[Originally posted January 3, 2008]
The dash from Santa Rosalía to La Paz was uneventful. Arriving, I was in for a shock.
I first visited La Paz about 11 years ago. It was a gorgeous town that brilliantly toed the line between tourism and "real" Mexico. A handful of cabana-style restaurants lined the Malecon and hotels were cheap; $10 per night (double occupancy) got a pretty nice place. The diving was great. Rachel (who I was dating at the time) and I loved it so much we went back the next year too.
La Paz has "grown up". I barely recognized the place. The Malecon looks like South Beach Miami and there are gringos everywhere. I was horrified to discover that across the street from the famous Hotel Los Arcos...
...was this abomination:
It's still a beautiful, pleasant city, but there are new buildings everywhere and they've started building large hotels in the downtown area. It reminds me of what happened to Avila Beach when Unocal razed all the old buildings and built it anew. Sadly, La Paz is becoming the next Cabo San Lucas.
I stayed in a pretty nice hotel though:
I'm glad that my favorite restaurant in La Paz is still there:
I also found a libraría and bought a Moon Guide to Baja. I should have done this before I left Arizona, but it's critical for the Cabo area.