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Things to do in Todos Santos, Mexico

Ocean view of Todo Santos
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Only an hour north of Cabo, Todos Santos is one of Mexico’s Pueblo Magicos, and a visit to this Baja California Sur town will surely dazzle you.

Originally founded as a mission town and then a busy sugar-cane production village (check out the old factory remade into the swanky Oystera bar and gallery), this desert oasis is now vibrant and lively with colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and the quintessential Mexican plaza in front of the church. 

Sitting on the Tropic of Cancer means that the weather is almost perfect for most of the year in this Pacific coast town. It’s best to visit between late October and May to enjoy cool mornings and evenings with warm, sunny days. 

The entire state of Baja California Sur is a travel destination that is quickly gaining popularity. Be sure to visit soon, to experience areas of untouched desert, miles of empty roads, and a local culture that isn’t yet sick of tourists.

Todos Santos can be accessed from SJD airport in San Jose del Cabo or via the LAP La Paz airport. It’s an easy 1.5-hour drive along newly paved roads from either airport. 

Foodies, adventurists, and shopaholics can all get their fix here! Whether you are looking for beaches with great surf or you prefer strolling the colorful streets lined with galleries and art, there are plenty of things to do in Todos Santos. It has something for every kind of traveler.

12 Awesome Things to do in Todos Santos

Vantage point of Punto Lobos

1. Hike Punto Lobos

The Sierra de la Laguna mountains in this area offer lots of hiking opportunities and sweeping vistas of the mountains, desert, and Pacific Ocean.

From the San Cristobal Hotel just south of Todos Santos, you can access the Punto Lobos hike, which begins at a rundown sugar factory and brings you up on the bluffs above resting sea lions and crashing waves.

Bring water and wear a hat. If you’re not up for hiking, inquire about a day pass for the pool at San Cristobal hotel. Passes are a steep 1500 pesos ($75USD), but you’ll get to watch crashing waves and fishermen moving in and out of the bay while lounging poolside.

Mezcal Flight

2. Mezcal Flight at El Refugio

Crickets, anyone? If you visit this hidden gem, you’ll be served your mezcal flight the authentic way, which includes a side of citrus and crickets.

Everything about this mezcaleria is art, especially the menu written like poetry. The authentic gourmet menu changes daily, usually offering an appetizer in addition to one option for each of fish, meat, and chicken dishes. 

Reservations are encouraged as the space is small and comfortable enough to hang around for a while. I highly encouraged ordering a mezcal flight and then use your best theatre skills to read the menu description to your table.

Cookbooks by the owners, written with the same exciting language, are available for sale. It’s a true experience to dine at El Refugio.

Cerritos Beach, Mexico sunset
3. Surf at Cerritos Beach

If you talk to enough local gringos, you’ll hear stories about how they were traveling down the rugged dirt roads of the Baja peninsula back in the 80s in campervans hauling their gasoline and surfboards.

These days surfing is just one of the many things to do in Todo Santos. The road is paved, gas stations are easier to find, and anyone can rent a surfboard on the beach.

Just 16 kilometers south of Todos Santos is Cerritos Beach, a hotspot for surfers. Catch waves on this beach break at one of the most popular beaches in the area. Lessons and board rentals are readily available and you can probably make a deal if you are sticking around for a while.

Cerritos Beach is also a spectacular place to watch sunset.

Pastries

4. Coffee & Baked Goods

Coffee connoisseurs can find a proper coffee at many establishments in Todos Santos with coffee beans sourced from Veracruz, Chiapas, and Oaxaca regions.

Some favorites are Taller 17 (must try baked goods), Docecuarenta (digital nomad work environment), and Cafelix (has a second location in El Pescadero).

Most coffee farmers are using organic techniques, so you can feel good about your beverage. 

Tacos5. Taco, Tacos, Tacos

You can’t come to Mexico, without planning a full day around eating tacos. It’s just what you do when you’re south of the border.

Street tacos are plentiful in Todos Santos, as are the toppings offered at the build-your-own style stands.

