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La Paz Basics

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Scenes of La Paz

Fast Facts: La Paz


La Paz is the principal commercial center and the capital of the Mexican State of Baja California Sur, which comprises the southern half of the Baja Peninsula. With a population of 250,000 residents, La Paz is a midsize port city. When contrasted to the Los Cabos area, La Paz is a much more laid back city with a more traditional Mexican atmosphere.

The economy of La Paz is based on tourism, fishing, commerce and government activities. Eco-tourists have flocked to the La Paz area to dive, snorkel or sail in its beautiful waters. La Paz rivals Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada for its fishing. There's a Mexican military school in town.

La Paz has a hot, arid climate in the summer, with daily highs in the 90s. The winter and spring can be quite pleasant, with daily average temperatures in the low-80s and refreshing sea breezes cool down the night. The sun shines 340 days a year in La Paz.


La Paz map


First Impressions


Cathedral
©2007 Daniel Morgan, under cc-by-sa 2.0 license

Your ship doesn't actually dock in La Paz, but instead at the port of Pichilingue, about 10 miles north of town. If you're going on an excursion to a point north of Pichilingue, you may never see the city, which would be a pity, because La Paz is a very interesting, very Mexican city.

Taxi fare to town is about $10, while fares within the city average around $5. Taxis are not hard to find, especially around Paseo Alvaro Obregon and the Malecon, La Paz's shore side boardwalk.

La Paz is located inside a beautiful natural bay with excellent protection for its numerous marinas. The tourist zone is located around the Malecon, La Paz's sea walk. Aside from finding some interesting things to buy, aficionados like La Paz for its seafood restaurants and outdoor cafes along the Malecon, and enjoying drinks while watching the golden sunsets.

Another great place to just sit and watch the world go by is at the Plaza Constitucion (known locally as Jardin Velazco). The Plaza is located downtown only four blocks from the Malecon. The town's cathedral, built in the 1860's, is on one end of the main square.


Time Zone


La Paz is on Mountain Time, seven hours earlier than Greenwich Mean Time during standard time, or six hours during daylight savings time. Daylight savings time begins on the second Sunday of March, and ends on the first Sunday of November.

Mexican flag La Paz Local Time
 


Language


Spanish is universally spoken in La Paz; all of the shopkeepers catering to tourists also speak English.


Travel Advisory


Dept of State

The U. S. Department of State has issued this Travel Warning, dated August 22, 2017, to inform U.S. citizens traveling to and living in Mexico about the security situation in Mexico.

Baja California Sur (includes Los Cabos and La Paz): Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain an issue throughout the state. Exercise caution as Baja California Sur continues to experience a high rate of homicides.

According to Government of Mexico statistics, the state of Baja California Sur experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to the same period in 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured, have occurred during daylight hours."


Dealing with Money in La Paz


Currency



Mexican Peso

The Peso is Mexico's official currency, and uses the "$" sign to denote the peso amount. Each peso is made up of 100 centavos. Bills come in denominations of $20, $50, $100, $200, $500 and $1000 pesos. Coinage comes in denominations of 50 centavos, and $1, $2, $5 and $10 pesos.

Just be aware that larger notes (e.g., $500 Peso notes) are often difficult to change.

The current US Dollar/Mexican Peso exchange rate is as follows:


Banks and ATMs

ATM machines are concentrated in the downtown area. Here are a few locations:

  • Citibank: has a branch at the Pichilingue cruise ship dock, and at Carlos Esquerro #110; there are 15 additional ATM locations in La Paz; Citibank account holders are not charged an ATM transaction fee.

  • BBVA Bancomer: 16 De Septiembre and Guerrero, at the Malecon.

  • HSBC Mexico: Ave. 5 De Mayo and Revolucion, near the Plaza Constitucion.

  • Santander: Agustin Arreola at Mutualismo, near the Malecon.

La Paz ATM Map


Map icon

To see the locations of downtown La Paz's ATMs, see our La Paz downtown ATM map.


Using US Dollars in La Paz

As US dollars are widely accepted in La Paz, you don't have to change your dollars into pesos. If you're using dollars alone, make sure to bring smaller denominations to pay for incidentals and taxi rides.


