Playa El Tecolote (Tecolote beach) is a beautiful beach located 17 miles north of La Paz, Mexico. It is very close to Playa Balandra (Balandra beach). Playa Balandra has strict limits on how many people can access and when they can enter (read here to learn how to access). If you can’t get in the best consolation prize available is a visit to Playa El Tecolote.
Playa Tecolote is one of the biggest beaches in La Paz. The long stretch of sand not only is gorgeous, but it provides all sorts of amenities for various types of beach goers.
There are multiple restaurants and bars giving off a strong relaxed beach shack vibe directly on the sand providing all types of food, including incredibly fresh seafood. There are also wide stretches of sand that you can lay out on and calm waters for you to swim in!
- Playa El Tecolote Quick Info:
- What To Expect At The Beach
- Tour Sales
- Where to stay in La Paz
Playa El Tecolote Quick Info:
- Other Names: Tecolote Beach
- Where: 17 miles north of La Paz, Mexico
- Activities: Rentals of kayaks, paddle boards, jet skis, swimming, and snorkel tours
- Amenities: restaurants, bars, bathrooms, tour sales, and water equipment rentals
- Parking: large free lots directly off of the sand
- Cost: free
Where is Playa El Tecolote located?
Playa Tecolote is located 17 miles north of La Paz Mexico. It is a 2 and a half hour drive from the Cabo airport. If you are coming from the malecon in the city of La Paz, the drive will take you about 25 minutes.
El Tecolote beach also faces Isla del Espiritu Santo (Holy Spirit Island), which is an extra amazing tour spot. You can get a tour directly from here.
It is only 3 minutes beyond Playa Balandra (further north).
How to get there:
There are a few ways you can get there. You will most likely be flying into the Cabo airport. If you don’t want to rent a car (which is what we did) or wait for the bus there is private roundtrip airport transportation available you can book here.
The easiest way to access by far is to drive your own rental car. The roads are easy to follow and feel completely safe to drive on.
What To Expect At The Beach
A lot of the beaches around La Paz are quite small. This one isn’t. It is quite long. In the middle of the beach is where all the restaurants, bars, and water equipment rentals are clustered. If you want your own space or a wide stretch of sand to spread out on just head further down the beach in either direction.
Sand And Swimming Conditions
Since the waters are in the protected Gulf of California, there generally aren’t any waves. This means that the calm waters are perfect to swim and snorkel in.
The sand is soft and white. At some points it is quite wide and at others it is thin and turns into dirt and in others gets rocky. If you go further down you can avoid this and will find wider stretches away from the crowds of people that you can lounge on.
If you are looking to lounge on the sand you will need to go away from the restaurants as they are situated directly off the shore so there isn’t space to lounge in front of them without being in the water.
This beach is great for swimming! Telecote beach is relatively shallow, so you can walk almost 100 feet off shore and still be in waist deep water allowing for relaxing swimming conditions.
Playa El Tecolote Snorkeling
The waters are calm enough to snorkel in, there just aren’t a ton of fish. There are other nearby beaches that are great for snorkeling as they have more rocky outcroppings where the fish gather.
This is an excellent place to buy a tour. The famous Espiritu Island sea lion tours can be purchased here and you are within eyeshot of the island.
Go snorkeling with Whale Sharks, the biggest fish in the ocean. (Most popular activity in La Paz) This is also a very popular activity in Holbox, Mexico.
Some people might find this to be a positive, but you likely won’t have cell coverage at the beach. I like being able to stay in touch, so it was a bit of a pain to be completely off the grid. If you are an addict like me there are a couple of the restaurants that will sell you WiFi access while you enjoy your meal our drink!
Some stretches of sand turn into dirt or are covered with rocks. While these aren’t the prettiest, you can usually just keep walking further down and find another stretch of wide sand.
Where to stay in La Paz
There are plenty of accommodation options in La Paz, that will suit any budget. To be honest, it’s more difficult to find an expensive hotel than it is a cheap one. If you are looking for luxury, many grand hotels also await. Explore all the top rated hotels in La Paz here.
For snorkeling – The La Concha Beach Hotel & Club is one of the best hotel picks for those who love easy access to snorkeling. The resort offers snorkeling, diving and canoeing tours. You can rent all your snorkeling great from the hotel! There is a reef you can access from either the beach or at The Cortez Club Dive Shop. Check prices here.
Playa El Tecolote Activites & Rentals
You can rent kayaks, paddle boards and jet skis. Water sports gear can be rented from the shops on the beach.
Other activities include windsurfing, water skiing and parasailing. You can also go out for a scuba diving adventure.
Most Popular Tours in La Paz
- Whale Shark snorkeling tour in a reduced group with local marine biologist – book here
- 1 Day Espiritu Santo Island Wonders – Sea Lions and Paddleboard Adventure
- Balandra & Tecolote: hike, kayak and snorkel in paradise
- Morning horseback riding to the beach and breakfast!
Playa El Tecolote Amenities
There are a few restaurant options right on the beach. There are also restrooms you can use for a few pesos. If you are looking to rent a canopy or an umbrella, those are also available directly on the shore.
Conclusion: Is Playa El Tecolote worth visiting?
Yes! Especially considering the activities that are offered right on the beach. While it might not compare to the beauty of Balandra Beach, it is still a must see beach with loads of amenities and is the absolute best alternative if you can’t get in or are waiting for your entrance time.