Todos Santos, Mexico – What To Do In One Day
Todos Santos, Mexico is an oasis town offering a stunning coast, hiking, and great surf nearby. There is also a colorful colonial center with lots of art galleries and boutique stores. It truly deserves to be a Pueblo Magico and due to its convenient location to Los Cabos and La Paz, it is perfect for a day trip if you don’t have time to stay!
Brief Overview Of Todos Santos
Todos Santos is a small located on the Baja Peninsula in the state of Baja California Sur. It is one hour north of Cabo San Lucas and one hour south of La Paz.
The town of Todos Santos was established in 1723 and is located on top of a freshwater spring. This spring means that Todos Santos is a green oasis in the middle of a vast desert.
The entire Baja Peninsula is very dry and arid covered in millions of cacti. But Todos Santos is covered in Palm Trees that are able to grow because of the freshwater spring. It is a really cool contrast that makes Todos Santos stand out from the surrounding area.
The freshwater spring also meant that for many years Todos Santos produced a lot of sugar cane. At one point in time, Todos Santos had up to eight sugar mills. It was during this time that many of the older buildings in Todos Santos were constructed.
In 1951 the freshwater spring dried up and Todos Santos and all of the sugar mills shut down. Todos Santos was in danger of becoming a ghost town during this period. But then the freshwater spring appeared again in 1981 and the Mexican government also built a highway close to Todos Santos around this time.
Both these factors meant that locals could start farming the land in the area and tourists could start visiting. This has resulted in a small but thriving coastal town that is great to visit on a day trip from Cabo or La Paz. But it is also a great place to spend a few days relaxing.
How To Get To Todos Santos Mexico
Todos Santos, Mexico is located in the South-West of Baja California Sur and is a comfortable 1.5-hour bus or car ride away from Los Cabos and a 2-hour ride from La Paz and its airports.
Renting A Car
Renting a car is the most convenient option for doing a day trip to Todos Santos. It is a small town but it is quite spread out.
If you want to go to the beach from town it is about a 30-minute walk. We walked everywhere and loved it. But if you want to visit the beach you may want a car as it is quite a long hot walk.
By Bus 🚍
We went for a day trip to Todos Santos twice from La Paz taking the Aguila bus from the Malecon bus station in La Paz. The same bus also departs from Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. The buses are big and convenient and run almost every hour in both directions. You can see the bus schedule here.
You can buy tickets in each city at the bus station or buy them online here. One thing to know is that you have to show your online ticket to the person at the bus station ticket counter who will give you a paper ticket to give to the bus driver. So plan a few extra minutes in for that.
A ride from La Paz to Todos Santos one-way is 170 pesos / 8.50 USD and takes 2 hours. We took the bus at 7 am and took the bus back at 7 pm, which gave us 10 hours in Todos Santos.
I recommend buying your return ticket either the day before or a few hours before you want to depart. The first time we visited Todos Santos on a Sunday we had to wait for 3 hours before a spot on a bus back to La Paz was available. The second time we went on a Saturday and booked our return about 2 hours before we wanted to head back to La Paz – I am glad we did, the bus was full!
By Foot, Bike Or Car 🚶🚲🚗
Once you arrive in Todos Santos you are conveniently located in the town center next to a little park, restaurants, and shops. From there you can easily explore the town on foot. Although Todos Santos only has about 7,200 inhabitants it is quite spread out and therefore it is convenient to have a bike or a car. We ended up walking more than 15 kilometers both times we were there 😉
When To Visit Todos Santos Mexico ☀️
I recommend visiting Todos Santos on a Saturday or weekday instead of a Sunday. On Sunday lots of places, such as art galleries and shops are closed which takes away a bit of the arty atmosphere of the town.
If you come in winter (November to April) you will have the chance to release baby turtles and see whales. Also, the weather is less hot and humid which can be a plus. We went twice in October which was very hot and not the season to see wildlife but still worth the visit!
Be warned that June, July, and August will be incredibly hot so may not be the best months to visit.
Top Things To Do In Todos Santos
1. Enjoy Coffee and Breakfast In Todos Santos Mexico
There are several great places in Todos Santos to start your day with a great coffee and some delicious breakfast, brunch, or sweets. Not only can I recommend the food and service, but the cafés themselves are beautiful as well.
