16/Ciudad Constitución to La Paz

Distance: 167.2 mi (269.1 km)

Notes: the steaming burning dump outside of Ciudad Constitución is unavoidable, historic mission at San Luis Gonzaga, the scenery improves as you near the sea, be sure to stop in San Evaristo for resupply about a mile off route if needed, the final 30 miles into La Paz are on a quiet paved road

Resupply: Ciudad Constitución-FWMCR$ Bus, San Luis Gonzaga-fW very limited water and snacks, The following have limited food and limited hours (Las Animas, Las Tunitas/Soledad, Primer Agua) San Evaristo-fW 1.5 miles N of route, Punta Coyote-f limited snack stand, San Juan de la Costa-fW, El Centenario-FWMCR$, La Paz-FWMCR$ Bus Airport

Warning: Resupply between Ciudad Constitución and San Juan de la Costa is extremely limited

This segment links two large commercial hubs in Baja California Sur, Ciudad Constitución, an agricultural highway town, and La Paz, a bustling cosmopolitan city by the sea. That connection is made by a long rambling route which takes its time leaving the sun-baked low country outside of Ciudad Constitución, before finally settling into a series of deep drainages, finishing in a series of spectacular canyons. You exit that final drainage by climbing to a pass in a nature preserve, providing views of the Sea of Cortez and a 2000′ descent. At sea level, a 1.5 mile detour to the north takes you to San Evaristo, a small fishing village with food and water. The next reliable resupply is 45 miles away in San Juan de la Costa, although there is a snack stand in Punta Coyote, 15 miles away. 

The ride from San Evaristo to San Juan de la Costa includes some of the most brilliant geology of the route, on display as you descend through a colorful layer cake of rock in several places. The tall mountains just a few miles west represent the watershed divide between the Sea of Cortez, and the Pacific, thus explaining the long ascent from Ciudad Constitución, and the quick descent to the sea.

The road ride into La Paz is generally quiet, save for buses which transport workers to the mine. You first reach El Centenario, where all resupply is available. Continue about 6 miles into La Paz for the full experience. You arrive in town along the Malecón– the pedestrian and bike friendly waterfront– and continue into the heart of the city where shopping, daily markets, and taco stands crowd the streets in a city which is simultaneously historic and modern.

La Paz is as much a touristic destination for Mexicans as foreigners, so enjoy mixing with locals in town. There are some excellent food establishments in town if you take the time to find them. Go to Ressel Bikes for most modern parts and repairs, the Specialized dealer in town; Valenzuela has good service for more conventional repairs; there are a host of other smaller repair shops around town for minor parts or service.

Hotel Pension California is a favorite among backpacking types and has been around for decades in a converted convent. Rooms are inexpensive for the central mid-town location, there is lots of outdoor social space (including a rooftop), the colors and decor are brilliant. The staff is friendly, wifi is intermittent, showers are mostly cold, and the rooms are a little tired and dingy, but this is a good place to trade stories with other riders. Pension California is only three blocks from the Malecón and around the corner from a busy daily market and many other shops. There are many other hotels in town, but this is our headquarters in La Paz.

Next section: La Paz to La Ribera

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