Todos Santos Visitors Guide

Colorful papel picado flags in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico
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Located on the Pacific coast of Baja California Sur, Todos Santos is a charming town known for its rich Mexican cultural, artistic community, and beautiful natural surroundings. With its warm climate, sandy beaches, and vibrant culture, Todos Santos is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the region.

Where is Todos Santos?

Todos Santos is located near the southern tip of the Baja peninsula about 80 km (50 mi) northwest of Los Cabos. It is the same distance to the south of La Paz, the capital of the state of Baja California Sur, Mexico. The beaches of Todos Santos stretch along the Pacific Ocean for about 13 km (8 mi).

If you are driving to Todos Santos from the US-Mexico border, it is 1433 km (890 mi) from Mexicali and 1558 km (968 mi) from San Ysidro.

What is the best time of year to visit Todos Santos?

Well… as soon as possible! 🙂 Todos Santos is a beautiful town with sunny weather year-round. The average annual temperature is 23° C (73° F). August is the hottest month, reaching a maximum high of 32° C (89° F) and a low of 24° C (75° F). January is the coolest month, with a maximum high of 25.4° C (78° F) and a low of 14° C (58° F).

Unseasonably hot days are best spent at the beach, where temperatures are milder than inland and breezes are plentiful. Rainfall is practically non-existent, except during summer months which average 87 mm (3.4 in) of rain monthly.

High tourist season in Todos Santos

The months of January through April are the high season in Baja California Sur, the Mexican state where Todos Santos is located. This time of year offers the best weather: generally dry, sunny and mild temperatures. It is also the best time for whale watching, shopping and dining.

Visitors looking to avoid large crowds will want to schedule around the week of Semana Santa, which is the week leading up to the Catholic holiday of Easter when many people head to the beach towns of Baja, including Todos Santos.

Off season in Todos Santos

The shoulder months of November, December and May are a great time to go to avoid the biggest crowds but still have nice weather. Some might find it too hot in summer, July through September. Hurricane season is May 15 to November 30, but rain is rare even this time of year.

If you are visiting Todos Santos outside of the high season and want to visit specific businesses, check ahead of time to ensure they will be open. Several businesses and restaurants close in the off season or scale back their hours of operation.

Todos Santos without a car

Todos Santos Attractions

Why is Todos Santos famous?

This beautiful town is designated as one of Mexico’s Pueblos Mágicos (English translation: Magical Town). This means that it is a place with special characteristics and traditions that make it unique. Todos Santos is renowned for being a coastal locale where artists, surfers, hippies and musicians love to congregate.

The town itself has beautiful architecture with unique construction ranging from brick buildings to boho-chic reed structures. Wander the streets and check out the lovely historic buildings covered in flowering vines and streets draped with papel picado overhead. You can also find Hotel California in the heart of downtown Todos Santos, which some incorrectly believe inspired the 1976 hit by The Eagles.

Since Todos Santos is only an hour drive from the two largest cities in southern Baja, it is a popular day trip destination for locals and tourists looking to escape the crowds. It is also a fantastic stop for those traveling between Cabo and La Paz.

Cultural attractions in Todos Santos

Town square area

One of the top attractions in Todos Santos is the Mission of Nuestra Señora del Pilar, a historic church that dates back to the 18th century. The church is a beautiful example of colonial architecture, with its white-washed walls and ornate bell tower. Visitors can tour the church and learn about its fascinating history, which includes stories of pirates and indigenous uprisings.

The church faces the town square. It holds many of the town’s outdoor festivals and celebrations throughout the year, ranging from Dia de los Muertos to beer festivals. Most of the time though, it serves as a peaceful place where a few locals and tourists gather throughout the day.

A theater on one side of the town square dates back to the 1940s. It occasionally hosts film festivals and smaller production plays, and it usually features artworks in the entry hall. I’ve never seen them charge for entry.

Beyond the town square

Another highlight of Todos Santos is the Todos Santos Cultural Center, which showcases the work of local artists and provides a space for cultural events and exhibitions. The Center is located in a beautifully restored historic building and features a range of exhibits, workshops, and performances throughout the year.

