Only an hour north of Cabo, Todos Santos is a Pueblo Magico, 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 Todos Santos, to experience areas of untouched desert, miles of empty roads, and a local culture that isn’t yet sick of tourists.
I have lived here for the last two years and I have only seen it grow in popularity. Mainly because it is off the beaten tourist path and more and more expats are flocking to live here.
These activities I have included, are a local guide to Todo Santos, and some of them you won’t find on other “to-do lists” of this small Mexican beach town.
It’s an easy 1.5-hour drive along newly paved roads from either airport.
Best Tour In Todos Santos
If you only do one tour make it this one because it is the best
Private sunset hiking tour with a picnic set up included
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
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 Hotel San Cristobal 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 Hotel San Cristobal. It is the perfect relaxing day activity in Todos Santos.
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.
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.
This sort of thing is common in Mexico, so get used to it.
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 encourage ordering a mezcal flight and then using 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.
So if you want to experience Mezcal in Mexico, this is the place to do it in Todos Santos.
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 Todos Santos, as it is one of the best surf spots in Mexico.
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.
This beach is also a spectacular place to watch the sunset.
4. Coffee & Baked Goods
Coffee connoisseurs can find proper coffee at many establishments in Todos Santos with coffee beans sourced from Veracruz, Chiapas, and Oaxaca regions.
Most coffee farmers are using organic techniques, so you can feel good about your beverage.
5. 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.
Order “a la plancha” if you want it grilled, otherwise, the filling typically comes breaded and fried.
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.
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.
9. 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 and Tierra Nahual for places that consistently offer yoga and other workshops.
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.
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. Next time you are thinking about visiting Cabo San Lucas, you might want to consider visiting Todos Santos instead.
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.