Visiting Balandra: Mexico’s Most Beautiful Beach

Looking for the best beach in Mexico? Head to Balandra Beach in La Paz!

Known as Mexico’s most beautiful beach, Playa Balandra, or Balandra Beach, is a must-visit attraction on the Baja California Peninsula.

With its crystal clear turquoise waters, soft white sand, cacti-filled cliffs, and stunning rock formations, this stunning beach paradise in Balandra Bay offers a serene escape from everyday life. 

I’m Mexican and Balandra Bay has been a cherished part of my life since I was a wide-eyed child, exploring its hidden coves and shallow waters with my family. The first time I stepped on its sandy shores decades ago, I was instantly captivated by Balandra Beach’s breathtaking natural beauty. 

In this guide to visiting Balandra Beach, we’re covering everything you need to know to explore this spectacular bay, including how to get there, entry restrictions and fees, the best things to do, essential tips for visitors, and more.

Ready? Vámonos a Playa Balandra!

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Best Balandra Tours

Here are our top picks for the best tours to Balandra:

About Balandra Bay

Bahía Balandra, or Balandra Bay, is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico, Balandra Beach. This stunning bay is known for its sandy beach coves with shallow turquoise waters surrounded by rocky mountains dotted with cacti. 

The name “balandra” means a sailboat with a single mast. Like those used by the pirates which legend says used to visit this bay.

The fact that there are no waves in the bay makes Balandra Beach feel like a giant natural pool. It’s incredibly shallow across the entire bay and, at the right tide, you can walk in the water from one side to the other. It’s a local favorite for families with children and beginner swimmers because you can wade in the water without it ever getting too deep and without the risk of waves.

Balandra Bay is also home to the iconic Piedra del Hongo de Balandra, or Balandra Mushroom Rock. It’s a unique rock formation shaped like a mushroom perched just above the water. El Hongo is a La Paz landmark and it’s easily one of the most photographed attractions in Baja California Sur.

The mountains surrounding the multi-colored bay boast miles of hiking trails to explore. Hiking around the bay and taking in unforgettable views is another popular pastime here.

Balandra Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of three federally-recognized Flora and Fauna Protected Natural Areas in the state of Baja California Sur on the Baja Peninsula. It’s also a Ramsar Site, a wetland of international importance, with the largest mangrove community in La Paz Bay and three out of the four mangrove species found in Mexico.

A row of palapas on the sand in Balandra Beach in Mexico

Where is Balandra Beach?

Nestled along the rugged coastline of the Sea of Cortez, Balandra Beach is situated in Balandra Bay near La Paz, Mexico. Balandra sits between two other popular beaches, west of Tecolote Beach and north of Pichilingue Beach.

Balandra Beach is located approximately 16 miles northeast of La Paz, on the eastern coast of the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico. La Paz is a vibrant city and this bustling state capital is a stark contrast to the peaceful and secluded ambiance in nearby Playa Balandra. This stunning beach’s proximity to the city and easy accessibility makes it a top day trip from La Paz.

The distance from Los Cabos to Balandra Beach is about 112 miles and the distance from Todos Santos to Balandra Beach is approximately 68 miles. 

Balandra Beach Map

Below is a map of Balandra Beach so you can get a better idea of exactly where it’s located along the Gulf of California and see how close it is to La Paz (and even Los Cabos).

How to Visit Balandra Beach

Getting to Balandra Beach is easy, the difficult part is accessing the beach due to the current entry restrictions (more on this in the next section). 

From the La Paz beach bus to Balandra Beach tours from Cabo, below are a range of transportation options for visiting Balandra Beach. 

Arriving By Air

The nearest airport to Balandra Beach is the La Paz Airport (LAP), officially named Manuel Márquez de León International Airport. Several airlines – including budget airline, Volaris – offer domestic and international flights to this BCS airport, making it a convenient gateway for travelers. 

You can also fly into the Los Cabos Airport (SJD) which is only a 2.5-hour drive south of Balandra Bay.

By Rental Car

The easiest, quickest, and best way to get to Balandra Beach from La Paz is to drive there in a car and park in the beachfront lot. The scenic drive from La Paz to Balandra Beach along the libramiento norte Baja California Sur-El Tecolote only takes about 30 minutes and is entirely paved. 

