The La Paz Malecon Beach stretches for miles from each end of downtown La Paz, along the city’s lively waterfront promenade (Malecón).
While La Paz is famous for Balandra and other breathtaking remote beaches north of town, the Malecon Beach is a lovely place to relax without leaving the city.
The calm, shallow water is crystal-clear up close, but appears in stunning shades of blue from a distance. The sand is white and soft, and the beach is lined with verdant palm trees that dance in the wind.
Yet all of La Paz’s incredible restaurants, coffeeshops, bars, and shops are within walking distance.
Thinking of spending a day at the La Paz Malecon Beach? Or trying to plan your next La Paz trip? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about this serene downtown beach.
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Introduction to the La Paz Malecon Beach
La Paz, Mexico (not to be confused with La Paz, Bolivia) is Baja California Sur’s capital city. Situated on the Sea of Cortez, La Paz is known around the world for its pristine beaches with crystal clear water and white sand.
As with most oceanfront Mexican cities, the Malecon (boardwalk) is the heart of La Paz. The Malecon spans for several miles beside the turquoise water. There are white sand beaches next to the Malecon in most areas. Most beaches don’t have names, other than Stella Beach, a small beach beside the marina.
In some areas, you’ll find palapa umbrellas that are free for use, while other areas have no umbrellas. The beach is wide in some areas, and in other areas, there really is no beach. Thankfully, downtown La Paz is safe and easily walkable, so you can explore the beach along the Malecon to find the best spot.
Essential Mexico Travel Resources
Have a Mexico trip coming up soon? There are a lot of travel companies out there, but some are better than others. After traveling to dozens of countries and living abroad on several continents, here are some of my favorite websites and resources for planning unforgettable trips.
Things To Do at the La Paz Malecon Beach
Depending on the area, these are some of the best things to do at the beaches along the La Paz Malecon:
1. Wade in the shallow water
The water along the Malecon Beach is shallow, clear, and calm, making it perfect for wading.
Use your best judgement to determine how deep you can go out into the water based on if there are boats around. In addition, be sure to do the “stingray shuffle,” to notify any burrowed stingrays of your presence.
2. Read under the shade of a palapa umbrella
Bring a beach towel or blanket and relax under one of the palapas along the beach. As I mentioned above, there are only palapas on certain part of the beach. In my experience, there seem to be more palapas along the northeastern parts of the beach and near Stella Beach.
Even though the palapas are so easily accessible in downtown La Paz, it seems pretty easy to snag a spot throughout the day. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, flip open a good book (I recommend a few of my favorite on my In My Bag page) and enjoy.
3. Feast on some mouthwatering takeout from a nearby restaurant
Most of the best restaurants in La Paz are within short walking distance of the Malecon. This makes the La Pa Malecon Beach a wonderful spot to enjoy some delicious takeout.
If you’re looking for a good place to try, I recommend my favorite La Paz restaurants in my Vegan Guide to La Paz.
Palapas along the La Paz boardwalk (Malecon) beach
4. Rent a kayak and explore the bay
La Paz has several local kayak rental companies. If you’re not sure where to go on a kayak around downtown, the folks at the kayak rental spots will happily offer suggestions.
5. Enquire with local tour companies about boat tours
Most boat tours leave from the Marina, which is right along the Malecon. You can walk to tour operators and ask questions about their offerings, and if the timing is right, join a tour right away. Some of the most popular boat tours include:
★ Snorkeling with sea lions, seeing Isla Espiritu Santo, and relaxing at Ensenada Grande Beach
★ Swimming with whale sharks in the Sea of Cortez
★ Exploring Balandra Bay from the water
6. Watch the sunset
Despite being on the eastern side of the Baja peninsula, La Paz faces west and has incredible sunsets. No matter how long you have in La Paz, don’t miss the watching the sunset on the water from the Malecon.
Watching the golden sun set from Kiosko del Malecón
Essential Safety Tip for All La Paz Beaches
Stingrays are among the many incredible animals you may encounter at La Paz beaches. While generally harmless, they can sting if stepped on or scared, resulting in a painful and potentially life-threatening sting.
Stingrays the shallow waters of La Paz just as much as we do, and tend to burrow under the sand. The best way to avoid getting stung is to shuffle your feet as you walk through shallow water. This will notify any nearby rays of your presence so they can get out of the way.
When wading in the water at La Paz beaches, I always wear water shoes. Though they don’t prevent a stingray sting, they make me feel a little more at ease and make it more comfortable to walk through rocky areas. Water shoes are now a go-to essential item I bring on any beach vacation. Browse the best water shoes on Amazon here.
The sunset from the La Paz waterfront
Other La Paz Beaches to Explore
While the La Paz Malecon Beach is the most easily accessible playa in La Paz, you can find some of Mexico’s most stunning beaches just a few minutes outside of the city.
I have a full guide to the 12 best beaches in La Paz, but for a quick summary, here are my reccomendations:
★ Playa Balandra: Called the most beautiful beach in Mexico, Balandra is an unmissable beach thirty minutes north of La Paz. Due to its growing popularity, Balandra is only open for two shifts each day. Be sure to read my up-to-date visitors guide so you can make the most of your visit to Balandra.
★ Playa El Tesoro: If you’ve read any of my other La Paz guides, you probably know that Tesoro Beach is my personal favorite beach in La Paz. I explain why in my Tesoro Beach guide.
★ Playa El Tecolote: Tecolote Beach is another stunning remote beach near Playa Balandra. It’s a great place to visit during the one-hour period when Balandra closes in the middle of the day.
Beautiful white sand beach along La Paz’s Malecon
Final Thoughts: La Paz Malecon Beach
Before my first visit to La Paz, I had no idea that the city had such beautiful downtown beaches. I thought that I’d have to drive north to enjoy a day at the beach, but the La Paz Malecon Beach surprised me.
Whether you stroll along the Malecon at sunset, or spend an afternoon basking in the sun on the beach, I’m sure La Paz’s incredible waterfront will be a part of your La Paz experience.
Planning a Baja vacation now? Check out my other Baja California Sur travel guides!
★ 6 Reasons to Visit Santiago, BCS (one of the best day trips from La Paz!)
★ Sol De Mayo Waterfall, Santiago
★ Santa Rita Hot Springs, Santiago
★ 12 Stunning La Paz Beaches
★ Playa Balandra, La Paz Full Guide
★ Playa El Tesoro, La Paz Full Guide
★ Ensenada Grande Beach Full Guide
★ The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Travel in La Paz, Mexico