Todos Santos Mexico is a gorgeous little Pueblo Magico in the desert of Baja California Sur.
We took the bus from La Paz to Todos Santos, which takes about an hour and 15 minutes and I wasn’t entirely sure we’d actually arrived. It was as though a few stores had materialized out of nowhere. We’d spent an hour and 10 minutes driving past cactus and flat sandy landscape and suddenly we were there.
We had booked a little casita just outside of town for a month having never been here before and I felt my stomach drop as we hauled our suitcase out from under the bus wondering whether or not we had made a huge mistake.
Where is Todos Santos Mexico?
Todos Santos is located in the state of Baja California Sur in Mexico. It’s on the west coast of the peninsula, so the beaches here face the Pacific Ocean.
It’s about an hour southwest of La Paz and about an hour north of Cabo San Lucas.
How to Get to Todos Santos Mexico?
There are a few ways to get to Todos Santos depending on how you are arriving to Mexico.
Many people drive the length of the peninsula and add Todos Santos onto their road trip. It’s nice to have a car here because the beaches aren’t really near the town, but we’ll talk about that a bit more in the getting around section of the article.
If you are driving south from the US border, you will arrive in Todos Santos shortly after leaving La Paz.
If you are flying into the peninsula, you can either fly to La Paz or to San Jose del Cabo. Both of these airports are roughly the same distance to Todos Santos. Usually, the Cabo airport has more affordable flights to and from the US and Canada. La Paz is the better option if you are flying internally from somewhere else in Mexico or connecting through Mexico City.
Once you are at the La Paz or Cabo Airports, you can take a bus or shuttle directly to Todos Santos, but that will leave you without a vehicle. If you are only staying in the area for a few days, that’s fine. You can book your buses through the Aguila website here.
If you are planning to spend more time in Todos Santo, I highly recommend renting a car from the airport and driving yourself to Todos Santos. The roads are very nice and seemingly quite new (as of 2021). Driving during the day is always best.
The best option for renting a car in my personal experience is with Cactus Car Rental. They are a family-owned rental company who have been around since 2002 and the family that owns it are actually from this part of the country. The prices are fair and include everything you need, so there are no surprises once you arrive.
Getting Around Todos Santos
Getting around Todos Santos is one of the main reasons we didn’t stay for more than a month. The car is king here.
It’s an old sugar mill town that has become a hub for outdoorsy people who love surfing, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, and relaxing. However, all of those wonderful activities are best done on the edges of town, up dirt roads, into the mountains, and not really anywhere near the “downtown” area.
This means that you need a car. Or at the very least, a bike.
We bought used bicycles while we were there and they were great for getting to and from the beaches, around town and back and forth to our casita which was a little bit out of town.
There are also taxis which you can call, but there are only about three of them in the entire town, so you may have to wait a little while before they are able to arrive. It’s best to call them and then book it for a few hours time when you will actually need it.
You can call them or have your hotel call them using this number: +52 612 157 3337
Best Hotels in Todos Santos
There are so many beautiful hotels to stay in while you’re in Todos Santos. Depending on what you are looking for, there are lots of options including beautiful casitas, funky glamping tents, gorgeous boutique hotels, and beachside resorts.
Cien Palmas is about as central as it gets. This is a relatively new place that only recently opened in 2020. They have three beautiful casitas that you can rent through Airbnb and they also have a few glamping tents for shorter stays.
Cien Palmas is right in the center of town, so you can walk everywhere including to all the local taco spots (check them out below!). It is lovely and quiet at night despite being so close to the action (mostly because there isn’t much “action” to speak of in this quiet little town). The star-gazing is truly some of the best I’ve ever seen.
The other thing that makes this place so great is the couple that runs it. This is their dream come true. They drove their campervan down through the peninsula and fell in love with Todos Santos.
They wanted a place where they could show people everything that they love about this part of the world and in a way that makes you feel completely at home.
Paradero Todos Santos
If you want the all-inclusive luxe-resort feeling in Todos Santos, Paradero is the place to book. It is the perfect mix of Todos Santos style with laid-back beach vibes alongside absolutely stunning high-end decor. It’s relaxing but not rustic.
