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Mexican Riviera

La Paz Cruise Port Guide

La Paz coastline; credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
La Paz coastline; credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
The Mexican cruise port at La Paz on the Baja Peninsula is growing in popularity with Mexican Riviera cruises.

La Paz is the capital city of Baja California with a population of more than 200,000 residents. It has become more prominent on cruise itineraries for the Mexican Riviera while others, such as Ensenada, have lost prominence because of safety concerns.

Still, visitors to La Paz should know that it has a high level of homicides, although violence normally takes place outside of tourist areas. It is best to stay on foot near the cruise port or go on organized excursions.

The city is about 97 miles north of the cruise port at Cabo San Lucas and 200 miles south of Loreto, another cruise port that is growing in popularity. La Paz and Loreto lie in the Gulf of California rather than on the Pacific coast of Baja.

Most Mexican Riviera cruises last six to nine days and usually visit Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. Longer cruises of 10 to 14 days often include La Paz and Loreto.

Cruise lines that visit La Paz include Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Regent Seven Seas and Windstar.

Quick Travel Tips


  • Ships dock at Puerto Pichilingue 11 miles north of the city. Free shuttles transfer passengers to the Malecón terminal.
  • Snorkeling with sea lions and whale sharks are unique shore excursions.
  • Winter through late spring are the best times to visit.

Attractions and Shore Excursions


Visitors can take walking tours to see the old City Palace, Juarez Theatre, Velasco Garden and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace Cathedral. The cathedral is a photographic example of the California mission style of architecture.

Like other cruise ports on the Mexican Riviera, La Paz has a Malecón boardwalk that extends 3.5 miles along the waterfront.

Princess Cruises says its most popular excursion is “Highlights of La Paz" for $75 per person. This excursion bus tour includes shopping downtown and visits to the Regional Anthropology & History Museum and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace. Shorter city tours start at $50 per person.

Sea kayaking, whale watching and snorkeling with sea lions at the Los Islotes sea lion colony are among the most common shore excursions. These tours usually cost $80 to $100 or more per person.

La Paz also has quite a few whale shark excursions. These huge creatures eat only plankton, so excursion visitors can snorkel with them. The tour is seasonal and goes from October to April. This is the most expensive tour at $175 to $200 per person.

Art, culture and history lovers can take a six-hour excursion to the quiet town of Todos Santos at the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains. Jesuit priests founded it as a mission in the early 1700s. It now has shops, galleries, historic buildings and stone-paved streets. The excursion costs about $100 per person.

Cruise Weather


La Paz shares similar weather with Cabo San Lucas. Daytime temperatures reach the high 70s Fahrenheit during the winter and upper 80s to low 90s in the summer.

Unlike many cruise ports, La Paz doesn't have a dry season and a rainy season. It has a dry season and a very dry season.

The dry season is mainly just August through October with an average rainfall of about two to three inches a month, according to the National Water Commission of Mexico. It rains about two to three days each month.

August through October are the peak months of the Pacific hurricane season. Even though La Paz gets little rain then, other cruise ports get more. So a Mexican Riviera cruise during those months has a higher risk of bad weather outside of La Paz.

The very dry season fills the rest of the year with an average of less than one inch of rain and at most one day of rain per month.

The best time to visit for comfortably warm weather is winter through late spring.
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