A pocket guide to Todos Santos, Mexico

To do
Santos is a verdant oasis, set amidst fertile farmland at the foot of the Sierra de la Laguna mountains, which turn purple at sunset. Whales can be spotted just off the coast from the serene Playa Las Palmas and the more developed Playa Los Cerritos, while the surf spots of San Pedrito Point and Los Cerritos attract surfers from all over the world. Throughout the 19th century, Todos Santos flourished as the sugar cane capital of Baja, its cobbled streets and mishmash of molinos (processing factories), pastel-hued casitas and grand brick haciendas and adobe of sugar barons making the city an architectural delight.

Until the mid-1980s when the Mexican government paved Route 19, Todos Santos was effectively off the grid and facing decline. Fast forward to 2006, however, and the town has been named Pueblo Mágico (Magic Town), an accolade highlighting its charm for tourists. Today, these old buildings are home to organic restaurants and owner-run galleries and shops. The streets are filled with an eclectic mix of hot chefs from Mexico City, New Age spiritualists from Arizona, California and Canadian surfers, European design obsessives, artists from Guadalajara – and now, a growing number pandemic-driven guest workers who have fled Los Angeles, Vancouver, Seattle and Portland, are flocking to this undeniably magical city in search of a sunnier life than the old one that appeared during successive lockdowns. Use our guide as a starting point to discover this magical destination for yourself.

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