I didn’t expect to be writing a post about art in La Paz, but I was so impressed with what I saw along the city’s Malecón (waterfront promenade) that I had to share. If you’ve read my earlier posts on our family trip to Baja California Sur, you’ll know that La Paz is an awesome base for kayaking, snorkeling, and exploring beautiful beaches on the Gulf of California (also known as Sea of Cortez). The art along the 5 km Malecón is a reflection of the city’s importance as an eco-tourism destination, and residents’ deep appreciation for their home by the sea. Lets stroll along the Malecón and take a look at some of the wonderful marine-inspired artwork.
Every hundred meters or so, along the Malecón, there are small plazas that curve out into the bay and showcase a series of sculptures. I like all of them, but the Mermaid and the Dolphin (above) by artist Octavio González is my favourite. It’s fun and whimsical, and looks great silhouetted against the beautiful La Paz sunsets (my featured photo).
One of my heros, Jacques Cousteau, called the Sea of Cortez “the world’s aquarium”. It is fitting that this great man sits along the Malecón, looking out at the dolphins and whales in La Paz Bay.
The giant clam sculpture speaks to La Paz’s history as a thriving pearl industry center until the 1930s. Palm trees and nearby buildings are reflected on the gleaming pearl, and it looks spectacular.
I find the La Paz Dove of Peace sculpture very striking. Apparently, some locals refer to it as “Paloma Gorda” or fat pigeon.
There’s a whole series of sculptures dedicated to the large marine animals that make their home in the Gulf of California—from hammerhead sharks to orcas to humpback whales to flying mantas (sadly my photo of the latter is too poor to post).
Some of the Malecón artwork take their inspiration from literature (The Old Man and the Sea sculpture) and religion (Jesus and the Seashell sculpture).
The Malecón is definitely La Paz’s crowning jewel, but the city of almost a quarter million has plenty more to keep visitors interested. Scroll through the photos below for a glimpse of La Paz.
IF YOU GO:
- La Paz is serviced by an international airport, though we found it cheaper to fly into San José del Cabo (Cabo San Lucas). There is an airport shuttle (EcoBaja Tours) that makes several daily trips to La Paz (about 2.5 hours), and regular bus service (Águilla) from the San José del Cabo bus terminal.
- There are loads of hotels and B&B’s in La Paz. We thoroughly enjoyed Casa Juarez. It’s a new place run by a nice Italian couple. It’s small, quiet, comfortable, and naturally elegant. Plus, they serve a great breakfast and rates are reasonable.
- There are also plenty of restaurants and casual street food. My favourite was Tio Bencho, a small, pretty place with a limited menu that includes some great traditional items.
- We used La Paz as the starting point for a 5-day kayaking trip to Isla Espirítu Santo with ROW Kayaking Adventures…awesome, and post still to come.
- Check out my posts on favourite activities in and around La Paz and Loreto, and Playa Balandra, my new favourite beach.