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City Layout -- Although La Paz sprawls well inland from the malecón (the seaside boulevard, Álvaro Obregón), you'll probably spend most of your time in the older, more congenial downtown section within a few blocks of the waterfront. The main plaza, Plaza Pública (or Jardín Velasco), is bounded by Madero, Independencia, Revolución, and Cinco de Mayo. The plaza centers on an iron bandstand where public concerts frequently take place in the evening, and the malecón is dotted with the bronze sculptures of Guadalajara artist Alejandro Colunga. A 24-hour taxi stand is on the malecón at 16 de Septiembre, or call one at tel. 612/122-0308.

Visitor Information -- The visitor information center of the Hoteliers' Association (tel. 612/125-6844; www.vivalapaz.org or www.visitlapaz.net) is in the 1910 former city hall at Dominguez and 16 de Septiembre, two blocks up from the malecón. They have very helpful English-speaking staff on duty from 9am to 5pm. You can also find the excellent and detailed gotbaja La Paz map (www.gotbajamaps.com) and the English-language Baja Citizen community newspaper (www.bajacitizen.com) in hotels and restaurants.

Festivals & Events in La Paz -- February features the biggest and best Carnaval, or Mardi Gras, in Baja, as well as a month-long Festival of the Gray Whale (starting in Feb or Mar). On May 3, La Fiesta de La Paz celebrates the city's founding by Cortez in 1535 and features artesanía exhibitions from throughout Southern Baja. The annual marlin-fishing tournament is in August, with other fishing tournaments in September and November. And on November 1 and 2, the Days of the Dead, altars are on display at the Anthropology Museum.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.