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Todos Santos is a tiny Mexican village. So tiny you could easily miss it while driving along Highway 19 in Baja California Sur. But missing it would be missing out.
The town is home to a mix of fishermen, New Age expats who came for the surf and yoga scene, and locals who couldn’t be more welcoming. It’s a place you visit, and wonder why you haven’t visited sooner.
Our favorite way to visit Baja California Sur is to see a cross-section and clock in Todos’s sleepy, slow-town vibes to prepare for a few days of partying in Los Cabos.
Where Is Todos Santos, Mexico
Tucked on the Pacific coast just an hour’s drive north of Los Cabos, this sleepy beach town has a population of just over 6,000. The area has experienced a lot of development in the past few years, so you’ll want to explore it before it becomes known.
That makes it all the more important to travel there responsibly, stay at sustainable properties, and support locally-owned businesses, many of which are listed below!
History Of Todos Santos
With a name like “All Saints,” it’s no surprise that the town of Todos Santos has a religious past. In 1724, Jesuit missionaries established it as a farming community whose purpose was to grow fruit, sacramental wine, and sugarcane for the mission in La Paz.
Sugar cane production was so popular that it’s estimated there were as many as eight mills or “molinos” a few of which are still visible today.
In the 1950s, the town was abandoned when the water table dried up. But spring came back online in the early 1980s, and the area has grown high-quality fruits and vegetables. The paving of the road between Cabo San Lucas and Todos Santos in the 1980s further aided in developing the area into the lovely Mexican village it is today.
What Is Todos Santos Known For?
Like so many other adorable small villages in Mexico (Loreto, Taxco, Tecate, and Tequila), Todos Santos is Pueblo Mágico (aka a “magic town,” which is a program run by the Mexican government that celebrates and preserves historically significant towns), which means the center has pristine cobblestone streets and numerous Instagrammable corners.
What To Do
Baja California Sur is relatively unpopulated compared to other regions of Mexico, but the town of Todos Santos is teeny even by local standards. Many tourists who drive up the coast from Los Cabos come up for a day, but we think it’s worth a few days all on its own.
There are quite a few easy trails — ranging from easy to hard — in the area, but the best-known trail is the Mirador Punta Lobos. You can either walk the beach for a lovely sunrise or sunset walk or take the winding trail up to the point for a fabulous view. This point is named for its sea lion colony and is a focus of the documentary Patrimonio.
There are more than 30 miles of trails in the immediate area, making this a great spot for mountain biking if that’s your thing. Head to Over The Edge shop for rentals or tours.
Totugueros Las Playitas is busy working to rebuild the local sea turtle population, and from December through spring, they have near-daily hatchling releases, which are open to the public and free. You can support them by donating even if you can’t visit IRL.
Todos Santos first got on the map for Americans when people discovered the variety of breaks up and down the area. San Pedrito is the more advanced area with point breaks, but there are lots of rocks, so you’ll want to know what you’re doing. Playa Los Cerritos is known for its waves, but you can find a break for almost any level surfer up and down the coast. Beginners can head to Mario Surf School for lessons and to rent surfboards.
From November through April, grey and humpback whales pass by Todos Santos as they migrate. You can watch the whales from the beaches or arrange a boat tour to get up close and personal.
The yoga scene in Todos Santos is legit, and you can find classes everywhere, from Rancho Pescadero to open classes beachside. We’re partial to Baja Zen yoga. Write them at email@example.com for class schedules.
Where to Shop
Make sure to leave room in your suitcase because the boutiques in Todos Santos are perfect for picking up some souvenirs.
Baja Wine Shop: La Bodega
We love the emerging wine scene in Mexico, but it’s not always easy to make it to the Valle de Guadalupe wine region. If you’re in Todos Santos, you can stop here to get a taste of Baja wines, where they do tastings most Mondays and Wednesdays afternoons.
Boho Vibes: Nomad Chic
Yes, this is the same shop we gushed about in our Sonoma story, and we like the Todos Santos outpost just as much. If you want some chic beachwear, this is where to head.
Handmade Mexican: Etnica
Some of the best handmade Mexican clothing we’ve seen in the region, Etnica carries clothing and leather goods made using traditional techniques yet modern enough to feel fresh.
Family-Run Business: Blankets Factory Justina
Not technically in Todos Santos but south of town, a few miles on the ocean side of Highway 19, many of the blankets in this family-run spot are made on-site. You can buy all sorts of tchotchkes here, but we’re all about the thin woven blankets that give the best Turkish towels a run for their money.
Day Trip To Cabo San Lucas and/or San Jose Del Cabo
You could easily head south to Los Cabos for a day trip, but we think the ideal trip is a few days in Todos Santos and then a few more down south in Los Cabos.
Day Trip To La Paz
You could also head to La Paz for the day to dive with Whale Sharks (which, to be clear, are sharks, not whales) if you want a more adventurous experience.
