After such a disappointing Christmas Day I made sure that I would be based somewhere a little more civilised for New Year. I thought La Paz would be the obvious choice, problem was – so did everyone else. The place was heaving with people during my first stay here. I was to return a week later to find the place much more peaceful and therefore much more pleasant.
Cosmopolitan La Paz is a mix of laid-back, old-world beauty and chichi upscale trends. It’s surprisingly international – you’re as likely to hear French, Portuguese or Italian here as English or Spanish, and yet paradoxically it’s the most ‘Mexican’ city in all of Baja. Its quirky history includes American occupation and even being temporarily declared its own republic. Hernán Cortés established Baja’s first European outpost near La Paz, but permanent settlement waited until 1811.
The beachside malecón, superb restaurants and funky stores make it a great place to meander, and you can shop uninterrupted by touts’ invitations. The city also makes a good base for day trips to Cabo Pulmo and Todos Santos. Stayed in a lovely B&B – Hotel Mediterrane – located very close to the malecón.
Next stage: Todos Santos.