National Geographic Venture made its arrival in La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur, sailing across an unusual morning shower towards clearer skies to dock at the Malecon. It is a beautiful waterfront boulevard, where most of the social and touristic life happens. There are 16 sculptures alongside its 7.2 km, for the joy of residents and visitors.
Guests enjoyed of a brief walking tour through the Jardin Velasco and La Paz Cathedral. Built between 1861 and 1865 by order of Bishop Juan Francisco de Escalante y Moreno, at the site of the Jesuit Mission founded in the 18th century, the cathedral has a Neo-classic facade with two towers. The interior holds baroque altarpieces from other missions that were abandoned.
In 1526, Hernan Cortez, conqueror of Mexico, built the port and shipyard known today as Acapulco, his base for the exploration and mapping of the Pacific. He sponsored three expeditions. The first in 1532, led by Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, reached the interior of the Gulf of California but ended in a wreckage. A second expedition led by Diego de Becerra in 1533 led to the discovery of the Baja California Peninsula. Hernan Cortez led the third expedition on his ship San Lázaro, heading northwest. On May 3, 1535, they arrived at the bay that they named Bahía de la Santa Cruz, now La Paz.
At the end of the day, we were driven to a beautiful venue, near the area where Cortez disembarked, for a fiesta with traditional and international music. We returned aboard ship, delighted by the natural and cultural treasures of this mythic land.