The standard rooms have hot tubs out on the patio area. Most rooms have hammocks or small outdoor spaces. When you look out of your room it looks like it’s just you in the middle of the desert. It’s absolute tranquility.
The restaurant here is one of the best in town. Be sure to head here and grab a seat by the bar. Everything from the cocktails to the deserts and all the plates in between are made from locally sourced fresh ingredients and it both looks and tastes incredible.
Guaycura Boutique Hotel
Guaycura is probably my favorite hotel in Todos Santos Mexico. I think it’s the perfect balance of cute boutique luxury without feeling too luxurious to too stuffy.
The rooms are simply decorated, but stylish. It’s in one of the historic buildings in town that were part of the sugar mill days of the early 20th century. The best part, however, is that the people who own the hotel also own and run a beach club called El Faro which they can take you back and forth to during your stay.
The food is incredible, they offer spa services, and the pool there is an excellent alternative for cooling down since the beaches here aren’t really swimmable.
Todos Santos Hostel
If you’re on a budget, there’s still plenty of exploring to be done in Todos Santos. Grab a bunk at the Todos Santos hostel, or if you’re traveling with a partner or someone you don’t mind sharing a bed with, grab one of the glamping tents.
This is a great communal place where you can meet fellow travelers, meet people to travel with, or just have some great conversations over a beer. The bonus of this place is that they have perhaps the best WiFi in town, so if you’re working remotely, this is a fantastic option.
Things to Do in Todos Santos
There are a lot of fun things to do in Todos Santos Mexico, most of which include eating delicious food, relaxing in a hammock, and generally enjoying the sunshine and lack of humidity.
There are, of course, plenty of activities to keep you busy for a few days, too.
1. Learn to Surf
One of the biggest reasons people come and then stay in this region of Mexico is for surfing.
If you already know how to surf, you can simply head to Cerritos Beach and simply rent boards from any of the companies along the beach who are there most days of the week.
If you want to take surf lessons, it doesn’t get better than Mario’s Surf School. You can book lessons with them on their website and they’ll even organize to pick you up and drop you back off at your hotel in Todos Santos since it’s about a 20-minute drive to the surfing beaches.
The guys who run it are really nice, they’re super patient, and they’re fun. It is a great way to get started or to continue one with your surfing lessons if you are just starting out.
2. See the Whales from Shore
I have never seen as many whales in my life as I saw during the month that I lived in Todos Santos.
The best part? It’s totally free. No need to go on a whale-watching tour. You can see them right from the beach. Not in the distance and you’re not sure if it’s a whale or not. Literally 100 feet from the shoreline they are leaping out of the water, playing, breaching, and showing off.
There are two types of whales that hang out along the shores of Todos Santos; grey whales and humpback whales.
You can see grey whales from January until March and humpback whales between October and January and then again they pass by around April.
You can enter the main beach from most left turns as you head north out of town past La Esquina. I usually head down to the beach from that street just to the right of La Esquina. There’s plenty of parking right near the beach entrance and you can walk for what feels like miles.
This is also where we saw literally tons of grey whales so close to shore.
3. Walk Along the Beach
While you’re down at the beach watching the whales, you can take some seriously long walks. We walked for an hour in one direction before turning around and there was still so much beach in front of us. It feels like an endless coastline that will carry you all the way up to Tijuana.
It is also a great place to come for the sunset since it faces exactly west. You can sit and have some drinks on the sand while watching the sun dip slowly beyond the horizon. It’s one of the most magical sunsets I’ve seen in Mexico.
4. Hike at Punta Lobos
There is a lot of great hiking to do around the area, including into the Sierra de Laguna, but there is also a lot of really accessible hiking to do right in town.
The most popular local hiking spot is around Punta Lobos. If you have a car you can drive to the San Cristobal Hotel. There is plenty of parking here.
As you drive towards the hotel, you’ll see the while hotel and ocean on your right, and on your left there is what looks like an abandoned stone building. It’s actually not abandoned at all and is a site for a lot of beach weddings.
