What’s it like to live as a single woman in La Paz? Is it safe? Is it social?
Our writer, Fern Corraini, shares her experience.
La Paz was recently chosen one of the best travel destinations in the world for single women. Let’s go a step further and say that La Paz is one of the best living destinations in the world for single women.
So who are we single women of La Paz? What brought us here? What keeps us here??
We’ve come from all over the world…Brazil, Holland, Korea…but primarily from Canada and the USA.
We’re all ages, but many of us are 50+.
The majority of us do not speak fluent Spanish, but we do speak Menu and Grocery Store and Hairdresser.
Some of us take Spanish lessons…and entertain our friends with funny stories of our screw-ups. (e.g. you want to buy eggs but you end up asking for testicles.)
Some of us are bilingual. Some of us think we are. We’re both a little smug.
No matter how much Spanish we speak, we all manage to find the things we need, get things done and feel proud of ourselves for doing it.
Some of us retired here…to do nothing and everything. We get up in the morning and do exactly what we want to do, choosing to be as busy or as lazy as we want.
Some moved here because we could maintain our job up north and work from home… on the patio with our laptop, morning coffee and birds singing.
Some of us found part-time jobs or started a business once we got here. We sell homemade specialties at the market, run property management or real estate businesses, open a restaurant or a B&B, give art classes and English lessons.
Some of us are here alone due to divorce. We lose weight, change the hairdo, and discover what it’s like to be single again.
Some are widows. La Paz is a good place to heal.
Some have never been married…and want to keep it that way.
Some do online dating. Some think they’re nuts. Some of us think about it.
Some go dancing to live music at La Costa on Wednesday nights.
Some of us join one of the many Meetup groups here and attend their happy hours and events.
Some of us happily stay home and read, do Sudoku, eat popcorn for dinner.
We feel safe. We don’t have worries about encountering violence as we go about our lives here in La Paz. On the contrary, we feel comfortable dining alone, walking at night, going to a bar or club. Of course, we use common sense…we’re not out looking for black tar heroin. We smile when we hear of folks who think our lives are in mortal danger in Mexico, when the actual truth is that we feel safer here than we did in the big cities up north.
We’re Democrats/Liberals, Republicans/Conservatives, we’re apolitical. Who cares?
Some of us make our own Kefir and buy veggies at the organic market. Some of us order cheesy enchiladas from Uber Eats. Some do both.
Some of us go to church. Some of us enjoy the margarita lifestyle. Some practice yoga. Some do all 3 but not at the same time.
We exercise…or not. We go biking on the 20 kms of new dedicated bike path along the La Paz malecon. (Click here for a link to an article discussing Portland’s bikepath envy.) We join a gym and do Pilates or DanceFit classes or work out with weights. We walk to the grocery store. We play pickleball. We hike from beautiful Balandra beach to the equally gorgeous Tecolote beach. We swim, snorkel, kayak, get our scuba certifications. We race cars in the Baja 1000. AND…we also sit around eating Cheetos and watching Netflix.
Are you noticing a pattern here?
We volunteer…at a primary school breakfast program or a dog rescue. We donate time and money to local charities.
We learn about healthcare options. We find a dentist we love and get inexpensive, quality implants/veneers/cleanings. We go for regular massages, highlights, manicures, pedicures, facials, threadings, peelings, waxings, pluckings, primpings, fluffings. Or not.
We wear yoga pants and flip flops, and we dress up a bit to go out – sometimes. La Paz is mostly a casual place.
We do a lot of socializing: Mexican train games, bridge/canasta/Rummikub afternoons, hitting our favorite haunts for lunch, invitations to dinner, boat trips, beach days, pool parties.
We go to semi-pro baseball games and spit sunflower seeds or sit on the tailgate at the neighborhood soccer game.
We attend outdoor concerts and theater events (the St. Petersburg Ballet performed The Nutcracker here at Christmas).
We go to a matinee at our posh movie theater (the one with leather recliners, full bar and food, waiters’ bell and courtesy blankets).
We sign up for cooking lessons, enjoy the talent night at a local bar, see Elvis perform at the local restaurant in El Centenario…there are endless options, most of them involving food and drink.
We do things alone. We read, start painting, take tango lessons, nap after lunch, go beaching, sew patio pillows, and learn how to move a cactus in our garden. We walk the adopted dog, spend an hour in Dax, and enjoy freshly grilled snapper and a margarita while watching the sunset from a malecón restaurant.
So now you know that we single women of La Paz are just “normal” women…not special, just lucky, spunky women. But what keeps us here?
The weather. Enough said.
The tranquil pace. (except when Mexican moms are picking their kids up from school…then all bets are off)
The expanded worldview gained from meeting people from all over the world.
The tacos. Ohhh, the tacos!
Feeling far away from the world news…if we choose.
Our money goes farther, the nest egg lasts longer.
We are 2 hours away from daily flights to Canada and the US.
La Paz is not overrun with drunken tourists and spring-breakers. (They mostly go to Cabo or Cancun.)
The kind and friendly Mexican people welcome us into their neighborhoods and often, into their families. We feel accepted.
Because we aren’t near our families, our friendships are valuable. We celebrate them. A lot.
We have safety and freedom, sunshine and interesting things to do.
We have opportunities to better our health, humor and interactions.
We’re surrounded by beauty.
We live by the sea!
We fell in love with Baja, with La Paz, the weather, the Mexican people and the sea.
The single women I know in La Paz give themselves permission to be themselves here. So whoever you are or whoever you want to be, you will find a niche for yourself here in La Paz. You will feel at home.
(Note: After all this attention slathered on single women….you might be surprised to know that married/partnered women live here too. Bet you can’t pick them out in the photos. Single or married, we women of La Paz, El Centenario and Comitan, are all grateful that marital status doesn’t seem to matter much here. Neither does age, origin, size, income level or personality quirks, We’re all the uniquely the same. (Hmmm, except for married women have better food in the fridge. Thanks for all the times you’ve sent yummy leftovers home with your single friends!)
Oh yah…I lied about driving race cars in the Baja 1000. Maybe you could be the first!
Are you a single woman living in La Paz? Tell us about your experience in the comments!
Fern Corraini is a veteran traveler and explorer who moved to La Paz from Canada fourteen years ago and is happy to call Mexico home. In addition to her international travels, Fern has been an English teacher in Canada and Guadalajara, a customs officer, a beekeeper, a sandblaster, a travel rep in the Dominican Republic and a motel owner. When she’s not busy keeping Baja Life Realty organized as our administrator, Fern loves to cycle, visit the beach and spend time with her two rescue kitties. She loves La Paz and firmly believes that the taco is the perfect food.