La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Escape to La PazBaja California Sur’s capital deserves more than a day trip. The cosmopolitan city is home to some of the peninsula’s finest restaurants, and its beaches rival any in the world. Ensenada Grande, on Isla Partida, is part of the Espíritu Santo Archipelago and is, in a word, stunning. Golden sands give way to clear waters that are framed by volcanic formations (ask your guide to point out “La Máscara”). On the mainland, visit Balandra, a lovely white-sand beach whose waters shimmer a vibrant turquoise. It’s famous not only for its splendor but for the unusual mushroom-shaped rock known as El Hongo, as well. El Tecolote doesn’t quite have Balandra’s beauty, but it offers much more in the way of activities. Camp, grab a bite, and start here before heading on to an Espíritu Santo adventure.