Cabo San Lucas Day Trip: Todos Santos, Mexico
Every year, thousands of people travel to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and never step foot off of the resort. I get it, the resorts in Cabo have just about everything you could ask for—multiple pools, bars, pools with bars in them. Life in Cabo isn't too shabby.
But if you're anything like me and my friends, you want to experience the local culture when you're traveling, which is the one thing resorts are usually lacking. To satisfy our craving for some authentic Mexican culture, my friends and I left the Cabo San Lucas resort for a day and went on a road trip to Todos Santos.
About Todos Santos
Todos Santos is a charming, small town located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico's Baja California peninsula. The town was founded as a Mission back in 1723 and later had many prosperous years producing sugar. The present-day town of Todos Santos is attracting different types of artists and crafty folk who have opened a number of galleries and shops. The area is also popular with surfers.
Getting from Cabo San Lucas to Todos Santos
While guided tours to Todos Santos are available from Cabo San Lucas, my friends and I opted to rent a car for the day trip. Todos Santos is located 47 miles (76 km) north of Cabo San Lucas, so the one-way trip is about an hour drive. The drive couldn't be easier, though—Highway 19 takes you all the way there.
Eating in Todos Santos
Not only is the restaurant space adorable, but the food at La Morena is fresh and delicious! The interior is light, bright and minimally designed with natural materials and colors. If you prefer to dine outside in the Baja sunshine, La Morena has an awesome patio.
This restaurant offers the items you'd expect to see on a Mexican menu, like seafood tacos, plus other Cuban-inspired dishes. We were here before noon, so the menu also featured breakfast items and coffee.
Recommendation: Shrimp tacos and fish ceviche—both were SO good!
Calle Benito Juárez 9, Centro, 23880 Ejido del Centro, B.C.S., Mexico
Drinking in Todos Santos
After exploring the streets of Todos Santos by foot, you'll deserve a cold drink. Hotel California is the perfect spot to stop for a refreshing Mexican cocktail. The hotel has a bar and restaurant with an awesome enclosed back patio. Adorned with colorful banners, paintings and palms, it's a picture-worthy place to hang out and recharge.
Recommendation: The mango margarita (yum!)
Calle Benito Juárez S/N, Centro, 23300 Todos Santos, B.C.S., Mexico
Things to do in Todos Santos
If you're looking to take home a souvenir from Mexico, Todos Santos is the perfect place to shop. Forget about the items you'll find in the standard gift shops back in Cabo San Lucas; Todos Santos is filled with cute, small stores selling tons of locally-made goods. You'll find handmade shoes, purses, embroidered linens, hand-painted dishes and much more. This is as authentic as souvenir shopping gets, plus you get to support local artists and local business—a win-win!
Mision de Nuestra Senora del Pilar & Main Plaza
Check out the Mission in town, which serves as the religious landmark in Todos Santos. It was founded in 1723 and is located directly across from the main plaza in town. Walk around the plaza and the church to get a feel for the history. I loved admiring the architecture and the plethora of palm trees.
Other tips for traveling from Cabo San Lucas to Todos Santos
- As the title of this post implies, Todos Santos makes for a perfect one-day trip. If you're wondering how much time you should set aside to visit Todos Santos from Cabo San Lucas, here's a glimpse of what our timeline looked like:
- 9:30 a.m. - Depart Cabo San Lucas
- 10:30 a.m. - Arrive in Todos Santos
- 11:00 a.m. - Eat brunch/lunch, or whatever you prefer to call it
- 12:00-4:00 p.m. - Walk around, enjoy a cold tequila cocktail, shop 'til you drop
- 4:00 p.m. - Depart Todos Santos
- 5:00 p.m. - Arrive back in Cabo San Lucas
- The town is small and very walkable. Find a parking spot and wander the streets by foot.
- Many of the shops and restaurants accept credit card, but some only take cash. There are a couple ATM machines in town where you can withdraw Mexican pesos. Most vendors accept pesos and the US dollar.
- Some of you might be wondering if it's safe to travel in this area. We had also read about a spike in crime in the area prior to our trip, so I had the same concerns. My advice—be smart, aware and cautious. Do not drive at night, do not take random roads. Travel during the daylight and stick to the main highway. We consciously chose to travel to and from Todos Santos early in the morning so we could drive back in the late afternoon before the sun set, and I felt completely safe during the entire trip.
Take the day trip from Cabo San Lucas to Todos Santos!
Here are some more photos that show how beautiful, colorful and charming Todos Santos is and hopefully convince you that it's worth visiting! Next time you're in Cabo San Lucas, get away from the resorts for a day and experience this hidden gem, full of character and culture (and tasty cocktails.)