos of the Day of the Dead celebrations.

Sea lions in La Paz, Baja California Sur, MexicoPhoto: Leonardo Gonzalez/Shutterstock

Snorkel with Sea Lions

Renowned explorer and conservationist Jacques Cousteau once described Mexico’s Sea of Cortez as “the aquarium of the world,” and he couldn’t be more spot on. A trip to La Paz isn’t complete without a swim with the region’s sea lions. Book a half-day excursion with local tour operator The Cortez Club to the waters of Los Islotes—a 90-minute boat ride from the mainland on the southern end of the Sea of Cortez. Sea lions measure six to eight feet in length, but anxious snorkellers need not worry: they’re generally friendly and curious mammals.

Travel tip: The Cortez Club doesn’t have an action photographer onboard, so be sure to pack an underwater camera to capture your sea lion adventure!

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