Sun, Sea, Sand, Margaritas. That’s what most people think of when you say that you live in Mexico or perhaps you are going on holiday to Mexico. Here in and around La Paz we have some amazing beaches that are bound to make your friends and relatives jealous when they see the photos! This is a compilation of some of my favourites some are well known and others are hidden gems. I’m not giving out directions – finding them is half the fun!
Most people who come to La Paz have heard of Balandra Beach as it has been voted one of the best beaches in Mexico and receives lots of press. It is a protected area with some wonderful mangroves lying at the back end of the bay – well worth a kayak, snorkel or SUP around. Most of the water is shallow and depending on the tide you can almost walk across it. Don’t let this deceive you though if you are a weak swimmer as there are a couple of deeper pools that can take you unaware and there can be currents due to changing tides. Make sure you are comfortable in the water or else don’t wade out too far. The beach closest to the parking lot has some palapas and also some vendors but can get crowded. Parking is difficult especially on the weekends and holidays as the bay’s popularity has outgrown its services. There are some beautiful viewpoints that can be reached with a short hike to gain some elevation and perspective.
Popular with locals on Sundays but not well known to most visitors. Ther are no services here but there is plenty of parking and some beautiful snorkeling. The sand is not quite as fine as Balandra but it makes a lovely sound when the waves lap at the shore. If you have a kayak or other beach toys then this is a great place to bring them because there is a large rock a little way out which is fun to go paddle around and have lots of life for those interested in looking beneath the surface.
I love driving out here to walk our dog, the beach is expansive and usually empty. It has a romantic windswept quality to it and there is often interesting flotsam and jetsam to be found. If you are lucky then you may see the passing fin tip of a whaleshark! I often see schools of jumping baitfish being chased by dorado and pods of dolphin offshore are not unfamiliar sights. This spot is a short drive from La Paz but feels like a wilder side of Baja.
Bahia San Gabriel
This is at the southern end of Isla Espiritu Santo and is the longest beach on the western side of the island. The sand is fine and white and the water is shallow and a beautiful shade of turquoise. At the southern end of the bay is a lagoon, this is a man made feature and a remnant from the days when the pearl industry was present on the island. Now that nature has been left to take over it has turned into a sanctuary for frigate birds along with many other species such as egrets, herons and cormorants. There is a hike which will take you across to the eastern side of the island to Bonanza Beach. Another of my favourites. According to CONAMP regulations there is no anchoring in this bay so you will need to organize getting dropped off by your boat or else using this one as a drive by.
Located at the northern end of Isla Espiritu Santo this is a large bay with 3 separate lobes to explore and 4 different beaches. Most tour operators stop at the middle beach to have lunch so during the day it can get quite busy but come 4pm at the latest everyone will have gone and you can have it to yourself. The southernbeach has a great hike that takes you up an arroyo to the cliffs on the eastern side of the island – it is pretty strenuous but rewards those who put in the effort with some fantastic views. On the northern most side of the bay is a fantastic snorkeling and diving with a plethora of fishlife and perhaps the chance to see mobula rays or a sealion too. This is one of my favourite anchorages to spend the night as sometimes plankton gets attracted to the boat lights and this then brings mobula rays in to feed. You can sometimes jump in and snorkel or dive with them. So many beautiful aspects to this bay that it is possible to pass multiple days here.
On the southeast side of Isla Espiritu Santo and the longest beach on the island. There are multiple giant cactus in the flat plain behind this beach. Multiple shells are on the beach and when conditions are right it makes a great place to pend the night as you can hear the water make a whimsical musical sound when it moves over the shells. You can also watch the sunrise over the Sea of Cortez.
Remember that your visit has an impact on the places you go, try to always leave it in a better condition than you find it – pickup your rubbish, clear up after your perro and leave the shells behind (they make great habitats for other creatures)!
If you would like to explore the beaches on Isla Espiritu Santo the surrounding islands by boat then get in touch with us so that we can organize your perfect trip – whether it is a day or multiday we can organize it.
612 176 5570