La Paz (meaning peace, in Spanish) is the capital city of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur and an important regional commercial center. It has the climate of a desert and averages over 340 days of sunshine annually. Yeehaw! It’s typically dry, warm and sunny with a year around average of between 75 and 91 °F. Temperatures in Summer are between 93 and 97 °F and can be humid; the rainy season peaks in August and September. The winter months are the coldest with temperatures from 68 to 77 °F. Water temperatures go from 68 during the winter to 85 during summer. Sound like Florida?
The population is over 250,000 and the city enjoys one of the highest standards of living and quality of life in Mexico. Average wages in the range of $27 per day, when compared to the country overall where minimum wages in Mexico stand at closer to $4.25 per day. For this reason many workers migrate to La Paz and other areas in Baja California Sur, to enjoy a better life without leaving the country while still able to remit portions of their incomes to their families in their home states.
Seafood delicacies abound in La Paz. A native told me the proper way to eat the chocolate clams, named for the color of their shell. Squeeze lime juice onto the pulpy meat; if the clams squirm under the acid, they’re safe to eat!! Then add soy and Salsa Huichol Picante sauce and slurp the whole thing in one sensuous bite. Wash everything down with a tall glass of Corona mixed with a half-cup of fresh lime juice served over ice, salt lining the rim. Ah, bliss. Are you game?
Take a sail to Isla Partida, a small isle that’s home to a huge population of sea lions. They were everywhere, basking in the midday sun, swirling in the breakers, eyeing us with mild curiosity. The sound of their barking was sonorous and deep, surprisingly loud. My friend, Julianne, jumped into the water first, and we all followed. The cold water was bracing but expected on the west coast. But soon all else was forgotten as we swam into groups of playful sea lions, keeping a smart distance from the massive bulls. Yes, a smart distance!!
We returned to the postcard beach, where the chef prepared a simple meal of white fish tacos with a sour cream cilantro sauce served with rice and lime. Ice-cold Sol Beer went down far too easily. On our way back, a pod of dolphins spotted our boat and played in the surf at the ship’s prow, surfing in the whitewater before diving back into the deep.
Eco-tourism is by far the most important source of tourism income in La Paz. People come to enjoy its marine wonders, as well as its diverse and often unique species endemic to the region. There are some 900 islands and inlets in the Gulf of. The diving, snorkeling, and kayaking are considered world class.
The giant clam sculpture speaks to La Paz’s history as a thriving pearl industry center until the 1930s. The Mermaid and the Dolphin sculpture by artist Octavio González. Llghthouse at the municipal pier along the Malecon is lit up at night with rotating colors
La Paz is also favored by water enthusiasts for its marinas, boat yards, marine supply stores and cruising club activities. The surrounding waters provide adventure for experienced boat captains and their customers. Novice captains can enjoy the nearby island coves for day or for overnight trips. A wealth of experienced sailors and boaters willing to share their expertise are readily available. Tall, dark and handsome, with caps at a jaunty angle…yes…Captain Sir…can you take me out to sea?