Where To Eat In Todos Santos
Must-Eat Baja California Sur Food
Yes, there isn’t the same long culinary history in Baja California Sur that you have in other parts of Mexico, but you’d be missing out if you think that means there isn’t any food culture.
A mix of the Mediterranean climate that makes for an A-plus growing region and some of the freshest seafood in the country, the whole peninsula has a lot of fresh, inspired food.
Add to that the influence of the food culture in the North (in Baja California), and this region has become its own thing. Here is a list of what to eat in Baja California, which is just as valid in Baja California Sur.
Where To Breakfast and Coffee
Pastries and Lattes: Taller 17
Our favorite coffee shop in Todos Santos is the modern spot, Taller 17. It’s hard to decide between the chocolate or the espresso drinks, but one thing is for sure: do not pass up the homemade pastries!
Expat Coffee Spot: Baja Beans
The hippy ex-pat vibes that put Todos Santos on the map for many Americans are alive and well at Baja Beans. Located south of Todos Santos in Pescadero (just down the road from Rancho Pescadero and Hierbabuena), this café has every sort of coffee drink, from cold brew to almond milk lattes and plenty of savory and sweet pastries.
Frappes and Breakfast: Cafelix
This small café in the heart of town has everything you need: well-made coffee, outdoor seating, and a solid breakfast.
Where to Eat Casual Lunch
Baja Fish Tacos: Taqueria El Parguito
Considered the best fish tacos in the area, El Paraguito makes legit tacos with great tortillas, freshly-battered fish, and all the fixings. They’re only open until 3 PM, so plan accordingly.
Cevecheria: El Compa Chava
Locals are often divided as to whether their favorite cevecheria in Todos Santos is El Compa Chava or Bahia. We suggest you go to both and decide for yourself; however, we’re partial to El Compa Chava because of its ceviche tostadas (order the crab, if they have it) and the “desconocido” ceviche, which is made with the fresh catch of the day.
Where to Eat Sitdown Lunch or Dinner
Cocktails, Craft Beer, And Tacos: Barracuda Cantina
We first met local owner Danny Sanchez when he was a mixologist at Rancho Pescadero and were very excited when he opened his spot. The result is a hip, open-air cantina on Los Cerritos beach. Get a beer, craft cocktails, and locally-caught fish tacos and ceviches made with local produce. It has become so popular that they now have a second location in Todos Santos.
Farm-To-Table Chic: Hierbabuena
Located just down the road from Rancho Pescadero near the town of Pescadero, this cafe represents the best farm-to-table in the region, which is why it’s a favorite with visitors and locals alike. When the weather is good (pretty much every day), it’s a great spot to sit outside for a leisurely meal.
Celebrity Chef Joint: Jazamango
This recently opened restaurant is owned and run by esteemed Baja California (as in Tijuana) chef Javier Plascencia. Rooted firmly in campestre (countryside)-style cooking, the food is farm-to-table, rustic, and yet well throughout and delicious. Don’t skip the cocktails, which are just as interesting as the food. You’ll need reservations here, so be sure to plan.
Sushi: Sushi Derek
Baja California is a region known for its fresh seafood (often eaten raw as ceviches or aguachiles), it’s no wonder that seemingly every third restaurant is a sushi joint. This place serves creative rolls, but the freshness of the fish stands out.
Where to Stay
The largest (in terms of land) of the properties listed here, Rancho Pescadero, has just undergone a renovation and is now run by Hyatt. Technically located south of Todos Santos, a few miles in the town of Pescadero, it’s been around just under a decade. It is so beloved by its guests that many return annually. With two pools, a yoga studio, spa services, an onsite garden, and multiple restaurants, you could post up here for a few days and never leave!
Hotel San Cristóbal
The Hotel San Cristobal is one of the latest hotels from one of our all-time favorite boutique hotel groups ever, Bunkhouse Group (we’d move into the Hotel Saint Cecilia if we could). Down the road from Todos Santos, this hotel has everything you need (great breakfast, mezcal margaritas, a dip pool, and an expensive but amazing gift shop), yet always feels like you have the place all to yourself (in a good way).
La Bohemia Baja
Situated in downtown Todos Santos, the teeny La Bohemia hotel (with just 6 rooms) is affordable but still chic with its whitewashed walls and boho decor. Being in the middle of town means you can walk anywhere in a minute but also means you give up the beachfront. However, the cute onsite pool and access to a nearby beach club more than make up for that.
Best Time To Visit
Spring and fall are the best times to visit if you ask us for the pleasant weather and relative lack of crowds. But it depends on what you like. Summer is hot and humid, but that may be right up your alley if you like lounging in the sun. For surfing, the best swells tend to happen from late fall through winter, but the daytime temperatures can drop to the low 70s.
How To Get To Todos Santos
The best way to get to Todos Santos is to fly into Los Cabos International Airport and rent a car. If you plan to hang out at a hotel your whole trip, you could get away without a rental car, but we think you’ll have a better time exploring if you have a car. Need help understanding what kind of insurance to get when you travel to Mexico? Get in touch, and we’ll help out!
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