Still largely undiscovered by American and European vacationers, the La Paz beaches are some of the most beautiful in all of Mexico.
Nestled between Baja California Sur’s sleepy capital city, La Paz, and the sparkling blue Sea of Cortez, these stunning beaches all boast calm, shallow water in eye-catching shades of blue.
Dry desert hills, white sand, and foliage perfectly contrast the brightly colored water. It’s no wonder the most famous beach in La Paz, Playa Balandra, has been called Mexico’s most beautiful beach.
If you’re looking for the perfect beach to relax on during a visit to La Paz, you’ve come to the right place.
I have traveled extensively in Mexico and recently came back from a La Paz trip where I was on the lookout for the area’s best beaches. In this guide, I share my favorite La Paz beaches to swim, sunbathe, snorkel, kayak, and visit.
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Top 10 Beaches in La Paz, Mexico
Get ready for my list of the best beaches in La Paz! But first, it’s important to note a few tips you must know before going to the beach in La Paz.
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.
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.
Now on to the best beaches in La Paz, Mexico!
Have you ever seen a capital city with such beautiful beaches, right downtown?
1. Balandra Beach
Balandra is a famed La Paz beach that has become so popular in recent years that daily entry is capped and regulated. Many have called Balandra Beach the most beautiful beach in Mexico, and I can’t argue with them.
Desert cliffs, vibrant mangroves, rolling hills, white sand, and turquoise water come together to create one of the most gorgeous landscapes I’ve ever seen. Balandra Bay is vast, leaving plenty of areas for visitors to explore.
The shallow water makes it possible to walk thousands of feet out into the bay without getting your hair wet. For those who prefer to stay a bit more dry while exploring the beach, kayaks are available for rent.
Things to do at Playa Balandra:
★ Hike to see the bay from above
★ Kayak through the mangroves
★ Wade through the water
★ Walk to the famous mushroom rock
Before you travel to Balandra, be sure to read my full guide on the beach.
Balandra Bay from a viewpoint above
Essential insider tips for Playa Balandra:
Entry to Playa Balandra is free, but visitors are only allowed entry during two daily shifts. The first is typically between 8am and 12pm, with the second between 1pm and 5pm.
Because of the strict opening times, I personally find it difficult to fully relax at Balandra Beach. Instead of expecting to experience a true “beach day” at Balandra, I recommend thinking about it as a sightseeing experience.
Hike up the hill, take plenty of photos, wade through the water, walk along the beach, and perhaps kayak through the mangroves. If you want to sunbathe and spend a day at the beach with friends or family, I’d recommend another beach on this list.
But you won’t see the same sights anywhere else, so Balandra is certainly worth a visit on any La Paz trip.
2. Playa El Tesoro
Playa El Tesoro means “beach of the treasure” in English, and by all means, Tesoro Beach is truly a local treasure. For beachgoers looking for a chill, authentic Mexican beach day, Playa El Tesoro is the place to go.
The beach features a small parking lot, a modest beachfront restaurant and bar, and a few lounge chairs and tables with umbrellas.
The water gets deep a little more quickly at El Tesoro Beach compared to Playa Balandra, but it didn’t bother me at all. After a few hundred feet, it will meet your waist.
Since it’s located halfway between Balandra and La Paz Centro, Tesoro Beach is a great place to spend an afternoon seeing Playa Balandra in the morning.
Before visiting Playa El Tesoro, be sure to check out my Tesoro beach guide.
Playa El Tesoro, my personal favorite of all the amazing La Paz, Mexico beaches
Things to do at Playa El Tesoro:
★ Bask in the Baja sun
★ Grab drinks and snacks at the (reasonably priced) beachfront restaurant
★ Wade and swim through the water
★ Explore nearby bays and beaches via kayak
3. Playa Ensenada Grande
Playa Ensenada Grande is a remote beach located on Isla Partida, an island east of La Paz. Day trips to Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida are one of the most popular things to do in La Paz, and Playa Ensenada Grande is one of the highlights of most Espiritu Santo visits.
The island is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with an incredibly diverse ecology. During a visit to Playa Ensenada Grande and the surrounding areas you so much majestic wildlife, from sea lions and dolphins to rare fish and bird species.
During my recent visit to the islands, I saw jumping stingrays, snorkeled with sea lions, and watched as dolphins and sea turtles swam past my boat.
Playa Ensenada Grande, one of the best beaches near La Paz, Mexico
The water at Playa Ensenada Grande is deeper than the main beaches in La Paz and it’s a decent spot for snorkeling.
Things to do at Playa Ensenada Grande:
★ Snorkel with fish along the edges of the bay
★ Walk along the white sandy beach
★ Enjoy a picnic
4. Tecolote Beach
Just a few minutes from Playa Balandra, Playa El Tecolote is a wide beach with white sand, and gorgeous blue shallow water, perfect for wading.
