Todos Santos is an artsy little town in the Baja California Sur region of Mexico that has long been a haven for nomads, surfers, travelers, and artists looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of Baja.
Ask anyone who visited before–chances are, they were completely enamored by the small-town charm of Todos Santos. Personally speaking, the minute I laid my eyes on the streets of Todos Santos, I immediately fell in love with this magical destination!
In fact, Todos Santos has even been officially named a pueblo mágico, or “magical town”, by the government–a title given to towns in Mexico that do a great job of honoring and preserving the local culture and its history.
While it’s still relatively undiscovered and off-the-beaten-path (well, at least compared to places like Cancun and Cabo San Lucas), it’s far from Mexico’s best-kept secret anymore. Having said that, Todos Santos is still tranquil and calm enough that you can get away from the big city atmosphere.
Even with its small population of approximately 6-7k people, this town is bustling with things to do and see. If you’ve figured out your Todos Santos itinerary and are now just looking for the best place to stay, we’ve got you covered.
Here are some of the best places to stay in Todos Santos, Mexico.
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Where To Stay In Todos Santos, Mexico
1. Hotel San Cristobal
Price Range: $$$
Hotel San Cristobal is one of the hottest spots to stay in all of Todos Santos these days–it’s truly desert chic at its absolute finest! In fact, it’s one of the main reasons why Todos Santos has blown up in popularity as of late.
This IG-worthy boutique hotel was designed by Texas hotelier Liz Lambert, complete with 32 rooms, a swimming pool, restaurant and bar on the premises. Expect vibes that are both hip and stylish, pastel tiles, and cactus-lined walkways.
If you don’t end up booking a night here, you should still at least stop by for a meal at Benno, led by Mexican chef Edgar Palau. And while this hotel is definitely more of a splurge, getting to soak in the unique atmosphere here can be well worth the price tag for some travelers!
2. Villa Santa Cruz
Price Range: $$-$$$
Villa Santa Cruz is a spectacular boutique beach resort located right on the Pacific Ocean in Todos Santos. Situated on 20 acres of secluded beachfront property, this stylish hotel oozes authentic Mexican vibes.
Each stylish suite features a balcony overlooking the pool and ocean. In addition to getting tea or coffee delivered to your suite each morning, guests can enjoy a daily continental breakfast.
At Villa Santa Cruz, you’ll have plenty of places to unwind and recharge. Take a dip in the grand saltwater pool and jacuzzi, unwind at the spacious roof terrace complete with a fire ring, relax at the hammocks at the oceanfront palapa, or chill on the beach just steps from your room.
But honestly, the best part aside from the views is probably the fact that hand-delivered coffee trays and a hearty Mexican breakfast are included in your room rate!
Price Range: $$$$
If you have the money to splurge on luxury accommodations, you have to spend a night or two in Paradero. This is the hotel straight out of movies (picture a place where James Bond would stay…yeah, that’s what Paradero looks like)!
The hotel is really unique and offers a very relaxing, almost zen-like, stay. Expect sanctuary-like guest rooms, unforgettable dining experiences, and cactus-studded outdoor landscaping. This hotel is truly an architectural wonder!
If you’re lucky enough to be a hotel guest, you’ll be able to partake in complimentary activities like morning hikes, farm tours, bike rides, and more.
Should you be looking for additional activities, you’ll be delighted to know that there’s a full-service spa and a whole menu of adventures to choose from, from mountain biking to surf lessons and all-you-can-eat taco tours to Temazcal healing rituals.
We personally did not stay here as we wanted to be closer to town, but my friends (whom I went on this trip with) did stay here, and it was one of the best experiences of their lives! Their biggest tip: do not miss the chance to eat dinner here–even if you’re not a hotel guest yourself!
4. Guaycura Boutique Hotel, Beach Club & Spa
Price Range: $$$
Guaycura Boutique Hotel Beach Club & Spa is very conveniently located in a 19th-century red-brick historic building in the city center of Todos Santos.
Each room at Guaycura Boutique Hotel, Beach Club & Spa features a very spacious layout, canopy beds with deluxe linens, private balconies, vintage copper bathtubs, and views of the surrounding area.
If you’re a fan of high-ceilinged rooms with exposed wood beams, raw brick and comfortable beds, this is the hotel for you.
While you’re here, do not miss the opportunity to take advantage of the spa! Organic treatments are available at the Guaycura Aena Spa. Guests can enjoy a la carte massages and relaxation therapies along with the marble steam room.
