While it is true that the Jesuit missionaries settled in Loreto in 1697 when they built Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó, it was not the oldest city in Baja as I once was led to believe. The Spaniards had already discovered La Paz in 1533, making it the oldest city in Baja.
Located a mere 100 miles north of Cabo San Lucas, in La Paz you can take a break from the all-inclusive resorts and time-share salesmen and immerse yourself in an authentic, colorful Baja Metropolis.
La Paz Attractions
The Malecón of La Paz – the beautiful waterfront boardwalk – is one of the city’s most distinctive features. The shops and restaurants are on one side of Calle Paseo Alvaro Obregon, and the Malecón and beach are on the other. It is undoubtedly the ideal setting for locals and visitors to shop, eat or revel in camaraderie while watching a brilliant sunset sink behind the Baja Peninsula into the Pacific Ocean.
Vibrant sculptures add character to the 3-mile stretch of the Malecón, teaching those interested in the history and culture of this city and the Gulf of California.
Jacques Cousteau, honored with a statue in 2014, dubbed the Sea of Cortez “the world’s aquarium.” Local artisans display and sell their creations in Casa del Artesano Sudcaliforniano (House of the South Californian Craftsman). Beachfront palapas offer shade from the bright Baja midday sun for sprawling beachgoers.
Eco-tourism is by far the most important source of income in La Paz. International tourists flock from around the world to visit the city’s extraordinary Seaside Resorts in and around the city.
The Bay of La Paz serves as the gateway to hundreds of deserted islands and inlets in the Gulf of California, 244 under UNESCO protection. The World Heritage Bio-Reserves and the Isla Espiritu Santo group border the northeast portion of La Paz, a primary tourist destination that teems with wildlife above and sea life beneath the sea.
Fishing in La Paz
La Paz offers many water activities, but at the very top of the list is incredible fishing – some of the best year-round sportfishing on the planet. Most anglers visiting from around the world for the first time arrive with a desire to satisfy their curiosity about the fantastic fishing they’ve either read or heard about in the waters around La Paz. It’s not only the quantity but the quality of fish that makes La Paz a sportfishing paradise.
The fabulous pristine waters of the Sea of Cortez offer a fantastic variety of species for “Race to La Paz” lucky winners to pursue. There are black, blue, and striped marlin in the billfish category alone, along with sailfish, short-billed spearfish, and swordfish. In addition, yellowfin tuna, dorado, wahoo, skipjack, kawa-kawa, roosterfish, yellowtail, multiple species of pompano, plus several members of the jack family are regular catches for La Paz anglers.
Inshore fishing can be just as fruitful as going offshore. On the beach, the roosterfish is the king of the manor, a force to be reckoned a true tackle-buster. There is also a delightful array of delicious bottom fish ranging from cabrilla, pargo, red and dogtooth snapper, and huge grouper exceeding a hundred pounds. The stories of dropping down a baitfish and hooking a bottom resident with the inability to get one crank on the reel are countless. This is truly a fisherman’s paradise.