Todos Santos, Mexico has become one of the hottest new destinations to visit in all of Mexico. This super small town located about an hour’s drive from the tourist hot spot Cabo San Lucas is home to less than year-round 10,000 residents.
This Baja town may be small, don’t let its size fool you. This historic pueblo magico has everything a visitor could want from a Mexican city.
We fell in love with this pueblo magico after spending two weeks in Todos Santos in the spring of 2023. Now, I want to show you why Todos Santos is a must-visit destination on your next vacation. Here are 10 reasons Todos Santos, Baja California Sur is worth visiting.
1. Rich history
The town of Todos Santos (as we know it today) dates back to the mid-1700s after Jesuit missionaries began colonizing Baja California Sur. The missionaries first arrived in Loreto but quickly built missions all across the peninsula in an effort to convert the local native peoples into Spanish citizens.
Misión Santa Rosa de Las Palmas, which can still be seen in the main town square of Todos Santos, was built in 1733. This mission served as an outpost for the much larger town of La Paz.
The town was originally called Santa Rosa de Todos Santos but was later shortened to Todos Santos meaning “All Saints”. It was an ideal spot for a settlement because it had access to the Pacific Ocean and also had an abundant fresh water source thanks to its oasis.
Decades after colonization, Todo’s Santos grew into an important sugar cane producer. By the early to mid-1800s Todos Santos became the largest sugar cane producer in all of Baja. This led to an influx of money for the residents and the building of extravagant homes in what is now the historic center.
Sugar cane production stopped in the mid-1900s because the aquifer and main water source for the town were depleted. The aquifer is back to stable levels today and a growing number of people are returning to this charming town.
Today, visitors can see remnants of its past in the abandoned sugar mill and 300-year-old buildings scattered throughout the town. A lot of the buildings are restored, but many still sit abandoned. We love the vibe of walking the historic streets and could not get over how colorful everything was!
2. Incredible food
Todos Santos is a foodie town. Visitors can dine at high-end restaurants, grab a bite at a street cart, or go for a casual taco in an outdoor setting.
We ate a ton of delicious food during our two weeks there and have compiled our favorites into a blog post here. Just know, the food alone is worth visiting Todos Santos, Mexico.
We really stuck to the main historic area of Todos Santos, and didn’t explore that much of Otro Lado (near La Brisas neighborhoods). There were several spots recommended to us by locals in that area that we look forward to trying when we return!
3. Epic surfing
Todos Santos is nestled perfectly along the Pacific Ocean. This means sunsets are absolutely incredible, but so is surfing! There are several different surf breaks to visit in the area like Playa Pescadero or Playa La Pastora. However, the most popular is Cerritos Beach.
Cerritos Beach is about a 15 to 20-minute drive down the main highway and then down a long and bumpy dirt road. The waves are great for new surfers and you can find loads of surf schools and restaurants along this strip.
If you’re into surfing you’ll definitely want to dedicate some time to visit Todos Santos, Mexico. The longer you stay the better chance you’ll have of finding the super great surf spots. A lot of the best spots in the area are kept secret by the locals.
If you’re lucky, you might even be able to surf with a whale or a sea lion who frequent the beaches here in winter.
4. Gorgeous beaches
Mexico is home to some pretty incredible beaches. The gorgeous watercolor along the Riveria Maya (like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum) attracts visitors from across the world.
Todos Santo’s beaches might not have that same brilliant blue color, but they are stunning nonetheless.
In fact, I might say my favorite beach we’ve ever visited in Mexico is in Todos Santos (pictured above). The way the Pacific Ocean juts against the cliffside and is lined with lush palm trees makes it feel like your very own tropical paradise. Some of the beaches will even have wild horses on them!
There are typically no services (like service or restrooms) at the beaches in 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. And don’t be surprised if getting to the beach requires a drive down a long, rutted, bumpy dirt road. That’s the name of the game in Baja and is all a part of the adventure!