Doce Cuarenta ☕
A 15-minute walk North of the Todos Santos bus station is Doce Cuarenta. This beautiful café offers a great selection of coffee with plant-based milk and healthy breakfast options such as a smoothie bowl or avocado toast. It is a bit out of town but the is one of the best cafes in Todos Santos so it is worth the trip out here. If you come by car there is plenty of parking.
Outside is a big garden with lots of shade and tables. Inside is a great selection of coffees, wines, kombuchas and other drinks. If you need some strong wifi, there are lots of tables inside and the signal is excellent. We had the cold brew (65 pesos / 3.25 USD) and Americano (55 pesos / 2.75 USD).
Fun Fact 🤓
The original Doce Cuarenta was opened in La Paz and is named after their street address 1240 = doce cuarenta in Spanish. The one in Todos Santos is open every day from 7 am to 9 pm.
Taller 17 ☕
Taller 17 is a little café and bakery in the town center of Todos Santos and only a 6-minute walk from the Todos Santos bus station. They offer freshly baked pastries (you will smell them from the street!) such as cinnamon buns, muffins, brownies, and cookies with gluten-free options. Their coffee menu comes with a variety of plant-based milk and they even have homemade kombucha.
They are open every day from 7:30 am to 3 pm except Wednesday (closed) and on Sunday they are open from 8 am to 2 pm.
La Esquina 🍽️
La Esquina (the corner) is another great café with some of the best breakfasts in Todos Santos. It is open every day from 7 am to 2 pm and offers a wide selection of burritos, sandwiches, salads, and bagels with vegetarian and vegan options. They bake their bread fresh daily and advertise the use of local ingredients. You can see their menu here.
We had a cup of coffee for only 25 pesos / 1.25 USD, jamaica juice (40 pesos / 2 USD), avocado toast with organic microgreens (vegan, 100 pesos / 5 USD), and two little breakfast burritos (vegetarian, 75 pesos / 3.75 USD). We were not that hungry so the portion size was perfect. But if you are up for a whole meal you should order one of their bigger dishes for about 150 pesos / 7.50 USD.
We went there on a Saturday and Sunday and both times musicians started to play in the background. The palm trees give great shade and all seats are comfortable and nicely set up. There is also free wifi available and a board with activities in town. Check it out!
2. Head To The Beach Close To Todos Santos Mexico
Many people think that the beach is right next to Todos Santos. But it is actually quite a long way from town.
However, the beach is a must-do when visiting Todos Santos. There are several roads leading from the town of Todos Santo to the coast. Follow my instructions down below if you would like to combine a visit to the beach with a short hike and a stunning view!
How To Get There 🚶
La Esquina is conveniently located on the way to the beach. After we had our second coffee and breakfast there we walked to the beach. To get there we followed the dusty road that starts on the right side of La Esquina and goes all the way to Playa La Cachora.
It’s a quiet 20-minute (1.8 km / 1.1 miles) walk alongside a lot of palm trees, a few hotels, and some farmland. There is plenty of shade which is great considering the heat and length of the walk. Alternatively, you could also take a bike or car on that road.
What To Expect ☀️
Todos Santos Mexico is a coastal town and although it has a seemingly endless long beach close to it. The town itself is more inland and therefore has a different vibe than typical beach towns in Mexico, such as Playa del Carmen, Sayulita or Puerto Escondido. The coastline of Todos Santos is stunning and untouched, without any restaurants or amenities. There is also no natural shade, so come prepared.
On a sunny day, the ocean will reward you with three layers of blue. Be cautious if you want to go for a swim, the waves can be big and there are strong currents. Officially it’s not advised to swim. We did go in the first time we visited Todos Santos but there are strong currents. So only go in if you are a confident swimmer.
What To Do 🏖️
The beach by Todos Santos is great if you want to see an untouched long sandy beach, be by yourself, release baby turtles or hike along the coast.
On google maps, you can see different names of beaches next to each other. They are all connected, so you can enter and exit the long strip of beach from wherever you like (as long as there is a path) and walk in both directions of the beach as far as you like.
After arriving at Playa La Cachora following the path from La Esquina we decided to walk to the left of the beach in the direction of the visible lighthouse and the rocks behind El Faro Beach.
