Mexico Destination Wedding in La Paz
September 27, 2017
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Gliding across tranquil Balandra Bay in La Paz, Mexico, you first notice the colorful beauty of your surroundings. Desert brown hills dotted with vibrant green cacti envelop white sandy stretches and glassy waters. Then you notice you’re only sharing that ombré bay and a smattering of thatched palapas on the sand with a few other kayakers. When you make the trek out to the region’s trademark Mushroom Rock, you get the perfect selfie without having to wait for a busload of sightseers to clear out.
Offering practically private slices of paradise, like Balandra as well as other tourist magnets like a brand new whale museum, Baja California Sur’s capital, La Paz, still offers a vintage vibe. Imagine lazy afternoon walks along the sculpture-filled beachfront promenade, a cathedral-anchored town square and plenty of premium fish taco purveyors. Be sure to try the fresh ray! Perhaps the two-and-a-half hour drive from the Cabo airport through curvy mountain passes makes maintaining authenticity and staving off overcrowding a little easier. The extra effort often translates to more bang for your pesos. For example, CostaBaja Resort & Spa will include transportation with four-night bookings.
However, don’t confuse affordable with ordinary. Throwing a wedding or staying at the 150-room CostaBaja will never feel like a sacrifice. Splurge on a suite with a tub on the patio (complimentary on the wedding night), the breakfast buffet and the spa’s signature Damiana Ritual, a treatment utilizing native flowers and ancestral techniques. While away the daylight lounging by the pool, hitting the lively beach club bar or giving new meaning to foreplay on the country’s only Gary Player Signature golf course. Then settle in to a wood-grilled steak and guided tequila tasting from a 400-label collection at Steinbeck’s, which can also cater your event.
Ceremonies at CostaBaja are most often held on the private beach using simple wood and white décor the hotel has on hand, but the on-site wedding planner can help coordinate more ornate rentals or shipments from the States. Receptions can be held at a variety of spaces including the modern, desert chic Golf Club House, a more traditional ballroom or on the patio that overlooks the marina and the mountains.
Whether you’re in La Paz to get hitched or honeymoon, jump on a Fun Baja boat, which conveniently leaves from the dock, to explore what Jacques Cousteau dubbed “the aquarium of the world.” Some Sea of Cortez sails are seasonally dependent, like whale watching or swimming with whale sharks, but diving or snorkeling around a colony of sea lions provides year-round entertainment. After the underwater acrobatics show, the catch of the day is served on Espíritu Santo Island’s protected shores. The perfect outing concludes with a few hours to hike, paddleboard, swim or kayak around the serene cove.
Thanks to the friendly faces, picturesque surroundings, abundant wildlife, throwback feel and luxurious lodging, it is easy to be at peace in La Paz, making it one of the most appropriately named cities in Mexico.
This article first appeared in Destination I Do’s Fall/Winter 2016 issue. You can order a copy here.