One of the funnest things we did as a family while living in Mazatlan was taking the Baja Ferry over to La Paz. If you are not sure where either of those locations are in Mexico, here's a map of our journey.
We boarded the boat in the evening and got to sail off into the sunset. It was gorgeous! We ate dinner in the dining hall, which also had a full bar, a stage, and live music! People had told me that taking the ferry felt kind of like being on a cruise ship and they weren't kidding! We were only able to get a private sleeping room for the return trip, so for the 15 hour trip over to La Paz, we made our way back to our sala, or living room and settled into our reclining chairs for movies on the big screen. The chairs were not the most comfortable and I think most people in the room ended up curled up on the floor with blankets by the time morning came. The return trip was much more comfortable snuggled into our private room with 4 bunks, a window and a private bathroom.
While in La Paz, we stayed at the Paraiso del Mar Resort. It was amazing and perfect for our little get away. When we arrived via ferry in the morning, we took a taxi to downtown La Paz where the manager for our vrbo (vacation rental by owner) condo met us and escorted us across the bay in the resorts free water taxi service.
Our condo was 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms including a bathtub and came fully equipped with everything we would need for our stay. The bathtub was a big deal since our rental house in Mazatlan only had showers. Apparently bathtubs are not as common in Mexico as they are in the United States, so having one, even for just a few days, was a treat. Our amazing outdoor patio spaces overlooked the pool, palm trees and the ocean. We relaxed at the pool, enjoyed drinks with umbrellas in them at the swim up bar, walked the private beaches in front of the resort collecting some of the biggest sea shells we've ever seen, and even did a little kayaking with the boats that are available to guest to use free of charge.
Most days, we would take a short shuttle ride back to the water taxi, take the fun 10 minute boat ride over to the mainland and explore the cute city of La Paz. Similar to Mazatlan, they also have their own Malecohn or boardwalk, although theirs is much shorter than the one in Mazatlan.
Since we were essentially worldschooling our kids while we wintered in Mexico, the Museo de la Ballena (Whale Museum) seemed like the perfect educational activity while we were there and it did not disappoint. After paying your admission, you are given the choice to take a self guided tour, or be guided by a local that will speak to you in your native language. We choose this option and our guide was very fun and informative, although slightly difficult to understand at times. From what I gathered, the guides are just volunteers so we tipped him well at the end for all his effort.
We were able to see many full size skeletons of sea life including turtles, whales, dolphins and sharks. Some were reproductions, but many were real bones. If fact, all the bones and teeth in the pictures seen here are real! We learned about the differences between a whale, shark and dolphin and about many of the different types of each. We also learned about behaviors, what they eat and similarities they have with humans and other types of animals.
Our final night in La Paz, we had hoped to eat at this cute little hamburger joint that some other vacationers at our resort had told us about, where they grill the burgers underneath the hood of an old truck, but unfortunately it was closed that night, so we ended up at The Dock Cafe, overlooking the marina, with a nice sandy outdoor play area where the kids were given a whole box full of toys to keep them occupied while we waited for our food to arrive. There was live music and dancing and the place was obviously popular with the expat crowd. The dance floor was full of retired Americans... usually not our first choice of ambiance... we prefer to mingle with the local crowd when we travel, but the food, drinks and service made the evening worthwhile.
It was sad to say goodbye to such a beautiful little piece of planet earth, but we will be back, hopefully for a longer stay next time. If you have never considered La Paz as a travel destination choice, I would highly encourage you to check it out. They have their own airport, and if you live in Southern California and can walk across the border to TJ, I've heard you can find some amazing direct flight deals.
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