Looking for the best things to do in Todos Santos? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Although it has a reputation for being one of Mexico’s more sleepy, off-the-beaten-path beach towns, there are still so many amazing things to do in Todos Santos.
By the end of this post you’ll have tons of ideas of ways to make your trip to Todos Santos exciting and activity-filled with all the highlights plus some unique adventures that are a bit more undiscovered.
Located at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, Todos Santos is often overlooked in favor of its more popular neighbor to the south, Cabo San Lucas, but if big resort vibes aren’t your thing and you’re looking for a more charming and authentic Mexican beach town experience, I know you’ll fall in love with Todos Santos just like I did.
Todos Santos is a designated “Pueblo Magico” a.k.a. “Magic Town,” and there are just under 200 of these special towns in all of Mexico that are recognized by the Mexican government for their beauty, culture, history, and all-around “magical” qualities.
Only two of these are located in the Baja peninsula, so you can rest assured knowing that Todos Santos is a special spot worth visiting!
In this post, I’ll cover all my favorite things to do in Todos Santos. There really is something for everyone here, whether you’re into adventure activities like surfing (which is rumored to be some of the best in Baja), exploring more of the cultural scene, or eating your way through any destination (Todos Santos has incredible food)!
However, what I love about this artistic enclave in Mexico is that while there is plenty to do, there aren’t many “bucket list sites” that need to be checked off a list. This is a destination to explore at a slow place, rather than trying to see and do it all.
Quick Tips for Visiting Todos Santos
How to Get to Todos Santos
To get to Todos Santos, Mexico most people fly into Cabo San Lucas (SJD) and that’s probably what you’ll want to do too.
Todos Santos is about an hour’s drive from Cabo, so you can either grab a shuttle (if you’re staying at a hotel that offers one), hire a private transfer or taxi, or rent a car (which is your best option in my opinion). My preferred rental agency in Mexico is Discover Cars which I’ll talk about a bit more below.
Another way to get to Todos Santos is to fly into La Paz Airport (LAP), however most of the routes arriving here are regional from within Mexico.
Getting Around Todos Santos
I’ll be honest with you, you’re going to want to have a rental car to get around Todos Santos because things are a bit spread out.
While you *can* get around without one, it’s going to be A LOT easier if you have one.
Pro tip: Getting a rental with 4WD is going to make your life way easier as many of the roads in this part of Mexico are bumpy, rocky and unpaved.
Here’s How Discover Cars Works
Mexican car rental companies will always try to upsell you their insurance, however if you opt for Discover Cars’ full coverage option (which is quite affordable), the car rental companies are legally required to accept this. At the time of renting, they will put a hold on your credit card for damages, which will be returned to you upon returning the car damage-free.
Should any damage occur to the car, Discover Cars has one of the most comprehensive damage coverage policies and they handle claims within 48 hours on average.
Definitely make sure to consider booking with a well-rated car rental company through Discover Cars on your next trip to Mexico.
Note: If you’re a US citizen, you don’t need to get an International Driving Permit to drive in Mexico.
Best Time to Visit Todos Santos
You’ll get the best weather November–April and avoid both the rainy season and hurricane season.
December and January tend to be the busiest tourist months so keep that in mind if you’re looking for smaller crowds. I personally visited in early April and thought the weather was absolutely perfect.
How Long to Stay
Todos Santos is a small town, so you can easily visit for just a long weekend and see most of what there is to see or you can stay and chill out for much longer.
The beauty of Todos Santos is that there aren’t a lot of “tourist sites” to check off a list. It’s really about seeing where the wind takes you and having a relaxing getaway.
Be Mindful of Closures
We noticed that quite a few restaurants in town were closed on Tuesdays and some on Mondays and Wednesdays too, so just something to keep in mind when planning. If you’re looking for a more likely, vibrant scene, you’ll want to book your trip over a weekend.
Todos Santos is as laidback as it gets and you don’t need to pack a lot for various activities. Leave your heels and nightlife attire at home, but do leave extra room in your suitcase because you’ll most definitely want to bring home some fun interior design and clothing finds.
Where to Stay in Todos Santos
As it gains popularity, more and more beautiful places to stay are popping up around Todos Santos. Here are the top five I would recommend checking out.
