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Todos Santos: the name evokes an air of magic and mystery, of
mysticism and romance. Discover it all in this pueblo mágico, or magic
village, nestled deep in the desert on the edge of the wild Pacific
Less than an hour away from the glitzy lights of
San Lucas, Todos Santos is a world away in ambiance. The barren
hillsides outside of San Lucas give way to rolling green hills, covered
in enormous cactus trees and miles of silence. The Pacific Ocean
stretches like a polished stone, glistening in the desert sun, while
lush trees heavy with fruit shade the streets of Todos Santos. No jet
skis, no beach vendors, no loud music. You find solitude in the echo of
the ocean. This quiet community is an oasis in the sands of time: part
Mexican ranch, part artist refuge and completely enchanting.
Establish over 300 years ago, Todos Santos
retains the feeling of an outpost at the end of a lonely peninsula.
Time moves differently here, as the trappings of modern life drop away.
You’ll still find Internet and cell phone reception here (and other
modern comforts, of course), but you’ll find that it matters a lot less
as you wander these timeless streets. Thick adobe walls frame the
historic church in the plaza, and graceful colonial buildings from the
18th and 19th centuries. Inside, you’ll find an array of treasures
waiting for you, from the delectable to the surprising.
Todos Santos is a natural oasis in the middle of
the desert, and a wealth of organic fruits and vegetables are grown in
the vicinity, including mangoes, avocados and poblano peppers (the basis
of many Mexican dishes, including the savory crema de chile poblano
soup). Couple that with the bounty of fresh fish and seafood harvested
from the nearby Pacific Ocean, and it’s little surprise that Todos
Santos has attracted a growing community of chefs. Focusing on the
fresh ingredients from land and sea, creative and innovative cuisine is
served daily at quiet little restaurants around the village. The
result? Pure magic
Artists and intellectuals have always been drawn
to this place. Maybe it has something to do with the color of the ocean
at sunset, of the rustle of the wind in the trees. Art galleries dot
the streets, displaying drawings, painting and sculptures inspired by
the powerful surroundings. You’ll find a few vendors selling the
standard souvenirs and curios, but also so much more. Small boutique
shops sell handcrafted treasures, intricately worked jewelry, fragrant
soaps. Gentle weaves its way through the air, enticing visitors to come
inside. The little cafes are a perfect place to find a quiet corner
and finish a book, or simply contemplate life with a cup of strong
coffee. What will you find within the walls of Todos Santos?
Days here revolve around the sun and the sea. In
the winter months, migrating whales grace these shores, frolicking with
their young. Surfers make a similar pilgrimage to Todos Santos in the
winter months to enjoy the rolling Pacific Swells. The most popular
beach for surfing (and relaxing) is Cerritos, a few minutes south of
town. but regulars here talk about other waves like La Pastora, Punta
Lobos, and Las Pocitas with an air of reverence. These empty, peeling
waves inspire surfers to move their lives to Todos Santos, and live the
“endless summer” dream. With miles of sun-splashed coastline, you’re
sure to discover your own wave, or beach, or breathtaking view that
With a small but vibrant international community,
a wealth of activities can be enjoyed in town as well. Yoga, African
dance, Tai Chi, book groups, horseback riding, hiking, cooking classes:
need we say more? There’s even an annual film festival that focuses on
the brightest talent in Latino filmmaking, right at the restored
art-deco theater near the plaza. But despite the stimulation, you never
feel far from the land, or the community that thrives here. Small
vendors dot the street into town, selling humble (but delicious) fish
tacos and fruits. It’s not uncommon to have a few stray cows wander
down the street. Yet it’s all a part of what makes this place magical,
almost surreal, dreamlike.
Just a few miles outside of Todos Santos is
Pescadero, a small but growing community with a similar ambiance. Here
you’ll find surf camps and schools that are committed to getting even
first-timers up and riding. Stylish boutique hotels are beginning to
sprout out of the desert sands in Pescadero, offering an elegant escape.
Adventurous types can always camp on the beach, or at trailer parks.
Todos Santos is the kind of place you’ll find
yourself dreaming about long after you visit. It’s the end of the long,
dusty road. It’s home to the famed Hotel California, made famous by
the Eagles (go ahead and snap a picture of it, it’s part of the
experience!). But you’ll find more than tumbleweeds and cactus here.
You’ll find an indomitable spirit, a deep sense of peace. Some people
come here to escape; others discover life in Todos Santos.