The charming “pueblo magico” of Todos Santos, Mexico has everything a visitor could want. Epic surfing, fantastic wildlife, beautiful beaches, and a rich culture, food, and art scene.
Located just an hour’s drive from the tourist mecca, Cabo San Lucas, Todos Santos is a popular place to escape for a day trip or a weekend getaway.
We spent roughly two weeks hanging out in this tiny town of less than 10,000 people in the spring of 2023. Our friends who sold us our current RV own an Airbnb, restaurant, and shop in Todos Santos and gave us loads of recommendations to enjoy this area like a local.
We honestly weren’t sure how much we would like Todos Santos. After all, it’s one of the hottest new towns to visit in all of Mexico and we thought it could be overrun with beach hotels and packed with chain restaurants like many of the other popular beach towns in Mexico.
But to our surprise, it was a far cry from super popular tourist spots like Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, or Tulum.
We were shocked at how well it retained its ability to offer a peaceful, and authentic, beachside retreat in the heart of the desert. And we want others to discover the magic of this city.
With their help and our experience, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 very best things to do in Todos Santos, Mexico to help you make the most of your trip no matter if you’re visiting Todos Santos for one day or one week.
1. Relax on the beach
By far one of the best things to do in Todos Santos is hang out on the beach. We were absolutely blown away by the beaches in Todos Santos, Mexico. Not only are they absolutely pristine, but they are so diverse.
Some beaches, like Playa del Palmas, offer a picturesque oasis of palm trees before arriving at a cove surrounded by jagged cliffs and massive waves. We were greeted by wild horses. It truly was a dream!
Being situated on the Pacific Ocean the beaches aren’t a great place to swim, but they are a perfect place for a relaxing walk along the shore or to bask in the warm sunshine of Baja.
We highly recommend stopping by Agricole Cooperativa on your way to the beach (it’s in the town of Pescadero) and grabbing some of their awesome prepared meals. They source their ingredients from their local organic farm and have really tasty and healthy options to make your beach day complete.
If you prefer to swim, we recommend heading to the nearby town of Cerritos Beach. This area feels a lot more like Cabo with new luxurious hotels, Airbnbs, and beachside retreats sprinkled throughout the landscape. However, don’t let that deter you. This beach is incredibly beautiful and a safe place to swim thanks to its protected waters.
Usually, there are no services or restrooms at the beaches in and around Todos Santos. So be prepared to pack in and pack out anything you bring and please leave no trace if you have to use the restroom while hanging out.
Most beaches will require a drive down a long, rutted, bumpy dirt road. We recommend having a rental car to explore each beach. Due to the location of many popular destinations, the size of the town, and the conditions of the roads, getting a taxi is few and far between.
2. Eat delicious food
The food scene in Todos Santos, Mexico is on another level. Having a large influx of creatives, entrepreneurs, and ex-pats from across the globe this small town has a massive and diverse restaurant scene. We found everything from traditional and affordable tacos, quesadillas, and burritos to fine dining, Italian, Brazilian, and seafood.
🤤 Make sure to check out our blog post about where to eat in Todos Santos which features the 15 best restaurants and food stalls for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I promise these won’t be the standard restaurants recommended on every other blog post, but truly the best spots to eat in this city!
3. Go for an ATV ride
If you’re looking for a bit of an adventure we highly recommend taking an ATV ride through the desert. Several tour companies provide dirt bikes or ATV rentals for guided or self-guided off-roading adventures.
We haven’t personally done this, but it’s on our bucket list for when we return. Our friends took a tour with Baja Rocks Pirate Adventures and it looked like an absolute blast!
4. Enjoy the whales
Every winter humpbacks, grey, and blue whales migrate from northern shores to the warmer waters of Baja to mate and have babies. Humpback whales are the most prominent off the shores of Todos Santos and in peak winter season (November through March) you are almost guaranteed to see whales breaching offshore.
The whales come incredibly close to the shore — so close you could swim with them! Just remember the waters get very deep quickly here and there are strong rip tides. It’s also important to give the whales space and simply admire them from the shore.