- Paradero is a stunning, architectural, all-suite property that’s nestled into the desert landscape about 15 minutes from downtown Todos Santos. It’s beautiful and peaceful with impeccable service and a whole host of amazing experiences like cooking classes, morning hikes, and ocean safaris that are all included in your stay. Check Prices for Paradero
- Hotel San Cristobal gets a lot of hype and for good reason. The design at this boutique hotel is on-point, the location right on the beach with views of the surrounding mountains is idyllic, and they recently unveiled a brand new garden-to-table restaurant, Cosecha, alongside their original eatery, Benno. If you’re into hiking, some of the best hikes in the area can be explored on foot directly from the hotel parking lot! Check Prices for Hotel San Cristobal
- Villa Santa Cruz is an intimate, 16-room boutique beach resort with an oceanfront location and gorgeous grounds. A highlight of this place is definitely their on-site restaurant, The Green Room, which is one of the most popular places to catch the sunset in all of Todos Santos (which you should definitely hit up even if you don’t end up staying here). Make sure to check out their incredible beach glamping offering. Check Prices for Villa Santa Cruz
- Hotel So Far So Good is a trendy little eco hotel located in Cerritos Beach (about 15 min. from downtown Todos Santos). The rooms are stylish and they have some fun amenities like free bike and surfboard rentals, a plant-based restaurant, yoga classes, and beach picnic setup. Check Prices for Hotel So Far So Good
- La Bohemia is the best place to stay if you’re dead set on basing yourself directly in town. It can be a bit louder at night due to its proximity, but staying here makes it super easy to walk to everything in the downtown area. Plus, they have a delicious complimentary breakfast each morning. Check Prices for La Bohemia
The Best Things to do in Todos Santos
Explore Downtown Todos Santos
On the top of your list of things to do in Todos Santos should be exploring the super charming downtown area. It’s small, which makes it very walkable and easy to navigate extensively within a few hours, but it packs a punch.
You’ll swoon over all the colorful, colonial architecture, festive flags and local wares displayed on each corner, while enjoying popping into local boutiques and galleries and taking a million photos along the way.
Go on a Historical Tour
Taking a history tour is always a great way to familiarize yourself with a place, and Todos Santos is no different. This town’s history is rich and unique, and history buffs out there will love this 2-hour Historical Tour of Todos Santos by Todos Santos Eco Adventures.
You’ll learn all about how Todos Santos went from the sugar cane capital of Baja to the artist’s mecca and surfing hotspot that it is today.
Grab Sunset Drinks and Dinner at The Green Room
Hands down the best place to grab a sunset drink in Todos Santos, The Green Room is a must-visit for anyone exploring the area. Here, you’ll literally sip cocktails with your toes in the sand!
The dreamy bar area gives off Mediterranean vibes and the sunset views are unbeatable. It’s a bit of an adventure to get to as the dirt road that leads you there is pretty bumpy and treacherous (did I mention yet how you’ll def want to rent a vehicle with 4WD?) but totally worth it. Make a reservation in advance!
There are some solid surf spots in Todos Santos, but it’s important to do your research before rocking up to any old beach and popping in for a surf or swim. Many of the beaches in this part of the Baja can be dangerous for surfing and swimming with riptides and intense waves.
Playa Los Cerritos and Playa San Pedrito are two of the most popular areas to catch a break and there are a few local surf shops that sell and rent gear and offer lessons too. Mario Surf School is a great one to check out for group and private surf lessons.
Explore the Beaches of Todos Santos on Horseback
One of the most unique ways to explore the beaches of Todos Santos is on horseback via this guided horse ride. Taking guests along a route on Playa la Cachora, this is an idyllic way to catch a Mexican sunset and experience Todos Santos in a fresh light.
Make sure to wear comfortable clothes to enjoy this unique way to explore the coastline!
Go on an Off-Road Adventure
There’s a reason why getting a rental with 4WD is recommended in Todos Santos and it’s because there are a lot of dirt and sandy roads in the area—a lot.
But as they say, “All good things are found at the end of a dirt road” so explore away! This is true here, as many of the most beautiful and secluded beaches are only reached by these un-manicured paths. As I mentioned earlier, I highly recommend Discover Cars for renting a car in Mexico because of their great customer service and comprehensive full coverage.
Having a 4WD vehicle with great coverage will allow you to let your hair down a bit and relax into taking the road less traveled, literally.
If you aren’t quite sure enough to head out on your own though, don’t worry, there are 4WD, ATV & off-road tours that you can take to help you explore in confidence.
