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La Paz, Baja California, Mexico

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La Paz is the capital city of Baja California Sur, with a population, according to INEGI,  of 251,871. It has a history of pearl culturing and fishing. It has a large state university,  the University of Baja California Sur,and The Northwestern Center of Biological Research, known by its Spanish initials as CIBNOR. There is a Museum of Anthropology and Plaza Constitución, also known as Jardín Velazco, is bordered on one side by the Our Lady of Peace Cathedral  built in 1861 by Dominican priests, on the same site as the original Jesuit mission built in 1720 and houses paintings from the original mission. It is a great place to relax and people watch as there are often concerts, art shows and fairs set up.

Downtown La Paz is a great place for walking, roller-blading, skateboarding and biking. One of La Paz’s primary attractions for both residents and tourists is the long boardwalk called The Malecon, located seaside in downtown La Paz. There are sculptures and a gazebo where events often take place.There is a great selection of restaurants, boutique hotels, shops and tour operators, including bicycle rentals closeby. La Paz is host to many cultural events, international, national and local, such as exhibitions, theatre, book presentations, concerts and more.

People in La Paz are known to have a slower, more peaceful rhythm and many businesses still close for siestas between 2 and 4PM. However their nightlife rocks into the wee hours of the morning with live bands often playing popular rock in Spanish and English. There are beautiful beaches on both sides of La Paz, and guided eco-tours to the nearby islands, including swimming with whale sharks.
Pictures: Our Lady of Peace Cathedral, Malecon, swimming with whale sharks, La Balandra

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