Whether you’re done exploring the town for the day or just waking up, head to the hotel restaurant for a delightful meal featuring Mediterranean dishes with Mexican flavors. There are a few other restaurants/cafes on the property featuring panoramic views, fresh seafood, craft cocktails, and more!
5. Los Colibris Casitas
Price Range: $$
Los Colibris Casitas was made for nature lovers seeking beauty and tranquility. This accommodation option is unique because it’s almost like a combination of a boutique hotel (given its amenities and services) mixed with a vacation home (increased privacy and comfort).
Each of the homes and casitas boasts magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean to the front and the Sierra de la Laguna mountains to the side and back. From the comfort of your room, you’ll be able to soak in the unbeatable views of the natural beauty that Baja has to offer.
Los Colibris Casitas has 11 rooms: Babisuri House (3 suites), Casa Colibris(2 bedrooms), Casa Colina (2 bedrooms), La Chucha Casita, Casita Mr. Bing’s Place, La Moflita and La Samboni.
Some of the units have fully equipped kitchens, dining areas and air conditioning, and local chefs can also come to cook for you in your casita!
What makes this property so amazing is that the casitas are really close to the beach. It’s just a 5 to 10-minute walk to 70 miles of pristine, virtually empty beach, and a 5-minute drive to the delightful restaurants, artists’ galleries, and shops of downtown Todos Santos.
You’ll get the best of both worlds here!
6. PACHAMAMA MEXICO
Price Range: $$
PACHAMAMA MEXICO is a very unique boutique accommodation option that often hosts yoga retreats. You can choose to stay in one of three luxury villas with unsurpassed coastal views or opt for a more native experience in one of 12 adobe tepees.
If opting for the tepee option, don’t worry–it’s not as rustic as it sounds. Situated directly outside the villa, there is easy access to the villa’s kitchen, dining hall, and yoga studio. These gorgeous tepees are air-conditioned and come with full bathrooms with bath/showers.
Either choice provides air-conditioned comfort and minimalistic elegance that complements the surrounding natural beauty of Baja California. Some units have a dining area and/or a patio.
Guests will have access to an outdoor infinity pool, free WiFi, a hammock lounge, fire pits, and a garden. A continental breakfast is available each morning at the campground.
Guests are also welcome to use the property’s yoga mats, props, and meditation cushions, as well as enjoy cycling nearby (mountain bikes are available for exploring local beach lanes and desert trails).
Other activities that come at an additional cost include temazcal (Authentic Sweat Lodge), drumming lessons, private surf lessons, spa treatments, classic Mexican cuisine workshops, Spanish classes, and reiki sessions.
7. Perro Surfero
Price Range: $-$$
For a more affordable lodging option, Perro Surfero offers a quiet and relaxing boutique-style gateway to everything Baja has to offer.
This property includes a wide variety of rooms ranging from one full apartment with a kitchenette to 6 other rooms with bathrooms and private patios. Because it’s meant to be a co-working space, there is also a large communal kitchen, a free weights gym, a pool, sunbeds, and a fire pit.
Overall, you’re going to get lots of space here for you to relax and feel at home! You will also find a garden, a terrace, and a large area with hammocks to take a midday nap.
Where Is Todos Santos Located?
Todos Santos is located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico’s Baja California Sur. Baja California Sur is essentially that long peninsula that you see on maps directly south of California.
The village is located in the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range, wedged between the dry heat of the desert and the cool breezes of the coast. (This means the weather is almost always pleasant!)
The town of Todos Santos is only about an hour north of Cabo San Lucas, making it a very easy day trip for travelers looking for a different/quieter change of pace.
And while, yes, you can technically see Todos Santos as part of a day trip from touristy destinations like Cabo, I would highly recommend staying for at least 2 nights to really experience the magic of this town.
Best Time To Visit Todos Santos, Mexico
Because of how Todos Santos is uniquely situated between both the desert and the coast, the weather remains typically warm and pleasant throughout the year. Unlike many other true desert towns, the ocean breeze helps keep the region cool even during the peak of summer.
If I had to pick the best time to visit for outdoor exploration and sightseeing, I’d recommend the months from January to March. Not only will there be high chances of near-perfect weather, but you will also escape the peak season crowds, and have the chance to spot gray whales in the distance!
When we visited in late February, the weather was absolutely perfect. Daytime temperatures hovered in the low 80’s, while the nights cooled down comfortably into the 50’s (very similar to the Northern California weather I’m used to).
During all 11 days we were in the BCS region, the sun was shining and there was not a cloud in the sky!