Hike Around Punta Lobos
If sweeping ocean views and a little exercise sound like a good time then hiking to the top of Punta Lobos should be on your list. This is one of the top things to do in Todos Santos.
Along the way, you’ll get panoramic sights of the bluest waters below juxtaposed by the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range and a landscape dotted with the area’s famous cardón cacti. You’ll also get a bird’s eye view of Hotel San Cristobal and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a few whales!
There are several different trails in this area, so it can be a little confusing which one to take, and many of them are interconnected and veer off in different directions.
I recommend following this 4.7 mile out and back trail via AllTrails, and make sure you’re starting the hike just across the road from Hotel San Cristobal. You’ll walk by some abandoned structures first and then continue on up the hill.
The trail honestly isn’t that well marked but it’s pretty simple to follow the path as the landscape is very exposed. You can take this trail for as short or as long as you want, but make sure to keep hiking until you get to Puerto Viejo, which gives you a vista overlooking a secluded bay and beach.
This hike gets a lot of attention because of its stunning viewpoint, but if you love hiking and want to do more, there are tons of other hiking trails to explore in the area too.
Please Note: This trail has no shade, so I definitely recommend bringing a lot of water and wearing a hat and sunscreen.
Shop the Local Boutiques Downtown
I said it before and I’ll say it again, save room in your suitcase because the shopping in Todos Santos is so good and has a very local and independent vibe.
From leather goods to handcrafted home decor to beautiful textiles pieces and boho clothes galore (I stocked up on tons of music festival attire on my trip), definitely carve out some time to shop all the little markets and boutiques in town.
Grab Coffee and a Pastry at Taller 17
No town is complete without a hipster coffee shop and Taller 17 is it in Todos Santos. It’s also where you’ll find the best coffee in town. They have legitimate cold brew here as well and the most tasty pastries and baked goods.
Honestly, the smell in here is so sinful I wouldn’t come on an empty stomach if you’re avoiding temptation. There’s often a line but it’s worth the wait!
Release Baby Sea Turtles
This is one of the most popular things to do in Todos Santos and if you’re someone who swoons over baby animals (which is everyone, right?), it’s a must.
From December–February (and a little bit into March and April too), local sea turtle sanctuaries in the area help to guide the tiny turtle hatchlings into the ocean every night at sunset and it’s free and open to the public to join.
Check out Tortugueros Las Playitas for details and directions.
Grab a Bite at Paradero Restaurant
If staying at Paradero isn’t in your budget, you at least have to stop in to their on-site restaurant for a bite as it was one of the tastiest meals we had the whole trip.
The food program here utilizes a traditional Oaxacan clay oven, open kitchen layout and influences from Mexican, Japanese, and French cuisine. Make sure to order any of their seafood dishes for some of the freshest fish in Baja.
Take a Day Trip to La Paz
If you’re staying in Todos Santos for a bit longer and are looking for an easy day trip, La Paz is the perfect option and only about an hour away.
Balandra Beach is in the area and is considered to be one of the best beaches in all of Mexico with its crystal clear, turquoise water, so you’ll definitely want to spend some time here.
Plus, if you’re craving a day of swimming in the sea, the beaches of La Paz are much more swimmer-friendly than the ones in Todos Santos where the surf is pretty rough. You can also catch a whale watch in La Paz, swim with whale sharks (if you dare!) and go sea kayaking or snorkeling.
Eat Lunch at Oystera
Yes, oysters are a thing in Mexico too. Oystera is a classic oyster bar in a super unique courtyard setting that feels like you’re at a wedding venue or in Europe. It’s stunning!
In addition to delicious oysters, you can grab coffee here or peruse a few of the shops inside Oystera’s complex. However the vibe here really is the biggest selling point with terrace seating that will make you feel like you’re overlooking a secret garden.
Visit the Cielito Lindo Market
Beautiful to just walk around and look at even if you aren’t shopping, it’s worth taking a stroll through this open air market in the downtown area that sells colorful souvenirs and local handicrafts.
If you’ve been looking at photos of Todos Santos on Instagram too, you’ll probably recognize a couple spots, like the brightly colored/patterned roof over the stalls made in fun woven designs.
This is a quick pit stop along your Todos Santos explorations, but worth it to pick up a fun gift or two for friends back home.
Go Gallery Hopping
Todos Santos has long been an enclave for artists and creatives so it’s no surprise that there’s a great gallery scene here.
