Tecolote Beach, La Paz, Mexico

By Tee1

Tecolote Beach is an isolated spot perfect for a beach vacation. This Mexican beach community in Baja California Sur is just 15 miles from the La Paz. On Highway 11 its just down the road from Puerto Balandra. Balandra is a saltwater lagoon with the famous mushroom rock at Playa Balandra. There are a number of pretty beaches and eight virgin bays.

The isolated beach community gets to enjoy one of the largest beaches in the La Paz area. Unsurprisingly, Tecolote Beach has palapas, bars, some food and toilets and water sports gear. The beach is facing Holy Spirit Island, Espíritu Santo.

A palapa (a Spanish word of Mayan origin, meaning “pulpous leaf”) is an open-sided dwelling with a thatched roof made of dried palm leaves. It is very useful in hot weather and, therefore, very common on Mexican beaches, such as in Acapulco. It is perhaps one of the most important architectural contributions of Philippine culture to West Mexican cultures

The white sand on this extensive Mexican beach is surprisingly fine. There are little gentle waves touching the shoreline without an undertow to mind. Boats are available to hire to Espíritu Santo or for water skiing.  If you want to be a pest and disturb your neighbors, it’s also possible to rent jetskis.

Where is Tecolote Beach?  24°20′N 110°19′W

Over 10,000 years ago, rock paintings were scattered over the area by Neolithic hunter- gatherers. Not only is there trace evidence of their existence in La Paz, but all over Baja as well. None other than the famous Conquistador, Hernán Cortés tried to start a colony in La Paz. He arrived in the Bay on the 3rd of May in 1535 and named it Santa Cruz. After several years, the logistical nightmare caused him to quit this endeavor. Eventually the city got its modern name after the arrival of Sebastián Vizcaíno in 1596.

Nobody likes a quitter

La Paz and the area are popular beach vacation spots for both Mexican nationals and international tourists. The crowds flock to the remote area in Baja for the beaches. Relatively close to the commercial dock and ferry terminal, you will find stunning beaches en route to Pichilingue. All of these beaches have beautiful white sand that reflects the sun.

The author John Steinbeck writes about La Paz in The Pearl, his 1947 novel and in his later travel book The Log from the Sea of Cortez, Steinbeck frequently refers to the town his visited way back in 1940. Obviously, it made an impression.

La Paz also had the “honor” of being the capital of the Republic of Sonora from January 10, 1854 to May 8, 1854. The clown William Walker started his own Republic without any support. His goal was to be annexed by the United States of America, yet he did not have their backing. He was acquitted by a jury of his peers in San Francisco for his Sonora efforts in only 8 minutes. Around this time, he fought multiple duels poorly in California as well. In Honduras a few years later, he wound up in front of a firing squad.

Like the beaches of Coronado, La Paz has a desert climate. Tecolote Beach and nearby La Paz are usually dry, sunny and reasonably warm with an annual average temperature between 75 to 91F. The summer is warmer and humid with average highs up to 97. Due to the desert, the temperatures in winter get chilly. At night, it might fall below 60. Gentle coastal breezes regulate the temperature.

Over the span of a year, the water temperature will fluctuate wildly in the Gulf of California. Expect sea temperatures of about 68F in winter and possibly 85F in the summer season.

Today 244 of islands and or inlets in the Gulf of California are under UNESCO protection as World Heritage Bio-Reserves. In total there are 900 islands. The primary tourist destination for the area is the Isla Espíritu Santo island group and are widely considered to be the crown jewels in the Sea of Cortez.

The water sports are the best you can hope for. The diving and snorkeling are considered world class.