Since Playa El Tecolote is so close to Balandra, some visitors spend the morning at Balandra, head to Tecolote during the hour-long period that Balandra is closed, and return to Balandra afterward.
You can reach Tecolote Beach via car, but you can also hike to the beach from Balandra Bay. If you want to do the hike, I recommend booking this tour that starts at Playa Balandra and includes hiking to Tecolote, kayaking in the ocean, and snorkeling.
These tours are led by skilled local guides who know the local flora and fauna and can take you to secret secluded beaches between Balandra and Tecolote.
Drone photo of Tecolote Beach by Anna of Perspektivan
Things to do at Playa El Tecolote:
★ Relax and sunbathe on the sand
★ Stroll from one end of the beach to the other
★ Hike between Tecolote Beach and Balandra Beach
★ Wade in the clear, shallow water
5, 6, 7. Playa Shiro, Playa Escondida, and Playa Tecolotito
These beaches are three of the beaches located between Balandra Beach and Tecolote Beach. Only accessible by hike or boat, these charming hidden beaches are a great place to go if you want to get away from the crowds of Playa Balandra.
A view of Playa Shiro, one of the secret beaches in La Paz, from a kayak rented at Playa Balandra
If you want to find these beaches with the help of a local guide, book this tour. It includes a hike from Playa Balandra to Playa El Tecolote and plenty of stops in between at some of these secluded beaches.
8. Playa Pichilingue
Playa Pichilingue is a slightly more commercialized version of Playa El Tesoro, with a handful of beachfront restaurants and bars, kayak rentals, and a small dock.
Like Playa El Tesoro, Playa Pichilingue attracts a local crowd of Mexican families and friend groups. The beachfront restaurants and small packing lot make it an easy place for a full beach day.
Unlike Playa El Tesoro, Playa Pichilingue is located right next to the Pichilingue ferry terminal, which gives certainly makes it feel less secluded. That being said, it’s closer to downtown La Paz and still an incredible place to enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty that this area has to offer.
Playa Pichilingue photo by Lori of Southerner Says
Things to do at Playa Pichilingue:
★ Spend the day relaxing with friends and family
★ Rent a kayak
★ Enjoy beachside margaritas and cervesas
★ Wade and swim in the gorgeous water
9. Malecón Beach (+ Stella Beach)
The La Paz malecón is a beachfront promenade that runs several miles between the shore and the streets of downtown La Paz.
The small beaches between the La Paz Malecon and the downtown streets are arguably the most underrated beaches in La Paz. There are several areas with permanent palapa umbrellas to protect from the sun, and of course, La Paz’s best restaurants, bars, and coffee shops are just a few steps away.
Most of the La Paz malecon beaches are unnamed, other than Stella Beach, which is located beside the marina.
A tranquil beach in the heart of downtown La Paz
Things to do at La Paz Malecon beaches:
★ Wade in the water close to shore
★ Rent a kayak
★ Rest in the shade under a palapa
★ Enjoy takeout from a nearby restaurant (PS: check out my guide to the best vegan restaurants in La Paz)
10. Playa El Caimancito
Playa El Caimancito is another popular La Paz beach with the same stunning white sand and bright blue water. It’s located near several La Paz resorts and hotels but is open to the public daily with bathrooms and free parking.
Caimancito Beach also features a few free-to-use palapas. Since this beach is close to downtown La Paz, it’s a good idea to arrive early if you want to use one of the palapas.
There are no restaurants at Playa El Caimancito, so visitors should bring plenty of water and snacks from home.
Things to do at Playa El Caimancito:
★ Swim and wade in the shallow water
★ Spend the day on the shore with family and friends
★ Snorkel (bring your own snorkeling gear)
11. Playa El Coromuel
Playa El Coromuel is the closest beach to downtown La Paz, other than the Malecon beaches. It’s more commercialized than nearby Playa El Caimancito, with beachfront restaurants, a pier, bathrooms, parking, and umbrellas, chairs, and tables for rent.
The pier, Muelle del Coromuel, is typically used for fishing, but it’s worth walking out on to take photos and look down into the crystal-clear water from above.
In addition to the vendors on the beach, there are a few restaurants up on the cliffs above the beach, including La Playita Wings and PIZZEÑA.
Coromuel Beach photo by Lori of Southerner Says
Things to do at Playa El Coromuel:
★ Swim in the bright blue water
★ Enjoy food and drinks from beachfront vendors (they’ll serve you while you sit on the beach)
★ Walk down the fishing pier
★ Watch the sunset from the clifftop restaurants
12. Playa La Concha
Located in a small cove between Playa El Coromuel and Playa El Caimancito, Playa La Concha is another popular beach close to downtown La Paz.
It’s a smaller beach that tends to get crowded but features the same stunning natural scenery that La Paz is famous for. There is a large parking lot near the beach, but no bathrooms (you may be able to use the bathroom at a nearby hotel or restaurant).
