Todos Santos is Mexico’s Best Kept Secret - 2 Dads with Baggage
Todos Santos sign in Todos Santos, Mexico

Todos Santos is Mexico’s Best Kept Secret

If you haven’t heard of Todos Santos before reading this story, you soon will. If you have heard of this magical place an hour north of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, then you’re already in the know. It’s is a charming little town located on the west coast of Baja California, and we highly recommend you visit Todos Santos it before it gets too popular.

Todos Santos is a gem that’s just waiting to be discovered. The town is filled with colorful buildings, delicious food, and a laid-back vibe that’s perfect for a relaxing vacation. Plus, the beaches are absolutely stunning. In fact, surfers can be credited for giving Todos Santos the start of its rising stardom.

Entrance to colorful shopping bazaar in downtown Todos Santos, Mexico
This colorful shopping bazaar is located in downtown Todos Santos

Colorful Art Scene

One of our favorite reasons to visit Todos Santos is the art scene. The town is home to many talented artists who migrated here along with the surf community, creating everything from paintings to pottery. Now visitors can roam the streets of a very walkable downtown area, exploring galleries and studios, or even taking a class to learn a new artistic skill.

Art galleries like this one are on nearly every street in downtown Todos Santos

Modern-day Todos Santos is a hub of creativity and artistic expression. From contemporary to indigenous, there’s no shortage of art to discover in this vibrant town.

Some of our favorite spots include:

  • Galería Logan: A sleek and modern gallery showcasing the work of Jill Logan, a talented artist with clients from around the world.
  • La Sonrisa de la Muerte: A quirky and eclectic gallery featuring a mix of contemporary and traditional Mexican art.
  • El Tecolote Bookstore: A treasure trove of books on Mexican culture and history, with a rotating selection of art exhibitions and cultural events.
Visit La Sonrisa de la Muerte for a fun artistic experience in Todos Santos (photo: La Sonrisa de la Muerte)

Foodie Alert

If you’re a foodie, you’ll definitely want to visit Todos Santos and check out the local cuisine. Todos Santos is known for its fresh seafood, and there are plenty of stellar restaurants to choose from. We highly recommend trying the fish tacos and ceviche you can find at practically every street corner – they’re both delicious!

El Mirador Oceanfront Restaurant in Todos Santos, Mexico
The location, food and ambiance of El Mirador restaurant makes it one of the finest in Todos Santos.

For an elevated experience, visitors can indulge their taste buds at a variety of chef-driven restaurants featuring locally-sourced ingredients and world-class menus. From street food to fine dining, Todos Santos is a foodie’s dream come true.

Here are some of our favorite restaurants:

  • El Mirador: Perhaps the most stunning dining experience, this top dining spot is perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Guests sip craft cocktails while watching the sunset and then a delicious menu of fresh-caught seafood and other favorite dishes.
  • Jazamango: Celebrated Mexican chef Javier Placencia located his restaurant here with arguably the most inventive farm-to-table menu in town. The grilled octopus, roasted suckling pig and handmade pizzas were among our favorites here.
  • Dūm Restaurante: Nestled in the palm oasis and artfully designed with hanging basket lighting, candles and firepits, this is a unique outdoor dining experience. The menu here is haute cuisine with a Mexican flair.
The dining tables at DŪM restaurant are nestled in the palm groves.

Enjoy Outdoor Adventures

If you’re looking for a little excitement, Todos Santos has plenty of outdoor adventure activities to choose from to get your adrenaline pumping. You don’t have to be a studly athlete to enjoy these experiences, and there’s such beauty in the diverse terrain here to view.

Riders on an All Terrain Vehicle in the TIerra Sagrada desert near Todos Santos, Mexico
Ride ATVs through the Tierra Sagrada desert near Todos Santos for a major thrill.

Here are some of our top picks when you visit Todos Santos:

  • Cabo Adventures ATV Tours: Explore the rugged terrain around Todos Santos on an ATV tour through the Tierra Sagrada desert. They also offer camel rides complete with pith helmets,as well as other motorized adventures for that adrenaline boost.
  • Baja Desconocida Whale Watching Tours: From December to April, you can catch a glimpse of humpback whales in the waters near Todos Santos on special boat tours with knowledgeable guides. We loved our mind-blowing whale watching experience, where mother and baby jumped and breached right in front of us.
  • Ziplining: Soar through the trees and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Baja landscape on a zipline tour. Our experience was just extra – we climbed, dangled, soared and dipped through the canyons nearby.
Wall of potted cactus plants in Todos Santos, Mexico
So many colorful things to enjoy in Todos Santos

Other Reasons to Visit Todos Santos

As if all these things to do are not enough, there are more interesting activities when you visit Todos Santos.

