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Todos Santos, Baja California Peninsula, Mexico.
It’s long enchanted new-age hippies, creative types and surfers, and now Todos Santos’ allure has been officially recognised with an inclusion in the tourist board’s list of Mexico’s “pueblos mágicos” (magical villages).
A welcome alternative to its overpopulated neighbour, Cabo San Lucas, this sleepy town is better known for its laid-back bohemian vibes, gallery-lined streets and gnarly waves than its nightlife. Mirage-like, the town appears out of the baked desert, enticing in-the-know visitors who come to experience its Eden charms.
Priding itself on preserving both wildlife and cultural traditions, Todos Santos shuns the usual tourist traps for a somewhat unusual combination of fishing, farming, art and surfing – and the locals are intent on keeping it that way.
When to go?
They may be the cooler months but late November to mid-March is the time to take full advantage of various festivals, bask in the not-too-hot sun and spot the grey whales that migrate to the Pacific Ocean.
Who to take with you?
Anyone who knows how to ride a wave and, if not, someone who is willing to give it a bloody good go. Seafood lovers are a must – freshest fish tacos are order of the day.
Most likely to bump into…
Surfers, arty types and local fishermen/farmers.
A pre-dawn trip to the beach takes a Jurassic Park-esque turn with possible sightings of enormous leatherback turtles that come to nest during the winter months. Then you can get back to lunching in artisan cafés, Instagramming cacti against whitewashed walls and wandering the old town’s cobbled streets.
Essentials to bring with you
A wetsuit to avoid the Pacific chill.
How to get there
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