Once you park, walk through this abandoned-looking building, and from there you’ll see the trail. You can follow this along the coastline and there is a sign that says “Puerto Viejo” or the old port. It’s a stunning bay that you can actually hike down to and there’s a tiny little beach where you can sit and when the water is calm you can swim.
If you don’t have a car, start the hike at Jazamango. In the parking lot of Jazamango, you’ll see the entrance to a mountain bike trail with a wooden arch over it.
This trail will take you all the way to the San Cristobal Hotel parking lot where you can then start the hike. Just know that it’s about an hour each way just to get to San Cristobal, so you’ll want to add that time onto how long you want to hike for.
5. Go Horseback Riding
Todos Santos is a surprisingly popular place to go horseback riding. Not just on the beach, although that’s the most picturesque place, but there are lots of different horse trails around the northern end of town.
The best company in my experience is Omega Tours. They treat the horses really well and the guides are really fantastic overall in all the tours that they run.
6. Go Off-Roading
Four-wheelers or ATVs are super popular simply just to rent and use them to get around in Todos Santos. You’ll see quite a few of them around.
But you can also take an ATV tour on the back roads and have some fun exploring the more off-the-beaten-path places around Todos Santos.
Again, Omega Tours offers the best options and actually has quite a few options. It’s best to read up on them here and then get in touch to see what would be best for you and your group.
7. Take a Historical and Cultural Tour of the Town
Although Baja California and Baja California Sur are the youngest states in Mexico, they still have a lot of history, especially in the last 100 years or so.
If you enjoy learning about the history of a place, you want to learn about the boom years of Todos Santos in the early 20th century and how it became the boutique pueblo mágico that it is now, take a historical walking tour.
This tour with Get Your Guide will take you to the old mission here and help explain how this area was colonized so differently from the rest of Mexico. You’ll also explore the town, head to a local Mexican candy factory in the desert, and learn about whether or not this is the real Hotel California.
8. Sample Some Craft Beer
Todos Santos Brewing Company is a tiny little bar on the edge of town and a must-visit for those that love good beer. It’s being made by an Australian expat who lives in and loves this region of Mexico, but wanted something a little stronger than a Pacifico every now and again.
They have trivia nights during the week if you want to have a fun night out. Most importantly though, they are making some seriously good beer. It’s my sort of place, they have a huge selection of Pale Ales and IPAs. And they’ll let you sample every single one until you’ve found the one.
They have wine bottles while they’ll fill up for you and they also have growlers.
9. Do a Mezcal Tasting
If you’ve never tried mezcal before, or even if you have, you have got to get yourself to Mexico Gourmet.
This little shop is run by a true mezcal expert and she will walk you through everything from the different agave plants that are used, how it is made, and how to know you’re getting a top quality mezcal.
The shop is right along one of the main streets in town and it is packed with mezcal from some of the best-producing regions of Mexico like Oaxaca, Tamaulipas, and Durango. Just tell her what sort of flavors you like (strong, smokey, sweet), and she’ll find you just the right tipple.
Best Restaurants in Todos Santos Mexico
There are so many incredible places to eat in Todos Santos. For such a small unassuming town, this place is packed with taco spots, local bakeries, farm-to-table restaurants, and even its own craft beer brewery.
Tacos Santo Chilote
Opening Hours: Daily 11am-8pm
These are first because they’re some of the best. For fish tacos, look no further than Santo Chilote.
They have a few different options which I’ve never seen anywhere else and which, for me, make them stand out. The shrimp tacos covered in pastor seasoning and grilled to perfection in a fresh flour tortilla. They also have breaded fish tacos which they call “crunch” tacos and then of course, the normal Baja-style fish tacos which are battered and fried.
There is a salad bar with three nice and spicy house-made salsas and a few nights a week they have live bands playing different types of music.
Tacos y Mariscos El Sinaloense
Benito Juárez on the corner of M. Ocampo
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11am-6pm, closed Monday
For the best ceviches and aguachiles, this is the spot to head to. They have a nice outdoor seating area and truly the best aguachile I’ve had outside of Mazatlan.