It takes approximately 1.5 hours to drive to Balandra from Todos Santos. It’s less than a 2.5-hour drive from Cabo San Lucas to Balandra Beach.

Renting a car in Mexico gives you the freedom to travel at your own pace and get off the beaten path. It’s also the best way to explore Balandra Bay and the surrounding beaches all in one day. 

Since there is little to no service in the area where these La Paz beaches are located, having your own means of transportation is the best option for traveling to this region. 

Use Discover Cars to search for the best car rental deals in Mexico from Hertz, Avis, Budget, and local providers. Keep in mind that you are legally required to have third-party liability insurance when renting a car in Mexico.

We’ve driven down the Baja Peninsula countless times, a classic Baja California road trip or Baja camping trip is our favorite way to explore this stunning region. If you’re driving your own vehicle into Mexico, don’t forget to get additional (and mandatory) Mexican insurance. We use and recommend Baja Bound.

By Taxi

Taxis are available throughout La Paz and they offer a convenient way to reach Balandra Beach. The approximate cost of a taxi from La Paz to Balandra Beach is around 250 pesos each way, depending on your pick-up location.

It’s crucial to set a pickup time with the taxi driver because there is little to no cell phone service once you arrive in Balandra. Be sure to negotiate the rate with the taxi driver before starting your trip. 

If you’re staying in nearby Todos Santos or Los Cabos, it’s a common practice in Mexico to hire a taxi for the day as your private driver. They can drive you around the region and stop at whatever places you choose, including Balandra Beach.

By Bus

To reach Balandra Beach by bus, take the baby blue “Playa Bus” by Autotransportes Aguila. The journey from La Paz to Balandra Beach by bus typically takes around 40 minutes and costs 60 pesos.

The beach bus leaves from the Terminal Turística (Tourist Bus Terminal) located conveniently off the malecón, or beach promenade, in downtown La Paz. It stops at the following beaches: Pichilingue, Balandra, and El Tecolote.

The Playa Bus schedule changes depending on the season and holidays, so it’s best to check the Autotransportes Aguila Facebook page or go in person to the terminal for the most current timetables. 

As of April 2023, the buses depart daily from the La Paz Bus Terminal from 10 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm. There is another departure at 6 pm, but Balandra is closed at that time.

On its way to Playa El Tecolote, the bus stops on the entrance road to Balandra Beach. It is about a 10-minute walk from the road to the water.

⏱ Keep in mind that you need to coordinate your arrival with the beach’s timed entry restrictions. We recommend taking the noon bus to arrive at Balandra at 12:40 pm. This gets you there 20 minutes before the afternoon entry period from 1 to 5 pm. Then, you can hop on the 4:40 pm bus back to La Paz.

By Boat

Balandra Bay is easily accessible by boat and it’s a popular way to explore the beautiful coastline and its hidden beaches.

You can rent a sailboat in La Paz or a motorboat and head out to spend the day at Balandra. There are also panga boat tours to Balandra Beach from nearby Playa El Tecolote.

This guided Balandra boat tour begins at the FONATUR marina in La Paz and takes you on a scenic journey along the coast. The first stop is San Rafaelito, where you get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with a sea lion colony. Next, head to Balandra Beach to see the famous Mushroom Rock, swim, and snorkel. 

For a more exclusive experience, book this private yacht cruise to Balandra Beach and Espiritu Santo Island. This luxurious tour comes with everything you could want for an unforgettable day out on the water, including a fresh ceviche lunch with beer and wine, beach towels, snorkeling gear, paddleboards, and more water toys.

Woman hiking in Mexico's beautiful Balandra Bay

Best Balandra Beach Tours

Taking a Balandra Beach tour with a knowledgeable guide is an incredible way to experience Balandra Bay, gain valuable insight into the local history and ecology, and see some of the lesser-known highlights. 

From underwater snorkeling adventures to tranquil kayak excursions, the best Balandra Beach tours offer an immersive experience in the natural wonders of Balandra Bay.

Balandra Beach Tours from La Paz

Below are the top-rated tours from La Paz to Balandra Beach.