We saw pelicans and vultures and only about three other people during our entire walk on the beach. It was hot but truly worth it!
3. Hike Along The Coast Of Todos Santos Mexico
Starting at Playa La Cachora and walking about 45 minutes in the direction of El Faro Beach led us to Playa Todos Santos BCS and La Vista de Meris. About 10 minutes after La Vista de Meris we saw a big palapa on the top of the hill and a path with blue flags going up to it.
The big palapa turned out to be the El Mirador Ocean View restaurant. It took us about 30 minutes to walk up with a few little breaks to take in the amazing view and take pictures of it. All the time we were completely by ourselves!
From the restaurant are multiple paths going into Todos Santos. We took the one on the far left and ended up at a street called Guaycura. This leads all the way back into town. I recommend downloading the offline map of Todos Santos on maps.me and google maps before you go. All trails is also a great resource for more hiking inspiration in Todos Santos Mexico.
4. Have Lunch in Todos Santos Mexico
Back in town after our hike we first headed to the convenience store and only Oxxo in Todos Santos for cold sparkling water and some nuts. The 1.5 liters of water we had with us was just enough to reach town again, so come prepared 🙂
There are several great places to eat in Todos Santos so you will have plenty of options. As we like healthy, affordable food with vegan options we checked out Pura Vida and also the food court Plaza Amigos. Which has several vendors, a free water refill station, and shaded seating.
Pura Vida 🍍
Pura Vida is just around the corner from the convenience store Oxxo and a great place to visit. It’s a health food store with lots of fresh and packaged goods, zero-waste products, and local clothing. They have two shaded seating areas and a delicious-sounding menu for breakfast and lunch. We decided to only stock up on snacks and coconut water there for the rest of the day. But from what we saw it looks like a great place to eat!
Pura Vida is open from 10 am to 5 pm and you can see their menu here.
Plaza Amigos Food Court 🍽️
The food court Plaza Amigos is conveniently located next to the main sights of Todos Santos. Plaza Amigos has 7 eateries, a free water-refill station, free bathrooms and a great shaded area to eat in. While we saw it was a bit deserted in the morning, it had a great atmosphere in the afternoon. The food court is open from 8.30 am to 8 pm every day except Tuesday (closed) and you can see all eateries and special events here.
We went to Choyera Vegana which is open from 11 am to 7 pm and serves vegan falafel burgers and wraps with fries as well as cauliflower wings. I had the wrap and was blown away by its taste. It tasted like Greek cuisine! The soy nuggets were marinated like lamb. I love Greek cuisine so I was in heaven. Big portions too!
Choyera Vegana was recommended to us by Angie and Tyler who own a vegan restaurant in La Paz. We featured it in the Complete Guide to La Paz. Check it out if you are planning to go and say hi from us!
5. Explore The Town Center of Todos Santos Mexico
After we enjoyed our lunch and some shade we spent the last hours of our day trip to Todos Santos exploring the town.
Todos Santos used to be a sugarcane-producing town. But in recent years many artists and creative people have moved in. Meaning that there are lots of galleries, great cafés, restaurants, and a pretty little historic center. You will see a lot of colorful buildings surrounded by palm trees, dusty paths, and nature.
Street With Flags 🇲🇽
When exploring the streets of Todos Santos make sure to walk through Calle Centenario and take a picture with all the colorful flags! There is also this big cactus you should check out! Todos Santos is a great place to take pictures while exploring.
Art Galleries 🖼️
There are several cool art galleries in Todos Santos that are free and great to visit. We visited Galeria Logan which is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm except for Sunday. That’s why I recommend coming on a Saturday or weekday. Galeria Logan has changing exhibitions and a pretty little garden.
Most of the art galleries in Todos Santos are small. So you will have plenty of time to visit one or more of them on your day trip to Todos Santos. Some others we got recommended are La Sonrisa De La Muerta, Galeria De Todos Santos, AR Galeria, and Local local Art.
Bazaar & Local Boutiques 💋
Besides art galleries, Todos Santos also has a few bazaars, markets, and local boutiques to offer. We went into Bésame Mucho Bazar (Kiss-me-a-lot Bazaar) and absolutely loved it! It is nicely decorated from the outside as well as from the inside. Walk through all the rooms and look at the many unique things they have. There is also a garden that I personally found very peaceful and calming.