Weather


Balandra Beach
©2012 apperti, under cc-by-sa 3.0 license

Just north of the tropics and with a desert's low humidity, La Paz has a climate similar to that of Tempe, Arizona. La Paz enjoys 340 days of sun during the year.

During the comfortable winter and spring months, the average daily temperatures range from the mid-60s to the mid-70s F (18-25° C). Summer and fall daily averages rise to the 80s. It can be hot in the summer months, with 100+ degree days not uncommon.

Relative humidities range from the low- to high-60% from December through June, and then rise to the low 70s from July through November. La Paz gets an average annual rainfall of only 7 inches per year.

Water temperatures in the Sea of Cortez La Paz in the winter months are in the mid-60s F. During the summer months, the temperatures climb into the mid-80s F.

Average Temperatures

Average Precipitation



Keeping In Touch


Internet Access in La Paz

There are several internet cafes on Paseo Alvaro Obregon, which is adjacent to the Malecon. Hourly rates are reasonable. You can get internet access at the following cyber cafes:

  • Bajanet, Madero 430, between Hidalgo and Constitucion.

  • Omni Services, Alvaro Obregon 460-C, on the Malecon near Immigration and close to Marina de La Paz and Burger King.

La Paz Internet Access Map


Map icon

To see the location of La Paz's Internet Cafes, see our La Paz Internet Access Map.


Internet Cafe

Cellular Phone & Data Services

Customers of the four major U.S. wireless carriers can expect the following levels of service in La Paz:

Verizon

Cell service: Verizon's CDMA service in the La Paz area is provided by local partner Iusacell.
Data services: Through partner Iusacell, Verizon offers EVDO coverage in the greater La Paz area.
See details on Verizon's cell and data services pricing and coverage maps.

ATT Wireless

Cell service: AT&T's GSM service in the La Paz area is provided by Telcel and Telefonica.
Data services: AT&T offers 3G service in the La Paz area through its partners Telcel and Telefonica.
See details on AT&T's cell and data services coverage maps.

Sprint

Cell service: Sprint's CDMA service in the La Paz area is provided by partner Iusacell, and with partners Telcel and Telefonica when using a quad-band GSM phone.
Data services: Through Iusacel, Sprint offers EVDO coverage in the La Paz area. Sprint also offers 3G coverage in La Paz when using a UMTS-capable device with an active SIM card and global plan.
See details on Sprint's cell and data services coverage maps.

T Mobile

Cell service: T-Mobile's GSM service is available in the La Paz area through its partners Telefonica and Iusacell.
Data services: T-Mobile offers 2G service in the La Paz area through its partners Telefonica and Iusacell.
See details on T-Mobile's cell and data services coverage maps.


Samsung Galaxy S III

La Paz Telephone Information

Travelers with American or Canadian cell phones or mobile devices should be aware that their carriers will add a variety of international roaming charges when their phones or mobile devices are used in Mexico. You can also buy an international roaming plan and/or a "Mexico plan" from your carrier; check with your carrier for the precise details.

If you plan on using your cell phone a lot while on your cruise, you may want to consider getting a SIM card for the trip from OneSimCard.com. These SIMs work in over 200 countries, and provide very affordable prepaid talk, text and data plans. Not only will you save a lot of money, but you'll also avoid a big cell bill surprise when you get home.

Country Code: 52

La Paz Area Code: 682

Local Phone Numbers have seven digits: XXX-XXXX

Calling La Paz from the US or Canada: Dial 011-52-682-XXX-XXXX

Using your US or Canadian cell phone in La Paz

To make a call from:

La Paz to the US or Canada: Dial 001 (area code) XXX-XXXX

La Paz to a US or Canadian cell in La Paz: Dial 001 (area code) XXX-XXXX

La Paz to a local La Paz number: Dial 001-52-682-XXX-XXXX

Woman with a cell phone

OneSimCard - prepaid international roaming, works in over 200 countries, free calls in over 150 countries

Local Holidays & Festivals


Look for the following local festivals, holidays and events taking place in La Paz in 2017:

  • Ano Nuevo (New Year's Day), Sunday, January 1. National holiday celebrated with dances and fiestas.