Hike, Kayak, and Snorkel in Balandra and Tecolote

Duration: 7 hours | Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | Check Price

Forget laying out on the sand, for an active outdoor adventure full of hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling around one of Mexico’s best beaches, book this Hike, Kayak, and Snorkel in Balandra Tour

This small group tour begins with a kayaking excursion off of Balandra Beach with several snorkeling breaks to explore Balandra Bay’s underwater treasures and a stop at the mushroom rock.

Next, take a 2.5-hour hike along the rugged cliffs and intertidal zones to visit neighboring Playa El Tecolote. Take in the spectacular views of the Sea of Cortez and Balandra Bay from the lookout points high above the water.

Once at Tecolote Beach, enjoy a fresh ceviche lunch (vegan options available) just steps from the turquoise water as you unwind after your adventure.

La Paz City and Beaches Tour

Duration: 8 hours | Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | Check Price

If you only have one day to explore the vibrant capital of Baja California Sur, check out this La Paz City and Beaches Tour. It’s a full-day guided tour of the top tourist attractions in La Paz, including the beautiful Balandra Beach.

This group tour begins with a visit to Balandra Beach to walk along its shores and see the famous Mushroom Rock. From there, head to neighboring Tecolote Beach for lunch right on the beach.

After lunch, return to the heart of La Paz to take a stroll down the city’s popular beachfront malecon (promenade), visit an artisan workshop, and walk around the centro historico, or historic center.

La Paz Beaches Private Tour

Duration: 6 hours | Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars | Check Price

If you’re not a fan of group tours visit all of the most popular beaches in La Paz on this La Paz Beaches Private Tour

The perfect activity for beach lovers, this half-day private tour takes you to six beautiful beaches near La Paz: Balandra, Tecolote, Pichilingue, Tesoro, Caimancito, and Corumuel.

The local tour guides share the area’s colorful legends and rich history, while you explore La Paz’s best beaches and enjoy a fresh ceviche lunch.

Balandra Beach Tours from Cabo

If you stay in Los Cabos, take a Balandra day tour from Cabo San Lucas or rent a car and drive to the pick-up point for one of the La Paz tours above. 

For a private tour of Todos Santos and Balandra Beach from Cabo San Lucas, check out this 5-star Private Tour of Balandra Beach, Todos Santos, and Cerritos Beach.

Todos Santos, La Paz, and Balandra from Cabo San Lucas

Duration: 11 hours | Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars | Check Price

For a guided trip to the most popular destinations in Baja California Sur, book this tour to Todos Santos, La Paz, and Balandra Beach from Cabo.

Visit beautiful beaches, vibrant La Paz, and charming Todos Santos on this full-day trip from Cabo San Lucas (pick-up is also available in San Jose del Cabo).

The group tour begins with a visit to stunning Balandra and El Coromuel beaches on the eastern coast. From there, head to the historical center of La Paz for a stroll on the malecon. Explore the 17th-century La Paz Cathedral and learn about the local culture. Then, visit a local pearl shop to learn about the historical significance of pearls in La Paz.

Enjoy lunch on the malecon before heading off to Todos Santos on the western coast of Baja Sur. Stop by the famous Hotel California and stroll around its colorful colonial streets.

Turquoise water in Balandra Bay

Balandra Beach Restrictions for Entry

Playa Balandra became famous across the country when it was voted Mexico’s most beautiful beach in a major publication. Unfortunately, the increasing number of visitors to this delicate ecosystem quickly became unsustainable, and something needed to be done. 

Enter the pandemic. Beaches across Baja closed during peak COVID and soon reopened with a limited capacity. Although COVID rules at other beaches were eventually removed, Balandra Beach restrictions remain in place. 

It seems CONANP (National Commission for Protected Natural Areas) and APFF officials took it as a much-needed opportunity to permanently limit the number of people visiting Playa Balandra and prevent further damage to the area.

There are currently restrictions on the hours people can visit Playa Balandra (two daily access blocks) and the number of visitors per entry block (up to 450). 

Balandra Entry Times: 

  • Access Block 1: Morning (8 am to 12 pm)
  • Access Block 2: Afternoon (1 pm to 5 pm)

They do not allow any more people in once it reaches the 450 visitors per access block capacity. If you’re visiting on a weekend or during the holidays, we recommend getting there at least 30 minutes before 8 am or 12 pm to be sure you’re one of the 450 people allowed in.

