Where to Stay in La Paz

Mexico › Best Areas to Stay in La Paz
Updated: June 28, 2024

My Favorite Hotels
• Puerta Cortes: Orchid House
• Esterito: Posada de las Flores
• City Center: Seven Malecon
• Boutique: Posada de las Flores
• Budget: Posada de las Flores
• For families: El Moro
• Couples: Baja Club
• Beach: Indigo

A small infinity pool overlooks teal blue water.

The infinity pool at Orchid House.

Best Areas to Stay in La Paz

La Paz is the capital of Baja California Sur, a Mexican state located on the Sea of Cortez (also known as the Gulf of California). La Paz is a sprawling city with a population of 300,000; however, its vibe is more small-town than big city. The city’s malecón, recently expanded, is a beautiful palm-lined promenade that draws visitors into the city center (Centro). La Paz is known for its excellent seafood, especially fish tacos, incredible beaches, and family-friendly atmosphere.

Accommodations in Centro, the tourist zone, are mostly smaller-sized hotels, none of which are directly on the beach; instead, the malecón hugs the shoreline, providing fantastic views. At the north end of the malecón is Esterito, a wonderfully quiet area with lots of parks but is still walkable and close to all the attractions in Centro.

Outside the Centro area, some hotels and condominiums are beachside and have direct access to golden-sand beaches. The best beaches for swimming and sunbathing are north of the city of La Paz. City beaches tend to have rocky sand and are generally not used for swimming. Puerta Cortes is a ten-minute drive from La Paz. It’s a small gated marina/beach community with fantastic sea views, first-class golfing, and a charming marina.

The most popular tourist activities include whale-watching, swimming with whale sharks, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, golfing, and fishing (dorado, marlin, tuna–to name a few).

The most famous beach is Playa Balandra (a 25-minute drive from the city center), set in a massively wide bay with fluffy white sand and waters in varying shades of blue. To help protect the area, there is a daily cap on the number of visitors allowed, and it’s strictly enforced, so be sure to arrive early in the day and bring your own drinks and snacks. See additional information below.

The best time to visit La Paz, Mexico

The best time to visit La Paz is from November through April when it’s primarily dry and has lots of sunshine, blue skies, and warm temperatures. The wettest months are from August to October when hurricanes and large storms can occur. The cheapest months are May to September when it’s less busy and has a hotter climate.

Getting to La Paz, Mexico

Direct flights from cities within Mexico mainly serve the airport in La Paz. Many international visitors connect through Mexico City or fly directly to Los Cabos International Airport on the southernmost tip of the Baja and drive (or bus) 2.5 hours to La Paz.

Best Places to Stay in La Paz

A rooftop bar overlooks the sea.

The rooftop bar at Baja Club.

a tan brick cathedral with two bell towers.

The La Paz Cathedral boasts tall ceilings and beautiful stained-glass windows. Admission is free, donations accepted.

Best Areas in La Paz for…

  • Best Area in La Paz for First Timers: Centro
    Centro (the town center) is the heart of the city, and its jewel is its malecón, a marvelous seafront walkway that wraps around the bay and is the center of the action. Travelers can enjoy a leisure stroll or rent a bike along its picturesque seafront walkway and easily explore the streets with Mexican cafes and a variety of shops.

    People eat outside at tables in the sun.

    Outdoor restaurants along the malecón.

    First-time visitors appreciate the many restaurants and patios along the promenade that offer waterfront dining in a casual atmosphere. The malecón has numerous sculptures and artworks from local and international artists. Beautiful and colorful wall murals are prominent in the Centro area, where local vendors sell their wares from roadside stalls, such as colorful hand-painted hats and Mexican pottery.

    A colorful wall mural of sea turtles, fish, and a man rowing a boat.

    Huge wall murals adorn downtown La Paz, close to the malecón. Some murals stretch half a block and are nearly 100-feet long. Guided tours of the street art are available in French, English, and Spanish at Street Art LPZ. For virtual tours, street art maps are available.

    Centro is an excellent base for visiting the Museo de Arte de Baja California Sur and the Museo Regional La Paz (also known as Museo Regional de Antropolgia Historia), which features regional history. Also in the area is the city’s historic church, the Cathedral of La Paz (Nuestra Senora de La Paz).

