Have you heard of Todos Santos? It's a seaside destination that sits on the Pacific Coast of the Baja California Sur, driving distance from Cabo San Lucas, La Paz and Cabo Pulmo National Park. The relaxed vibes and strong waves make the little town a popular spot for surfers, and its close proximity to the Gulf of California offers an abundance of marine life for snorkelers, divers and whale watchers. The serenity of Todos Santos coupled with its epic coastal surroundings make it the perfect destination for a long weekend in Mexico. Below is my complete guide to the region including the best places to visit, beaches, hikes, surf spots, boutique resorts, day trips, restaurants and more. This post contains affiliate links.
Shopping for hats and bags in Todos Santos with @cherrielynn.
Market stalls in the heart of town.
HOW MANY DAYS IN TODOS SANTOS?
Three to five days. Todos Santos is tiny. It really only takes a weekend to see it and the surrounding beaches. There isn't a ton do, and the town is incredibly mellow. That's part of the appeal. I suggest mixing up the itinerary a bit - stay for three to five days to enjoy the chill vibes of Todos Santos, but also include a day trip or two to Playa Balandra, Cabo Pulmo or La Paz for a dose of adventure.
We found the boho vibes of Tulum in Todos Santos.
Best ice cream in town at Neveria Rocco.
THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND TODOS SANTOS
Boat days on the Sea of Cortez are a must when in Baja. Coined the Aquarium of the World by Jacques Cousteau, this part of Mexico is home to more than 900 species of fish, 5,000 species of invertebrates and some of the clearest blue water in the world. One of the best ways to experience all of this is by boat - cruise into the beaches of Espiritu Santo Island or the lagoons of Playa Balandra where you can drop an anchor and spend the day swimming in the prettiest shades of blue. Coromuel Charters offers both day and overnight sailing options.
CABO PULMO NATIONAL PARK
Divers and snorkelers flock to Cabo Pulmo National Park to experience the gnarly hard corals and abundant marine life of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is home to five of the world's seven endagred sea turtle species, bull sharks, grouper, mobula rays, hammerheads, octopus and so many fish.
One of the best surf spots in Todos Santos, Cerritos is a crescent shaped beach located south of town. Popular for surfing, boogie boarding and swimming.
ESPIRITU SANTO ISLAND
A boat trip out to Espiritu Santo Island is an essential day trip when in Baja. The island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where marine life thrives thanks to its protections as an ecological reserve. Highlights on the island include the shallow beaches of Ensanada Grande, the sandbar at Partida Beach and the soaring rock arches along the island's coast. Epiritu Santo is also home to Los Islotes, one of the only places in the world where visitors can snorkel with sea lions. The island can be visited as a group or private tour with On Board Baja or Coromuel Charters.
Often called the prettiest beach in all of Mexico, Playa Balandra is a remote shallow lagoon in the Sea of Cortez that is home to several stunning white sand beaches. It's accessible by both land and sea (sea is way more epic). If you visit by car, the two allotted times to access the beach are 8 AM-12 PM and 1 PM-5 PM. They cap the number of visitors, so arrive early to secure a spot in the parking queue, especially on the weekends.
PUNTA LOBOS HIKE
A four mile roundtrip hike that starts neat Hotel San Cristobal. The steep trail rewards hikers with a stunning viewpoint overlooking a rocky Pacific Ocean cove. Hike is very doable, takes about an hour.
TODOS SANTOS TOWN
The charming streets of little Todos Santos are lined with colorful flags, boutiques, taco shops, galleries, churches and cafes. Spend an afternoon or evening exploring the town on foot - won't take more than a couple of hours.
Whale Sharks migrate to La Paz to feed November to April, and it’s pretty incredible to snorkel with the gentle giants. The experience is highly regulated by the government to protect the animals, so you'll never see more than one boat near a shark. Best time to visit for water clarity and whale shark abundance is November and December.
The most colorful street in Todos Santos is Calle Centenario.
The coastline of Espiritu Santo Island is a mecca of natural wonders.
Whale shark season is November through March - we booked a private boat through On Board Baja.