Plus, arriving early gets a better chance of snagging one of the few palapas on the sand for some much-needed shade during your visit. Early arrivals also get a spot in the limited parking lot. 

It’s important to note that the Balandra Beach restrictions are still evolving and can change at any moment, especially during holidays. 

Their latest development (as of November 2022) is restricting access to Balandra Beach on every first Sunday of the month exclusively for La Paz residents.

For the most up-to-date info, check the official Balandra APFF Instagram before your visit or ask your tour company for details.

Balandra Beach Hours

Balandra Beach is open from 8 am to 12 pm and from 1 pm to 5 pm, with a maximum of 450 people per time block. It is closed from 12 pm to 1 pm and overnight from 5 pm to 8 am.

Officials will come around to kick everyone out just before noon, but you can re-enter on the same day at 1 pm.

It’s important to respect the designated operating hours to help preserve this federally protected area.

Balandra Beach Entry Fee

Balandra Beach is currently free and there is no entry cost. But this could change at any time. Officials began to charge a 54 peso fee for tourists at one point but then stopped.

Balandra Facilities and Rules

Since it’s a protected natural area, there are almost no man-made structures and very few facilities in Balandra Beach. 

You need to bring everything you need to enjoy your time at this beach (especially drinking water) and pack out all of your waste because there are no trash cans. It is not like many other Mexican beaches where you can find vendors selling anything you need. 

Balandra does NOT have the following:

  • Cell phone service
  • Trash facilities
  • Lifeguards
  • Umbrella or beach chair rentals
  • Snorkel gear rentals
  • Food or drink vendors
  • Restaurants
  • Showers

Available Facilities

These are the few facilities available in Balandra Bay:

Palapas: There is a row of about 20 free palapas (thatched roof shade structures) on the main beach.

Bathrooms: The only bathroom available is a portable trailer with toilets.

Parking Lot: There is limited parking available in the paved, beachfront parking lot

Kayak and Paddleboard Rentals: Kayak and paddleboard rentals are usually available along the main beach.

Balandra Rules

There are several rules you should follow when visiting this protected natural area:

  • Pack out all of your trash.
  • Park only in the assigned parking areas.
  • Don’t walk on the dunes. Stay on the hiking trails.
  • Don’t disturb the wildlife with loud music.
  • Do not take anything from the beach, including plants, shells, and fossils.
  • Leashed dogs are allowed only on the main beach. You must pick up after them.
  • No camping or overnight parking.
  • Drones are not permitted above the bay unless you have a permit from CONANP.
  • Do not climb the Mushroom Rock.
Mangrove lagoon in Balandra Bay, Mexico

Is Balandra Beach Safe?

Balandra Beach, Mexico is safe for tourists to visit, as is the nearby city of La Paz, BCS. However, you should take the usual precautions when visiting any beach. 

  • Keep an eye on your belongings and don’t leave anything valuable behind when swimming or hiking. 
  • Protect yourself from the intense Baja sun with biodegradable sunscreen, a UPF shirt for snorkeling, a sun hat, and polarized sunglasses. 
  • Bring more than enough water to stay hydrated during your visit. 
  • Shuffle your feet in the water to avoid getting stung by stingrays hiding under the sand.
  • Wear proper hiking shoes when exploring the steep, rocky, and cacti-filled terrain.

➡️ Check out our Best Mexico Travel Tips for more safety advice for your trip.

Of course, you don’t want to think about everything that can go wrong during your visit, but accidents can happen. 

Having travel insurance coverage can give you peace of mind and help you travel confidently on your trip to Mexico. A good Mexico travel insurance covers things like lost luggage, trip cancellation, travel delays, and emergency medical care.

Safety Wing offers travel and medical incident insurance for Mexico and specializes in coverage for digital nomads, remote workers, and longer-term stays.

Best Time to Visit

Balandra Beach is a popular place to visit throughout the year. Many Americans visit during the winter to escape the snow at home, while the majority of Mexicans visit spring through fall to enjoy the warmer climate and 80-degree water.