For those interested in the arts, Todos Santos is home to a thriving community of painters, sculptors, writers, and musicians. Visitors can explore the many galleries and studios throughout town, including the Galería Logan and the Ezra Katz Gallery, which showcase contemporary Mexican and Latin American art.

Shopping and souvenirs

Many visitors to Todos Santos simply enjoy wandering the town, looking at the architecture and stopping to browse in the small shops and markets. You’ll find chic clothing stores, surf shops and lots of tourist trinkets.

While you’ll find some shops carrying mass-produced souvenirs, the real gems are the plentiful stalls and shops carrying handmade merchandise made locally or elsewhere in Mexico. In the Instagrammable market of Cielito Lindo, you’ll find local beauty products with all natural ingredients and my favorite local jewelry maker who incorporates gemstones, braided cord and metal work into his pieces.

Take a little break at some of the best restaurants in Todos Santos at every price point.

The Todos Santos area is also popular with surfers, beach-goers and conservationists. Some of the best beaches with surfable waves include Punta Lobos, Batequito, La Pastora, Los Esteros, San Pedrito and Cerritos. All of the beaches are nesting grounds for sea turtles, and local non-profits protect this endangered wildlife. They even offer opportunities to participate in hatchling releases during certain months. Read on for more about the beaches and incredible nature around Todos Santos.

Oystera in Todos Santos, Mexico offers fresh shellfish and more in a breathtaking setting.

Todos Santos Food and Drink

When it comes to delicious food and drinks, Todos Santos has plenty to offer.

Food in Todos Santos

For those looking for an upscale dining experience, there are several excellent restaurants in Todos Santos. One standout is Javier Plascencia’s Jazamango, an outdoor garden setting featuring farm-to-table cuisine made with local ingredients. Another is Oystera, which is so great it made our Todos Santos best restaurants list twice!

One beloved specialty is the fish taco, which can be found at local taquerias like La Paceña, Taqueria El Poblano and Santo Chilote. These tasty tacos are made with fresh local fish either capeado/empanizado (battered and fried) or a la plancha (grilled or pan fried without breading). You can choose between harina (flour) or maiz (corn) tortillas.

The most authentic taco stands serve you just the tortilla topped with your choice of fish or shrimp. You add your own freshly prepared toppings and sauces such as shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, spicy salsa macha, crema, avocado sauce, and many more.

For more gastronomic inspiration, check out our comprehensive guide to the best places to eat in Todos Santos!

Drinks in Todos Santos

For cocktails, tequila and mezcal reign supreme here and all around Mexico. Mezcal is an agave-based spirit that is similar to tequila but with an often smoky and more complex flavor profile. Some our favorite places in Todos Santos that honor the flavors and traditions of tequila and mezcal are Teatro 6, The Green Room, Coyote (in El Pescadero) and Barracuda (in Cerritos).

For craft beer lovers, Bajavaria biergarten in the Las Tunas neighborhood curates the best beer list in all of Baja. Craft beer lovers who’ve driven the Baja peninsula can attest to how impossible it is to find really good craft beer. Bajavaria scouts out the best artisanal beers from Mexico and Germany and pours from a custom-built 16-tap system. They also have rare bottles and cans to enjoy on site or take to go.

Fresh, non-alcoholic juice drinks are plentiful, as well. Jugos, aguas frescas, and licuados are fun to try when you find them on a menu. A very popular flavor is jamaica, which receives its deep purple color from hibiscus and is pronounced ha-MY-cuh. Another favorite is maracuya, made from passion fruit which grows abundantly in this tropical region.

View of pacific ocean in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico
The sugar port ruins hike at Punta Lobos in Todos Santos is an incredibly scenic hike.

Todos Santos Outdoor Activities

With its sunny and relatively mild climate and beautiful natural surroundings, Todos Santos is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.


One of the most popular activities in the area is surfing, with several surf schools and rental shops offering lessons and gear. The nearby beach of Cerritos is a favorite among surfers, with its consistent waves at the northern end of the beach and wide, sandy shore. Surfers of all skill levels, including first-timers, will enjoy the Cerritos break.