Of course, the “best time” to go really depends on what you’re looking to do. Here are a few distinct travel periods that can help you decide when you want to go:
- November to April: This is whale watching season in Baja California when gray and humpback whales make their yearly migration to these shores to breed and mate. Chances of seeing whales are very high!
- October and November: This is when the summer heat and humidity have given way cooler, more pleasant daytime temps. This is considered low season, meaning you’ll find better deals on hotels and accommodations.
- December and January: These are great months for surfing in this part of the state. NOTE: The town gets very crowded over the holidays in winter (as well as the week leading up to Easter during Semana Santa), with Mexicans flock to this region for vacation.
- July to October: While the summer months are hot, this is also considered the region’s hurricane season, with August and September being the wettest months. Hurricanes are most frequent during the month of September.
How Many Days To Spend in Todos Santos?
I personally think the optimal amount of time to visit Todos Santos is 2-3 nights. This will allow you to explore all that the downtown area has to offer, as well as the nearby towns (Los Cerritos, Pescadero, Las Tunas).
If you want to go on a day trip to La Paz or Cabo, then 3 nights (4 days) will be the perfect amount of time. During our last trip, we spent 3 nights in Todos Santos and were easily able to squeeze in a day trip to La Paz to swim with whale sharks.
Looking for the best things to do in Todos Santos? There’s so much to love, so much so that we dedicated a whole post to all the great things to do in Todos Santos!
How To Get To Todos Santos, Mexico
Most major airlines fly directly into Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) in San Jose del Cabo. This is the more common airport to fly in and out of.
Another option is the La Paz International Airport (LAP). From the airports, you’ll need to arrange private transportation or rent a car.
If you’re already planning on vacationing in Cabo and are just looking for a day trip to Todos Santos, you’re in luck! Because of how close Todos Santos is to Los Cabos, there are several local tour operators that will take you there as part of a day trip. No need to rent a car! Some guided tour options include:
- Brown’s Private Services Transportation: Private 6-Hour Todos Santos Tour from Los Cabos
- Esperanza’s Tours: Todos Santos Day Trip from Cabo San Lucas
However, for the ultimate flexibility to see and do what you want on your own time, renting a car and getting there yourself is the way to go! This is what we did during our last trip, and we would do it the same all over again.
Getting to Todos Santos by car is pretty easy, especially if you do some preparation beforehand! You can either fly into Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) or La Paz International Airport (LAP) and make the quick drive to Todos Santos.
Todos Santos is roughly a 1.5-hour drive north from San Jose del Cabo (SJD Airport), or a 1-hour drive south from La Paz. No matter which airport you fly in from, both routes will be on a well-maintained road, Highway 19. This new toll highway makes the drive from the airport to Todos Santos very straightforward!
Alright, be forewarned, I’m going to get into detail for this section. Only because searching for a rental car was such a pain in the butt for my trip to Cabo/Todos Santos. I’m going to try to spare you the many hours spent on research!
Choosing a rental car company
After doing countless hours of research and being stressed out about all the negative reviews I was coming across for the majority of the American rental car companies, I narrowed down the trustworthy businesses to the following: BBB Rentacar, Cactus, Alamo, and Los Cabos Family Rental Cars are all good companies to book with.
If I were you, I would get quotes from all of these companies and go with the one that provides you with the best quote and all the car features you’re looking for.
Of course, your personal experiences may vary, but generally, these companies have a good reputation, unlike the other companies who will entice you with a low price, then do everything to upcharge you for insurance.
For my trip, I ended up renting with Los Cabos Family Rental Cars.
Though the price for the car did look steeper than what I was seeing elsewhere on the web for rental companies like Hertz, Avis, etc., I did like the fact that I was promised “no surprises”.
Last-minute surprises in pricing are a HUGE pet peeve for me, and I wanted to have a stress-free vacation, so I bit the bullet and went with a company with positive reviews and a good reputation. And so glad I did–our car rental experience was seamless!
We met a member of the family-owned car rental company in the parking lot of the airport, signed some final paperwork, paid for the car, picked up the keys, and off we went!
Pro Tip: If you’re from the USA, you don’t need an international driver’s license to rent a car in Mexico. Booking a car as soon as possible will save you money compared to waiting last minute. (I accidentally waited until the last minute, and a lot of rental companies were out of available cars, oops!)
Opting for full coverage rental insurance in Mexico
If you were in the USA, I’d typically recommend going with insurance provided by your credit card. However, because this is Mexico, I’d suggest that you consider purchasing full coverage insurance.
Why? One thing to remember is that Mexico is not the US. Things work a little differently here, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Laws are different in Mexico and if you have an accident, you will be held until all damages you caused are paid for.
