Information & Facts
The most popular recreational features of La Paz are its lovely
beaches, all covered with soft sand, which slope gently into clear
blue waters. Most offer watersports rental facilities, and 'palapa'
(woven palm frond umbrellas), which can be hired. Coromuel Beach is
closest to the city centre while further along the Trans-Peninsula
Highway are Tesoro Beach, Pichilinge, Balandra and El Tecolote. La
Paz also has a reputation for offering more extreme water
adventures, such as big game fishing, kayaking, windsurfing,
kitesurfing and scuba diving, particularly in the waters around the
island of Espiritu Santo. Whale-watching excursions and eco-tours
to the mountains to the south of the city are also popular holiday
Spanish is the official language in Mexico. Some English
is spoken in tourist regions.
Mexican currency is the New Peso (MXN) divided into 100
centavos. Credit cards are widely accepted, particularly Visa,
MasterCard and American Express. Travellers cheques are generally
accepted, but cannot be cashed on Sundays. ATMs are available in
most cities and towns and are the most convenient way to get money,
but for safety reasons they should only be used during business
hours. Although most businesses will accept foreign currency it is
best to use pesos. Foreign currency can be exchanged at one of many
casas de cambio(exchange houses), which have longer hours
and offer a quicker service than the banks.
La Paz can be quite expensive during peak season.
La Paz has no shortage of lively nightspots, most being located
along the Malecon. This brightly lit promenade and adjacent pier is
abuzz with strollers and party-animals after dark, entertained by
groups of street musicians known as 'mariachis'. Shops stay open
late to cater for evening browsers. Like in most Mexican cities,
the party action does not start hotting up until late in the
evening, from around 10pm, but continues until the early hours of
the morning. Discos offer all kinds of music, from traditional
Latin to American rock, and many of the bars and restaurants offer
dancing to live music. La Caliente and Las Varitas are great night
spots and live music venues. Culture vultures will probably find a
play or concert to their taste at the Teatro de Ciuidad or Teatro
Juarez, and there are several movie theatres showing American films
with Spanish subtitles.
There are delicious treats to suit all tastes available in the
many restaurants of La Paz, from the highly rated street corner
hotdog and chocolate clam stands to mouth-watering lobsters from
the Sea of Cortez served up in classy seafront restaurants. The
cuisine of most nationalities is available, including Chinese,
Italian, French and Korean, but traditional Mexican remains the
holiday favourite. For seafood with a local flair, visit Bismark
II, while Buffalo BBQ is the local favourite for hamburgers and
other carnivorous fare.
From small, exclusive boutiques lining the Malecon to the
department stores of busy downtown La Paz, known as 'El Centro',
the city offers plenty of options for lightening the pocket, with
high fashion and upmarket branded goods aplenty. There are also
numerous stores selling locally produced Mexican arts and crafts to
delight souvenir hunters on holiday, and supermarkets on just about
every street corner for self-caterers.