All About Todos Santos Travel Guide
The Complete Travel Guide to Todos Santos,
Baja California Sur, México.

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  All About Todos Santos
Pueblo Mágico 
 

Todos Santos By The Sea

A very well restored turn of the century home.
Historic homes meticulously restored.
One of the most unique beaches in Todos Santos.  Superb bird watching!
Play La Poza - Incredibly beautiful local beach.
 
Todos Santos town square with the church in the background.
The town square is unusually quiet.
The remains of El Molino, one of the original sugar refineries.  El Molino was the last to close in 1965.
Remnants of a time in the past.
The town square kiosko and the restored theatre in the background.
Todos Santos - A place to kick back and enjoy!
The streets of Todos Santos bring back memories of a time in the past.
A typical Todos Santos street.

Todos Santos is a vibrant oasis, and famous in much of the world as an artist's colony and that distinction is aptly applied.  But Todos Santos is really so much more to many Baja travelers.  Todos Santos is situated half way between La Paz and Cabo San Lucas (approx. one hour from each, by car) directly on the Tropic of Cancer.  The surrounding area is very fertile and blessed with an abundant water supply from the nearby mountains.  The town is most definitely an oasis, one of the few in all of Baja.   The immense palm groves, running streams, mango orchards and the multi-colored residential gardens give the town a feeling of total serenity.  Todos Santos has a population of anywhere from 5000 to 7000 depending on who you ask, what time of year it is, or who you believe.

The outlying edges of Todos Santos touch the shores of the Pacific Ocean but the main part of town is inland about a half mile away from the water.  At first glance this historic town might not seem to live up to its reputation as a great place to live, or even visit.  That all changes once you have had a chance to look around a little bit and it gets a lot easier to uncover the laid back, yet stimulating, personality of Todos Santos.  You really should spend a few days (minimum) to discover the charm of the town and the friendly character of the locals that seems to just sort of soak in, slowly for some visitors and almost instantly for others.  Todos Santos has become a popular retirement haven for people from all over the world, giving the town a real cosmopolitan flavor.  

Todos Santos may be best known as an artist’s colony but a lot of travelers and residents simply enjoy its air of colonial charm and the slower pace of life that is prevalent here.  There are quite a few places in Todos Santos where, if you didn't know better, (and there were no cars) you could easily imagine that you were standing in a small town at some point in the 19th century.  Many of the buildings and streets in Todos Santos look the same today as they did in the late 1800's.  One of the oldest private homes is said to date to 1808.  Todos Santos has been granted "Pueblo Mágico" status by the Mexican government which gives the city access to federal funds to preserve its historic integrity, improve infrastructure and preserve the natural resources.

Todos Santos was once known as the sugar cane capital of Baja, supporting up to eight sugar processing mills.  Today the main products of Todos Santos are tourism, art, real estate, locally made home decor, (including locally made furniture) delicious fruit and organic produce (though not necessarily in that order). The delicious mangos, papayas, avocados, tomatoes, strawberries, chilies and organic vegetables grown in the area are mostly for export, but there is always a plentiful supply for local consumption.  Many of the local restaurants have their own organic farms, or gardens, to assure them of always having the very freshest ingredients available.

Cooled by the breezes that come off of the Pacific Ocean Todos Santos has, arguably, the finest climate in all of Baja.  The summers don't usually get extremely hot like many other southern Baja destinations and the winters tend to be on the mild side rather than downright cold.  The wonderful local weather is a significant benefit that attracts people from all over the world, especially those who are coming from an area with harsh winters.

