Anchoring in La Paz  and the Waltz

For information about restricted anchoring zones in the Espiritu Santos National Park including the islands of Espiritu Santos, Isla La Partida and Los Islotes see our Islands page.

Anchoring in the bay of La Paz is a unique experience due to occasional strong winds and opposing tidal current.

The Waltz

The effect of the wind and tide on boats anchored in the bay has been dubbed "The La Paz Waltz". It is important to assure you have adequate swinging room between you and your neighbor. Most maintain twice the swinging room as usual. Bow and stern anchoring is impossible. Also be aware that there are many boats on moorings with minimal swing. It is advisable that you re-anchor once a week to be certain your chain has not become entangled with your anchor while waltzing.


There is no anchoring in the main channel between the red and green buoys. There is also no anchoring between the buoys in the new channel near the Mogote side of the bay. The most common anchoring areas are:

  1. The city waterfront - watch the depth here.
  2. "The Mogote" but be careful to only cross the sandbar in the channel. Line up the municipal pier on the city side and the mast or cross on the Magote side.
  3. Off the boatyards & Navy Base - do not crowd this area. Often compromised vessels are brought into the boatyards here. There is no anchoring outside the entrance to any boatyard or marina. Anchoring is also not allowed in front of the Navy Base for ingress and egress of search and rescue vessels in emergencies.

Anchoring Fee

There is an anchoring fee in La Paz which you need to pay to API.

Anchor Lights

Anchor lights are required in the bay. Additional lights are strongly encouraged at deck level.

Leaving Your Boat

If you elect to leave your boat at anchor for a period of time you are required by the Port Captain to designate someone to be responsible for your boat. This person or company must maintain the ground tackle and have the ability to relocate the vessel if necessary. See Boat & Yacht Management in the Service Directory for some local companies.