  • Dia de los Santos Reyes (Day of the Three Kings), Friday, January 6. A national holiday celebrating the New Testament story of the arrival of the three wise men who each brought a gift to the Christ child. It's the day that children receive gifts as well as shoes full of candy, and people buy a pastry called rosca de reyes.

  • Dia de la Constitucion (Constitution Day), Sunday, February 5. Public holiday commemorating the signing of the Mexican Constitution of 1917. The day is usually marked by festivals and street celebrations. Since the day falls on a Sunday, Mexicans also get Monday, the 6th, as a day off.

  • Todos Santos
  • Festival del Arte de Todos Santos (Todos Santos Art Festival), Tuesday, February 21 to Tuesday, February 28. Todo Santos hosts a week-long art festival, including art shows, concerts, handicraft demonstrations and workshops.

  • Carnaval (Mardis Gras), Wednesday, February 22 to Tuesday, February 28.

  • Birthday of Benito Juarez, Tuesday, March 21. A public holiday celebrating the birthday of Benito Juarez, who rose from humble origins to occupy the Presidency of the Republic in the second half of the 19th century. Since the day falls on a Tuesday, Mexicans get Monday, the 20th, off to observe the holiday.

  • Semana Santa (Holy Week), Monday, April 10 to Sunday, April 16. A religious and a secular holiday in Mexico, where you'll see processions and passion plays taking place in the city. Easter takes place on Sunday, April 16. During Semana Santa, banks are closed on Maundy Thursday, April 13 and Good Friday, April 14.

  • Primero de Mayo (Labor Day), Monday, May 1. A national holiday.

  • La Paz Foundation Fair and Festival, Friday, May 5. Festivities commemorating the establishment of the city include a slate of artistic and cultural events.

  • Cinco de Mayo, Friday, May 5. A Mexican holiday commemorating the Battle of Puebla in 1862, when the Mexican army defeated a French force twice its size just south of Mexico City.

  • Dia de Independencia (Independence Day), Saturday, September 16. Look for the delivery of the "El Grito de Dolores," the official grunt that marks the day.

  • Dia de la Raza (Columbus Day), Thursday, October 12. Dia de la Raza is how Mexico celebrates Columbus Day.

  • Mariachis
    ©2013 Inocencio Vasquez Melchor, under cc-by-sa 3.0 license
  • Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Wednesday, November 1 (which is All Saints's Day) and Thursday, November 2 (which is All Souls' Day). Two days when celebrants honor the deceased. In the town center (Zocalo) and at nearby cemeteries, locals will celebrate with music and decorate shrines with flowers and photos.

  • Revolution Day, Monday, November 20. A national holiday celebrating the Mexican Revolution of 1910.

  • Fiesta de la Inmaculada (Feast of the Immaculate Conception), Friday, December 8. Marks the beginning of the Christmas celebration season.

  • Dia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe (Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe), Tuesday, December 12. Commemorates the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico's patron saint.

  • Navidad (Christmas Day), Monday, December 25. A public and religious holiday celebrating the birth of Christ.

Cruise Port Schedules


Ruby Princess
©2011 Bgabel, under cc-by-sa 3.0 license

In past years, La Paz has been a boutique port for Carnival, Holland America and Princess Cruises, as well as ships from smaller luxury cruise lines, on voyages to the Gulf of California.

In 2017, visitors will be in port for an average of 9¾ hours.

In 2017, La Paz is slated to welcome 11,600 passengers sailing on 8 ships. For further information, see our La Paz Cruise Ship Schedule - 2017.

In 2018, La Paz is slated to welcome 10,700 passengers sailing on 8 ships. For further information, see our La Paz Cruise Ship Schedule - 2018.


Cruise Line Making Port


The following cruise lines will make port in La Paz in 2017:

Princess icon Princess Cruises Azamara
Crystal Crystal Cruises Oceania icon Oceania Cruises
Cruise Ship


       
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