Other beaches with surfable waves suitable only for experts are La Pastora, La Cachora and San Pedrito.

Can you swim in the ocean at Todos Santos?

While Todos Santos is bordered by beautiful beaches that are wonderful for walks and watching the sunset, the large waves and strong rip current make swimming extremely dangerous.

The only beach in the area where swimming is recommended with caution is Cerritos, about 15 minutes south of Todos Santos. It is popular with local families on the weekend. A great area to swim is south of the main surfing area but still take care to be safe.


The dramatic Pacific coast beaches of Todos Santos are the main attractions of this area for a reason! Every beach has its own personality for you to discover. Here they are from north to south:

  • Playa La Pastora is a serene and mostly untouched beach at the northern edge of Todos Santos. Experienced surfers and whales intermittently enjoy the water, while expats and tourists enjoy the views from The Green Room.
  • Playa Los Mangos is the beach for the Las Tunas neighborhood and, more importantly, the location of the nightly turtle release I explain below.
  • Playa La Cachora is directly west from downtown Todos Santos, yet still very unpopulated. It is another great beach for whale watching onshore and surfing for experts.
  • Playa Las Positas, a perfectly picturesque beach, is west of a palm forest and estuary. The beautiful views in every direction draw you in to linger until sunset.
  • Punta Lobos is home to the upscale Hotel San Cristobal as well as the preferred area for local fishermen to launch their pangas.
  • Playa Las Palmas is a small beach just past a palm tree grove. Parking is at the eastern edge of the palm trees, so pack lightly because you walk for 5-10 minutes before reaching the beach. You may encounter muddy conditions and a couple of potentially aggressive horses who will want your food. Leave your food at home and be respectful of the animals in order to enjoy this beach’s quintessential tropical island vibes.
  • Playa San Pedrito is the sleepy and stunning beach bordering the huertas of El Pescadero. It’s a great local surf spot and has a beach bar with swings, hammocks and intimate seating areas.
  • Playa Los Cerritos is one of the most famous surfing beaches in Mexico. It’s a developed beach, with restaurants, bars, hotels, and swimming pools within short walking distances. This is also the only beach where swimming is recommended, but of course remain cautious of riptides.

Whale watching

Another popular activity here is whale watching, which takes place from November to April. Humpback whales and gray whales migrate through the ocean waters just off the coast of Baja California Sur. While you may be able to find a boat in Todos Santos that will take your group on the water, whale watching excursions in Cabo can provide visitors with an up-close look at these majestic creatures.

Luckily, whale watching in Todos Santos doesn’t require a boat. Pick any restaurant or beach with a panoramic ocean view, and you can see dozens of whales offshore daily during peak season. Whale watching is particularly excellent at Cerritos Beach Inn’s restaurant and The Green Room.

Horseback riding

For those looking for a unique and authentic experience, a horseback ride on the beach is hard to beat. Local organizations offer horseback riding tours along the beach and surrounding desert, offering a unique way to see the area.

Equus Sur, a horse rescue run by a former Team USA competitor, is cherished in the Todos Santos community for their incredible mission. They offer sunset and moonlit tours that mix enchanting desert and beach settings.

Omega Tours offers horseback riding tours in addition to a large variety of vehicle rentals and tours.

Todos Santos Tortugueros releases endangered turtle hatchlings and is a great outdoor activity.

Turtle release

A very special treat awaits you in northern Todos Santos almost every evening in winter. Grupo Tortuguero, a local non-profit rescue, collects sea turtle eggs daily that are laid on the beach. The eggs are placed in a protected area so that wildlife and humans cannot damage them. Then they collect the hatchlings into buckets and release them around sunset. It is adorable (and a little terrifying) to watch them crawl instinctively toward the crashing waves.

The volunteers give great information and answer questions about the turtles and their conservation efforts for the hour before the release. Only one in 1,000 turtles survives to adulthood. So while you can attend at no charge, I’d like to encourage you to donate what you can to this very important cause.

