An essential guide beyond the things to do in Todos Santos – Mexico, about practical tips and where to stay and to eat. Read below before booking.
When I arrived at Todos Santos I understood why this once sleepy town has been designated a Pueblo Magico ( Magic Town). It’s definitely not sleepy anymore, although very tranquil and with a laid-back vibe. It has now become the mecca for the new wave of bohemian style-conscious travelers looking for a swanky place to relax, eat well and be in the sun.
It’s actually becoming a valid competitor to the now saturated and insanely over-priced Tulum.
The colonial architecture, the cobblestone streets, the elegant shops, art galleries, gourmet restaurants, organic farms, and the unforgettable sunsets altogether are what makes this town so special.
The tiny historical center is surrounded by lush tropical vegetation contrasting the dry desert just a few miles away.
The reason for such difference in the territory is the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range which enough rainfalls to not only sustain the rich vegetable gardens and organic farms but also mangos, papayas, palm trees to flourish abundantly and wildly in the entire area.
There are many reasons that draw a small stream of travelers to Todos Santos for ages: they come to ride the ocean waves, being the best surfing spots in Baja California, or moved by the false myth of the Hotel California, which is not the one mentioned in the famous evergreen song by the Eagles. I am sorry I am disappointing you right now.
Others come to get away from the hustle and bustle of the routine to get pampered in the fancy hotels built over the red brick walls of the old colonial mansions, to admire the stunning bright sunsets on the deserted beaches, and dine in the latest gourmet restaurant in town. I will tell you more about those in the next chapter. If you are in Baja California this is definitely a destination you should visit.
It’s actually the prettiest town among the ones I have visited on the peninsula, together with Loreto.
Best things to do in Todos Santos Baja California
Surfing in Todos Santos
Among all Todos Santos activities, Surfing is definitely the most popular. As I was mentioning before, this is the mecca for the surf lovers who gather mostly on two beaches at El Pescadero, a small town at 6 miles from Todos Santos
Playa Los Cerritos is the most popular and there you can rent surfboards or even take surf classes for about 25 USD per hour, but I am sure you can make a deal 🙂
Playa San Pedrito also in the same area is another good spot for surfing and facilities for camping as well. There are a small bar and restaurant.
Hiking in Todos Santos – Mexico
If you are wondering what to do in Todos Santos for outdoorsy besides Surfing, hiking is another great option. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to go on a hike, when I was in Todos Santos, but I still wanted to share the information as there are amazing hiking trails that you shouldn’t miss. They are around the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains and up to the cliffs and coves in Punta Lobos.
You can either check out your option with the reception of your hotel or check out the below options I found with amazing reviews. This way you could pre-book and secure your tour, for better planning and organization.
➡️ Todos Santos Pacific Bluffs Hike
It’s a short but well worth it 3.5-hour hike across scenic bluffs, starting off from Todos Santos, passing above crashing waves and sea lions. You’ll have incredible views of the Pacific Coast, including the ruins of a former shipping port and, if you are in the right season, you will most probably spot some migrating whales. Once reaching San Pedro beach you will enjoy your lunch while relaxing in a protective cove. You will also have the chance to take a swim or just enjoy the spectacular scene before going back.
Read the reviews on TripAdvisor.
➡️ Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve Hike
An adventurous hike in one of the most remote areas of Baja California, Sierra de La Laguna Biosphere Reserve. Setting of from Todos Santos this full-day trek led by an expert naturalist will take you on an incredible adventure through the boulders of the rocky desert of Baja, learning about the local flora and fauna along the way. Hike from the desert, scrub up through verdant oak and pine forests, learning as you go. It is quite a challenging hike so previous experience is highly recommended.
Read reviews on TripAdvisor
Go birdwatching in Todos Santos Mexico
Todos Santos has a unique tropical setting between desert and ocean which is home to over 150 bird species.
A paradise for nature lovers and bird watchers. In this tour, you’ll start off early morning when there is a more lively bird activity. A naturalist guide will take you along a strategic path around Todos Santos through deserts and saltwater marshes where the majority of birds live.
Go on an horseback riding adventure
Two hours on a horse exploring remote beaches and hidden trails around Todos Santos. Who’s in?
2-night luxury tenting in Sierra La Laguna Mountains Near Todos Santos
An unforgettable 2 days /1 night trip in the desert where you will sleep in a comfortable luxury tent, enjoying the silence of the desert and gazing at the stars.
Day 1 – Transfer to Camp Cecil. Move into luxury tents, enjoy a ranch lunch, then hiking, happy hour, dinner, and star gazing!
Day 2- Ranch breakfast, birding, and hike with spectacular views all the way to the ocean.
