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Vacationing in La Paz, Mexico

Have you ever traveled to Mexico?  Did you enjoy your time there, and did you feel safe?

This is the CostaBaja Resort & Spa in La Paz, Mexico.  I traveled there recently with a small group of other food and travel bloggers- courtesy of The Mexico Board of Tourism.  They wanted to share La Paz with us… and show us that it was a beautiful and safe vacation destination.  La Paz is secluded on the east coast of Baja California Sur, facing the Sea of Cortez.

The lobby of the hotel is open and airy.  There is bottled water and fruit displayed at all times, and the staff is very attentive.  The whole place has free WiFi too.

The rooms are clean and comfortable and quiet.  That bed right there was one of the most comfortable ones I’ve ever slept in.  There’s nothing worse than visiting Mexico and getting sick because you’ve accidentally consumed some of their water.  The hotel has purified water throughout.  No need to worry.  No one in our group got sick.

And here was the view from my hotel room.  This beautiful pool has a swim-up bar, and the beach is just beyond.

A short walk down the beach and you reach another pool and restaurant (beach-side).  The Beach Club Bar and Grill turned out to be an awesome, AWESOME place to hang out.

They have fabulous food and desserts and breakfasts.  This is some sort of berry parfait, chocolate lava souffle cake, and key lime pie.  Just a little afternoon treat shared with my friends!

… and the view is undeniably amazing.  Can you imagine relaxing on one of those beach-view lounge beds all day long??

Dinner one night was at Steinbeck’s on site at the resort.  They served us several sampler courses.  None of it was anything like what you think you’d be eating in Mexico.

We had lamb chops and caprese salad and creme brulee, among other things!  The food was excellent.

The sunsets in La Paz really look like this. The colors in the sky change so quickly that you just need to sit and watch and take it all in or you may miss it entirely.

One of our day trips was a bus ride to the little village of  Todos Santos.  It’s claim to fame is the Hotel California.  Remember the Eagles song?  The Eagles have never actually confirmed that this hotel is indeed the one that they wrote about in their song, but they’re sure capitalizing on it!  The song plays over and over and over again in the hotel lobby.

People travel from all over to visit the hotel.  It’s worth seeing.  It’s decorated very cute with brightly painted walls, rustic Spanish furniture and tile, and comfortable guest rooms.

The Hotel California’s restaurant surprised us with a bunch of food.  We were all dying for some good, authentic Mexican food, and we finally got it here.  Chips & guacamole, little fish burritos, chicken enchiladas and papaya margaritas.

The town of Todos Santos has a strip of shops for tourists.  It was pretty touristy, but it was still fun to poke around and pick up a few goodies.

The best day trip of all on our trip to La Paz was a day on a Fun Baja tours boat.  It was so relaxing and warm.  We were all surprised at the landscape on the shore.  You’d think it would be tropical but it was more of a desert landscape.  Very pretty colors and land formations.

Here’s where we first anchored our boat- Espiritu Santo Islands.  Sea lions are in abundance here… barking at us like crazy and lying around on rocks, basking in the sun.  See that little hole in the rocks right there?  We snorkeled over to that beautiful spot, where there was a coral reef underneath us.  You could feel the tide pulling you here and there, and there were pretty fish swimming around us and starfish stuck to the reef.

Pictured here:  Jenny, me and Rachelle.
I was a little freaked out to snorkel too close to the sea lions but some people did!  I was too busy wondering if a shark was going to come swimming my way.  That didn’t happen, thank God!

The girls!  Jenny, me, Katie and Amanda.  We had so much fun together!  And the water was really that blue… and turquoise.  It was clear as day too.

This gorgeous beach was part of our Fun Baja tour.  We kayaked and swam in the crystal blue waters, with sea turtles swimming nearby.  When I bring my family back here someday, I’m going to take advantage of the overnight camping opportunity with Fun Baja.  You get to camp right on this beach in little tents that are set up for you.  There’s a nice bathroom/shower/sink set up beachside, and a chef prepares all of your meals for you.  It totally felt like a Survivor reward!  It’s a pretty cool camping trip, I think.

The chef on the island prepared a special lunch for us- soup and freshly grilled fish and rice.  We also sampled this fresh tuna dip and participated in a cooking class where we learned how to make ceviche.

On our boat trip back to the resort, a band of dolphins found the wake of our boat.  This was my first experience of seeing dolphins in the wild, so close up and playful.  Over and over again, they jumped the wake behind our boat.  There were also a bunch of dolphins that swam along the front of the boat too.  We just looked right down into the water and there they were!  I caught some video of the dolphins jumping… I was a little excited at first and jumped the camera around a bit, but then I was able to hold steady.  Click the box below to view the dolphin video.