With full coverage insurance, if something were to go wrong, all you’d need to do is show your coverage to the local police and contact your rental car company. They’ll make arrangements to bring you a replacement and assist you in the reporting process so that you can continue on with your trip.
I’m not too familiar with the car accident laws in Mexico, so it’s always best to check your policy and your credit card coverage terms, but wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry, especially while on vacation?
Driving to Todos Santos from SJD
Alright, once you’ve picked up your car, you’ll need to now drive to Todos Santos! You’ll be driving on a well-maintained highway until you get to town, which will then turn into a mixture of dirt and paved roads, depending on where you plan on visiting.
If possible, I’d recommend opting for an SUV with 4-wheel drive, as some of the roads in town aren’t as well maintained (such as roads to some restaurants and beaches).
Our small sedan did just fine, but we did have to drive significantly slower on bumpy dirt roads. A larger AWD vehicle would have been able to handle these roads better!
Keep in mind that while you’re on the highway, you’ll need to pay 97 pesos (~$5) for toll, so have some cash on hand and ready to go. We kept a few 100 peso bills in the glove compartment just for this reason.
Once you get your ticket from the first toll machine, do not lose it! Just stick it in the glove compartment and keep it safe. You’ll need it when you pay at the end of the toll road.
Once you get past this section of Highway 19, it’s smooth sailing all the way to Todos Santos!
Note: This is a rather hilly drive, so if you’re traveling with a lot of passengers and a lot of bags, it might be worth it to rent a car with more engine power.
There are three major bus companies on the Baja Peninsula – Autotransportes de Baja California (ABC), Transportes Aguila, and Tres Estrellas de Oro. While all are viable options, Transportes Aquila has the most routes to Todos Santos.
If you fly into Cabo, you can take a public bus to Todos Santos for about $5-10 USD one-way.
The bus journey time between Cabo San Lucas and Todos Santos is around 1h 15m and covers a distance of around 49 miles. Buses from Cabo leave for Todos Santos about every hour, starting around 6am and running into the evening.
Aguila operates a bus from Cabo San Lucas to Todos Santos every 3 hours. ABC also services this route twice daily.
From the airport, you’ll first need to get to the El Aguila Bus Terminal about 15 minutes away. You can get to the bus terminal by either shuttle service or taxi.
You can use Rome2Rio to learn more about your public transportation options here.
From La Paz, you can also take the Transportes Aguila bus for around $6-10 USD one-way. This route will take approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. Learn more about bus times/schedules here.
How To Get Around Todos Santos, Mexico
While I would highly recommend a rental car to get to Todos Santos and to explore the outskirts of town, downtown Todos Santos itself is quite walkable. Chances are, if you’re staying at a hotel within the downtown area, you can get by just fine on foot.
If you plan on visiting a few off-the-beaten-track spots (turtle release beach, epic surfing beach, a few restaurants like Hierbabuena), you will need to hop in your car to get around.
Do note that taxis are available, but similar to most of Mexico’s destinations, they’re not typically metered. This means you’ll need to negotiate and agree on a price before getting in. As always, hailing a cab on a street yourself will always be cheaper than having your hotel arrange a taxi for you.
Do I need a car in Todos Santos?
If you plan on getting to Todos Santos by bus and plan on only staying in the downtown area of Todos Santos, you may not need a car.
However, if you plan on exploring some of the attractions outside of the downtown area, you will definitely want to rent a car. Since there are currently no cabs or rideshare options in the area, you’ll need your own set of wheels if you want to explore areas outside of the downtown area.
Is Todos Santos Safe?
In short, yes Todos Santos is safe. We felt welcomed everywhere we went in Todos Santos.
While you obviously could run into some bad eggs during your travels (as you do wherever you travel), the residents of Todos Santos were some of the kindest people we’ve met!
And while there are parts of Mexico that are considered more dangerous, Baja California is considered to be a lot safer than other parts of Mexico. As with all travel, you should remain cautious and observant.
Use toll roads when possible and avoid driving alone or at night, keep expensive jewelry at home, don’t leave valuables in your car, and keep electronics hidden.
Where do you fly into for Todos Santos?
The closest airport to Todos Santos is Los Cabos International Airport (SJD). From SJD, it is about a 1.5-hour drive to Todos Santos (about 68 miles / 110km away). This is the most common airport travelers fly into.
Another nearby airport option is La Paz International Airport (LAP). From LAP, it is about a 1 hr 10-minute drive to Todos Santos (about 54 miles / 87km away).
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