Day 3- This morning you’ll have one more terrific ranch breakfast, maybe a quick hike, before returning to Todos Santos around 10 am
Enjoy the good life in Todos Santos Mexico
Choose one of the high-end hotels suggested below and let them pamper you with exceptional services, massage therapies, gourmet cuisine. The funky town offers also a good number of fine dining restaurants of which I will talk about in the next sections.
Todos Santos Historical Town Tour
With this guided tour you will be taken back in time through the history and cultural evolution of Todos Santos. From the early missionaries, through the booming sugar years, and how Todos Santos has finally become an artists’ colony, an agricultural center, and thriving surfing hotspot.
You will be visiting some of the most historic homes and buildings in town, while learning fascinating stories of local personalities that made Todos Santos what it is today.
You will also be visiting present artists and their studios and galleries.
The tour will end at the fabled Hotel California which although has become famous for the wrong reasons, still has a lot of charm. Definitely a place worth a visit.
The town is getting more and more populated of interesting art galleries and high-end shops that you might want to look at. It’s also interesting to walk around the historical center, look at its brick stone old houses and enjoy one of the tiny local cafes.
Take a yoga class
The small town of Todos Santos is also becoming so popular for as a yoga retreat destination, probably for its soothing views and restoring energy. However, you don’t need to participate in a full retreat, as there are yoga classes available for occasional participants. You should inquire with your hotel reception staff. For sure they will know where to address you.
Have a day trip to Los Cabos
Among the easiest day trips from Todos Santos, Cabo San Lucas is only one hour distance and completely worth the journey. I would suggest you should rent a car (check prices here) and explore on your own, as the road is beautiful and very scenic and there is no danger.
Once you get to the more touristy city, I would get on a tour to visit the famous arch, and then explore one of the spectacular beaches, where it’s easier to swim compared to the agitated sea of Todos Santos.
Then if you get bored you can get back on the car and reach San Jose’ del Cabo, much smaller and cozier than Cabo San Luca. Here you can explore the historical center and enjoy a delicious lunch at the Restaurant Los Tamarindos. A beautiful rustic place overlooking an infinite field of organic cultivations. The food is, of course, made with local vegetables and they also have gluten-free options.
Kayaking in the Sea of Cortez
This tour includes a transfer to Baja California Sur Capital La Paz, home to one of the most amazing beaches in Mexico, Balandra Bay, right on the Sea of Cortez, also called the world’s Aquarium for being one of the most biodiverse bodies of water in the world, with hundreds of fish species.
You can choose between two different tour options.
- Snorkeling and coastal kayaking in the Sea of Cortez – with this option you will kayak/paddle along the coast and 3 rocky islands which are home to rookeries for blue herons and blue-footed boobies and even a family of sea lions. You will then snorkel in great spots accessible only by kayak and have a quick lunch. It is great for all levels, although some strength and endurance are required.
- Kayaking in the mangroves and protected waters of Balandra Bay. This is a great trip for paddlers of all skill levels and doesn’t require as much strength as the first option
This tour includes round-trip transport from Todos Santos/La Paz, a bilingual guide (certified Wilderness First Responder), picnic lunch, and all necessary equipment.
💡 Insider tip – If you have time, you can easily drive to Balandra Bay on your own and rent a kayak there, or if you are planning to stay a few days in La Paz you can also find Kayaking tours there. Otherwise, this tour is a great option, to see Balandra Bay, a real gem among the Mexican beaches.
The best hotels in Todos Santos
Villas la Mar
At Villas La Mar I stayed the second night. Another luxury experience this time with an amazing view of the ocean. The hotel looks like a huge villa with small rooms facing the ocean. There is no restaurant service which makes it a little challenging because it’s a bit isolated from the restaurants and bars and plus you would love to enjoy your breakfast from the room. Other than that the place is stunning.
Read reviews on TripAdvisor
I haven’t seen it unfortunately but I have read the reviews and looked at the stunning picture and this is the place I would choose should I go back to Baja.
They say about themselves:
“La Bohemia Baja is a hotel by travelers for travelers and we have taken great care to create a cozy and upbeat environment where you can make the most of your time here in beautiful Baja California Sur.” I would book it right away.
This is where I have stayed during my first night in TODOS SANTOS. I really loved it. The rooms are nicely decorated with fine linen and beautiful art pieces. The patio is very convenient to chill in the evening after a day exploring or after your morning rituals. The staff is super nice and makes you feel at home. The hotel is also located just outside the historical center, close to a beautiful deserted beach which gifted us with the most beautiful sunset!
