Baja California Sur’s capital city of La Paz is often the home base for travelers seeking adventures in the Sea of Cortez. Some of the most popular things to do in La Paz, Mexico include swimming with the whale sharks that come to feed in the Bay of La Paz every October through March, or snorkeling around Isla Espíritu Santo, dubbed by renowned marine conservationist Jacques Cousteau the “Aquarium of the World.”
But there’s also adventure to be had on dry land. Namely, at El Mogote, a small peninsula jutting out into the sea and forming the northern shore of the Bay of La Paz. The steep hills of soft, fine sand at the neck of the peninsula create the perfect conditions for sandboarding. The top of the dunes overlooks endless stretches of cactus-covered landscape on one side and the deep blues of the Sea of Cortez on the other, so the views are just as epic and the adrenaline rush. Sandboarding in La Paz was one of our favorite activities on our trip to Baja California.
We spent the morning standup paddleboarding with Baja Desconocida at Balandra Beach, and after a quick meal and some rest, we met up again with our guide Josef to head out on this next adventure. After a quick 20-minute drive from the La Paz Marina, we were at El Mogote and about to try sandboarding for the first time.
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What to bring sandboarding
We’ve been snowboarding and sand sledding, but never sandboarding, which is basically just snowboarding without all the cold weather gear and a much softer land pad if you do fall. Here is what you’ll want to bring when you go sandboarding in La Paz.
Shoes optional: We went sandboarding in the late afternoon when the sand had started to cool, so we took our shoes off and left them in the car for this activity. The sand is really soft and it’s easy to strap in without shoes. If you go when the sand is hotter or feel more comfortable with shoes, then I’d recommend lightweight sneakers.
Light athletic clothing: It’s usually pretty warm and you will be getting sandy, so opt for clothing that will keep you cool and comfortable.
Sun protection: The sun is bright and hot out on the dunes, so bring sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen.
Sandboarding with Baja Desconocida
I find all the gear and strapping in and out of a snowboard kind of exhausting, but luckily with sandboarding, there is none of that. Our awesome guide Josef went first to show us how it’s done and made it look so easy. His family-run tour company was the first one that started offering sandboarding tours in El Mogote, so he’s gotten a lot of practice.
We waxed our boards to make it a faster, smoother ride down the sandy hill. Then we strapped our bare feet into the Velcro straps on top of the board and away we went!
I took a tumble once, but the sand is so much softer than snow, it didn’t hurt at all. The hardest part of sandboarding is the walk back up the sand dunes after your ride. It makes this activity both fun and a great workout.
The sandboarding tour with Baja Desconocida lasts about 3 hours. We left about 2.5 hours before sunset, which was 4:30 pm in May. This tour can be booked on its own, or combined with a morning tour like the Balandra Bay SUP tour. The tour costs $55/ $1050MXN. Book your tour with Baja Desconocida here.
Sunset at El Mogote
We had so much fun sliding down the hills again and again but had to stop to admire the sunset. El Mogote has to be one of the best spots for sunset in La Paz because you get both desert and ocean views. Watching the colors fade to pink and the cactus silhouette against the sky as it goes dark is pretty magical.
There are so many things to do in La Paz, but don’t miss sandboarding at El Mogote! Book a tour with Baja Desconocida here.
Thank you to Baja Desconocida for hosting us on this tour. Next time we’re in the area, we wouldn’t hesitate to book another tour with them!