La Paz’s Malecon

Strolling the city's seaside promenade is a great way to mix with the locals

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I’m a big fan of La Paz’s three mile malecon (ocean
boardwalk). It seems to act as a huge anti-stress valve for the whole city.
While people flow back and forth all day, strolling or jogging along or
meditatively staring out to sea, the malecon really comes alive in the late
afternoon and early evening. This is when families find some leisure time to
spend together, and teenagers assemble, much the way they do in the malls of
North America. I haven’t done an extensive study, and this is a purely
anecdotal observation, but it seems to me that crime, surliness, and just plain
bad manners would be hard to find on the malecon.

The malecon borders a beach which is more for catching rays
rather than swimming. While not the prettiest beach in the world, it does have
that distinct city beach vibe, and is a good place to arrange an excursion to
La Paz’s not-to-be-missed Espiritu Santos Island, a UNESCO-protected World
Heritage Bio-Reserve.

Strolling the length and back again as the sun goes down is
a great way to work up an appetite. There malecon has numerous restaurants
suiting a range of budgets, such as Bismarkcito, Maria California restaurant,
and Tailhunter Cantina. There are also plenty of options for a quick bite from street
vendors. There are a number of hotels on or near the malecon, including Hotel
Perla, Posada de los Flores la Paz, and Seven Crown La Paz Malecon.

At A Glance


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