Hiking Punta Lobos

If you like to hike, the sugar port ruins hike at Punta Lobos is an absolute must. It is pet-friendly and appropriate for most fitness levels. Families and those not accustomed to hikes with elevation changes may want to take breaks along the path. I suggest starting this hike early in the morning, as there is no shade and often little breeze until you reach the top. Don’t forget your sunscreen, a hat, polarized sunglasses, and water. There are also two scenic areas great for picnicking.

Getting to the Punta Lobos hike

Head toward Hotel San Cristobal at the south end of Todos Santos and stay left when the dirt road splits. You will see an abandoned cannery building on the left and this is where you can parallel park.

Walk out the back of the abandoned building and you will see the hiking trail a little to the left. It is an easy and constant incline to the top for about 2 km (1.25 mi) and then the path splits off into a few different directions.

Highlights of the Punta Lobos hike

When you find the old sugar port ruins just before the sharp curve, which is now just a stone foundation, I recommend taking the path which leads slightly to the right and downhill toward the ocean. This path leads to an elevated rocky point with 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean, desert, town, and beaches.

A small herd of sea lions often basks on the rocks below, and whales can often be spotted migrating just off shore during winter. This spot is great for a picnic while you decide if you want to explore another path or head back.

The other path you may want to consider leads down to the secret cove and is moderate in difficulty due to the steeper slope and a little scramble at the end. You will likely have the whole little beach to yourself, giving major deserted island vibes.

Off-road vehicle tours

Baja is a major destination for overlanding and off-roading adventurers, both professional and amateur. Thrilling races occur throughout the year along the whole peninsula, including through this region. The area surrounding Todos Santos has hundreds of miles of trails to explore on guided or self-guided tours. Operators offer ATVs, UTVs, side-by-sides, dirt bikes and mountain bikes. Two reputable operators are Pirate Backcountry and Omega Tours.

Please note that taking these vehicles on the beach is illegal. They ruin the natural dunes which are important for protecting the fragile ecosystem and they can irreparably damage turtle nests.

Mountain biking

Dozens of single track trails ranging from green to black diamond weave through the desert, canyons, and the Sierra de la Laguna foothills. The trails are well connected and never crowded. Contact Over the Edge bike shop in downtown Todos Santos for bike rental information.


For how small this town is, yoga studios sure are plentiful! While the studios here are beautiful and offer a huge variety of yoga styles, sometimes a class on the beach is just what your soul needs. One favorite is Friday morning yoga at the palapa under the Hacienda at Cerritos Beach. Yoga and other class schedules frequently change so do check with your accommodation host or locals beforehand.

Nightlife in Todos Santos

Like many of the Baja’s smaller towns, a limited number of businesses in Todos Santos stay open past dinner time. Around 9 PM is frequently referred to as “Baja midnight” because of how quiet the area becomes around then. Despite this, Todos Santos has some real gems for late night fun.

La Morena usually has live bands on weekend nights, and some of them really get the crowd dancing! Sometimes they charge a small cover. Additionally, Oystera’s garden and Alquimia sometimes have night entertainment like bands and DJs. Another great spot to grab a beer or cocktail after dinner is Booze Station, a small bar on a downtown street corner that plays great music.

For late night eats, Todos Santos has some delicious comfort food options. Quesadillas Muñe and Tacos La Salsa are meat-centric mexican food on the same block and open until midnight. Elotes Beto food cart is across the street from them and their tostielote is munchies heaven.

Festivals & Events in Todos Santos

A great way to experience the spirit of a place is to attend a special event. If you are visiting while one of these festivals is taking place, consider attending to really soak up the local culture.

  • ABC Art Baja California by Zona Maco – A multi-venue festival to elevate local, Mexican, and international artists in March-April
  • Todos Santos & Pescadero Culinary Experiences – 3 days of food and drink from some of the best known chefs and winemakers in all of Mexico in June
  • Todos Santos Beer Fest – Baja California Sur breweries and restaurants offer great food and drinks while bands play a variety of genres in late October
  • Día de Muertos – Gatherings and events to joyfully honor deceased loved ones on November 1-2
  • Festival de Cine Todos Santos – A celebration of Latin filmmakers and Latin culture in films in early November
  • Gastrovino – A multi-day food and wine festival celebrating local cuisine and Baja wines in November
Cerritos beach, things to do near Todos Santos
Cerritos Beach is famous for surfing and sunning. It is the only swimmable beach in the area.