    A diorama of a coast and village in a museum.

    The Regional Museum of Anthropology and History of Baja California Sur with both permanent and temporary exhibitions.

  • Best Area in La Paz for Couples: Puerta Cortes
    Puerta Cortes is a romantic and quiet spot for couples, a ten-minute drive north of town. The scenic area has first-class golfing, wonderful sea views, and a marina. For somewhere to stay, try Indigo with its own beach club, private swimming beach, golf course, and luxurious guest rooms.
  • Best Area in La Paz without a Car: Centro
    Centro is easily accessible by foot, rental bike, or scooter along the seafront bikeway. La Paz has numerous bike lanes, including a lane beside the malecón, which stretches 3.5 miles from the marina in the south to Playa Coromuel Beach in the north. The bike lane on the malecón is a treat for bike enthusiasts with smooth concrete (as bike lanes are not common in the Baja).

    A green two-lane bike lane next to the road.

    The bike lane next to the malecón.

    Taxis are plentiful in Centro and will take you to the best beaches outside town. Note that typically, there is no taxi meter, so negotiate the price before you get in the car.

    To visit the northern beaches—Playa Balandra and Tecolote—bus service is frequent and daily, and the main bus terminal is on the malecón in Centro.

  • Best Area in La Paz for Families: Esterito
    A red and blue playground ship with a yellow slide.

    A playground along the malecón.

    In Esterito, along the malecón, there are parks, benches, and playgrounds. A BMX bicycle and skateboard park are close by.

    Other favorite activities for families in the La Paz area are swimming with dolphins, snorkeling with sea turtles, hiking, rock climbing, sport fishing, sea kayaking, and paddle boarding. La Paz is known for its hot dogs slathered with bacon and guacamole, which are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

  • Best Area in La Paz for Nightlife: Centro
    The evening hours along the city’s boardwalk are among the busiest as locals and tourists flock to relax and socialize. The restaurants and bars frequently offer live music. However, La Paz is not known for its nightlife, and there are no dance clubs.

    The liveliest time of year to visit La Paz is February for Carnaval La Paz, the largest celebration of the year held on the malecón. It features a parade of singers and dancers, carnival rides, and fireworks.

  • The 3 Best Areas in La Paz for Tourists

    1. Centro

    A sculpture stands next to a beach promenade.

    Sculpture along the malecón.

    Centro is charming, with restaurants, bars, and shops that line the seaside promenade known as the malecón. This beautiful and wide boardwalk, 3.5 miles in length, offers fantastic views of the Sea of Cortez. Centro is a walkable tourist zone with a variety of hotels, shops, services, and museums.

Guests sit at tables and watch the sea at a hotel restaurant.

Views of the sea from the 5th floor restaurant at Seven Malecón.

  • The Best Hotels in Centro: Seven MalecónBaja Club
  • 2. Esterito

    A restaurant.

    The pizzeria in Posada de las Flores.

    On the north end of the malecón is Esterito. This area is quieter than Centro, with less activity and fewer restaurants and bars, though many restaurants in this area are highly rated. Esterito is closer to the best and most famous beaches outside of the city.

Teal-colored lounge chairs sit by a round pool.

The pool area at El Moro.

  • The Best Hotels in Esterito: Posada de las FloresEl Moro
  • 3. Puerta Cortes

    A thatched-roof outdoor bar with cushioned seats and views of the sea.

    Sunset Bar at Orchid House with views of the Sea of Cortez.

    Puerta Cortes is an exclusive gated community with sea views. It is near the Port of Pichilingue, from which ferries depart for Mazatlan and cities on the mainland.

    Puerta Cortes has its own marina (Marina Costa Baja) and golf course (El Cortes Golf Club), which is the only Gary Player signature course in Mexico. Marina Village in Puerta Cortes has four excellent restaurants, in addition to several at hotels in the area. The marina also offers boat tours, sea kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

a long blue covered pool.

The pool at Indigo with a view of the Marina.

A wide white-sand beach is covered by teal blue surf.

Balandra beach.

The best beaches for swimming and sunbathing are just north of La Paz. City beaches in downtown La Paz and near the malecón tend to have rocky sand and are generally not used for swimming.

