If you want to get away from the cavorting beach scenes of Los Cabos, just for a little bit, then head some 47 miles north. A stone’s throw away from the Pacific coast is the verdant oasis town of Todos Santos, a Pueblo Mágico and one of Baja California Sur’s wondrous little gems.
It was once a mere footnote in tourist books, only a quick day stop for Cabo’s endless stream of vacationers and cruise ship passengers. But these days, it’s steadily unfurling into a destination in its own right, attracting younger, more discerning jet-setters.
By expertly blending its colorful aesthetic, slow, small-town rhythm and luscious local food with modern businesses and experiences designed to stir up the appetite of millennial and xennial travelers as well as surf nuts, it’s morphing into quite the hipster retreat.
More specifically, here are 10 reasons why hip, young things are now flocking to Todos Santos.
It’s Incredibly Charming
One look at Todos Santos, and you can’t help but fall in love. To contrast the idyllic vibe, the rolling, cobbled streets are lined with bright and cheery private homes and establishments. Think Spanish colonial with a splash of desert sunshine. Slip into a languid pace, and explore the town, stopping by fabric shops and little cafes along the way.
Lots of Instagrammable Spots
What’s one of the things that make a destination millennial-worthy? Plenty of Instagrammable places to take photos to showcase to followers. Without meaning to, Todos Santos has managed to tick that off with its cute breakfast places, vibrant walls, lofty perches with views of the Pacific and endless strips of pristine beaches.
Tourists flock to Hotel California like moths to a flame. It is, after all, a Baja California Sur icon. But walk past the selfie-taking crowd, through the antique gate that serves as the guest entrance and into the private courtyard, and you’re transported to a swanky yet colonial hideaway.
It’s full of winning touches: vibrant colors, pretty tiles, antique furnishings, charming balconies with pretty views and cozy rooms with canopied beds. If you’re looking for a boutique hotel to slumber in, this is the dream.
For a small town, Todos Santos has a surprising number of fantastic places to dine, so bring your appetite. For a good morning refuel, try the blue agave waffles at La Coronela or the pancakes and frappes at La Morena.
Take your bike to Tres Santos for lunch and spoil yourself with JazaMango’s locavorean dishes. The tomato and cheese salad, as well as the sweet potato soup with cheese and lentil, are simply divine.
For dinner, head on over to La Casita Tapas and Wine Bar where you can feast on Mexican-Asian fare. Customer favorites are the curry roll and the sambal fish.
Finally, for excellent margaritas, make a beeline for Hotel California Tequila.
Caffeine addicts and coffee snobs need not despair. Thanks in part to Todos Santos’ fairly large expat population, the demand for good coffee and coffee drinks is high. Besides La Morena’s yummy cafes, there’s also Taller17, a cute café that serves great coffee and even better desserts.
Surf Breaks Abound
Whether you’re a beginning surfer or an experienced one, there’s something for you in Todos Santos. There are three famous surf breaks in the area: the beach and point breaks of Los Cerritos for beginners and advanced surfers, the right and left breaks at La Pastora and the solid swells at San Pedrito for advanced and expert surfers.
If you’re a beginner, joining a surf camp might just be the ticket to immersion in the sport. Todos Santos Eco Adventures holds several six-day Surfaris throughout the year.
It’s hard to decide if Art and Beer, located along Federal Highway 19 just outside of Todos Santos, is a museum of oddities or an eccentric bar. Technically, it’s both; we just can’t decide what part we like better. What we do know is that it isn’t the only quirky spot in town. Keep an eye out for them while walking, biking or driving around town.
A Backpacker’s Dream
Whether you’re going on short hikes or multi-day backpacking trips, Todos Santos is the perfect jumping off point to Baja California Sur’s greatest treks. Not only are there excellent trails and awe-inspiring panoramas, there are also many endemic plant and animal sightings to be had. Ask the kind folks at Todos Santos Eco Adventures for their available guided treks.
A Haven for Wildlife
There’s little wonder that biologists flock to Baja California Sur. It’s almost a sanctuary for animals, marine ones especially. And to really experience Baja Sur, you must rub elbows with these adorable residents. Participate in turtle releases or join a turtle camp; head to La Paz to swim with sea lion pups or snorkel with whale sharks.
Todos Santos has mastered the art of balancing welcoming new developments and keeping its authenticity intact. It’s managed to bring in new business without sacrificing the traditional, making it perfect for millennial travelers who are looking to immerse in the culture. If you’re looking for a taste of real Mexico, it’s one of the best places to go.
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