DescriptionAn old farming and fishing community about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Cabo San Lucas, Todos Santos (TOH-dos SAHN-tos) was long isolated from visitors. That changed in 1986 with the completion of Mex. 19 from La Paz south to Cabo San Lucas. Even though large-scale resort development has begun to take shape south of town, Todos Santos (“All Saints”) retains a relaxed air and the charms of a traditional Mexican town.
Located just south of the Tropic of Cancer, Todos Santos is tropical but not quite as torrid as the towns lying next to the warm Gulf of California waters. Underground water from the Sierra de la Laguna range, which rises to the east, provides irrigation for groves of mangoes, papayas and avocados. The town's 19th-century status as a sugar cane producer is evidenced by the ruins of a few sugar mills.
The peak tourist season is from October through February; many businesses are closed or open irregular hours from July through September, when the weather is hotter and more humid and the beaches are plagued by mosquitos. Occurring over the second weekend of October, the 4-day Fiesta Todos Santos celebrates the town's 1723 founding with live music, dancing and sports competitions.
A persistent urban legend claims that the Hotel California, on Calle Juárez, is the lodging with “plenty of room” referred to in the Eagles song and shown on the cover of the band's same-named 1976 album. The Hotel California opened in 1950, closed in the late 1990s for an extensive renovation and reopened in 2004. Standing under the arches is a popular photo op. The La Coronela Restaurant has live music on Saturday evenings.
Café Todos Santos, on Calle Centenario at Calle Topete (across from the Todos Santos Inn), is where many visitors head for breakfast. The cafe latte comes in a cup the size of a bowl; pair it with a cinnamon bun, sit in the charming garden and while away the morning.
Local galleries include Galería de Todos Santos, on Juárez next to the Centro Cultural (Cultural Center) between calles Obregón and Topete, where works by Mexican and American artists are on display. Galería Santa Fe, Centenario #4 next to Café Santa Fe, has a delightful collection of Mexican folk art.
About 3 kilometers (2 miles) west of town on a dirt road is Playa Punta Lobos. Here local fishermen embark in their pangas for the day's catch; visitors can enjoy the dramatic Pacific surf. South of town via Mex. 19, dirt-road turn-offs offer access to unspoiled, unpopulated beaches—good for surfing—along the rocky coastline. Just 23 kilometers (14 miles) east the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains rise to 6,000 feet; pack trips to explore the area can be arranged in town.