Playa Balandra, the area’s most famous beach and one of the best beaches in Mexico, boasts white sand and clear water in varying shades of turquoise, green, and blue. It’s a safe beach for swimming and perfect for sunbathing. It’s a large and wide beach with several small coves to explore on foot or by kayak. The water is shallow and sheltered from the winds–great for young children and toddlers. The best swimming is usually in the morning when the tide is typically in. When the tide recedes in the afternoon, it’s extremely shallow for several hundred feet.

Two women walk along a beach next to yellow kayaks.

Kayaks for rent on the Balandra beach.

Double kayaks and paddleboards are available for rent. There are no beach bars or restaurants, so pack your own snacks and drinks. Visitors are limited to specific daytime hours, and the numbers are capped, so arrive early and bring drinks and snacks. Typically, the beach is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closing at noon for one hour when everyone must leave the beach). There is no entrance fee to access the beach.

Playa El Tecolote: 5-min drive past Playa Balandra. This is by far the most visited and largest beach in La Paz. It is a beautiful sandy beach with views of Isla Espiritu Santo. Playa El Tecolote has two beachside restaurants/bars, as well as some shops and vendors. The water has gentle waves and is crystal clear—great for swimming, sunbathing, and leisurely walks. Water sports rentals are available.

Islands of Espirito Santo

Espiritu Santo comprises six islands and is one of the most unique areas in the Sea of the Cortez. With towering cliffs, it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The islands are uninhabited and boast fantastic beaches like Playa Ensenada Grande. Boat tours from La Paz offer snorkeling and a chance to swim with dolphins, turtles, tropical fish, and sea lions.

8 Best Hotels in La Paz

1. Orchid House – Puerta Cortes

A dark wood bed frame with white sheets sits in a hotel room.
Intimate and elegant boutique hotel next to the sea offers ten guest rooms (plus five new bungalows) set in a peaceful and quiet area away from the hustle and bustle of downtown La Paz. The hotel has direct access to a swimmable sandy beach. Guest rooms are spacious and well-appointed with sleek tiled floors, marble bathrooms, mini bar, streaming TV, and a coffee machine. Ground-level rooms have large windows and patios with hammocks, while second-floor rooms have a balcony with ocean views. The infinity pool, poolside bar, and restaurant are perched beside the Sea of Cortez, where you can enjoy fantastic sunsets. Breakfast is included, and room service is available. The hotel has a security-manned gate with plenty of parking. It’s a 10-minute drive to town and a 20-minute drive to one of Mexico’s best beaches, Playa Balandra. We recommend a rental car if staying here.
Hotel phone: +52 612 177 1004
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Orchid House

2. Posada De Las Flores (Adults only 12+ years) – Esterito

A bed sits in a hotel room with yellow painted walls and wood furniture.
Set on La Paz’s beautiful palm-lined malecón, this boutique property has nine guest rooms featuring colorful Mexican artwork and glistening polished concrete floors. There are three room categories: Standard (Queen), Junior Suite (King), and Suite (King). Suites are spacious, with 700 square feet of living space. All rooms have A/C, TV, beach towels, hair dryer, coffee machine, and wifi. Complimentary coffee, tea, beverages, and snacks are available in rooms and the common area lounge. The solarium on the top floor has sun loungers and patio sofas with beautiful water views. It’s a great spot to watch the sunset. An excellent Italian restaurant is on the second level, and a pizzeria is on the third floor, which boasts fantastic views of the Sea of Cortez. This is an adults-only hotel with no children under 12 and no pets.
Hotel phone: +52 613 135 1162
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Posada De Las Flores

3. Hotel Catedral – Centro

A bright interior courtyard.
Set in a quiet and historic area, across the street from La Paz Cathedral and three blocks from the city’s seaside promenade—the malecón. Rooms open to the central courtyard, where a glass elevator whisks guests to their floor. Their delightful rooftop lounge and pool (non-heated) offer views of the neighborhood and the Sea of Cortez. Room décor is modern, with tiled floors and a neutral color palette. The largest suites can sleep 3 with a king bed and pull-out sofa. Bathrooms have rainfall showers, makeup mirrors, and hair dryers. There’s one Restaurant and a lobby bar in the atrium. A complimentary breakfast is included, and there’s secure and free underground parking.
Hotel phone: +52 612 690 1000
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Hotel Catedral

