La Paz is a port city and the capital Mexico's Baja California Sur state, with population around 245,000 (metro over 290,000, including San Pedro, el Centenario and el Zacatal).
Initially named Santa Cruz, the settlement was founded in 1535 by Hernan Cortes (1485-1547, Spanish Conquistador). He tried to start a colony but due to logistical issues, the effort was abandoned after several years. In 1596, the town was officially named La Paz by Sebastian Vizcaino (1548-1624, Spanish soldier, explorer, diplomat). In 1854 (January 10 through -May 8) the town served as the capital of Republic of Sonora (1853-54). However, the project collapsed due to lack of US support and pressure from the Mexican government to retake the territory.
Today, eco-tourism is city's major source of tourism income. Tourists also visit the nearby balnearios (seaside resort towns). There are around 900 inlets and islands in Gulf of California (aka Sea of Cortez) with 244 protected by UNESCO as World Heritage Bio-Reserves. Isla Espíritu Santo (archipelago bordering the northeast portion of La Paz Bay) is considered the best island group in Sea of Cortez - region's primary cruise travel destination. World-class ranked activities include seakayaking, scuba diving and snorkeling.