What To Do In La Paz This Summer

There are different activities in the summer, some cool stuff—as in staying cool
BY: HANNAH GORSKI

La Paz is known as a place for adventures: chasing whale sharks, swimming with the sea lions, watching the whales, and staring at the stunning geological views.

But as summer approaches, some of the best tours are no longer possible, specifically some of the amazing wildlife encounters. Swimming with whale sharks and sea lions are two popular excursions that are not going to happen in the summer.

The juvenile male whale sharks come to La Paz Bay for the nutrient rich waters. Most tour operators offer swimming with whale sharks between October and May, as these are the peak months for spotting the big critters. But now the sharks have moved on, and even though it is not known exactly where they go, there is speculation that some of these migratory giants head north to other areas of the Sea of Cortez.

 Snorkeling with sea lions is another popular activity. Colonies are found throughout the gulf, but many tour operators bring guests to Los Islotes, which is only a few hundred yards north of Espíritu Santo island, which lies three miles off the shore of La Paz.

There is still a month or so to fit in a swim with the playful marine mammals, but breeding season starts in July and continues through August, making this snorkel officially off limits. (Our experience has been that they’re not shy about this activity when people are around, but it is against the law to jump in the water with them when they’re in the mood.)

Season changes force adventure seekers to seek different activities, but no worries, there is always something to do in La Paz. There is fishing, diving, and beach combing which are always fun. The city often puts on events, and a stroll down the Malecón guarantees a great view of the bay and the sunset. But if you’re looking for something a little different, why not skip that afternoon siesta and try one of these activities. 

The whale museum, located on the Malecón at 16th de Septiembre St. gives you an in-depth look at the magnificent animals that visit us. Although the building looks small, it is packed with information on sea turtles, orcas, sharks, and of course, whales. The staff is very knowledgeable and can give you a tour in English. Hide from the heat and check out this museum.

Something that takes little skill and still allows you to interact with nature is paddle boarding. The calm waters around La Paz are perfect for anyone who wants to learn. A visit to Hawker Board Co. on the Malecón at Constitución St. lets you rent a board, get a lesson, and afterwards reward yourself with a drink. Board rental is $12 for 1 hour (including the lesson). They have an entire restaurant at Hawkers, so the drink is separate. 

Paddleboard rentals are also available at Playa Balandra and Playa Tecolote, beaches on the north side of La Paz. A paddle is a great way to check out birds and maybe even spot a sea turtle. If you’re a bit uneasy on your feet, however, not to worry. There are plenty of other things to do. Novices, stick with Balandra, it’s calm. If you’ve got the balance of a ballerina, you might be ready to take on the water off of Tecolote. The seas there in the stait between Espiritu Santo Island and the mainland are always choppy.

Does the desert interest you more than the sea? Try the Serpentario de La Paz. Located on Brecha California St. on the south end of town, you will find an assortment of exotic and local reptiles. The facility functions as a rehab and educational center. Some of the reptiles are endemic to Baja, but some lizards at this center will never survive in our local desert. Some of those animals are rescues, and interaction  with them is a great tool used at the center. You can feed freshwater turtles and some friendly birds in the aviary. The Serpentario is mostly outside, and so a little respite from the heat might be necessary after the tour.  

Temperatures in the 90s send most people to the beach or looking for air conditioning. La Paz has already hit 96 degrees Farenheit (36° C) this year.

At Rol & Bol Boliche a couple can get four rounds of bowling, two beers, shoes, and a serving of French fries for just over 300 pesos, and there is A/C. On Saturdays, the lights switch to cosmic mode, but the rest of the week has normal lighting. Pool tables, a snack bar, and arcade games ensure hours of entertainment. The bowling alley is located in the Shoppes at La Paz, near Home Depot south of town.

Summer does not mean an end to exciting activities in La Paz. Looking outside the box and mingling with locals will open new doors and ideas to you. There are many activities aside from these ideas that we’ve brought you and you can find them if you take the time to check them out this season while you’re waiting for the sea lions to get their personal affairs in order and start playing with us again. ,