If you’re looking for a family vacation that offers endless adventure, fabulous food, beautiful beaches, and welcoming locals, La Paz Mexico is the answer. Having traveled as a family to many adventure destinations, we found La Paz to be completely underrated. Whether you visit on a weekend or plan on staying for a week, these are the best things to do in La Paz Mexico with kids.
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Where is La Paz Mexico
La Paz is the capital of Baja California Sur, the southernmost part of the Baja Peninsula. The peninsula lies between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California.
La Paz is an hour and a half from the Cabo San Lucas airport, but the La Paz airport has direct flights on American Airlines from both Phoenix and Dallas (DFW). The airport is 20 minutes from town, and it is easy to reach by car or taxi.
La Paz is the port of entry to the Sea of Cortez, which Jacques Cousteau once called “the aquarium of the world” as there are over 20,000 unique marine species underwater. It is easily one of the best places in the world to interact with marine life and it’s a popular spot for water sports. We think it’s one of the best places to visit in Mexico.
If you want to chill on the white sand beaches or explore the city of La Paz, those are good options too. La Paz truly has something for everyone.
Amazing Things to do with Kids in La Paz Mexico
1. Swim with the whale sharks
One of the highlights of any visit to La Paz is the opportunity to swim with whale sharks. The whale shark is not a whale or a shark, but the world’s largest fish.
Whale sharks are usually between 18 and 33 feet long, and the whale shark season in La Paz runs from October to March with the best viewing during the winter months.
We took a boat tour with Baja Adventure Company (BACO) that left from the La Paz marina (Marina Costa Baja). The number of boats allowed in the Bay of La Paz is strictly regulated, with each company assigned a time to visit.
It’s important to show up early for your tour and get fitted for your gear. Once you have everything, it’s about a 30 minute ride to swim with the whale sharks.
I’m going to be honest, these fish are MASSIVE. And when we swam, the water wasn’t super clear. At one point we were surrounded by whale sharks which can be a bit nerve wracking. But you know what? It’s 100% worth it!
2. Spend time at La Paz beaches
The beaches in La Paz rival the beaches of the Caribbean and Mediterranean. With turquoise colored crystal clear waters and soft white sand beaches, we promise you will want to return here time and time again.
There are a variety of beaches outside of town, and a beach along the Malecón adjacent to the downtown area, if you’re looking for convenience.
Playa El Coromuel
This is the closest beach to La Paz, about 2.5 km from the downtown area. There are restrooms, snack bars, and free palapas (umbrellas) and chairs available. The beach is wheelchair accessible.
Just beyond Coromuel beach is Caimancito beach. Here there are restrooms, palapas, and a wide beach area. There are no restaurants, but the calm waters are perfect for sea kayaking or snorkeling with kids.
Playa El Tesoro
A clean and calm beach that is perfect for families about 20 minutes driving from the city. There are kayaks and paddle boards available to rent if you want to try water activities. Food and drinks are available, and lounge chairs and palapas are available for a fee.
We visited Balandra Beach with BACO on our boat tour, but it’s accessible by car as well, only a 15 minute drive from La Paz. If you only visit one beach in La Paz, this is the one to choose.
The water here is crystal clear, and it’s fairly shallow for some distance offshore. There are bathrooms, no restaurants, and limited umbrellas, so consider bringing your own snacks and shade.
If you’re into paddle boarding, this is the perfect place to head out, since it is quite sheltered from the elements.
Playa El Tecolote
Just past Balandra Beach is Playa El Tecolote. The beach faces the Sea of Cortez so there are some small waves and wind which is refreshing on a hot day. There are a few restaurants and palapas for rent.
3. Go whale watching
There are organized tours to see the whales in Baja California Sur. We did not go on a whale watching tour in La Paz, but we were thrilled to see humpback whales while we were out on the boat with BACO.
We also saw pods of dolphins, and our guide told us there are also sea turtles and manta rays to be found in these waters. There is truly an abundance of sea life in the Sea of Cortez.
Whale season runs from November to April and during this time you can also see gray whales and blue whales in La Paz.
4. Swim with the sea lions
On a small island called Los Islotes, families can have the ultimate sea lion encounter. There are tours specifically for the sea lions, but our whale shark tour also included the opportunity to get up close with the sea lions.
Once you arrive at the island, put on your flippers and snorkels and swim right up to them. Many of the animals sit upon the rocky outcrop, but there are plenty of them swimming around the island.
Look underwater and you’ll see not only their cute sea lion faces, but some beautiful coral reefs as well. If you’ve ever wanted to swim with sea lions, this is your chance!
5. Boat trip to Espiritu Santo Island (also known as Isla Espiritu Santo)
Espíritu Santo Island is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a National Park, and part of the Flora and Fauna Protection Area of the Gulf of California Islands. It’s a must visit on a La Paz vacation.
Here you can go kayaking or sport fishing, go hiking, or try stand up paddle boarding (SUP). If you’re into scuba diving, there are plenty of tour operators that can arrange it. There are no services on the island, but almost all tours include lunch and drinks.
6. Explore downtown La Paz
We took an awesome city tour with Saed of RED Travel. On this tour we explored some of La Paz’s street art created by local artists, the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de La Paz and the main town square, local markets, and the city’s art museum: Museo de Arte de Baja California Sur (MUABCS).
We also learned about the city’s history, famous landmarks, and a bit about the local culture. It’s a great way to learn about everything the city has to offer.
7. Day trip to Todos Santos
Todos Santos is an artist community located on the Pacific Coast of the peninsula of Baja California Sur, just over an hour from La Paz.
