4/18/2018 11:48 EST
We spent 6 weeks in La Paz this winter and never felt unsafe. We were staying in the middle of the Central district at first, two blocks from the Malecón. We then moved to a nice house on a dirt road a block from the far end of the Malecón,
Locals and tourists walk the Malecón constantly. Children play along it. People are out late and the bars and restaurants are busy and mostly excellent.
There is an enormous police and military presence, especially in the tourist area. Locals told us that it was mainly for show. The officers and military in the tourist area never bothered us in the least and we felt they were there to protect, not to harass.
The police outside the tourist area are a different story. I have not been stopped by police in the U.S. in 20+ years, but in La Paz I was stopped twice in 3 weeks.
They blocked one lane on the far side of a busy intersection and then gave tickets to people that were caught in the intersection because of them when the light changed. We were stopped a 2nd time and the officer wanted to write a ticket because my windows were tinted. My windows were not that dark and they were letting cars with blackout tints drive right on by. I was able to talk my way out of that one, but just barely. I had my window tint checked and it was legal, but I had it removed anyway.
Overall we really liked La Paz, but ultimately decided it was not the right place for us long term for two reasons.
First, the summers are long and terribly hot and humid. Multiple locals told us they loved La Paz but dreaded the summers. People were also commenting on how warm the winter was so climate change will probably make it even hotter.
The distance from the border was our other concern. We wanted to be able to get to the U.S. by car in one day. It's a 19 hour drive from La Paz to San Diego and the roads in Baja Norte are truly terrible. The drive isn't one most people would want to do often.
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