Publisher Mina Kavcar takes the high road and travels to Mexico’s Baja California Sur to experience tranquility in its truest form.
“I came to see my son, who had come here a few years earlier, and decided to open a diving school,” prefaced Jeffrey Curtiss, the English-born developer behind Playa De La Paz. “And when I saw the area for myself, I fell in love with the place.”
That’s the reaction you’ll find with most people who have visited La Paz, Baja California Sur, México, since the, “natural paradise,” as Curtiss dubbed it, truly wicks away any strain or pressure you may have, and puts you in an entirely different state of mind.
A peninsula, two hours north of Los Cabos airport, La Paz is the capital of Baja California Sur. Lovingly called “the world’s last natural aquarium,” the small city on the Sea of Cortez is reminiscent of a sleepy beach town, where the weather is almost always perfect and the people are smiling. “You’ll find warm friendly people,” said Curtiss, “and it’s impossible to be a stranger here.”
And he’s right, considering that yours truly made a handful of friends having spent an entire two days there.
More than just another vacation spot or tourist destination, La Paz is perfectly unspoiled. It’s not a planned resort or created systematically — it’s an authentic town. With desert cacti dotting the landscape right next to the sea, it’s an environment taken straight from a Clint Eastwood movie and set in a sleepy West Coast beach town.
Having witnessed this very rare combination of natural beauty and local warmth, Curtiss decided to purchase a plot of land and the entitlement to the beach frontage a few years back, to build what he called: “a dream home no more than 30 feet from the ocean.” And that he did, with Playa De La Paz.
When pulling up to the grand gates at Playa De La Paz, you’ll note the way the Mediterranean-style property melds seamlessly with its surroundings. This is not a cookie-cutter condo development built for profit, it’s individual homes stacked to be part of the landscape. There are no square corners (on either the outside or inside of the homes) and the sheer size of all the spaces will truly make you understand that Curtiss would not, “settle for anything but the best.”
The 23 custom residences offer unique layouts and finishes to appeal to varying tastes. Curtiss built the property with two partners, both of whom, just like Curtiss, are self-made men, and decided to include the most luxurious finishes to appeal to their own liking. “I travel a lot and am used to staying in 5-star hotels around the world. So, I thought: ‘why not build your own paradise and make it a full ownership group of residences.’”
The residences all include individually handmade marble floors, expansive spaces with ensuite bathrooms — showers that could host an entire dinner party of guests, and views from every single room. There are grand outdoor terraces fit to host a multitude of parties or a quiet get-together between friends. “This could be your fifth home,” said Curtiss, “but it has to be your first choice.”
The olympic-size pool in front of the property does more than frame the view of the beach beyond – it almost serves as a “jacuzzi, with the main pool just ahead,” as Curtiss quipped.
“It’s very difficult to get up in the morning and not see dolphins, whales, or sea lions,” he added with a sheepish grin. And he’s right. The waters beyond Playa De La Paz are home to a veritable garden of eden.
Residents and guests can delight in swimming with dolphins or take the boat out a mere 10 minutes to the plankton-rich waters just beyond the coastline to actually swim with whale sharks. True story.
There is an abundance of sea life and locals have made every effort to keep the waters and surrounding seascape clean.
And yes, the sun is shining, it’s generally a comfortable 80 degrees, and the people actually do smile from what we saw. Curtiss, who suffers from bronchitis, noted the importance of wellness and longevity when it comes to La Paz. With a, “dry humidity,” that is not damp as you’d find in say, Hong Kong, you’ll note that your airways are soothed, but your hair stays frizz free.
There is a six-kilometer boardwalk that stretches across the seaside where you’ll find locals walking or running along daily. And apparently Bill and Melinda Gates come and walk about at times.
“You can be whatever you want to be here,” said Curtiss. The question remains, when will you pack your bags and head there yourself?
For more information, please visit www.playadelapaz.com
Carretera Escénica a Pichilingue Km. 6.5, La Paz, Baja California Sur, México.
01 (800) 821-8212