PLACES TO STAY IN TODOS SANTOS
The perfect villa option for group trips. Hidden Leaf is a stunning 4-bedroom, 6-bathroom desert estate that sits nestled between the beautiful Pacific coastline and the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains. The property boats a main house, casita, sparkling pool, luxury loungers and an inviting patio for group hangs with desert views.
Luxury boutique hotel located on the beach at Punta Lobos in Todos Santos. The property interior exudes upscale retro feels with colorful tile and decor selection, and a minimalist white and neutral exterior design. Rooms are spacious and luxurious - lots of character and color. Hotel San Cristobal's on-site restaurant Benno serves both Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine.
Beautiful upscale resort located a short drive from the town of Todos Santos. The property has all the feels of a desert boho oasis, a bit of Amangiri and Joshua Tree all rolled into one. Paradero offers a selection of stunning suites, as well as the Ojo de Agua Spa, the Half Moon Infinity Pool and on-site bar and restaurants.
Rancho Pescadero is the loveliest resort option in all of Baja. The property re-opened in late 2022 after undergoing a massive renovation, and the result is an absolutely stunning desert oasis. This beachfront property is such a vibe set amongst hundreds of perfectly shaped cactus and palms. Guests can chose from boho chic rooms, suites and villas - all designed with so much character, and attention to detail. Highlights include the on-site restaurants and bars, heated pools, plush beach cabanas, bicycle rides on the property and rooftop sunsets.
This charming 16-room beachfront boutique property makes for a lovely weekend stay in Todos Santos. The yellow villa rises up out of the surrounding green palms, vegetation and palms. Loads of colonial character to the property's design, the courtyards, columns, archways and tiles are incredibly photogenic. The rooms at Villa Santa Cruz are spacious, bright and beautifully designed.
The luxe beach cabanas at Rancho Pescadero.
Absolutely loved the decor of the resort's suites and villas. So much character and attention to detail!
It's such a vibe at Rancho Pescadero.
WHERE TO EAT IN TODOS SANTOS
Popular taco "truck" in town that serves up fresh fish tacos and delicious cocktails.
My favorite breakfast spot in Todos Santos is the casual rooftop restaurant Centro at Rancho Pescadero. The serene setting faces the water for serene views - we saw whales every morning at breakfast. My favorites on the menu - chilaquiles, fruit tonics and fresh pastries.
This restaurant sits perched on a hilltop overlooking the sweeping coastline of Todos Santos. It's the ultimate dinner with a view, and not unusual to see whales breaching at sunset. Specialty here is the seafood.
Solid breakfast option with a menu that serves something for everyone including avocado toast, flax blueberry pancakes, bagels, fruit salad w/chia seeds, huevos rancheros, omelettes, chilaquiles and smoothies.
Absolutely delicious dinner option in Todos Santos. Highlights on the menu include the smoked pineapple carpaccio, grilled artichoke hearts, tempura greens and the fresh catch of the day.
My go-to ice cream shop in the middle of town that serves ice cream, cones and popsicles. The perfect treat on a hot day!
You can't miss Oystera when strolling the streets of Todos Santos - it looks like it popped straight out of an Instagram post. The restaurant is very stylish and serves an array of fresh seafood dishes including a raw bar goodies, grilled clams, crab cakes, tostadas, clam chowder and more.
Rancho Corazon is the ultimate boho escape - all the Tulum feels without the crowds. It's an oasis of palm trees that is home to two outdoor restaurants, a bar and infinity pool. Guests can dine at DUM or Pecado under large white dreamcatchers that hang from the palms, or buy a $25 day pass for the pool and spend the day lounging in a white hammock or white sun bed. The space is stunning.
Fantastic coffee and pasty shop located in the heart of town. The fresh blueberry scones are a must.
I'll take one of each, please.
Adorable cafes line the streets of the little town.
Nomad Chic is one of the cutest boutiques in Todos Santos.
GETTING TO AND AROUND TODOS SANTOS
Todos Santos is a little over an hour driving from both the Los Cabos International Airport and La Paz International Airport. Both connect Baja to dozens of international destinations, most within the Americas.
All major car rental brands are available at the airport, or you can pre-arrange transfer to Todos Santos with your hotel or a local tour company. If you plan venture beyond your resort, I do recommend renting a car for access to town and the beaches.
The shallow waters at Playa Balandra literally sparkle in the sunlight.