Being so close to the Pacific, this area is famous for fish, shrimp, and scallop tacos. Try Pacifica Fish Market, Barracuda Cantina, or any of the street tacos.

Order “a la plancha” if you want it grilled, otherwise, the filling typically comes breaded and fried. 

cactus in Baja California

6. ATV Tour

For adventure enthusiasts, this desert location is a paradise for mountain bikes, dirt bikes, and ATVs. Join a guided group or rent your own to explore the dirt roads that cut through the hills and cacti. The desert is the perfect place to let your inner child loose with an adventurous ATV tour.

Remember to be respectful of private property and the plants as you rip through the desert. They are there for our enjoyment.

Humpback Whale Jumping

7. Whale Watching

Each year, humpback and grey whales migrate along the Baja peninsula to reach the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez. Which can be an awesome experience to witness and is great for any ocean or animal lover.

Visit between November and April to watch them from the beach or a hike like Punto Lobos. It won’t take much time before you see a spout of water and a breaching tail. However, if you want to get up close and personal it is best to book a boat tour.

 

Another great thing to do in Todo Santos involving whales is to actually swim with them. If you prefer to swim with whales, whale shark snorkeling tours can be arranged out of La Paz and are definitely worth it.

Whale sharks are actually giant fish that float through shallow water eating plankton. It’s a real honor to see or swim with any of these gentle giants passing from the Pacific to the Sea of Cortez where they give birth.

8. Take a Cooking Class

You may not decide to take on learning Spanish while on vacation, but you certainly could learn a few phrases. If you are not wanting to spend your vacation in Spanish lessons, why not take a fun cultural cooking class instead? Join a cooking class where you can learn how to prepare an authentic Mexican dish and get a healthy dose of culture and language lessons.

Hablando Mexicano offers cooking classes, dance lessons, book clubs, and both group and individual Spanish lessons for all levels.

buddha praying9. Find Inner Peace with a Yoga Class

Some say that Todos Santos is where the spiritual crowd from Tulum came to get away from the crowds.

What we can say is that you’ll find yoga, meditation, plant medicine, women’s/men’s circles, ecstatic dance…you name it, and someone is hosting it.

Todo Santos is where the real hippies are, and you will always find them in a Yoga class.

Check out Cuatro Vientos, Tierra Nahual, and the Peace Sanctuary for places that consistently offer yoga and other workshops.

Todo Santos zacalo

10. Shop pottery and Local Art

Walking through the streets of Todos Santos is akin to strolling an art gallery. Colorful pottery, beadwork, murals, and textiles line the streets and entice you into shops that extend back farther than you’d expect.

If you speak Spanish, many shopkeepers would love to tell you the history of each style of art. Check out Taller de Terreno, Casa Catalina, or Barro Sur if you want to learn to throw pottery! 

Sunset on the beach in Todo Santos, Mexico

11. Sunset at the Green Room

There is no shortage of places to watch the famous Pacific sunsets, but the Green Room is one of the ultimate Instagram-worthy splurges.

With tables in the sand right on the beach, the casual vibe is juxtaposed with the exceptional Mexican seafood dishes.

Make your reservations for sunset time at least a few days early, as tables book out quickly. If you can’t get into the Green Room, try El Mirador or bring a few cervezas to the beach. 

12. Visit the [fake] Hotel California

Saved this one for last as to not disappoint anyone. You won’t want to miss a chance at having your photo taken in front of the iconic orange Hotel California in the heart of downtown Todos Santos, but it’s actually not the “lovely place” referenced by the Eagles in 1976.

There is some history behind the hotel, however, as the Eagles sued the Mexican hotel for very successfully convincing tourists that it is the famous inspiration for the song. Take a picture anyway, and then get a margarita across the street.

That’s it. We hope you enjoyed this article on things to do in Todo Santos. Have you been here before? Do you have a favorite thing to do that wasn’t mentioned on this list?

Before you plan your trip to Mexico make sure not to forget to add these essential items to your packing list.

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