If you’re looking for somewhere to watch the sunset without driving too far from La Paz Centro, La Concha Beach is a fine place to go. Or if you’re looking for a beach with lots of nearby businesses, Playa La Concha fits the bill.
Personally, I’d choose to drive the extra ten minutes to Playa El Tesoro for a day at the beach in La Paz.
Things to do at Playa La Concha:
★ Wade and swim in the water
★ Enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant
★ Relax on the beach
Also Read: 21 Best Day Trips from Cabo San Lucas
Bonus: Cerritos Beach
If you’re looking to spend a day at the Pacific Ocean, drive an hour and a half from La Paz to Playa Cerritos, which is just south of Todos Santos.
Cerritos Beach is one of the best beaches for surfing in Baja California Sur. I personally love to watch surfers far more than I love to surf, and with a break not too far from the beach, Cerritos Beach is perfect for it.
The beach stretches several miles along the Pacific Ocean and reminds me of Playa Zicatela in Puerto Escondido. The two beaches not only look alike but are both popular surf spots.
Although Cerritos Beach is just a few minutes down the road from Todos Santos, it feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere, with very little development, besides a few small beachfront cabins, surf shacks, and a small restaurant.
Playa Cerritos, an unmissable Pacific beach near La Paz, Mexico
Things to do at Cerritos Beach:
★ Watch surfers (or surf)
★ Order drinks from waterfront vendors
★ Walk along the shoreline
Kayaking at Playa Balandra
La Paz, Mexico Beach Day Essentials
Last Christmas my husband and I both got Nomadix travel towels and we will never go back! They are sand resistant, soft, compact (yet full size), and perfect for travel.
Sunscreen is an obvious essential. The Baja California sun is very powerful, so be sure to bring reef safe sunscreen to any La Paz beach you visit.
I used to not worry too much about my skin because I spent the majority of my time in cloudy Washington. But now that I live part time in Mexico, I’ve realized how important it is to have sun protectant clothing.
Since wading in the shallow water is the highlight of a day at most La Paz beaches, having a pair of water shoes is an essential. They protect your feet from sharp shells, broken glass, and anything else hidden in the sand.
Cerritos Beach, a wonderful surf spot and beach near La Paz, Mexico
Frequently Asked Questions About La Paz Mexico Beaches
What is the best beach in La Paz, Mexico?
Playa Balandra is undoubtedly the best beach in La Paz because of its incredible scenery. However, in my opinion, it’s not the best La Paz beach for a full day at the beach because of the limited opening times, crowds, and lack of facilities.
What are your personal favorite La Paz, Mexico beaches?
Anyone visiting La Paz must see Playa Balandra, however, my favorite La Paz beach for a full beach day is Playa El Tesoro. It feels secluded, yet has a chill local vibe and a decent beachfront restaurant/bar.
How do the beaches of La Paz, Mexico, compare to other popular beach destinations in Mexico?
La Paz, Mexico beaches have the same calm, shallow turquoise-blue of popular beach destinations along the Mayan Riveria, like Tulum, Cozumel, and Cancun. However, you never have to work about massive seaweed infestations that are common along the coast of the Quintana Roo. Although the water looks similar, it tends to be a bit colder in La Paz, despite its shallowness.
At the same time, the minimal commercialization of La Paz beaches and their authentic Mexican feel reminds me of the beaches of Oaxaca. However, compared to popular Oaxaca beaches like Playa Carrizalillo in Puerto Escondido, La Paz beaches tend to be less crowded and receive fewer international visitors.
I wouldn’t be surprised if La Paz becomes the next up-and-coming Mexican beach destination. With the growing popularity of Playa Balandra, it seems like it’s already moving in that direction.
Is it safe to swim in La Paz, Mexico?
La Paz is an incredible place to swim and snorkel. The water is shallow, and the waves are very small, so it’s a great place for families with young children and folks who like to wade in the water.
Swimmers and waders should be aware that stingrays also love the shallow water beaches in La Paz. To avoid being stung, shuffle your feet as you walk through the sand in shallow water.
One of the beautiful beaches along the La Paz Malecon
Final Thoughts: The Best Beaches in La Paz, Mexico
I hope this article has helped you narrow down your options on your hunt for the best beach in La Paz, Mexico.
If you’re looking for white sand and stunning turquoise-blue water, you won’t be disappointed by any of the beaches on this list. Of course, some beaches are more tranquil than others.
If you’ve spent time in Baja, I’m curious about which La Paz beach is your favorite. Let us know in the comments.
And if you’re planning an upcoming Baja trip, be sure to take a look at my other Baja California travel guide so you don’t miss my favorite hidden gems!
★ 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
★ Playa Balandra, La Paz Full Guide
★ Playa El Tesoro, La Paz Full Guide
★ The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Travel in La Paz, Mexico
★ 21 Best Day Trips from Cabo
★ 5 Best Balandra Beach Tours from Cabo