Want to get up close to whales? Below are some of the best whale tours in the area (most are in Los Cabos) along with other unique experiences near Todos Santos.
5. Go on a spiritual retreat
Todos Santos is known for being somewhat of a spiritual retreat. The town exudes hippy witchy vibes with frequent offerings for yoga, sound baths, cold water plunges, Temazcal ceremonies, tarot readings, and beyond. If you’re looking for a way to unplug and reconnect with yourself and nature then this is the spot to do it.
Depending on what you are interested in experiencing, a simple Google search should help you find a place that offers those services. Perro Surfero Hotel offers ice baths, yoga, and other holistic healing retreats.
Hours and prices will vary depending on the activity, and reservations are almost always required so make sure to call ahead!
6. Go surfing (or take a surf lesson)
Surfing is one of the biggest draws to visiting Todos Santos. Each winter hundreds of surf bums come from across the world to soak in the warm weather, ride a wave, and relax on the beach.
Playa Los Cerritos is known for being a good beginner beach for surfers, although you’ll find plenty of experienced surfers there ready to catch a break. Since it’s one of the easiest access points and near lots of restaurants, shops, and accommodations it’s a popular beach and surfing spot.
If you’re looking for less crowds or larger waves, head over to San Pedrito at Playa Pescadero and La Pastora. These have a much more local vibe to them although you will need a vehicle to access them.
If you’re new to surfing head over to Cerritos Beach and take a surf lesson. There are several surf schools as you make your way to the beach entrance, with Mario’s Surf School being the highest reviewed.
7. Release baby sea turtles
One of my favorite activities we’ve ever done in our travels through Mexico was release baby sea turtles into the ocean. Lucky for you, you too can release baby sea turtles into the ocean at Tortugueros Las Playitas in Todos Santos.
Turtle hatching season usually happens every March or April, where releases happen just before sunset and sunrise during peak season.
The foundation is a not-for-profit that offers this unique experience to visitors on a donation basis. Usually, $5 to $10 USD is considered adequate for the experience. Check with the website to find out the exact times before arriving. However, if you’re coming in these months, this is an absolute must-do experience!
8. Go for a hike
Hiking isn’t the first thing that comes to mind for most people when they think of Mexico. But in Todos Santos, hiking is one of the best things to do! There are several great hikes in the area that range from easy 1 mile walks along the beach to moderate climbs up the rocky cliffs of the Pacific Ocean.
Two popular hikes are Punto Lobos and Puerto Viejo. The trailheads for both Punto Lobos and Puerto Viejo hikes are around 15 minutes outside of town down a soft and sandy dirt road. They are pretty much in the middle of nowhere but offer fantastic views of the ocean and beaches.
Punto Lobos is particularly beautiful at sunset and is a shorter hike up a singular hill overlooking the ocean. We personally did the Puerto Viejo hike when we were visiting which was just around 4 miles round trip. There is a small secluded beach at the bottom that is so inviting during a hot, uphill hike.
Make sure to pack plenty of water. The sun and dryness of the Baja desert can be absolutely brutal here!
9. Enjoy a sunset drink
There are a lot of fantastic bars to visit in Todos Santos and the surrounding areas. They have everything from bier gardens to rooftop terraces, and beachfront restaurants. There isn’t a huge nightlife scene in Todos Santos with most bars and restaurants closing by 9:00 p.m.
Making sunset one of the best times to grab a drink. We highly recommend making a reservation at the Green Room for a cocktail on the beach. If you don’t want to venture outside of the town center, head on up to Santoro. This chic bar has major “Tulum vibes” with absolutely stellar cocktails and food.
10. Explore the historic town center
The historic town center or centro of Todos Santos is where most of the action is. You’ll find colorful streets lined with umbrellas, banners, and beautiful flowers surrounding historic mansions. There are dozens of art galleries, boutique shops, souvenir shops, and home goods stores.
A lot of the shops have handmade products from around Mexico and Todos Santos artists, while others have more mass-produced items you can find in most tchotchke shops. If you’re looking for quality, authenticity, and uniqueness visit Prono Muy Pronto, Nomad Chic, Zocalo, Saguaro, or Etnica.