The Pacific Ocean waves and deep waters mean most beaches in Todos Santos aren’t great for swimming. If you’re looking for a family-friendly or chill beach day to cool off in the water head to Cerritos Beach, one of the few beaches suitable for swimming.
5. Fun hikes
Most people don’t think of hiking when they think of a Mexican vacation. But Todos Santos is home to some fantastic and fun hiking making it a great place for outdoor enthusiasts.
The hike to Punto Lobos near the old sugar mill about 10 minutes outside of town is by far the most popular Todos Santos hike. Nearby you’ll also find the hike to the old sugar port, called Puerto Viejo.
The Puerto Viejo hike is around 4 miles out and back and takes you to an absolutely stunning private beach!
We didn’t prepare well for the hike and went during peak heat. We also didn’t pack water or snacks, so we headed back early. Next time I would have loved to hike for the day and spend the afternoon snorkeling or relaxing on the beach there.
If you’re into outdoor activities, there’s definitely a trail (or two) for you to enjoy in Todos Santos Mexico.
6. Fantastic shopping
Todos Santos has made a name for itself with ex-pats and the art community. There are loads of creatives from across the world moving to Todos Santos to create art galleries, shops, restaurants, and more. Making Todos Santos an excellent place for shopping.
There were dozens of gorgeous boutiques, quaint tienda de recuerdos (souvenir shops), and art galleries to visit in the historic center.
Just be warned, the prices aren’t cheap. A lot of the shops source the products from local creatives and are hand-made for the store. We saw prices for clothing in the $60 to $200 range in nearly all of the boutiques.
Baja’s wildlife is like no other! We were absolutely blown away by the different wildlife encounters you can experience across the peninsula (like swimming with sea lions in La Paz or petting whales in Guerro Negro).
Thankfully, Todos Santos has its own magical wildlife experiences to enjoy. Whales are super common along the beaches of Todos Santos in peak whale season (January through early April). It’s not uncommon to see whales breaching a few feet offshore or rolling by as you are surfing or relaxing on the shore.
There’s also the opportunity to release sea turtles in Todos Santos during sea turtle season (November to April). Release baby sea turtles at the sanctuary Tortugueros Las Playitas in Todos Santos at sunset each evening. It costs around $10 USD and is an absolutely magical experience.
8. Delicious coffee
I don’t have a lot of negative things to say about Mexico. We absolutely adore this country, its people, food, and culture. But one thing that disappoints us in a lot of the places we visit across Mexico is the coffee.
Todos Santos had a ton of different incredible coffee shops like Taller 17, Doce Cuarenta, and Cafe La Perla. We loved the variety of coffee shops in this city and that most served incredibly tasty pastries and food there, too.
9. Spirituality and healing
Aside from art and food, Todos Santos is known for being a very spiritual and health-focused town. There are dozens of organic farms, farmers markets, and spiritual centers sprinkled around the region.
You can get your cards read by a Tarot reader at Tarot de Baja, have a reiki session at Aureo, join in on a yoga class, or spend a week at a spiritual retreat. There’s almost always a celebration for new moon ceremonies, and typically something special to join in if you’re looking for a cleansing activity.
10. Cultural experiences
Even though tourism is becoming an increasingly important part of Todos Santos economy, Todos Santos is not your typical tourist town.
You will notice the street is filled with busy locals. Stray dogs are abundant and colorful family-owned stores, pescaderias, and carnicerias can be found all across town. You’ll hear cars passing with loud speakers announcing the sale of helados, tostilotes, aguas frescas, and mango with chamoy along with countless other goodies.
I was worried that its influx of expats and popularity as a hot new destination in Mexico would mean it lost some of its culture. But that wasn’t the case.
Todos Santos is an absolute gem and one of our favorite spots to visit in all of Mexico. Hopefully, this post has shown you what makes this pueblo magico so special that you add it to your travel itinerary! Let us know in the comments below what you love about Todos Santos Mexico.
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.
- 10 of the Very Best Things To Do in Todos Santos: Your one-stop shop for planning the most incredible trip to Todos Santos.