If you order a single tostada de aguachile, it is served inside a big clamshell (maybe it’s a scallop shell?). It is piled so high and served along with two tostadas. After sharing that, Luke and I also had two tacos each and that was more than enough food.
The tacos are good too, but we went back again and again for the aguachile.
Mariscos Compa Chava
Calle del Huerto
Opening Hours: Daily 10am-6pm, closed Wednesdays
This is another great spot for ceviche tostadas in town. You can also simply order a full platter of the ceviche and share that. They bring it out with lots of different salsas and tostadas to have with it.
Opening Hours: Daily 7am-8:30pm
This is the place I headed back to again and again. If you watched my YouTube videos from Todos Santos, then you can thank Doce Cuarenta for that.
The internet there is the best in town. If you’re looking for a place to get some work done, this is it. They have tons of different booths, outdoor seating, and nice tables upstairs where you can sit and use the internet for up to two hours at a time.
They make the best coffee in town, they have great cold brew, they have craft beer on draft, and they even have locally-made kombucha.
But the best of all is their baked-goods selection. Their giant cinnamon buns are without a doubt the most deliciously decadent thing I’ve had in months. It’s gooey and warm. They’re so popular that they are constantly baking them so you almost always get one straight out of the oven.
Pacifica Fish Market
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 1-8pm, Closed Sunday and Monday
An absolutely amazing Mexican-Asian fusion spot. As the name suggests, they specialize in seafood and it’s done in lots of different ways.
My favorites were the fresh fish tacos and the poke bowls. They also do burritos or wraps, fried fish and chips, grilled fish with salad, and seriously good fish burgers.
Opening Hours: Daily 7am-2pm, from 8am on Sundays
This is a great spot for breakfast, brunch, good coffee, nice teas, and simply to hang out and meet friends.
The entire restaurant is basically outside and there are lots of different corners and quiet areas where you can sit and work (the WiFi is pretty good most of the time).
I love that you can simply get a big mug of freshly brewed coffee for only 20 Pesos (about $1 USD) but they also have iced chai lattes, espresso drinks, and a huge selection of hot teas. They also make great fresh juices.
I first came here with some friends who live in town and they all raved about the breakfast burritos which are huge. I also loved their simple egg sandwiches packed with avocado all on freshly baked grain bread.
Opening Hours: Daily 1-9pm
Jazamango is one of the first farm-to-table restaurants to arrive in Todos Santos Mexico and it has received rave reviews since they opened. You can head to the main restaurant which is located on the Google link above or you can visit their cafe location which is right in town on the main street.
The restaurant is where you’ll really feel like you’re getting the farm-to-table experience. It’s also making the best sourdough I’ve ever had. Not the best I’ve had in Mexico, but the best I’ve had ever. It’s so delicious and they bake it fresh every single day. We used to buy this on our way back from the Punta Lobos hike and take it to sit on the beach and just eat that with some cheese from El Corral (a great place for fresh and local cheese as well as being a fantastic butcher).
The Green Room
Opening Hours: Daily 1-9pm
This is perhaps the most talked-about restaurant in all of Todos Santos. Whenever we met people and told them we were living in Todos Santos or that we used to live there, they immediately ask, “did you go to the Green Room?”
The Green Room is right on the beachfront and it is doing some serious modern Mexican cuisine that rivals our favorite spots back in Mexico City.
The menu is seemingly quite simple, they have some starters, some tostadas, and some tacos. But this is so much more than a little mariscos spot.
They are hand-making the tostadas and tortillas. They are marinating the fish in dried chiles or fresh lime or a combination of herbs and spices that I don’t even understand. The seafood is so insanely fresh and everything is served looking beautiful as ever. It was the most expensive meal we had in Todos Santos, but it was worth it for both the food and the experience.
Check out Videos of Todos Santos
If you haven’t already checked out my YouTube videos from Todos Santos, you can watch them here:
- First Impressions of Todos Santos
- Is Todos Santos Worth the Hype?
- Our $600 a Month Casita by the Beach
- THIS is Why I Moved to Todos Santos
- Living in Todos Santos: The Good, the Bad & the Beautiful
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