If you aren’t a fan of hot weather, the best time of year to visit Balandra, Mexico, is during the dry season from November to April. February is the coolest month, with an average temperature of 66°F. Keep in mind that water temperatures also drop during this time (around 72°F) and it is windy season.

For warm water, sunny skies, and minimal wind, visit Balandra in May or October when the average is in the high 70s and the water temperature is much more comfortable for swimming and snorkeling.

Whatever the season, avoid visiting Balandra on busy weekends and holidays. 

Best Things To Do in Balandra Beach

This idyllic beach surrounded by rocky desert terrain offers a surprising variety of activities to keep you busy. Or you can simply relax on the white sand and lose yourself in the tranquility of this untouched paradise. 

From kayaking through mangroves to the miles of hiking trails, there are the best things to do in Balandra Beach and nearby.

1. See the Mushroom Rock (El Hongo)

Getting a photo by El Hongo is one of the most popular activities for visitors to Balandra Beach, Mexico. There is usually a line of people waiting to get a photo of this unique rock.

The iconic Hongo de Balandra, or Balandra Mushroom Rock, is a famous La Paz landmark in Balandra Bay. This mushroom-like rock formation is perched above the water at the far right end of the bay and is thought to be millions of years old. 

The rock is incredibly fragile and can fall over at any moment, so please do not climb or lean on it. 

Unfortunately, a group of people decided to climb it a few decades ago and knocked it over. What you see now is still the original rock, but its narrow “stem” was reinforced in 1993 when several engineers managed to put it back upright. 

2. Go Snorkeling in the Sea of Cortez

Dive into the clear turquoise waters of the Sea of Cortez and discover a world of vibrant marine life. 

Balandra Beach snorkeling offers an unforgettable experience, where you encounter colorful fish, see rocky reefs, and explore the underwater ecosystem. 

Some of the underwater animals that inhabit the area include trumpet fish, barracuda, sea stars, stingrays, and sergeant major fish.

Witness firsthand why the world-famous diver, Jacques Cousteau, once called the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez, “The World’s Aquarium.”

🐠 You need to bring your own mask and snorkel set since there are none for rent or sale here. We also recommend wearing a UPF shirt to protect your back from the intense Mexico sun.

3. Walk or Swim Across Balandra Bay

One of the most unique things to do in Balandra is to walk through the glassy water across the bay. When the tide is right, the water is so shallow that you can walk straight through the water to the other side of the bay.

If the tide is a little high you might have to swim a portion of it, but it’s worth the journey to get to the much less-visited beaches on the southern side of the bay.

If you want to witness the incredibly shallow water, be sure to check the tide charts and time your visit during a low tide.

Man standing on sand in Balandra Beach, Mexico

4. Explore the Hiking Trails

Explore the captivating surroundings of Balandra Beach by embarking on a hike or nature walk. Discover the unique rock formations, admire the desert flora, and keep an eye out for local wildlife.

Hiking up the mountain to take in the truly unforgettable vistas of Balandra Bay from above is one of our favorite things to do here. For a short hike with incredibly rewarding views, take the well-worn uphill trail next to the parking lot to a lookout point.

There are six official hiking trails near Balandra Beach, each with jaw-dropping views of the beautiful desert and sea landscapes.

These unpaved hiking trails are along rugged and sometimes steep paths with rocky, cacti-filled terrain. Remember to wear sturdy hiking shoes with thick soles that withstand getting punctured by cactus needles. Bring more than enough water and wear sun protection.

  1. Balandra Valley (3.4 miles)
  2. Merito South – Mangrove – El Merito (1.8 miles)
  3. Balandra Bay Lookout – El Merito (1.8 miles)
  4. Merito North – Devil’s Point (2.9 miles)
  5. Mangrove and Southern Balandra Beaches (1.7 miles)
  6. North Balandra Circuit (Upper Trail: 2.6 miles; Lower Trail: 1.9 miles)

Another popular hike is from Balandra Bay to neighboring Playa El Tecolote by following the Tecolote Beach to Balandra Beach hiking trail.

5. Go Kayaking or Paddleboarding in the Mangroves

One of the best ways to explore Balandra Bay is by gliding across the water on a kayak or paddleboard. Enjoy the stunning coastal views, paddle through mangroves, and discover hidden coves.

