La Paz, Mexico: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Despite its fabulous location in the Gulf of California and the superb beaches surrounding it, La Paz is defined by its crowded port and university. Situated at the edge of a C shaped gulf, this sophisticated regional capital is famous for its bright-red sunsets, best witnessed from coastal restaurant or a solitary beach. Most people enjoy La Paz for its slow-paced laid-back atmosphere.
The city’s main attractions include a couple of museums, cultural centers, beaches and good diving spots. The beachside malecón, excellent restaurants and stores are good nightspots, while the city’s outskirts offer vast opportunities for outdoor adventure, like rock climbing, hiking, diving, sportfishing, kayaking and many other water-related activities.
Lodging options in La Paz cover a wide range, from low-budget to luxurious hotels, with most abundant mid-range options. Since most areas of interest are center around the malecón, getting around on foot is easy.
Cave paintings near La Paz are the first signs of human to inhabit the area. The paintings date back to the Neolithic, at least 10.000 years ago. The Spanish didn’t explore the area too much, until the 18th century. Hernán Cortés landed in the bay in 1535, naming it Santa Cruz, with the ambition to start a colony. However, several years later he abandoned his plans due to logistical problems. It was Sebastián Vizcaíno who gave the area the name of La Paz, in 1596. The Jesuit mission of 1720 to the area, was also abandoned after three decades due to an epidemic that killed all potential converts. In the place of the old monastery now stands the Nuestra Senora de la Paz cathedral. La Paz was also a capital of the Republic of Sonora, for three months, until the project collapse due to pressure from the Mexican government to retake the region and lack of US support.