The beaches of Todos Santos certainly have a favorable influence on the overall appeal of the town.  The beach at La Poza is like no other in Baja.  It is simply incredible, with a beautiful lagoon and so many species of birds that we couldn't begin to list them all.  The miles of sandy shoreline draw surfers and environmentalists from far and wide.  The beach at Los Cerritos is very popular on weekends, Playa Las Palmas is incredibly pristine and often deserted, Playa Pescadero is a beautiful long stretch of sand with great waves and mango orchards and chili fields that almost touch the Pacific.  The beach at Punta Lobos offers visitors a great look into the hard life of the local fisherman.  The fact is, the beaches of Todos Santos often take a back seat to the town itself because the town itself has so many favorable attributes.  Read more about the beaches of Todos Santos here

The many social activities, art workshops, Spanish lessons, exercise or yoga groups, cooking classes, book discussions and meditation sessions seem to keep everyone in Todos Santos just as busy as they want to be, visitors included.  The local charities are always seeking volunteers and the local residents seem to come through in a very supportive way.  It seems there is always a poetry reading, concert, ballet presentation or wine sampling somewhere in Todos Santos.  The restored Manuel Márquez de León Theatre, adjacent to the main plaza, is a mainstay for classic cinema, local cultural events and live performances including ballet.  Retired life can be just as busy as a full time job in Todos Santos, if you want it to be.

There is an outdoor theater called Teatro Luna Azul (Blue Moon Theatre), which puts on occasional musical productions, dramatic plays, along with original comedies and even a locally produced circus.  These performances usually take place under the stars in the Las Tunas (beach road north) neighborhood.  Spanish classes are available in Todos Santos led by a certified Berlitz instructor, and can be arranged for groups, or as private lessons for individuals by the hour or by the week.  Contact the cultural center for details and rates or ask at the Todos Santos Inn. 

Farmers Markets are held on Wednesdays at La Esquina and on Saturdays at La Canada del Diablo and also at Baja Beans in Pescadero.  Enjoy the many delicious locally made treats available, including chili jams, homemade tamales, fresh breads and donuts, all sorts of organic produce and fresh flowers.  There are usually several surfing contests, held at various local beaches, throughout the year (waves permitting).  Good places to find out what is going on locally are the El Tecolote Book Store and the cultural center, both are located on Juarez in the historic center.

Festivals Galore!  Todos Santos is surely the festival and event capital of the entire Baja peninsula.  This small town puts on so many festivals, and diverse events, that it is hard to keep up with them all.  Many of these events are presented to support a local charity and are extremely popular with tourists and locals as well as residents from other southern Baja cities.

The Todos Santos Art Festival has been held locally since 1998.  This fun and colorful event is usually held in late February or early March and it is not just about art, it's actually more like a carnival.  The Artist’s Open Studio tour is now held in February right after the Art Festival.  Many of the local artist’s studios open their doors for behind the scenes tours.  The first ever Todos Santos Music Festival was held in 2012 at the Hotel California and turned out to be an incredibly popular event.  Hopefully it can be expected to return as an annual event.

The Todos Santos Film Festival, held in February or March, benefits the Manuel Márquez de León Theatre, and their "Youth in video" program.  The festival’s also promotes artistic creation and culture in Baja California Sur.  The Horse Festival (Festival del Caballo), usually held in March at the Baseball Stadium, includes a parade, horse races, rodeo events, and dancing horses with a lot of music and a lot of fun.  The Todos Santos Historical House Tour is a very popular event and one of the towns oldest.  A selection of historic homes and buildings are opened to the public in February or March, this event benefits the Palapa Society.  Todos Santos' Patron Saint Festivities are held every October.  There are also parades every night, for the 9 days leading up to Christmas Eve, culminating in a midnight mass at the church on the main plaza.

A final thought about your visit to Todos Santos.  Be careful!  Todos Santos has one rather alarming (actually amazing) quality.  You may feel that Todos Santos was a charming town and you probably enjoyed your visit thoroughly.  But, Todos Santos has a very strange effect on many of its visitors.  It has a way of creeping into your head and then Todos Santos just may refuse to go away.  It can leave you constantly thinking about how you can schedule your next visit, many times this results in strong inner urges to book a return visit specifically to look at real estate.  If you talk to enough locals you will find a surprising number who made the decision to make Todos Santos their permanent home soon after their very first visit.  

Enjoy Todos Santos - Please keep this part of the incredible Baja peninsula clean!

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