A lovely “malecón,” or boardwalk, is the perfect place for a relaxing stroll to take in the vibe of a place while enjoying water views. Luckily, Baja has some good ones that are worth checking out. Here are a few of our favorites.
Playas de Tijuana
Location: The northwest part of Playas de Tijuana, BC, (MAP)
Why We Love It: Separated both by geography and atmosphere from the rest of Tijuana, Playas de Tijuana has always been a more subdued and tranquil area of the bustling border city. The malecón in Playas is flanked by the majestic Pacific Ocean and beautiful wide beaches on one side and lined with restaurants and cafes on the other. Friendship Park and the border wall sit at the north end of the boardwalk and the historic Plaza Monumental Bullring by the Sea is just to the east.
What To Do: This is one of the few boardwalks in Baja that actually runs along a beautiful Pacific beach where you can enjoy a lovely beach day. There are a number of small restaurants and cafés on the boardwalk looking out at the Pacific. The malecón is lovely for a sunset stroll and drinks or dinner.
DBTC Insider Tip: Grab a latte at the hip Café Latitud 32 (Paseo Costero, tel. 011-52-664-609-4200) or stop for drinks and dinner to enjoy the beach sunset from the outdoor patio at Sunset Lounge (Ave. Pacifico 769, tel. 011-52-664-680-1863). The iconic El Yogurt Place restaurant (Cantera 360, tel. 011-52-664-680-2006), which has been serving up healthy and delicious food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner since 1976 is also nearby.
Location: Along the water from Miramar to Castillo streets in downtown Ensenada, BC (MAP)
Why We Love It: The best way to take in Ensenada’s harbor area is to go for a walk along the malecón, which stretches along the water for a few blocks. The boardwalk is a nice spot for checking out the fishing boats and cruise ships while doing some souvenir shopping at the stalls along the way.
What To Do: At the north end of the malecón is the Mercado de Mariscos fish market and at the south end is access to the cruise ship pier. Also near the south end is Parque de la Bandera, a plaza with a gigantic Mexican flag, a water feature, and a new stage and pavilion. The plaza is often used for local festivals and events and popular with families for weekend gatherings. Just around the corner, Plaza Cívica features large gold busts of Benito Juárez (the first president of Mexico), Padre Miguel Hidalgo (who began the Mexican Revolution), and Venustiano Carranza (the first president after the revolution).
DBTC Insider Tip: This part of town is home to some of the best and freshest seafood in all of Mexico. After you cruise through the Mercado de Mariscos seafood market to see the fresh catch of the day, grab a fish taco at one of the outdoor stalls. For a more refined experience, Muelle 3 (tel. 011-52-646-174-0318) is right at the north end of the malecón where you can enjoy deliciously sophisticated seafood with a glass of Valle de Guadalupe wine.
Location: Ave. Malecón between Costero and Ensenada streets in downtown San Felipe, BC (MAP)
Why We Love It: The malecón is the heart of downtown San Felipe. The promenade runs along Playa San Felipe where the fishing pangas all gather. Little taco stands, restaurants, and bars line the other side of the street. It’s a beautiful and peaceful sight at sunrise.
What To Do: The malecón is also the center of nightlife in San Felipe with bars and nightclubs in the area and mariachi bands playing in the evening. Drinking along the malecón is legal, so it makes for a great spot to grab a beer from a convenience store and stroll along the promenade to people-watch. Don’t miss getting a fish taco from Taqueria y Mariscos Adriana (Malecón 196, tel. 011-52-686-212-7747), rumored to be the fish taco stand that inspired the Rubio’s fish taco chain in the United States.
DBTC Insider Tip: At the north end of the malecón is one of San Felipe’s most iconic landmarks, the Shrine of the Virgin Guadalupe, on top of a small mountain right next to the San Felipe faro (lighthouse). From the malecón, walk north across the bridge where you’ll see the lighthouse and the shrine. You have to climb a lot of stairs to get to the top, but the views of San Felipe from above make the trek worthwhile.
Location: Paseo A. Lopez Mateos on the east side of Loreto, BCS (MAP)
Why We Love It: If you’re looking for some peace and tranquility, the malecón in Loreto is the perfect spot to find it. The remodeled palm tree-lined promenade is immaculate and runs along the Sea of Cortez with benches along the way for resting. It’s a pleasant spot to watch the sunrise or to go for a relaxing stroll.
What To Do: There are a number of restaurants, bars, and hotels that line the west side of the street. Grab your photo with the colorful LORETO tourism sign or check out the marina at the north end of the boardwalk.
DBTC Insider Tip: While the malecón is nice for a quiet peaceful stroll, the action in Loreto takes place a few blocks away in Plaza Salvatierra. A walk from the malecón down Juan Maria de Salvatierra street will lead you through topiary archways to the beautiful and lively plaza lined with restaurants and shops.
Location: Álvaro Obregón street in downtown La Paz, BCS (MAP)
Why We Love It: The heart of La Paz is the large three-mile long malecón that runs along Álvaro Obregón street with shops, restaurants, and bars on one side and the beautiful white sand beaches and shallow turquoise bay of the Sea of Cortez on the other. Day or night, this is a great place to stroll, do some people-watching, and get a feel for the pulse of the city. Palm trees line the wide promenade and palapas dot the beach. Ornate ironwork benches painted white provide lovely places to sit along the way. A white two-story gazebo is the focus of Plaza Malecón, which is considered the heart of the malecón. Locals gather along the malecón in the evenings making it a fun and lively spot.
What To Do: In addition to all of the shops and restaurants located on the other side of the street, the malecón is a great place for an art walk. The boardwalk is dotted with copper statues denoting whales, pearls, dolphins, and other representations of La Paz life. Famous statues along the way include “La Perla,” “The Mermaid and the Dolphin,” “Jacques Cousteau” and the “Jesus de Caracol.” Download the Statues for the La Paz Malecón app for your phone (available in English and Spanish) which will give you more information on the statues and the sculptors.
DBTC Insider Tip: On a warm day in La Paz, grab a paleta or ice cream from the famous La Fuente (Paseo Obregon 1775, 011-52-612-107-1393) and enjoy your treat while you stroll along the malecón.