Here you can explore the local galleries, visit the original Hotel California, and enjoy some fabulous food at the local restaurants. There are so many things to do in Todos Santos, Mexico, it’s worth a visit.
We visited El Faro Beach Club and Spa, which is perfect for families who want to spend the day relaxing pool side or playing on the beach.
The beach club features an infinity pool, a poolside seafood grill and bar, and a spa. If you need a day at the beach that is fully catered, this is the place to be!
While you’re there, you will want to have a meal at El Mirador, the property’s restaurant with stunning views.
Sitting under a giant palapa, diners enjoy dishes with a mix of Mediterranean and Mexican flavors, with ingredients sourced from the surrounding region. Be sure to stay for sunset for a spectacular ending to the day.
8. Eat all of the fabulous food
Since we are talking about food, I cannot fail to mention all of the fabulous fresh seafood we enjoyed at the local restaurants in La Paz.
Here are some of the places we loved:
Located on the Malecón, this is THE place to go for tacos in La Paz. We tried everything from beet tacos (yes, they’re delicious) to pork belly to everything in between.
La Pergola at Baja Club Hotel
Greek cuisine is not what you would expect to find in Mexico, but the food at La Pergola was top notch. If you’re craving souvlaki, Greek salad, or baklava, this is worth a stop. And the saganaki is out of this world!
Delicious local cuisine with a twist. Loved the artistic presentation of ceviche, tacos, salads, and the fabulous cake for dessert. Wonderful service.
Tacos Los Claros
This is a local restaurant with delicious tacos. Heavy focus on seafood (marlin, shrimp, octopus), but their skirt steak tacos are phenomenal.
Doce Cuarenta Coffee and Bakery
I can’t visit a city and not find the best local coffee, so my vote goes to Doce Cuarenta and their mocha with cinnamon. So good!
There are a ton of restaurants along the Malecón and at night you can find live music in some of the bars. No matter what your family is looking for, they are sure to find a restaurant everyone will love in La Paz.
9. Go sand boarding
If you want to try something different, why not try sand boarding. It’s exactly as it sounds, snowboarding in the sand. We took a tour with On Board Baja to the Dunes of El Mogote, about 30 minutes from downtown La Paz.
This is not as hard as it looks, especially if you have experience with snowboarding or skateboarding. The most difficult part will be climbing the dunes.
The views from the top are stunning, with sand dunes and desert on one side and the Sea of Cortez in the distance. Kids will love this activity and it’s definitely a unique experience in Baja California Sur.
10. Take a kitesurfing lesson
If you’ve always wanted to try kitesurfing, head to La Ventana, where you will find one of the best places for kitesurfing in Mexico. We went to ChiloChill, a beach glamping resort that also offers small group lessons.
Our lessons were 3 hours long, and a ton of upper body work. If you want to learn, you’ll need more than one day, and let’s just say I have a TON of respect for kite boarders. It’s a lot of work and they make it look so easy!
If you don’t want to take the kitesurfing lessons, you can always lounge on the beach chairs at ChiloChill. They have a restaurant on site, so grab something to eat and call it a day!
11. Sport fishing
Another family friendly activity in La Paz is sport fishing, and you can organize a tour with BACO to head out for the day. Depending on the season, you might catch dorado, marlin, sailfish, grouper, or snapper. I know this is something my kids would love!
12. Try glamping
There are several options for glamping in La Paz, but the best option is Rancho Cacachilas, about 40 minutes away from the city. Here you will find over 34,000 acres of desert landscape with eleven ranches, 3 that are used frequently. We stayed here for two nights, but you can also visit the ranch on a day trip from La Paz.
Rancho Cacachilas has everything you need for the perfect glamping stay: a large canvas tent with comfortable beds (or families can stay in a traditional room with bunk beds), outdoor adventures, and epic food (more on that in a bit).
The tents are perfectly equipped with everything you would need. There’s a flashlight next to the bed for nighttime excursions, wi-fi if you need it, cubbies for storing clothes, a desk with a mirror and chair, and a water jug. The front porch has chairs, a small table, and a hammock.
During the day you can enjoy one of the many activities offered on the ranch. There’s mountain biking and hiking adventures, mule rides, a cheese workshop, and a bee workshop. We learned a ton about the ranch, the farm, and the land from the Head of Guides at the Ranch, Sebastián Del Valle.
If you would rather relax, there’s a small swimming pool on site, as well as board games and a library. At night, be sure to enjoy star gazing on the ranch or share stories around the fire pit.
One of the best reasons to go glamping at Rancho Cacachilas is the food. It is simply phenomenal. Every meal was ranch to table, from the creative salads to the chicken enchiladas and unforgettable hamburgers. Chef Ivan Pimienta and his staff go above and beyond. We promise the kids will be asking for seconds!
Where to Stay in La Paz
We stayed at Baja Club Hotel in the heart of downtown La Paz. It’s across the street from the beach and has easy access to restaurants and shops.
The hotel is actually a former villa, and has been converted into a 32 room boutique hotel. We had a balcony room overlooking the hotel’s courtyard and Pergola restaurant. It was very spacious, with a king bed, walk-in shower, and sitting area.
As I mentioned above, the Greek food they served at night was fabulous. They also offer breakfast for an additional fee.
Don’t miss a chance to see the sunset from the hotel’s rooftop bar. The bartenders create some magical cocktails and the views are unforgettable.
If you are looking for a family adventure vacation, head straight to La Paz. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited and I think you’ll fall in love with it too.