Hotel Casa Tota is a little surprise in the middle of the historical center at an easy walk to shops and restaurants and the beach. I peaked in while passing bay as I was captured by the contemporary design in blending harmoniously with the old red brick building, colors, and design with functionality and comfort. 15 rooms. The hotel also hosts the popular restaurant La Santana Restaurant known for its specialty cocktails and Mexican cuisine.
Todos Santos Inn
This hotel has been the home of a sugar baron before having been restored and turned into a hotel, preserving the feeling of the bygone past. High ceilings, courtyard gardens, antique furniture make you feel like you are in another era. The only hacienda hotel in the area. It is situated in the heart of the historical center where it belongs, perfectly blending with the other Redstone buildings and pebbled roads. It’s worth a visit even if you are not staying there.
San Cristobal Hotel
Named after San Christopher the patron saint of travelers this beautifully decorated property is becoming an icon in Todos Santos. It seems that this photogenic boutique property has help TODOS SANTOS to rank in the New York Time’s the top 50 travel destinations. And with its sophisticated decorations, like the bright blankets, terra-cotta-potted cacti, the bamboo pulls in the guest room curtains, to name a few, it certainly makes it a mecca for the style conscious traveler.
Todos Santos Home Rentals
If you are like me and prefer to rent your own place for a long term vacation or working-vacation, here is a practical map where you can compare prices and location.
Restaurants in Todos Santos
The restaurant offers Todos Santos is not only abundant but of great quality. The rich soil makes it a great place for cultivations and all the top restaurants feeds from the numerous local organic farms in the surroundings.
There is one restaurant in particular which I loved, and it was the first that I tried. Hierbabuena is actually the name of a plant used to make meant tea. The restaurant located in a beautiful garden offers a huge menu with all sorts of specialty made religiously with the vegetable of their own farm.
Read reviews on TripAdvisor
Michaels at the Gallery
The other I tried, suggested by the Hotel I was staying was is Michaels at the Gallery – It’s Asian fusion cuisine, within the premises of an Art Gallery. The fun part is that the eccentric artist is the chef and the owner of the gallery/restaurant. The food was great and I believe one of the priciest restaurants in town.
Read reviews on TripAdvisor
Cafe’ La Esquina
It’s quite an iconic place situated in a beautiful garden with space for children to play while their parents can sip their coffee or fresh juices in tranquillity. They have vegan and vegetarian options as well.
Read reviews on TripAdvisor
Other quite popular restaurants which I haven’t had the time to try are:
Cafe’ Santa Fe
An upscale Italian restaurant which is considered one of the best in town. It’s located in a restored 1850s building in downtown Todos Santos.
Read reviews on TripAdvisor
A coffee’ shop that is well known for its coffee and backed bins
Read reviews on TripAdvisor
Los Adobes has built an impeccable reputation through the years both from locals and tourists. They focus on seafood although their menu varies and boosts organic products.
Read Reviews on TripAdvisor
Other restaurants that have heard good things about are:
Enjoy your meal!
If you have other restaurants in mind that are worth mentioning, please do let me know. I would really appreciate it.
Todos Santos is also popular for hosting different yoga retreats. It might be a good opportunity for a rejuvenating week far from the daily routine to boost your energy and get back to your life brand new.
Here I am including a list of yoga retreats in the area. I am very surprised that there are so many in such a little place.
However, if I think about the amazing energy I have found in just a couple of days there, together with the soothing views I can understand why Todos Santos inspires the growth of such kind of places.
Please know that I haven’t tried or seen these places so I cannot really offer a suggestion. I am just offering a list of places for the sake of information.
Pachamama means mother earth. This new property is a yoga retreat and a boutique hotel as well. Surrounded by desert, tropical vegetation, and stunning ocean views, this luxury property has been designed to offer a relaxing soothing and peaceful space that allows the expansion of your wellbeing. The property layout and design, the attentive service and organic gourmet cuisine are conceived to take the guests through a restorative transformation that will last well beyond their stay.
The beautiful oceanfront yoga retreat & wellness center is located along the coast between Todos Santos and Cabo San Lucas on a stunning stretch of beach where you can admire breathtaking sunsets.
The center offers a reach weekly retreat program where you can choose from according to your needs and feelings.
Besides yoga, they can also organize different correlated activity from horseback riding to paddling and snorkeling. Massages and hot tub.
The entire place is designed to favor your wellbeing and relaxation.
Baja Zen Yoga and Surf Retreat center is located walking distance to Playa Los Cerritos at 10 minutes drive from Todos Santos.
It’s a very simple place open also to the public but with comfortable luxury tents and rooms. Ideal for those who want to combine surf and yoga a great combination for our wellbeing.
Here you go! I Hope you enjoyed this reading and most of all it was useful. Let me know should you have any questions. Don’t be shy! 🙂
For further reading
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