La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur, is a city seemingly lost in time. It’s population has grown steadily over the decades, without any booms, but at a rate which almost conceals its 250,000 citizens. The city was world famous for its pearls and the Spanish exploited the oyster pearls until there were no more. When John Steinbeck arrived in 1940, he eagerly anticipated the well-known city.
“a cloud of delight hangs over the distant city from the time when it was the great pearl center of the world. The robes of the Spanish kings and the stoles of bishops in Rome were stiff with the pearls from La Paz. There’s a magic-carpet sound to the name, anyway.” —John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez
There is an infectious flavor to La Paz. Bruce Berger spent the majority of his time in Baja in the capital city. His first meeting place was the restaurant, La Perla on the Malecón road. Today, tourists enjoy their breakfasts at the restaurant overlooking the bay.
What sustained La Paz was like dark matter in the cosmos, present only by inference. Like any place worth inhabiting, La Paz was a riddle to solve. –Bruce Berger, Almost an Island
The Malecón and city front beaches serve as a gathering place for locals and tourists to enjoy a walk after dinner. Statues and sculptures line the bay front and sail boats at anchor in the bay contribute to the city’s scenic beauty. La Paz offers ecotourism, sports fishing, and scuba diving. The local beaches along the mountain-beach road are popular on Sundays, but nearly deserted any other day of the week. Balandra is a twenty minute drive up highway 11 and Isla Espíritu Santo sits a forty-five minute panga, a local type of fishing boat, ride from the La Paz Marina.