For an off-the-beaten-path adventure, head to the saltwater lagoon surrounded by mangroves on the eastern side of Balandra Bay.

The mangrove forest in Balandra is home to a unique ecosystem that differs from the one in the rest of the bay. Here you’ll find a variety of flora and fauna, including three types of mangroves (red, white, and black), plenty of fish hiding in the shade, crabs crawling along the roots, and even ospreys hovering above.

Some of the other highlights for a kayaking or paddleboarding adventure on Balandra Bay are paddling to see the Mushroom Rock and exploring the less-visited sandy coves on its southern side.

🚣 Book this Balandra kayaking tour or rent a kayak or paddleboard on the main beach for around 350 pesos per hour.

6. Enjoy a Picnic Under a Palapa

Playa Balandra in La Paz offers the perfect setting for pure relaxation. Unwind on the soft white sand, soak up the sun, and enjoy a leisurely beach picnic with stunning views as your backdrop.

Enjoying a beachside picnic under a cool palapa is a favorite pastime for locals. A palapa is a shade structure with a roof made of palm leaves found throughout Mexico. 

There are about 20 free palapas in a row a few feet from the water on the main beach. Since this is pretty much the only shade available, most visitors will rush to get a palapa as soon as they access the beach.

Since there are no food vendors here, most locals come prepared for a full beach picnic. They bring coolers packed with plenty of food, snacks, and cold drinks for the entire family. Umbrellas, beach chairs, towels, beach toys, floaties, and even speakers are all part of their well-equipped setups.  

If you want to snag a palapa, you need to get there before the opening time or wait until someone else leaves theirs. 

The last time we visited Balandra, Mexico, we were in the car line to enter about one hour before opening and there were already at least 20 cars ahead of us. We parked quickly and miraculously managed to get one of the three remaining palapas. Yay for shade! 

7. Visit El Tecolote Beach

After some fun in the sun in Balandra Bay, head to laid-back Tecolote Beach to enjoy a satisfying meal and an ice-cold cerveza by the sea.

Playa El Tecolote, or Tecolote Beach, is another popular and beautiful beach near La Paz. It’s conveniently located less than 1.5 miles north of Balandra Bay. To get there from Balandra, you can hike over Cerro Tecolote (Tecolote Hill) from Balandra Beach, take a short walk along the main road, or drive for less than 5 minutes.

This lively beach boasts turquoise water, breathtaking views of Espiritu Santo Island (a top attraction where you can swim with sea lions), boat tours, watersports rentals, and a variety of beachfront restaurants and bars.

Grab a table right on the beach, stick your feet in the sand, sip on an authentic michelada or paloma, and indulge in a fresh seafood meal with an ocean view. 

🌮 If you plan on staying the entire day at Balandra Beach, head over for lunch at one of the restaurants on Playa El Tecolote while you wait out the 12 pm to 1 pm closure period at Balandra.

What to Pack for Balandra Beach

When packing for your visit to Balandra Beach in Baja California Sur, it’s important to come prepared with everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable day at the beach.

Don’t forget the essentials like a wide-brimmed sun hat and UV-protective sunglasses, sturdy hiking shoes, and, of course, a swimsuit!

  • Quick-Dry Towel: There’s no need to walk around with wet towels in your beach bag! This lightweight travel towel dries extremely quickly and packs down very small. Lay it out to dry in the Baja sun and it’ll be dry in about 15 minutes.
  • Reef-Safe Sunscreen: Protect your skin and the delicate ecosystem with biodegradable sunscreen. When swimming and snorkeling, we use a combination of UPF rash guards to cover our skin and this reef-safe sunscreen to minimize our impact on the environment. 
  • Water Shoes: The path to see the famous Mushroom Rock has a section with slippery, volcanic rock. Bring water shoes to protect your feet and avoid falling.
  • Mask and Snorkel Set: Essential for getting a good peak at the marine life here! We always travel to Baja with our own mask and snorkel set, including fins.
  • Trash Bag: Bring a bag to collect any trash, pack it out, and dispose of it properly when you get to a trash can.
  • Water and Snacks: You need to pack more than enough drinking water and food for your visit to Balandra. There are no food and drink vendors allowed on this beach.
  • Cash: There are no ATMs around. Bring enough cash to rent kayaks, pay for the return transportation, and eat at a restaurant in nearby Playa El Tecolote.
Balandra Beach welcome sign with Mushroom Rock

Balandra Beach Hotels

Balandra’s untouched beauty is one of the most alluring things about it. Since it’s a Natural Protected Area, there are no hotels, houses, or permanent buildings inside of it.

