Why La Paz?
La Paz is the capital city of the Mexican State of Baja California Sur and an important regional commercial center. The city had a 2020 census population of 250,141 inhabitants, making it the most populous city in the state. Its metropolitan population is somewhat larger because of the surrounding towns, such as El Centenario , Chametla and San Pedro. It is in La Paz Municipality which is the fourth-largest municipality in Mexico in geographical size and reported a population of 292,241 inhabitants on a land area of 20,275 km2 (7,828 sq mi).
The population of La Paz has grown greatly since the 2000s. The growth is largely because the city has one of the highest standards of living and security in Mexico.
La Paz is served by the Manuel Marquez de Leon International Airport with flights to the most important cities of Mexico: Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey. Airlines flying into La Paz include Aeromexico Connect, Volaris and VivaAerobus. American Airlines has announced seasonal service to both Phoenix and Dallas Ft. Worth starting in 2021.
La Paz has a tropical desert climate. The climate of La Paz is relatively consistent with generally little rainfall, with a year around average temperature of between 17 and 30 °C (63 and 86 °F). Summer months (July–September) typically see highs between 34 and 36 °C (93 and 97 °F). The winter months (December–February) are the coldest with temperatures dropping below 15 °C (59 °F) at night, but mostly averaging from 20 to 25 °C (68 to 77 °F). Breezes from Bahía de La Paz moderate the temperature. The bay also acts as a barrier against seasonal storms in the Gulf of California.
Rainfall is minimal at most times of year, although erratic downpours can bring heavy rains. Rain tends to be concentrated in a short, slightly rainier season that peaks in August and September, following the pattern of the North American Monsoon. The driest season, where it is common to have no rain, occurs March through June. La Paz averages over 300 days of sunshine annually and an average of 3148 sunshine hours.
During the summer the cooling Coromuel winds, a weather phenomenon unique to the La Paz area, blow during the night from the Pacific over the Peninsula and into the Bay of La Paz.
As with most of the Gulf of California, the temperature of the water changes substantially over the course of the year, with temperatures around 68 °F (20 °C) during winter and around 85 °F (29 °C) during summer.
Eco-tourism is by far the most important source of tourism income in La Paz. Tourists also visit the city's balnearios (seaside resorts). There are some 900 islands and inlets in the Gulf of California with 244 now under UNESCO protection as World Heritage Bio-Reserves and the Isla Espiritu Santo group, which borders the northeast portion of the Bay of La Paz, the primary tourist destination of the area.
Industries include silver mining, agriculture, fishing, and pearls. Tourism is also an important source of employment for this coastal community.
Along with the area's marinas, new developments are emerging because of the proximity to the United States, the high standard of living, the safety of La Paz, and the abundance of local attractions and activities.
Running along the coast in front of La Paz is 5 km (3.1 mi) long Malecon Road. The main purpose of this road is to allow easy movement across the city. However, it quickly became the focal point of tourist related activities with a large number of bars, restaurants and shops opening along its length. Since 2004 extensive development has taken place which included a large sidewalk which offers safety for large numbers of people to walk along the coastal front of La Paz.
In September 2011, a bicycle lane was added to Malecon Road, providing cyclists protection from cars and pedestrians.
La Paz is served mainly by two highways; Mexican Federal Highway 1 that links the south of the state from Cabo San Lucas to the north of the peninsula to Tijuana, and Mexican Federal Highway 19, that connects La Paz with the population of the south pacific towns such as Todos Santos and El Pescadero. It is also served by two secondary roads, the Los Planes highway (286) that connects La Paz with towns such as La Ventana, Ensenada de los Muertos and Los Planes. The other is the Pichilingue highway which links La Paz with its maritime port.
Local cuisine is characterized by seafood dishes, especially of lobster, sole, clams and shrimp. Oregano is frequently used as a spice, and damiana , an ingredient in a traditional liqueur, is widely regarded as an aphrodisiac and brewed as a tea.
Regional cuisine also includes traditional dishes such as machaca, made from beef that has been well-cooked, shredded, and then cooked in its own juices, fresh cheeses and the typical flour tortillas. Abundantly available clams are prepared in various ways such as pickling, breading and frying, or stuffing. Shrimp are plentiful also, and eaten grilled, fried, or baked as in the regional specialty, filete imperial de camarones. Other popular seafood dishes include callo garra de león, made with scallops, fish tatemado, and ceviche.
Regional sweets are represented by fruits such as guava, mango and pitaya, green papaya and fig in syrup, as well as dehydrated regional fruits such as white fig and mango. Cheese empanadas (empanadas de queso) and empanadas made with sweet beans are also popular. La Paz also boasts a wonderful international cuisine scene, with Italian, Sushi, Burgers and much more abundantly available.