Places to Visit Near Todos Santos

There are several excellent day trips to take from Todos Santos, allowing visitors to explore more of the region’s natural and cultural attractions. Cerritos is known for its beautiful beach and excellent surfing. The town of El Pescadero lies on both sides of the highway, and each side has its own vibe. The beach side is full of vacation homes and produce farms, with some lovely farm-to-table restaurants sprinkled between. This is also where you’ll find Agricole grocery store and its famous fresa y crema (strawberries and cream) and beautiful locally grown produce. The other side of El Pescadero is more lively and offers lots of delicious and inexpensive dining options.

If you’d like to go further on your adventures you can go to Los Cabos or La Paz for a day or overnight trip. Both destinations are about an hour by car, but you can easily reach them by bus as well. El Triunfo, an old mining town between Todos Santos and La Paz, is an up-and-coming destination with two excellent museums. Pair El Triunfo with a visit to the nearby Cactus Sanctuary for a day full of inland exploration.

How to get around La Paz without a car
Best tacos in La Paz

Getting to Todos Santos & Getting Around

If you are arriving at the SJD airport in Los Cabos it is easy to get to Todos Santos by rental car or public transportation. Renting a car from Cactus Rent A Car is highly recommended. When parking on the street in downtown Todos Santos, only park where the curb is white or not painted.

If you plan ahead you may also be able to arrange a driver through your hotel or Airbnb host. The drive is approximately one hour but may take longer depending on traffic and if the bus makes several stops.

The easiest public transport option to Todos Santos is Eco Baja Tours. These minibuses leave directly from the airport in San Jose del Cabo several times a day. We recommend booking the ride online before you arrive.

Another option to travel between Todos Santos, Los Cabos and La Paz is the Aguila bus. This bus is less expensive than the Eco Baja Tours minibuses and it runs more often. However it does not go to the airports.

At this time Uber is not available in Todos Santos.

For more information on getting around Todos Santos without a car, check out our guide.

Is it safe to drive from Cabo to Todos Santos?

Yes, indeed! The road is mostly four lanes and is in good condition. Always follow the recommended advice to stick to the toll road from San Jose del Cabo and never drive at night. It’s only 80 km (50 mi) from Cabo to Todos Santos, so you could even do it as a day trip. However we’d recommend spending longer to really enjoy the area.

Street parking is usually pretty easy in Todos Santos. The main part of town is easy to get around on foot, but be careful of obstacles on the sidewalks.

If you are heading to Cerritos or Pescadero to explore, keep in mind that most roads are dirt and sand. Drive slowly and watch for ruts, potholes and large rocks. If you park near the beach be watchful of soft sand, don’t get stuck! The roads are rough but most are easily doable in any car.

Todos Santos Cerritos places to stay hotels airbnb lodging
Many accommodations in Cerritos offer swimming pools and a tropics-meet-the-desert vibe.

Places to Stay in Todos Santos

Choose from boutique hotels to Airbnbs and even rustic off-the-grid lodgings in the Todos Santos area. The town embraces locally-run establishments, so no large chain hotels can be found here. Here are a few of our favorite accommodations:

  • La Bohemia Hotel
  • Guaycura Hotel
  • Hotel Casa Tota
  • Cien Palmas Casitas and Glamping
Todos Santos Baja California travel guide
Todos Santos is a Mexican oasis with charming streets to discover.

Other useful planning resources are the Baja California Sur government’s website and the US Department of State website.

Todos Santos is a unique and charming destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in art and culture, outdoor activities, or simply soaking up the sun on a beautiful beach, this beautiful town has it all. With its warm climate, friendly people, and rich history, it’s no wonder that this town has become a top destination. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to experience the magic of Todos Santos for yourself.

Check out our itinerary and guide for three days in Todos Santos.