A Pocket Guide to Todos Santos, Mexico
One of Mexico’s “Pueblos Mágicos” (Magical Towns), Todos Santos, in Baja California, has bewitched artists and writers for decades. Now a draw for digital nomads as much as for creative types, it’s a test case in how a community handles welcoming an influx of outsiders while maintaining authenticity.
24 March, 2022
Todos Santos is a verdant oasis, sitting among fertile farmland in the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna mountains, which turn purple as the sun sets. Whales can be spotted just off the coast from serene Playa Las Palmas and more developed Playa Los Cerritos, while San Pedrito Point and Los Cerritos surf breaks attract wave riders from around the globe. Throughout the 19th century, Todos Santos thrived as the Baja sugar-cane capital, its cobblestoned streets and mishmash of molinos (processing plants), pastel-hued casitas and grand brick-and-adobe haciendas of sugar barons making the town an architectural delight.
Until the mid-1980s, when the Mexican government paved Highway 19, Todos Santos was effectively off-grid and facing decline. Fast forward to 2006, however, and the town was named a Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town), an accolade highlighting its charm for tourists. Today, these old buildings house organic restaurants and owner-operated galleries and boutiques. The streets are filled with an eclectic mix of hotshot chefs from Mexico City, New Age spiritualists from Arizona, Californian and Canadian surfers, European design obsessives, artists from Guadalajara - and now, a growing number of pandemic-driven guest workers who have fled Los Angeles, Vancouver, Seattle and Portland, flocking to this unarguably magical town in search of a sunnier life than their old one appeared during successive lockdowns. Use our guide as a jumping-off point to discover this magical destination for yourself.
Hotel San Cristóbal
Playa Punta Lobos, Todos Santos 23300
Outsite Todos Santos
Todos Santos 23300
N/AGo to website
El Chapil, El Pescadero, Todos Santos 23310
Rancho de la Cachora, Todos Santos 23305