Best Things To Do In Todos Santos – Are you here. Home / North America / The best things to do in Todos Santos. Mexico’s most amazing art country
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Best Things To Do In Todos Santos
Thinking of traveling to Baja California Sur and looking for the best things to do in Todos Santos? Read on, my taco friends, dream, because in this guide I will not only tell you what to do in Todos Santos, but also how to get there, where to stay, what to eat and more.
What To Do In Todos Santos Mexico
Imagine cobblestone streets lined with small artisan shops, surf breaks from golden sandy beaches, mezcal margaritas and possibly the nicest hotel imaginable. It was our time in Todos Santos. Oh, and release baby sea turtles into the ocean while watching an idyllic sunset. I told you our few days were pretty amazing.
We have been to Mexico City, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun and the Riviera Maya, Sayulita and Puerto Vallarta, and Playa del Carmen, and I have only traveled to San Miguel and Oaxaca.
Before this trip, we had never explored Baja California, despite it being a quick 3 1/2 hour flight from San Francisco. After seeing the photos of Hotel San Cristóbal, I just knew that I had to get to Todos Santos first, and I finally did on my birthday this year.
Todos Santos is designated by the Mexican government as a “Pueblo Magico” (aka Magic City) (one of about 120 separate communities such as Sayulita, San Pancho and San Miguel de Allende).
A Hotel Review Of Paradero Todos Santos In Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico
It received this recognition for its true historical and artistic charm. The town of Todos Santos is located at the foot of the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range, between the dry heat of the desert and the cool breeze of the ocean.
Todos Santos is located on the Pacific coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico, on a long peninsula in southern California. Being only an hour north of Cabo, a day trip is quite easy, but we recommend staying a night or two to really get a feel for the area.
It is a haven for bohemians, surfers, travelers and artists looking for tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of Cabo San Lucas. Sort of like those who flock to San Pancho to escape the city of Puerto Vallarta. Even with a population of no less than 6,000, you’ll still find tons of art galleries around town.
This once-sleepy colonial seaside town has been an artistic mecca for years, but has recently become more popular with the opening of the luxury desert hotel San Cristóbal. It’s far from Mexico’s best kept secret, but it’s still relatively quiet and a great escape from the big city.
Day Trip To Todos Santos: Itinerary And Budget Guide
Although I only spent two nights in Todos Santos, I got a good feel for this small Mexican town at the tip of the Baja Peninsula. And since it’s so easy to get (we were blown away), I bet we’ll be back for another round or two in the near future.
Getting to Todos Santos couldn’t be easier. You can fly into Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) or La Paz Airport and take a quick trip to Todos Santos. The town is about a 1.5 hour drive north of San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos) or a 1 hour drive south of La Paz (both on the well-maintained Highway 19).
We found that renting a car in Cabo is quite simple and very cheap. A 6 day car was about $60 (we booked here) and the process was similar to renting a car in the states. We saw a cheap $23 rental for our entire 6 days, but chose to pay a bit more for a well-known national rental company. There are also many local rental companies, but we have heard that some have limited gold and/or do not deliver what they promise.
And psst – If you’re from the US, you don’t need an international driver’s license to rent a car in Mexico.
Todos Santos Eco Adventures
You will drive on a well-maintained highway until you reach the city, which will then turn into a mixture of dirt and asphalt roads. I strongly suggest choosing a 4WD SUV because the roads in the city are not well maintained (lots of bumps and dirt roads). It’s fine with our little sedan, but in a few cases we definitely feel safer and more confident in a bigger car.
General driving safety. I recommend driving during the day, as “highway thieves” appear more often at night.
To be honest, the ride is pretty boring and uneventful. You get to see more cacti than you ever thought possible, which is pretty fascinating at first, but then it gets monotonous after about 15 minutes. But, luckily, the road is not too long.
Note that you will have to pay 97 pesos (~$5) at the tollbooth (a few kilometers from the airport), so bring cash. We only had US dollars on the way to Todos Santos, but luckily our money was accepted. Make sure you have enough gas, money and some snacks if you want (it is a mini trip after all) because there is hardly anything between Cabo and Todos Santos.
Best Things To Do In Todos Santos
There are three major bus companies in the Baja Peninsula: Autotransportes de Baja California (ABC), Transportes Aguila and Tres Estrellas de Oro. Although they are all fast, modern and clean, Transportes Aquila has the most routes to Todos Santos.
Luckily, the Todos Santos bus station is right in town, a short walk from Old Town (where you’ll find art galleries, Hotel California and bars/restaurants).
If you want to go to Cabo, you can take a public bus to Todos Santos for about $10 (one way), which takes about an hour or so. First you need to get to the bus terminal of El Aguila (about 15 minutes), either by shuttle or by taxi.
Buses run from Cabo to Todos Santos approximately every hour, leaving around 6am and continuing into the evening.
Spending A Day In The Artsy Community Of Todos Santos, Mexico
There is also a premium bus that runs several times a day from SJD Airport to downtown Todos Santos operated by EcoBaja Tours for $355 pesos each way (~$17 USD).
From La Paz airport, you first need to take a taxi to the bus station, which is about 20 minutes away. And like Cabo’s bus schedule, buses depart from La Paz every hour from 6 a.m. to midnight. The transfer should take about an hour and a half.
Todos Santos makes a perfect day trip from Cabo. You can either rent a car for the day and drive yourself, or go on an organized tour if you don’t want to drive. On this Todos Santos day tour, you’ll visit factories, galleries, and craft shops, and enjoy a buffet lunch at the infamous Hotel California.
The center of Todos Santos is mostly a walking city, although you will need a car to get to some places on the amazing street. This includes the turtle release beach, several restaurants (like Yazamango, which we loved), and the Hotel San Cristobal.
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We rented a car that we really enjoyed. Note that taxis are available, but as in beach towns and cities in Mexico, they are usually unmetered. Be sure to negotiate and agree on a price before entering. And psst – taking a taxi on the street will always be significantly cheaper than having the hotel call you a taxi.
As mentioned above, the city roads have some terrible potholes, so be careful (and really consider renting a 4WD car – we didn’t have one and 100% wanted it).
We had to drive through rough dirt roads to get to our two hotels (Villa Bugambilias and Hotel San Cristobal), a popular restaurant (Yazamango), and also to get to the beach to release the sea turtles (don’t worry , I’ll cover this experience in more detail later). But as they say, there is always something special at the end of a dirt road.
Psst – the locals don’t really stop at stop signs (we were totally unlucky) and there are minimal traffic lights, so be extra, especially careful at intersections. I advise locals to yield the right of way and to stop clearly at stop signs, regardless of what others are doing. Safety first, always. 🙂
Things To Do In Todos Santos: Where To Stay, Eat & Play
Also, the couple we met on our whale watching tour in La Paz was injured while parking in Todos Santos when they visited. Apparently the police took his license plate and he had to pay at the police station to get it back. That said, be careful where you park (although we didn’t have any problems parking in town and didn’t see many parking signs).
There is a wide range of accommodation in Todos Santos at different price points