The real gem of La Paz, Mexico beaches is Playa Balandra. Playa Pichilingue is directly next door and does have some appeal, just don’t think this will qualify as an adequate substitute.
Playa Pichilingue is a a nice little beach that has some restaurants directly on the shore. The water can be an amazing clear blue, but the stretch of sand is actually small and the shores often get crowded with local fisherman coming and going.
There are a couple of restaurants and bars directly on the sand that you can chill at, with most of the clientele being the locals.
Full disclosure – there are prettier nearby beaches that I would recommend going to instead, but it’s not like this is a bad beach experience, it’s just small and has a dirty parking lot.
Playa Pichilingue Quick Info:
- Other Names: Pichilingue Beach
- Where: north of La Paz, 5 minutes from Playa Balandra
- Facilities/Amenities: restaurants/bars
- Best for: hanging out with a few locals
- Not So Good For: wide stretch of sand to relax on, parking lot has piles of trash
- Cost: free
Accessing this beach is easy. It is only about a 15-20 minute drive north from La Paz. The turn off is directly off of the main road.
If you are headed to Playa Balandra, it is only a couple of minutes ahead of it on the road.
The dirt turn off takes you into a small parking lot. It isn’t hard to find a spot, and it is free.
Playa Pichilingue Parking
Dirty Parking Lot Warning
Warning, the parking lot is actually quite disgusting. There are piles of trash lining the edges of it and it stinks with vultures circling.
Thankfully just a couple hundred feet away on the shores you won’t have to deal with the mess.
What to expect at Playa Pichilingue
The beach itself is quite small. The restaurants sit on the widest and best stretches of sand.
If you are looking to lay out and relax this probably isn’t the beach for you since there are so many locals coming and going with their boats. I would feel awkward laying out next to them.
If you do go to one of the resutarants though the locals are super friendly, just don’t expect a ton of English to be spoken.
The water is calm and clear. If you are looking to take a quick dip the water will be quite welcoming!
Aside from the restaurant and bars there are no amenities. A certain number of tours will leave from here, but you don’t even get restrooms unless you are a customer at one of the restaurants.
Pichilingue Beach Restaurants & Bars
A good number of locals will gather at the restaurants and bars, but once again they were super friendly when we were there. It’s a small beach so it feels pretty crowded quickly.
What to Bring to Playa Pichilingue
Sunscreen: LA Paz sun is HOT with very little shade! I recently have been loving SKIMS rash guards and will never go back. And of course, reef-safe sunscreen is a must.
Beach towel: I’m a huge fan of these quick dry travel towels. They pack up super small and dry super fast.
Goggles or snorkel gear: I bring a pair of snorkeling googles and these travel fins with me everywhere.
GoPro: I never snorkel without my GoPro. They take amazing underwater photos and videos!
Water and snacks: While you can buy water and snacks on the beach, you’ll save money by bringing your own! We went to the gas station and bought a styrofoam cooler for a couple bucks. It worked SO well! It was so worth the extra effort to have ice cold drinks on the beach.
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.
Unless you are looking for an on the sand restaurant then I would pass on this beach and head to one of the others in the area.
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!