Balandra Beach, La Paz. Mexico’s Most Beautiful Beach?
Miles of pristine white sand, clear water which glistens from the beaming sun above and perfect swimming conditions due to the security of the bay from the open sea. These are some of the attributes which, when put together, equal a perfect beach. These are the attributes which make up Balandra Beach, La Paz.
Is Balandra Beach Mexico’s most beautiful beach? That’s a tough question indeed. Mexico is not short of competition when it comes to beaches. What I can say, is Balandra Beach and the surroundings will wow you.
La Paz has much to offer in terms of; cuisine, street art, outdoor activities, snorkelling and diving, but in my humble opinion, Balandra Beach is the main attraction.
If things had panned out differently Balandra Beach would be unrecognisable from what’s there today. Like many other peaceful and beautiful beaches around the globe, eagle-eyed resort developers scope them out and plonk a giant, expensive resort smack bang on the foot of the beach. These resorts inevitably ruin the natural charm of the area. Thankfully, the area of Balandra Beach is now a Natural Protected Area, as of 2008, sparing Balandra Beach from future development.
Instead of ghastly super resorts lining the beach, what lies in the area of Balandra Beach is the bright blue ocean for miles, and a near deserted beach, which contains a few tourists, wooden beach umbrellas and a food vendor.
Balandra Beach is a stunning area, but what makes this beach up there with the world’s bests? That’s right, not only is Balandra Beach one of Mexico’s best beaches, Balandra Beach is in the list of the world elites.
Picture this, you pull up to a car park after a 45-minute drive from La Paz. You step off the bus and head to the beach across the small car park. There you get your first sight of perfection. A few metres ahead of you is a stretch of white sand beach. Beyond the beach is a circular bay filled with bright blue, knee-high water. Across the bay are several, smaller castaway style beaches. As you walk closer to the water, you spy a gap between the surrounding rock hills, where the open sea lies ahead, offering views of dark blue sea like you only see on a postcard image. That is Balandra Beach.
In most areas, the sea only reaches knee height. You can walk from one side of the bay to the other. When the tide starts to reside in the afternoon, the bay is even shallower and small sand islands start to appear.
**Shuffle your feet when you are walking around in the bay. The reason for the shuffling of the feet is so you don’t get a nasty surprise of a sting from one of the baby stingrays which nestle in the sands.**
What Else Can You Do Around Balandra Beach?
Climb one of the Surrounding Hills for Views of the Bay
For the best views of Balandra beach and the bay, climb one of the surrounding hills. There is one hill – directly behind the beach vendors spot – which is easy to climb and offers the best views of Balandra Bay.
From the beach, walk back into the car park, then about 100 metres down the road which leads into the car park. From there you will see a path which leads to the top of the hill.
I would recommend wearing trainers when you are doing the climb. The climb itself is easy. However, the path contains loose rocks, so it’s not advisable to do this in flip flops.
Walk to the Surrounding Beaches
The shallow waters of Balandra Bay make it possible to walk from Balandra Beach to one of the deserted beaches on the opposite side of the bay. As well as the small pockets of sand on the opposite side of the bay, you can also walk right along Balandra Beach (right, if you are facing the sea) and across the small area of rocks and this will bring you out to a similar sized, but a much quieter beach.
Take a Look at the Famous Mushroom Rock
Mushroom rock… Well, it’s a rock which sort of resembles a mushroom. As mentioned above, if you walk right along the main beach, you will find yourself at a much quieter beach. At the very end of this quieter beach, you will end up at a rocky area. On this rocky area is where you will find Mushroom Rock. It’s not the most exciting thing you’ll see in your day at Balandra Bay (it’s a rock after all), but I would say if boredom is kicking in from lazying around in the sun, go for a walk to Mushroom Rock.
Paddle Board or Kayak Around the Bay
The vendor located in the carpark – with the sign stating ‘Beinvenidos’ (Welcome) – rents out paddle boards and kayaks. Balandra Bay has motionless water, making the perfect environment for paddle boarding and kayaking. Also, the bay is large so you won’t find yourself struggling for space.
How to Get to Balandra Beach
This was the question I found myself asking after finding out Balandra Beach isn’t a short walk from La Paz, so how do you get to Balandra Beach?
Luckily, there’s a bus which goes from La Paz to Balandra Beach. Head to La Paz Malecon Bus Terminal. Purchase a return ticket to Balandra Beach from the Eco Baja Tours ticket stand in the bus terminal. The ticket should cost you 100 MXN (5.30 USD) for a return journey (price April ’17). Overall, the journey to Balandra Beach will take you 45 minutes from La Paz.
Where to Stay in La Paz
The bulk of the accommodation in La Paz is located in the town centre, close to the Malecon.
Pension Baja Paradise – Excellent location and value for money. A 2-minute walk from the centre of La Paz and all the action. Private rooms with air-con and en-suite. Difficult to go wrong with this place.
Peace Hostel – If you are travelling solo, Peace Hostel is the place for you. Dorm beds are available at low prices. A close walk to the centre of La Paz.
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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments section.
Are you planning a trip to La Paz? Will you visit Balandra Beach? If you have been to Balandra Beach, do you agree or disagree that the beach is amongst the best in the Mexico?