4. Indigo – Puerta Cortes

A bed with pillows sits by a sliding glass door with views of the sea.
Indigo (formerly Costa Baja Resort) is a 10-minute drive from La Paz. Recently renovated, it offers luxurious rooms with furnished terraces and either garden, bay, or sea views. Guest rooms are sleek and decorated in hues of cream and ocher, accented with natural woven rugs. Standard features include luxury Egyptian cotton sheets, blackout blinds, and rainfall showers. The hotel has an elevator and wheelchair-accessible rooms with roll-in showers. The beautiful soft-sand beach is a 2-minute walk from the hotel, or the staff can provide an escort via a golf cart. There’s a free-form heated pool with a swim-up bar, kids pool, lap pool, and a spa. Their Beach Club has a restaurant, pool, jacuzzi, sun loungers, umbrellas, and it’s safe for swimming. Two restaurants, open all day, serve Mexican and international fare. At their golf course (El Cortes Golf Club)is a fine-dining restaurant, and the hotel provides complimentary transportation. Within a 2-minute walk is the Marina, where guests can rent snorkeling equipment, kayaks, and standup paddleboards. Car rental is recommended. The resort is in Puerta Cortes, a secure, gated marina/beach community with four additional dining options.
Hotel phone: +52 612 123 6000
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5. Seven Historico – Centro

A bed agains an orange wall sits in a hotel room.
This budget hotel offers basic and clean rooms three blocks from the seaside boardwalk. Suites have a king-size bed with a living area. Their small outdoor pool has a few sun loungers. Some rooms face the street, and others overlook the hotel’s parking area or pool. An all-day café beside the hotel provides guests with a complimentary breakfast. It’s close to various eateries and bars and has in-room spa treatments.
Hotel phone: +52 612 129 4563
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Seven Historico

6. Baja Club – Centro

Sunlight shines on a bench at the end of a bed in a hotel room.
Boutique hotel with history and glamour set on the city’s fabulous boardwalk (the malecón) and steps to many restaurants, the pier, and across the street from the beach. Baja Club Hotel was a villa built in 1910. It has a new four-story wing, joined by an open-air spiral staircase that leads to their rooftop bar with fabulous sunsets and stunning panoramic views of the Sea of Cortez. Tall, aged brick walls and sun loungers surround the charming pool area. Guest rooms encircle the hotel’s leafy courtyard and the restaurant’s outdoor patio, which serves Mediterranean dishes. Tip: opt for a room on the 3rd or 4th floor, as most will have ocean views. The onsite Spa offers massage, steam room, and sauna. There’s limited parking behind the hotel. Included is a continental breakfast. Children must be six years or older.
Hotel phone: +52 612 122 5176
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7. Seven Malecón – Centro

A chair sits on a balcony with views of the Sea.
Highlights of this hotel are its central location, sea view rooms, and fantastic all-day rooftop restaurant/bar. It’s within walking distance of attractions like the town square, the pier, and the bus depot for excursions to phenomenal beaches outside the city. Tip: upgrade to a renovated ocean-view room with a balcony and great views of the Gulf and the malécon. All rooms have flat-screen TVs, coffee maker, air conditioning, and wifi. Suites offer sitting areas and mini-bars. The hotel is across the street from the beach and steps to shops and restaurants. Parking in the parkade is included, though space is limited. It’s a 30-minute drive to one of the best beaches, Playa El Tecolote.
Hotel phone: +52 612 128 7787
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8. El Moro – Esterito

A sofa and dining table in a hotel room.
A little further from the touristy area and a great option. On the malécon, at the end of the boardwalk, is a well-maintained older-style hotel with a garden oasis of palm trees, shrubs, and a shallow free-form pool. The rustic poolside bar has a relaxed vibe and seating in the shade, or there are many sun loungers. Most rooms and suites overlook the pretty courtyard and come with kitchenettes, private balconies, and air conditioning – great for families. Their Deluxe Suite and Family Suite can sleep 4. The Suite with Balcony and Two-bedroom Suite can sleep up to 5. The onsite café/bakery has a sunny solarium and a homey atmosphere and is open all day. It’s a 30-minute drive to the incredible Balandra Beach.
Hotel phone: +52 612 122 4084
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