Balandra Beach in La Paz, Mexico

Hey there, Baja Sur adventurers! 😎🌵🌊

Welcome to our 2024 updated post about Balandra, one of the most beautiful beach escapes in the area. In this post, we’ll share all the deets on this idyllic beach: location, how to get there, things to do, the do’s and don’ts, and more.

Balandra beach view from above with hills and turquoise waters, La Paz, Mexico.
Balandra Beach from above, La Paz, Mexico

Why we love Playa Balandra

What really captivates us about Balandra Beach is its unique landscape, fusing the desert vibes of Baja with the freshness of a stunning beach. Its crystal-clear turquoise waters and velvety white sands create a visual delight that’s hard to beat.

Actually, this beach wasn’t very popular a few years ago and was mainly a gathering spot where locals enjoy escaping the daily grind. But relatively recently, Baja’s popularity took off, bringing tourists and new residents from all over the world—literally!

Balandra Beach Location

Natural Protected Area 

Balandra isn’t just a chill spot; it’s also a nature hotspot. This stunning beach is, in fact, classified as a wetland (featuring white, black, and red mangroves), and its endangered status calls for our conservation efforts.

Why do we need to protect mangroves? Besides their role as hurricane barriers, they provide refuge to species with commercial value (like shrimp and snapper fish). Also, Balandra represents a primary food source area for herons, frigatebirds, pelicans, and ospreys— so no litter, please!

Thanks to what was mentioned, Balandra was officially declared a Protected Area in 2012, and residents (or paceños) are all about shutting down any touristy stuff (like hotels and restaurants) in the zone—kudos to them!

Over the past few years, there’s been such a surge in visitors that local authorities had to step in and start charging entrance fees and set up opening hours:

  • Morning 8:00 — 12:00 hrs (Up to 450 people)
  • Afternoon 13:00 — 17:00 hrs (Up to 450 people)
  • During Easter, summer, and December, the afternoon opening hours are extended to 19:00 hrs

If you want to come, make sure you can arrive by either 8:00 or 13:00; otherwise, you’ll have to wait to get in (which is not that bad if you want to meet El Tecolote Beach while you do so).

Balandra Beach in La Paz Baja California Sur, Mexico
Balandra Beach

How to get there

By Car

This is the easiest way to get here. If you don’t have a car, you can rent one, get a taxi, or Uber ride. The parking lot capacity is only 80 vehicles, so arriving early is better.

We personally save local cabs and Uber for our last resort. Taxis are convenient but can get pricey; while Uber might be much cheaper, it’s not always easy to catch a ride home since it’s not commonly utilized.

By Bus

You can access Balandra by bus, and it’s pretty easy and well cheap. If you stay near downtown La Paz, you must go to the Malecon Bus Station and take the Playa Bus (departing every hour from 8:00 to 18:00).

The Playa Bus is the local transportation service, and you cannot book seats online. If you take the bus, bring some shade and food to stay until the pickup (remember to take the trash with you 😉).

By Boat

To visit Balandra by boat, you need to book a tour. Even though this is the most expensive way to get here, access is pretty much guaranteed and based on reviews from hundreds of people, and you’ll not regret this decision.

Here are some cool excursions that you can prebook online.

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Things to do

There’s a lot to explore for a day at Balandra. Check out some of the top experiences to enjoy at this beautiful Mexican beach below.

1. Take a photo at El Hongo

This famous rock with a mushroom shape has become the symbol of the city of La Paz—and it is an Instagram must.

2. Chill out under a palapa

To snatch one of these palm tree shades, you’ll have to arrive in the early hours; otherwise, you’ll have to bring your own. 

3. Swim

Get a feel for the gentle waves of Balandra that rock you like a cradle; these clear, shallow waters are great for children and older adults to kick back and relax.

El Hongo rock formation, surrounded by transparent turquoise waters and clear blue skies at Balandra in La Paz, Mexico.
Visit “El Hongo” at Balandra Beach

4. Snorkel sessions

Snorkeling around the coral reefs and admiring the marine life at Balandra is a total must, but remember not to touch them (they’re delicate and can be easily harmed).

5. Paddleboarding

Balandra has quite calm waves, making it perfect for paddleboarding—talking from experience!

6. Kayaking

Kayaking in this little cove is one of the most relaxing ways to stay fit while in Baja; plus, it’s an easy way to access slightly deeper areas and fully explore Balandra.

7. Hiking 

Balandra has an extra appeal: It’s perfect hiking grounds. Shoutout to the local crews for setting up hiking trails that are great for nature enthusiasts. If you are a beginner, maybe this expedition is for you.

Two people paddleboarding at Balandra Beach in La Paz Baja California Sur
Paddleboarding at Balandra Beach

What to bring

  • Reef safe sunscreen
  • Hat & sunglasses
  • Bug repellent (If you leave around 17:00)
  • Lunch, snacks, and plenty of water (no restaurants and hotels!)
  • Extra towels to lie on the sand 
  • Shade (more likely that you’ll need it)
  • Snorkeling (in case you didn’t book a tour)
  • Comfortable and non-slip shoes (If you are planning to hike)

Our recommendations 

The Do’s

  • Leave all your pending communications solved (there is no signal)
  • Avoid bringing pets (even though they are not banned, their access is strictly regulated)
  • Shuffle your feet when walking on the seafloor sand to avoid stingrays (pretty painful, although not dangerous)

The Don’ts 

  • Motorized boats are restricted
  • Drone use is restricted
  • Jet ski use is not permitted
  • Fishing is not permitted
  • Refrain from touching the coral reefs
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid walking on the dunes to maintain their natural state
  • Do not leave any waste on the beach
  • If you bring your pet, please adhere to regulations: use a leash, supervise your pet, keep them away from restricted areas (mangroves, dunes, and hills), and scoop the poop.

We hope you find this helpful article to spend a great vacation at the Sea of Cortez! 😎🌵🌊. If you take photos of your Balandra Beach adventure, don’t hesitate to tag us on our Instagram! 


  1. Are there any breeds of aggressive sharks in Balandra Beach’s waters? Being so shallow, I was hoping that great white sharks and the like wouldn’t enter. I heard that maybe there are whale sharks there. True?

    • Hey Mex,
      Thanks for dropping a line! No sharks in Balandra, so you’re all good. Whale sharks are chill and shy creatures that munch on plankton and hang around nearby, but they don’t come into the bay. Cheers!

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