El Tecolote Beach: A Coastal Paradise in La Paz, Mexico

Overlooking El Tecolote beach turquoise waters and mountains on the back.
El Tecolote Beach

A Beach Paradise in La Paz

Since I was a little child, “El Tecolote Beach” was one of the places I used to visit every summer, and – like any other young girl – I couldn’t wait to get my feet into the warm sand and spend a great day swimming at the beach.

This place brings many beautiful memories full of sandcastles, crystalline waters, and colorful fish swimming around the shore. I’m sure you’ll be thrilled to dip your toes into this beautiful waterfront, just like me!

Playa El Tecolote is one of the most popular beaches in all La Paz. Fair is so. “The Owl Beach” (as translated to English) is an excellent place if you want to rent equipment to practice almost any watersport you can think of.

Along with some casual eateries, this area can be a very comfortable space for fun and relaxation, a true beach paradise in La Paz, if you allow me to say.

Where is El Tecolote Beach

Located at the very end of La Paz Bay, Playa El Tecolote is the last stop when you drive through the La Paz highway, going through the Pichilingue route. 

This beautiful beach faces Isla del Espíritu Santo (Holy Spirit Island), making it very special. Thanks to this location, visitors can enjoy a complete experience with all sorts of activities like scuba diving, fishing tours, snorkeling, and jet ski adventures.

Blue skies with Playa Tecolote entrance sign on the highway.
Welcome to Playa El Tecolote

In my personal opinion, it’s highly recommended for families and big groups of friends for sure.

How to get to Playa El Tecolote

Located 30 minutes away from the city of La Paz, you can get to El Tecolote by car or take the “Playa Bus” at the Malecon Touristic Bus Terminal for MXN 60.00 (USD 2.93 approx.) as a one-way rate. This is the same rate for Balandra and other beaches along the La Paz – Pichilingue highway route. 

You can check the bus departure hours below. If you want to pay for a return journey, you can wait until the next hour bus arrives at the beach and take the ride back. 

You can estimate this by adding about 40 minutes to every departure hour.

DepartureReturn to La Paz
11:00 11:40
13:0013:40
15:0015:40
17:0017:40

You can also visit El Tecolote as part of many boat tours, although this is more frequent for beaches like Balandra.

What to do at El Tecolote Beach

This beautiful beach is known for being relatively shallow; you can walk 30 meters offshore and still be waist deep which allows a relaxing swimming session, something ubiquitous in most beaches in this gorgeous area.  

El Tecolote is one of the few beaches in La Paz, which is long enough to go for a peaceful walk, and if you are a shell hunter like me, you will find extreme pleasure collecting all sorts of cute little stones, shells, and sea glass. 

Playa Tecolote La Paz aerial image
Local restaurants at El Tecolote Beach

If you prefer to chill, you can bring a shade or hire one of the famous “palapas” (Mexican shades) to rest all day, although this service has a minimum food and beverage consumption of MXN 500.00 (USD 24.42 approx.).

Also, one of my favorite adventures here is camping. Preparing a bonfire and enjoying a stargazing experience with the sound of the waves is just priceless. 

El Tecolote Beach is the most accessible place to do so, here you can find toilet service for MXN 15.00 (USD 0.73) and a shower for MXN 30.00 (USD 1.47), plus you don’t have to worry about bringing any food.

Pay for activities and tours 

Compared to Balandra, El Tecolote seems to be more like a fun adventure, rather than a peaceful day at the beach.

Unlike Balandra Beach, El Tecolote is not a Natural Protected Area, and this allows people to enjoy pretty much any activity without affecting the environment too much.

As mentioned above, this fantastic beach is all about watersport equipment rentals, and you can be sure you’ll not be bored here! 

You can rent kayaks and paddleboards and have an incredible experience rowing on the crystalline waters of El Tecolote, as many visitors have posted in their reviews.

El Tecolote Beach seashore with two jet-skies on the crystal-clear waters, eight palapas on the sand, and cars parked nearby.
Rent a jet ski or a kayak in El Tecolote Beach

Or, if you prefer a more intense adventure, you can rent a jet ski. Here you can ride the waves like a true cowboy. And yes, in El Tecolote beach, fun is for everyone, groups included! That’s why everybody loves the exciting banana boat rides.  

Because of the weather conditions, many other activities like windsurfing, water skiing, and parasailing are available for a solo adventure. Literally, the sky is the limit.

But perhaps one of the most appealing activities here is the tours. You can go for a scuba diving adventure or book a time to Isla Espíritu Santo. During the season, you can practice snorkeling with shark whales.

Whatever you choose, prepare to be blown away by the healthy and beautiful coral reefs and all the marine life that can be seen there: puffers, rays, eels, angelfish, damsels, yellowtail, to mention a few.

Our advice: even though places state they accept debit and credit cards, we strongly recommend you always bring some cash with you to avoid surprises once you are there. 

Eat at El Tecolote Beach

This beach can be a lunch spot for some people, especially if you are driving all the way to Balandra and you fancy a tasty dish. Coming to El Tecolote is your best shot. 

Here you can find 3 or 5 restaurants, being the most famous Beach Club El Tecolote, where you can try delicious margaritas and a great variety of dishes like ceviche, shrimp tacos, aguachile, seafood cocktails, and many other beach delights.

Restaurant bar "Palapa Azul" at El Tecolote Beach, La Paz, Mexico.
Restaurant Bar “Palapa Azul” at El Tecolote Beach

Walking around, you can find other establishments and food trucks selling coconuts and preparations like tortas, empanadas, burritos, tacos, and even coffee… yep, you don’t need to bring goodies! 

Overall, many visitors’ reviews have mentioned that El Tecolote is an excellent place to eat. The prices are reasonable, and the food is above and beyond if you consider that we are basically in the middle of nowhere.

Even though the facilities might seem poor, let’s keep in mind that this is a very austere place, and has been a remote area for over 30 years; hence that’s its beauty. 

El Tecolote Beach is definitely not your spot if you expect a Santa Monica-like experience. We go for the simple life here.   

Special considerations 

  • Since this is a well-known spot by locals, you can expect it to be swamped during weekends. It is best to show up during weekdays, preferably early, to avoid big crowds. 
  • During the busier hours, you can expect to hear loud banda music – a Mexican genre, mainly played with trombone and percussions… not exactly a Mozart concert for your ears. Some people may find this annoying, but it’s part of the local culture.
  • El Tecolote tends to be a windy beach, especially during winter months – that’s why it’s possible to perform activities like windsurf and parasailing – it is wise to bring a light sweater as it can get a bit chilly.  
  • Same as other beaches like Balandra, it is likely you can be too close to stingrays. They love to rest and take the sun on the seashore, especially during the summer months. Be careful and shuffle your feet when you walk on the shore to avoid stepping on them and getting stung. 

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