Playa Balandra: Magical beach near La Paz, Mexico

ellen wades at playa balandra with no one else in sight

Last Updated on May 28, 2023 by Ellen

This Mexican Baja Sur beach is simply gorgeous. Playa Balandra is a magical beach near La Paz, and it’s got to be a place you visit.

I mean, just look:

beautiful beach at low tide

Playa Balandra is a fun place to see at low tide because you can wade forever in clean, clear water that’s below your knees. In fact, this is one of the cleanest beaches I’ve seen in Mexico. There was virtually no plastic trash. If I saw one remnant of something plastic, that was about it.

We went a few years before the New York Times identified this beach as a ‘must see’. Tourism to this spot has increased since then.

Budget travel tips for Playa Balandra

Getting there

We took the bus from the main terminal in town for a few dollars for two people. The bus stop is down the road from the entrance and parking lot to Playa Balandra, but it’s a short walk.

When to go

We timed out our visit so that the bulk of our time at Playa Balandra was around low tide. By the time we left, the tide was starting to rise, and in certain spots the water was rising to just over my knees. We left shortly after that, so I don’t know how high the water gets, but I don’t think it goes that much higher.

Still, the best time to experience this amazing landscape is definitely during low tide.

Why it’s so damn cool

There were sand bars, sand dunes, a few rocky ledges, a few free umbrellas for public use back near the parking lot, and that’s about it. There are no services to speak of – this is actually a eco-park.

However, there were a few locals selling souvenir goods near the parking lot in unofficial stands, and on the beach by the parking lot there were a few guys renting kayaks.

Sailboats and leisure boats anchored just beyond the largest sandbar, where the water becomes deep blue.

This place is so picture perfect that Jeep shot a commercial the day we were there on the top of a rock ridge behind the main beach.

Fancy drones flew overhead while the film crew staged a beautiful set. It’s no wonder Jeep chose this spot.

Playa Balandra is a beautiful spot worth seeing if you’re spending any time in La Paz.

Make sure you pack out whatever you trek in – to keep this amazing place plastic-trash free!

Locals have worked hard to make sure trash does not overrun what UNESCO has identified as “global marine conservation significance.”

(Editor’s note: this post was originally published in January 2018. It was updated in February 2020, following La Paz’s inclusion in “52 Places to Go in 2020” by The New York Times.)



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