The nearest hotels to Balandra Beach, Mexico are located about 10 miles south of Balandra near a marina in the Punta Prieta area of La Paz:

Consider staying in the heart of La Paz to enjoy its vibrant atmosphere, while still having easy access to Balandra Beach. As the state capital, this city has a range of accommodation options including beachfront resorts, boutique hotels, and vacation rentals. 

The malecon area, with its beautiful waterfront promenade, is a popular area to stay, providing stunning views of La Paz Bay and proximity to restaurants, bars, and shops.

We use for reserving hotels. Most hotels offer free cancellations, some include breakfast, and they consistently offer the lowest prices. Vrbo is better than Airbnb for finding quality vacation rentals because they offer exclusively private homes that are typically much nicer.

FAQs: Playa Balandra

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about visiting Balandra Beach, Mexico.

Is Balandra Beach worth visiting?

Absolutely! Balandra Beach is worth visiting and it’s considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico.

Its picturesque beauty, calm turquoise waters, unique Mushroom Rock formation, and tranquil atmosphere make it a must-see destination. 

Whether you’re seeking relaxation, water activities, or simply want to immerse yourself in the natural splendor of the beach, Balandra offers an unforgettable experience.

Why is Balandra Beach closed?

Balandra Beach is currently open to the public. The beach did close for a few months in 2022 due to a tragic oil spill from a yacht accident and fire in Balandra Bay, but the area has since reopened.

Is Balandra Beach free to visit?

Yes, Balandra Beach is free to visit. There is currently no entrance fee to access the beach. It’s important to note that the restrictions and rules at Balandra are constantly changing. Officials once began charging an entry fee and then abruptly stopped.

There are no ATMs nearby, so remember to bring cash for kayak or paddleboard rentals.

Can you swim in Balandra?

Yes, swimming in Balandra Beach is permitted and it’s one of the most popular things to do here. The beach’s calm and shallow waters make it safe for swimmers of all ages and skill levels. 

Depending on the tide, the water can get so shallow that you can even wade or swim from one side of the bay to the other.

Is Balandra Beach crowded?

Balandra Beach can experience varying levels of crowds depending on the time of year and day of the week. It tends to be more crowded during weekends and holidays, especially during the peak tourist season.

To enjoy a quieter and more serene experience, consider visiting on weekdays or during the shoulder seasons of May through June and September through October.

If it is crowded during your visit, head to one of the less-visited sandy coves on the southern side of the bay.

Is Balandra Beach good for snorkeling?

Balandra Beach is mostly known for its scenic beauty and calm waters. While it is a good spot for snorkeling (especially for beginners) it’s certainly not the best in Baja. 

The shallow depths limit the variety of animals and plants that live in the central sandy areas. But you can still observe plenty of fish and other marine life living in the rocky areas along the shores.

How deep is Balandra Beach?

Balandra Beach, Mexico, usually has extremely shallow waters. The exact depth depends on the tides, but it typically ranges from ankle-deep to waist-deep. 

The gradual incline of the seabed makes it an ideal beach for wading, swimming, and water activities that cater to all skill levels.

What is the closest airport to Balandra Beach?

The closest airport to Balandra Beach is Manuel Márquez de León International Airport (LAP) in La Paz, Mexico. It is approximately a 30-minute drive from the La Paz Airport to Balandra Beach, Mexico. 

The LAP airport offers domestic and international flights, making it a convenient gateway for travelers visiting Balandra Beach and the surrounding region in Baja California Sur.

Final Thoughts on Playa Balandra

Balandra Beach, La Paz is a natural paradise just begging to be explored! 

Its pristine beauty, tranquil atmosphere, and variety of things to do make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers, hikers, and beach bums alike.

So what are you waiting for? Book one of the Balandra tours below and get ready to dive into its unforgettable turquoise waters.

Best Balandra Tours

Here are our top picks for the best tours to Balandra:

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