Todos Santos could be called the “laidback capital of Baja California Sur”. This place came to prominence as a sugar cane town and then was largely unknown to the world from the 1960’s until 2006, when it was named a Pueblo Magico of Mexico. The rest (as they say) is history. Today, artists and expats come here to exhibit their crafts, set up camp and make a living.
I had the pleasure of visiting Todos Santos last year and what a wonderful little trip it turned out to be. Before I share my experience here and provide a few travel tips, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Antonio Avelar and I was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal. From a young age, I remember my parents taking me on trips across the world – so a sense of adventure and exploration was embedded in me from my early years.
I have always been very visual, so that translated into a design degree split between my home town, Sao Paulo in Brazil and London in the United Kingdom. More than anything, this just fueled my passion for getting to know new people and discovering their cultures and backgrounds. Photography was natural for me as I was a keen plane spotter in my teens and this evolved as a means to translate what I saw into memories.
Traveling to Mexico for the 4th Time
Mexico had long been on my list of places but visiting came by chance. When I visited three times for work and was so mesmerized by it, I knew I had to come back to explore more. Within just a year I found myself traveling to Mexico four times! The last trip was almost a month long.
The first few trips I was in Yucatan and then the latter trip I was in Mexico City, Oaxaca and Baja California Sur. I always try to mix a bit of everything in my travels, from food to museums and cultural events, from wandering in search of hidden gems to exploring nature as much as I can.
When planning a trip to Mexico, doing your homework and research is essential. Todos Santos came onto my radar naturally when I was looking for unique and authentic places. It was a hotspot for whales – something that I told myself I couldn’t miss while traveling in Mexico in late November.
I found Todos Santos to be charming and still in line with what most people’s utopia of Mexico is. The town is bright, lively and beautiful. Despite being quite a new tourist destination, it has so much to look forward to and reaching the town is a breeze. I do wonder why more people don’t visit Todos Santos but I’m sure it will increase in popularity in the coming years.
Top 5 Things To Do in Todos Santos
- Wander around the streets – soak in the chill vibe and explore the myriad of galleries and shops.
- Visit Faces of Mexico – a wonderful collection of artifacts from a family that has been growing over the generations.
- Taste the delicious food – especially the fish tacos and ceviche at Restaurant Bar Bahia, La Pacena and Barracuda Cantina.
- Surf the waves at Cerritos Beach – a fantastic beach for surfers of all levels, including beginner surfers who can go on calmer days.
- Spend a morning at Todos Santos Beach – marvel at the dozens of playful humpback whales when in season (a truly special experience).
These experiences are all within a short distance from each other and this compact factor makes Todos Santos an unmatched destination in Baja California Sur. Of course, there are more things to see and do but this gives you a good starting point to experience the best of this Pueblo Magico.
My favorite experience in Todos Santos was on the last morning at the beach where there were rough seas and not another person in sight. Then, all of a sudden, humpback whales could be seen on the horizon. I expected that to be it but in a very sudden and welcome change in behaviour dozens of these whales started breathing very close to the shoreline.
They were propelling their heavy bodies into the air in a spectacular way. At that moment, I honestly felt like a kid at Walt Disney World! It was so awe inspiring and humbling to see. Nature and the wildlife it produces is so extremely powerful, and I loved experiencing this up close.
Food of Todos Santos – A Highlight in Itself
Todos Santos is a destination where expats find peace and solitude, and with this comes an array of different cuisines and a quirky mix that caters to all palates. From farm-to-table Jazamango to the modern oyster bar Oystera, there is something for everyone to enjoy here. The absolute stars of Todos Santos are the fish tacos (especially when you throw in a few margaritas too). My favorite margaritas are the tamarind flavored ones!
Need to Know Before you Go
If you need recommendations of where to stay in Todos Santos, I suggest booking Hotel Casa Tota or Hotelito Casa Morelos. Both of them are very well located, kept and run by dedicated local staff. And the pools they have for an end-of-the-day swim are the cherry on top. These two boutique stays have all the amenities one could hope for and are not budget-busters.
In general, Todos Santos is an easy place to visit with great roads and is stocked with fantastic places to see and amazing things to do. It’s essential though that you self-drive there because this gives you the freedom and flexibility to reach the beaches, and make the most out of your days.
For busy restaurants (some of which I mentioned), try to book in advance as most are small and might close early. The town is also an excellent base to explore nearby places in Baja California Sur such as La Paz or Canon de la Zorra. One thing is for sure: Todos Santos is charming, entertaining and rewarding! Thanks for reading and enjoy your trip to Todos Santos.