A popular and very worthwhile cruise is to Isla Espíritu Santo and Los Islotes. You visit the largest sea lion colony in Baja, stunning rock formations, and remote beaches, with stops for snorkeling, swimming, and lunch.. Both boat and bus tours are available to Puerto Balandra, where bold rock formations rise up like humpback whales and frame pristine coves of crystal-blue water and ivory sand. Tour operators can arrange these all-day trips, weather permitting, for about $80 per person, or arrange them yourself at www.playaeltecolote.com.
La Paz's first golf course, the Arthur Hills-designed par 72 Paraíso del Mar (tel. 612/165-1818; www.paradiseofthesea.com), is on Isla Mogote, a 5-minute water taxi ride across the bay. Golf Magazine named its cactus-rich landscape one of the top five new international golf courses for 2010.
Kayaking in the many bays and coves near La Paz is a paddler's dream, and because some of the area's special sites for swimming and snorkeling are accessible only by kayak, daylong or multiday trips can't be beat. In the waters near La Paz, the water clarity gives the sensation of being suspended in the air. Bring your own equipment, or let the local companies take care of you. Several companies in the United States can book trips in advance. Locally, Baja Quest and Sea & Adventures (tel. 800/355-7140 in the U.S.; www.kayakbaja.com) arrange extended kayak adventures, from $250 for a 2-day trip to Espíritu Santo to $1,150 for a week paddling between La Paz and Loreto, as well as simple gear rental.
La Paz, justly famous for its sportfishing, attracts anglers from all over the world. Its waters are home to more than 850 species of fish. The most economical approach is to rent a panga boat with a captain and equipment. It costs $125 for 3 hours, but you don't go very far out. Super pangas, which have a shade cover and comfortable seats, start at around $180 for two persons. Larger cruisers with bathrooms start at $240.
You can arrange sportfishing trips locally through hotels and tour agencies. La Paz Sportfishing's (tel. 310/691-8040; www.lapazsportfishing.com) rates start at $250 per day for two people. English-speaking David Jones of Fishermen's Fleet (tel. 612/122-1313; fax 612/125-7334; www.fishermensfleet.com) uses the locally popular panga-style fishing boat. Average price is $225 for the boat, but double-check what the price includes -- you may need to bring your own food and drinks.