Make an afternoon of it and go on a little gallery tour around the downtown. A few art galleries I recommend adding to your list of things to do in Todos Santos are AR Galería, Galeria de Todos Santos, and La Sonrisa de la Muerte.
Take a Cooking Class
For the foodies who want to get hands-on with their dining experience in Todos Santos, a cooking class is the way to go.
Led by local chef and restaurateur Noel Morales, this 3-hour cooking class is as authentic as it gets and will teach you techniques for making salsa, mole verde and more. The class also includes a shot of mezcal too.
Visit El Faro Beach Club
If you’re not staying at one of the beachfront resorts and want a private beach cabana for the day, El Faro Beach Club is a good option.
Here you’ll find an infinity pool, a spa, and a seafood bar and grill with delicious aguachile that I’m still dreaming about.
I will preface this by saying El Faro definitely isn’t the most amazing beach club I had ever been to (don’t compare it to places like Cabo and Tulum), but it will get the job done for those craving some sunshine and cocktails with a dramatic coastal backdrop.
The road here is a little dicey to get to, so either rent a 4WD vehicle or just take it slow and you’ll be fine!
Indulge in a Healthy Garden Lunch
One thing I love about Todos Santos is that there are a lot of healthy food options (and honestly all of the food is amazing).
If you’re ready to trade greasy Mexican for some farm to table dining, then you’ll want to bookmark these spots that serve fresh veggie dishes and healthy bites in gorgeous garden-esque settings.
Attend a Yoga Retreat at Tribu Todos Santos
Tribu is a really cool hotel and retreat center that’s right on the beach and offers unique accommodations like tepees (don’t worry, they’re more glamping-style and have air conditioning, beds, and bathrooms) that you can sleep in.
What makes Tribu unique is that they offer yoga retreats year-round, so check out their calendar to see what’s coming up during your visit.
Go on a Whale Watch
If you’re traveling through Baja between November through March, then you’re in luck because this is the best time to spot Humpback and Grey whales migrating, mating and giving birth in the area.
While it’s possible to see them just from the beach or from a hike, going on an actual whale watch tour is a much different experience and gets you a lot closer than you could on your own—they often swim right up to the boat!
It’s a bit of a hike, but Todos Santos Eco Adventures offers a full day tour out to Magdalena Bay (about 2.5-3 hours away) that includes transportation, a professional guide, 3 hours of whale watching, and a picnic lunch.
Eat a Paleta
Also known as a “popsicle” in Spanish, paletas are sold all over the place and are a great treat to grab to cool down while walking around town.
Eat Your Way Through the Todos Santos Taco Crawl
Eating tacos is one of the most essential things to do in Todos Santos or any part of Mexico, and the Todos Santos Taco Crawl will send you on a fun journey for your taste buds.
This taco tour led by a local guide will take you to all the best spots to indulge in the Baja’s most well-known food, the fish taco, along with some other culinary treats.
Check Out the Legendary Hotel California
Ok, so the truth is, it’s not “The” Hotel California—you know, the one from The Eagles song, but it’s still pretty legendary in the area and worth a stop.
You could spend the night in one of their 11 colorful rooms or just stop by the on-site restaurant and bar for a margarita—which are especially good here.
Spend the Day at Cerritos Beach
Like I mentioned before, the water can be pretty rough at the beaches in Todos Santos, so if you want a beach day that involves some time in the water, Cerritos Beach is a great option that is only about 10 miles south of Todos Santos.
You can swim here or take a surf lesson at Mario Surf School, and definitely check out Cerritos Beach Dogs which is a cafe and dog rescue, amazing, right? Then grab some fried avocado and fish tacos at Barracuda.
Plan Your Visit During One of Todos Santos’ Cultural Events
As the home of many artists and musicians, it only makes sense that this town comes alive with regular cultural events throughout the year. If you’re interested in timing your trip during one of these arts and music festivals, make sure to check out the following activations:
- Tropic of Cancer Festival de Musica y Artes
- Gastrovino – Baja Food and Wine Festival
- Todos Santos Cine Fest
- Day of the Dead Festival
Has this post inspired you to visit Todos Santos? Let me know in the comments!
As I mentioned earlier, it may be a small town, but there really are a lot of things to do in Todos Santos and I hope my roundup of these 27 highlights is helpful in planning your trip!