Some highlights include:

  • Tortugueros Las Playitas turtle hatchery: If you’re lucky enough to visit Todos Santos between December and April, don’t miss the opportunity to witness baby sea turtles hatching on the beach You can learn about the life cycle of sea turtles, observe the nesting process, and even help release baby turtles back into the ocean.
  • Take a Yoga Class: Todos Santos is a haven for yogis, with its tranquil setting and laid-back vibe. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or a curious beginner, there are plenty of yoga studios to choose from. Yoga Rasa is a popular spot that offers a variety of classes, from gentle Hatha to dynamic Vinyasa flow. Baja Zen is a serene and beautiful studio that offers a wide range of classes, including aerial yoga and meditation.
  • Hotel California: OK some say this is the inspiration for the Eagles song of the same name. Regardless if you check in any time you like but you can never leave, it’s worth a stop on your tour of downtown for a cold drink and a view of their impressive art collection.
Front entrance of The Hotel California in Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico
Livin’ it up at the Hotel California in Todos Santos

Oh, and the Beaches!

With its warmer waters and consistently high surf, Todos Santos is a beach destination for good reason. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beachfront sun worshipper, the beaches here are among the most beautiful – and the most uncrowded. Being on the Pacific Ocean provides some impressive waves for surfing, although not for swimming or wading. The water is just too rough here for a casual dip, but there are plenty of gorgeous beaches to enjoy for other reasons.

The waves can get huge in Todos Santos (photo: Go La Paz)

Some of the best beaches include:

  • Playa Los Cerritos: A long, sandy beach with gentle breaks and a laid-back atmosphere.
  • Playa La Pastora: A rugged and dramatic beach with strong waves and breathtaking scenery.
  • Playa San Pedrito: A secluded and challenging beach that’s perfect for experienced surfers looking for a challenge.

El Faro Beach Club & Spa: Here guests are welcomed with beachfront cabanas, hammocks and a protected pool with lounge chairs, swim-up bar and very good restaurant. Spa services are also available. (This is our kind of beach experience!)

The pool deck at El Faro Beach Club in Todos Santos, Mexico
El Faro Beach Club has all the necessities for a perfect beach day.

Rest Your Head

You will see no big hotel brands when you visit Todos Santos, which just adds to its local charm. With no Hiltons or Marriotts looming (yet) the smaller boutique hotels have flourished. Whether you want to stay within easy walking distance from everything downtown, or prefer a more secluded and quiet experience, there are places to stay in Todos Santos for every size pocket book.

Guaycura Hotel in Todos Santos, Mexico has a long history and colorful entrance.
The colorful entrance of Guaycura Hotel makes it one of the most popular in Todos Santos

Some of the hotels in Todos Santos that impressed us include:

  • Guaycura Boutique Hotel Beach Club & Spa:  Located in downtown Todos Santos, this charming boutique hotel is housed in a renovated 1800s-era brick building. A rooftop pool and bar has unparalleled views looking out over downtown to the ocean. The works of local artists adorn the walls, including inside the 14 rooms and suites. We would go back here tomorrow if we could. Rates here start at $198 per night.
  • Hacienda Todos Los Santos is a LGBTQ-friendly boutique resort with seven upscale suites positioned within a gorgeous garden setting. Guests can lounge by the swimming pool, enjoy great views from private balconies, and walk into town for fun and games. Rooms here start at $130/night.
  • Paradero Todos Santos offers a higher end experience that many say is well worth the expense. The hotel’s stark design and beachfront views are accompanied by an inspired restaurant and cocktail program. There is also a world-class spa on the premises. Rooms here start at $470 per night.
The design of the Paradero Hotel takes advantage of the surrounding beauty. (photo: Paradero Hotel)

Overall, Todos Santos is a great destination for anyone looking for a low-key, authentic Mexican experience. It’s a hidden gem that won’t stay hidden for long, so we suggest you visit soon. With its stunning beaches, vibrant arts scene, and delicious food, it’s no wonder that more and more travelers are discovering the magic of Todos Santos.

Lone man on beach in Todos Santos, looking out to sea
The beaches in Todos Santos seem to go on forever

Other Mexican Destinations

If you don’t have a chance to visit Todos Santos but would like ideas about other destination in Mexico, check out these stories:

Hotel Xcaret is the Best All-Inclusive Resort for Families in Mexico

Merida is the Safest City in Mexico and So Much More

The Magic of Loreto, Mexico

 

 

 

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