In the past I’ve traveled in Mexico to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, San Felipe, Tijuana, Rosarito and Ixtapa. I was quite impressed with La Paz. It’s beautiful and very clean.   It’s statistically one of the safest cities in North America.  The town has a wonderful boardwalk that goes on for miles- perfect for runners. And the boat trip on Fun Baja is a definite must!  I would recommend the CostaBaja Resort too- rates range from $165 to $205 per night, depending on the season.  The resort is right on the beach, and The Beach Club is a fun place to hang out too.  There is a spa (I got an hour-long deep tissue massage!), and there are several restaurants within walking distance along the harbor (Italian, sushi, etc.)  We ate at a fabulous restaurant in town called Buffalo BBQ.  I was expecting barbecue, but it was more like a wonderful steakhouse with grilled fish, meats and vegetables.  It was my favorite food of the trip!

There are several ice cream shops along the town’s boardwalk with unique flavors of avocado, sweet corn and exotic fruits.  I chose fresh coconut cream ice cream- and look how cute their little waffle cups are?

Now I’m feeling the need for another one of those sunsets and some fish tacos, and I’m bummed that I didn’t try some of those way-out flavors of ice cream.  The dolphins were mesmerizing to watch, and swimming in that water was like swimming in a lukewarm bath.  Time to go back!

Thanks to the Mexico Tourism Board for sharing the beauty of La Paz with us.

33 Responses to “Vacationing in La Paz, Mexico”

  1. postedSep 12, 2011 3:55 AM

    Ahhh! Jealous! Great looking trip!

  2. postedSep 12, 2011 3:59 AM
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    Lori it looks sooo great! I read Jenny and Amanda’s posts on the trip and saw everyone’s Instagram pics and wish I was there! And yes, I’ve traveled quite a bit thru Mexico, Central & South America, & the Caribbean and where you were looks incredibly safe! And soooo fun! 🙂

  3. postedSep 12, 2011 6:01 AM

    I’ve never been to Mexico, but I imagine it’s like most countries, with some areas that are pretty safe, some that are safe for locals but less so for tourists, and some that are safe for tourists but less so for locals.

    I think it’s pretty normal in any country to find some restaurants serving local dishes and some serving world cuisine, as well as some that do both. The food you ate does look yummy in those photos!

    • postedSep 12, 2011 12:10 PM

      I know… of course we were dying to sample Mexican food as soon as we got there, and they had pretty much normal, good food!

  4. postedSep 12, 2011 8:12 AM
    Angie @ Bigbearswife

    I’ve never been to La Paz, but I have been to Cancun and I loved it!

    • postedSep 12, 2011 12:11 PM

      Cancun is on my list of places to go!

  5. postedSep 12, 2011 10:03 AM

    My husband and I went to Playa del Carmen during the height of the Swine Flu scare. We enjoyed a fabulous trip at Secrets Maroma Beach with delicious food, great service, ample relaxation, and no sickness whatsoever. Looks like you had a wonderful time, too!

    • postedSep 12, 2011 12:11 PM

      Ohhh, I’ve not heard of that. Will have to check it out!

  6. postedSep 12, 2011 11:01 AM

    A beautiful resort, Lori. Lucky you!
    Yes, we’ve been to Mexico a couple times (never to La Paz), but not recently.
    I don’t know if I’d feel safe or not….things have changed so much since we went. But you guys look as though you were safe enough. I think wandering off the resort is when you might get into problems.

    • postedSep 12, 2011 12:21 PM

      We actually did wander off of the resort and tooled around the town a bit. I didn’t feel weird in the least. It’s the kind of place where families emerge in the evening after work and stroll along the boardwalk together… eating ice cream, fishing off the docks, watching the sun set. They told us that they probably have such a low crime rate because there is only one road that leads out of town, so not a lot of places to escape! I got the sense that it’s a quiet village that is welcoming to tourists. Everyone was so nice, and everyone spoke English too.

  7. postedSep 12, 2011 11:32 AM

    I just booked my flights for a week in Cabo next February with my two sisters. I can’t wait. We don’t plan to venture too far outside our resort but it sure is beautiful. Glad you had a great trip!

    • postedSep 12, 2011 12:22 PM

      I stopped in Cabo on a cruise, so I didn’t get to experience much of it. Have a great time!