A popular and fun market to visit in the center of town is Cielito Lindo Market. Make sure to stop by the main plaza and peek inside the old mission. This church was built in the late 1800s and played an important role in the history of this region.
Things to know before visiting Todos Santos
Now that you know what to do when visiting Todos Santos, let’s talk about some of the important things to know before visiting.
The best time to visit Todos Santos, Mexico
We recommend visiting Todos Santos in the dry season. October to April each year brings cooler (but still lovely temperatures) and less rain making it the ideal place to escape and relax. Summer months, which last from May to September are extremely hot, and humid, and hurricanes are frequent.
How much you should budget for a trip to Todos Santos
Due to the influx of expats and frequent visitors from California and other western states, Todos Santos isn’t exactly cheap. Clothing and home goods in most shops are upwards of $100 or more per item. Spa treatments will cost around $100 or more as well.
More casual restaurants and food stalls are in line with Mexico’s pricing standards and a very affordable way to eat, around $2 to $3 USD per taco and $5 or $6 USD for a burrito. However, more tourist-friendly spots and finer dining establishments are in line with California and large-city pricing with plates ranging from $15 to $30 USD or more per dish.
Hotels and accommodations are not cheap here. There are amazing and unique Airbnbs, bed and breakfasts, and luxurious hotels to stay in. Most of these spots will cost around $150 or more per night. There are a few lower-cost hostels and beach huts, but nightly stays can cost as much as $400 a night here!
There are a few banks in town so if you need to stock up on pesos you can easily withdraw money from the ATM. Credit cards and debit cards are accepted in most places, but it’s always a good idea to have pesos on hand when exploring Mexico. Cash is still very much king here.
Where to stay in Todos Santos
There is no shortage of unique accommodations in Todos Santos. I highly recommend booking early, as this is a popular spot to visit in peak season. If you’re not sure where to stay, below are a few recommendations based on your price point.
|Low budget > $100 USD||Mid-tier $100 – $200 USD||Upscale $200+|
|Todos Santos Hostel: Into glamping? This hostel is the spot for you. It has shared outdoor showers, a kitchen, and luxurious tents for sleeping all for under $60.||Cien Palmas: owned by our friends and an absolute oasis in the heart of Todos Santos. We’ve stayed at the property and it is simply lovely! There are three casitas to rent, outdoor showers, a shop, and a restaurant and bar on-site, too.||Casa del Arco: This private residence is the perfect getaway for larger groups or families. You have your own private pool with ocean views and a very luxurious|
|Hostelita La Sadrina: This no-frills hostel has very basic offerings, but is an affordable place to sleep. You can rent a single bed in a shared room close to the beach for $25.||Villas de Todos Santos: our friends stayed here while visiting us and it was a nice condo community. It was clean, quiet, well-located, and had a pool. Right in the heart of Todos Santos, it is great for exploring.||Tribu Pescadero: Super unique beach cabanas that feel like your own tree house retreat. It is located right on the beach and has a restaurant on site. Prices are fairly affordable, starting at $200 per night.|
Getting around Todos Santos
Lastly, we highly recommend having a car to get around. There is a bus (collective) that can take you from Los Cabos to Todos Santos. But there isn’t much public transportation to get you around the town center and surrounding areas.
Having your own car (high clearance or 4×4 recommended) is definitely the easiest way to make the most of your time there and allows you to visit all of these spots (and more) with ease and comfort.
Hopefully, this guide to the 10 very best things to do in Todos Santos has helped you plan an epic vacation to this charming city. Add these activities and destinations to your bucket list, but don’t be afraid to explore on your own too. There are so many new restaurants, shops, and activities popping up in and around this city to discover.
MORE POSTS ABOUT TODOS SANTOS YOU’LL LOVE
- 15 Best Restaurants In Todos Santos (Right Now): A complete guide on where to eat in Todos Santos.
- Guide to Hiking the Sugar Port Trail in Todos Santos: Everything you need to know about one of the best hikes near Todos Santos.
- Is Todos Santos Mexico Worth Visiting? (Yes! Here’s Why): A quick look at the things we love most in Todos Santos.