The Bésame Mucho Bazar is open every day from 10 am to 7 pm and you can find more information about here. It is close to the Todos Santos letters and the main square which are the next things on my list to check out in Todos Santos.
Main Square 💒
On the main square of Todos Santos, you will find the Iglesia Mision Todos Santos church, a typical Mexican bandstand (glorieta) and the Todos Santos theater. Most of Todos Santos events and live music will happen here! You can see an event list here.
Todos Santos Letters 📸
You can’t leave Todos Santos without taking a picture at their letters with an amazing view over palm trees. The letters are opposite the main square and the church, see their location here and enjoy the view!
Local Brewery 🍺
You can finish your day trip to Todos Santos Mexico with a locally brewed beer at Todos Santos Brewing. It’s open every day except Monday from 12 am to 9 pm and only 10 walking minutes away from the bus station.
Don’t expect something fancy, it has a simply designed seating area inside and in the backyard. But the owners Liz and Ted from Australia will welcome you with 12 different beers to try from the tap!
Hotel California Todos Santos
On the main street of Todos Santos is a hotel called the Hotel California. For years many people thought it was the inspiration for the song “Hotel California” by the Eagles.
But the Eagles claimed that the Hotel California was not a real place and rather a metaphor for living in California. But the band still sued the hotel claiming that they were profiting off the song by letting guests believe it was the inspiration for the song. The case was settled out of court but the actual history of the hotel is quite interesting.
The hotel was first opened in the 1950s by a Chinese immigrant who was the first person to bring ice to Todos Santos. This meant he was the only one in town with a cold beer! After the original owner passed on it was bought by some Canadian owners in 2001 who have beautifully restored it.
If you are looking for a nice central hotel in Todos Santos then the Hotel California looks like a good option.
6. See Todos Santos Oasis From Above
Todos Santos Mexico is located on top of a freshwater spring. So it is an oasis full of palm trees in the barren Baja Peninsula. Very unique! It was the first time I have ever been in an oasis town and I was truly impressed by the contrast of the lush green palm trees surrounding little lakes and the dry hills with cacti around.
When we were exploring the town we saw the Guaycura Hotel in the center advertising a rooftop bar with a great oasis view. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and couldn’t check this place out ourselves. It must be truly amazing at sunset. Next time 😉
7. More Things To Do In Todos Santos Mexico
If you are in Todos Santos for more than one day I got more recommendations for what to do here for you. We can’t wait to do them ourselves!
- Release baby turtles (November – April)
- Watch whales (November – April)
- Visit the town El Pescadero
- Go surfing at Playa Cerritos
- Visit the Mirador Punta Lobos (seals colony)
- Go hiking at Sugar Port Trail Trailhead
- Go hiking at Puerto Viejo
- Go glamping under mango tress at Todos Santos Hostel
Where To Stay In Todos Santos
Todos Santos is a small town but it has a wide range of accommodations. There are plenty of boutique hotels in Todos Santos as it has become quite a trendy place to visit. But there are also Hostels for those on a tighter budget.
Todos Santos Hotels
Todos Santos has a wide range of boutique hotels some of which are quite pricey. But if you are looking for a nice small hotel that won’t break the bank you should check into Baja Temple.
It is a new hotel located just outside town so you should have a car. The rooms look super comfortable and cost about 115 USD per night.
Todos Santos Hostels
If you are looking for budget accommodation in town then you should head to Todos Santos Hostel. The hostel has great common areas and quite fast wifi so is an option for digital nomads.
Dorm beds at Todos Santos Hotel cost 25 USD per night. There are also ‘glamping tents’ for about 65 USD per night which look like a cool experience.
Is Todos Santos Safe?
Safety is something that many people are worried about when they travel to Mexico. But with Todos Santos you do not need to worry. It is a safe chilled town.
Thats My Roundup Of Todos Santos Mexico
I truly fell in love with Todos Santos and the region and we want to come back for a longer stay. When we do we will create a complete travel guide here for you! Let us know in the comments what you want to do or did in one day in Todos Santos and what we should add to the list!
👉 Discover more beautiful beaches and what to do in Mexico’s Baja California Sur in The Complete Guide to La Paz.
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