  8. postedSep 12, 2011 12:08 PM

    So pretty! Never been to La paz but i’ve heard wonders about it! 🙂

  9. postedSep 12, 2011 1:36 PM

    How wonderful! Beautiful images and great write up. Thanks for sharing Lori. I post your stuff everywhere. Love it!

  10. postedSep 12, 2011 1:48 PM

    Oh man you can totally see my wicked sunburned shoulders. That was the only part of the trip I didn’t like! Madeline loves your dolphin video. 🙂

    • postedSep 12, 2011 3:30 PM

      Oh good, my kiddo liked the dolphin video too. Though there was a bit of jealousy that he wasn’t there with me!

  11. postedSep 12, 2011 3:16 PM

    Awesome! The last time I was in Mexico was in 2000. I went for 5 days to Cozumel for scuba diving. I felt very safe except for the day my buddy and I rented a jeep and explored the non-tourist areas.

    The food was amazing and endless.

  12. postedSep 13, 2011 2:24 AM

    I’m practically speechless – gorgeous views and photos! And I want that coconut ice cream 😀

  13. postedSep 13, 2011 6:14 AM
    Lorna Waddington

    I live 1/2 hour below La Paz, on the Sea of Cortez.
    Thank you for that great article. We love La Paz, and last year I had a delicious lunch at Steinbecks.

  14. postedSep 13, 2011 10:14 AM

    I was actually married in Cabo in February and have visited several times and have never felt anything but safe! We’ve stopped through La Paz and Todos Santos, but after seeing your photos, I wish we would have spent more time there!

  15. postedSep 13, 2011 11:06 AM

    It looks as though you had a fabulous time! And the food…oh, the food!

  16. postedSep 14, 2011 10:03 AM

    So beautiful – and that dolphin video, wow! It’s so funny, I just posted today about a whale watching trip I went on at the weekend and it was the same amazing experiencing of seeing these mammals up close. Thank you for sharing! And I’m glad no one got sick :).

  17. postedSep 15, 2011 5:31 AM

    i have traveled all over mexico, cancun, cozemel, acapulco, etc and have always felt safe, you just watch where ya go and always go places in a group, traveled europe and always felt safe , have been places where police carry BIG guns , but ya know thats the way of the world now, the only place i felt kinda unsafe was in morocco, but i will never stop traveling , planning a 15 day cruise for next year right now

    • postedSep 15, 2011 6:25 AM

      Great to hear you felt safe everywhere!

  18. postedSep 15, 2011 5:33 AM

    hey when are they going to plan a food bloggers cruise UH UHUHUHUH hint hint ( wink )

    • postedSep 15, 2011 6:30 AM

      There is a Food Blog Camp in Mexico every year!

  19. postedSep 15, 2011 9:59 AM

    Looks amazing! How did you get set up to go here through the Mexico Tourism Board? Sounds like an AMAZING job!! 🙂

    • postedSep 16, 2011 5:33 AM

      They contacted me and asked me if I’d like to go… I said yes!

  20. postedSep 20, 2011 10:42 AM
    Its all Greek to me

    Its looks amazing. Fabulous photos!

  21. postedSep 23, 2011 2:58 PM
    Kathy Coffey

    Our family recently toured the Baja Pennisula – I would love to hear some of your recipe finds! The small food carts and local people had amazing food!!

    • postedSep 24, 2011 7:39 AM

      We did not do any food carts, unfortunately!

  22. postedSep 25, 2011 1:35 PM

    My husband and I spent 3 years cruising Mexico in our sailboat both on the Pacific side and throughout the Sea of Cortez. We spent quite a lot of time in LaPaz and I remember especially the LaPaz waltz as the cruisers called it when the wind and tides would be at odds and anchored boats would travel in circles and occasionally bump into each other. I never felt threatened in Mexico, however, things have changed recently and I expect there are places that are unsafe. Since we live in Southern California, we used to go down by car once in awhile but we don’t do that anymore.

  23. postedOct 12, 2011 3:11 PM

    I live in Mexico in the border its safe always have been and the only way that you get sick from the water is if you drink it out of the faucet but if you drink water that has been purified not especially from a water bottle you are safe, I have always felt safe in my city sometime safer than in parts of the US when i visit the food is always great we are a country that enjoys good simple food, using fresh and local ingredients and I enjoy mixing my Mexican heritage with recipes from all over the world 😀 I like that you are posting something good about Mexico and that you weren’t afraid to wonder of since that’s the real way to get to know a new city 😀

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