A Local Gal’s Guide to the Coastal Town of Todos Santos, Mexico

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It was Rancho Pescadero that brought us to the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. Go ahead and check out their website, we’ll wait. ...... Ok, you may need a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor, or wipe that drool away. As you can see, once we arrived at this laid back beachfront resort, it was hard to find a reason to leave.

Karla Caro, assistant manager of Rancho Pescadero and all around hip chica, welcomed us with open arms and the most genuine smile. She has an amazingly beautiful personality which we only grew to love more when she informed us that beachcombing, yoga, roasting marshmallows, pool lounging and stargazing were the main activities that could fill our day. If we felt the need to see anything beyond this, Todos Santos, a nearby artist colony was a quick jaunt away.

It was tough, but we managed to tear ourselves away from the pool for an afternoon stroll through the town of “All Saints.” The best way to wander around is on foot, so we parked our rental car on one of the main streets and hit the pavement. The afternoon evaporated quickly as we perused through colorful galleries, ate frozen fruit bars, and admired the beauty of the sun drenched bougainvillea. It’s clear even after a short walk why this area has long attracted those who paint, draw and create.

We had barely scratched the surface of this creative-infused town when before we knew it, it was time to head back to our oceanfront oasis. And to be honest, we we only felt slightly disappointed because we were REALLY looking forward to our evening meal of Fried Green Tomatillos and Baja Fish Tacos by Chef Bueno at the onsite Rancho Pescadero restaurant.

After we left the Baja Peninsula, we knew we would return someday, and next time we would allow more time to explore Todos Santos. So we asked local expert Karla what establishments we shouldn't miss on our next visit (oh yes, there will be a next visit). Here’s what she had to say:

 

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Take a Stroll

For a bohemian soul,  take a walk through the downtown of Todos Santos and enjoy the great galleries, art and craft stores. Some favorites are:

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Go on a Taco Tour

What’s better than tacos? Nada. Here’s a starter’s guide:

  • For fish and shrimp tacos definitely go to Taqueria El Parguito. When you’re driving from Cabo it is on the first street in Todos Santos to the right. Go a half block and you’ll see a small stand with a surfboard as a sign. web service security . The best ones!
  • For carnitas tacos, check out Tacos Barajas. On the main road when you arrive from Cabo, you will see it on your left side.
  • Boyitacos, located in downtown. They have fantastic carne asada tacos and chicken tacos.

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Other Delicious Foods

Todos Santos is well known for having great places to have lunch or dinner, with fresh produce from the area and of course the freshest fish you will ever have! For something more than just tacos, or a special/romantic dinner (eating tacos is not my idea of a romantic dinner but, who knows!) Here are the best restaurants in the area:

  • Landi’s - This restaurant is situated inside of a small hotel called Todos Santos Inn right in downtown. Very intimate and private, good Mexican cuisine.
  • Café Santa Fe - Northern Italian food
  • Tre Galline - Northern Italian food
  • EL Zaguan - Mexican Seafood
  • La Casita - Tapas/Sushi Bar
  • Michaels at the Gallery - By day, a Todos Santos Gallery, by night Michael Cope the owner changes this gallery to an Asian and Mexican fusion restaurant.
  • Also in Pescadero, right on the highway, there is Pizza Napoli’s.  A very simple place with great Italian thin crunchy pizza for a good price.

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 Let’s Have Some Drinks!

  • If you want to have a nice drink before going to dinner I suggest you to go to La Distilleria. Great Artisanal Beer from Baja, as well as good wines and cocktails.
  • You also can go to Bar La Copa, located in the Todos Santos Inn Hotel.
  • Bob Marlin Bar is located on the main street in downtown and a good place to have a beer during their 6-8pm happy hour.
  • The sky bar at Guaycura Hotel is a good place to have a drink and watch the sunset.

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 Hang at a Coffee Shop

  • One of my favorite places in Todos is Café Todos Santos. This is one of the first businesses/coffee shops to open in Todos Santos, about 15 or 20 years ago. Great authentic Mexican menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, wonderful coffee, and delicious artisanal bread.
  • Another place that you have to visit is Baja Beans in Pescadero,  the charm of this place is that not only is it a coffee shop, but they roast their own coffee on site. They have great house blends to offer and have a Farmers Market every Sunday.

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For an Adventurous Soul

If you stay at Rancho Pescadero, Karla and her crew there can arrange all kinds of activities around the area.  Here is a sampling of the choices they offer:

  • You can go fishing with a local fishermen in a small panga boat, great trip and launching on the beach on the way back! Bring your fish to Rancho and they will cook it for you!
  • Horseback Riding - With a great instructor/guide in Todos Santos,  you can request sunset rides and morning rides.
  • Hiking - Rancho provides hiking guides in Todos Santos with gorgeous views. If you’re looking for something bigger, one of the local guys can take you to Sierra de la Laguna Mountains right in front of Pescadero, with an altitude of 2,100 mts. You will find a lot of endemic plants and animals.  It’s a great tour, but if you’re not into hiking for a couple of hours or if you don’t have the right condition for this, just lay by the Rancho pool instead.
  • ATV tour: 3 hrs tour (about a 20 min drive from Rancho Pescadero)
  • Baja Buggys Tour: 3 hours tour (about a 20 min drive from Rancho Pescadero)
  • We can also arrange a scuba diving or snorkeling tour to Isla Espiritu Santo in La Paz (Sea of Cortez). This island is a National Marine Park with white pristine beaches and turquoise water. Just impressive and beautiful. Driving to La Paz from Rancho is about an hour long simple easy drive.
  • Kayaking is something you can also do in La Paz.  There is no kayaking, snorkeling, or scuba diving in the Todos Santos-Pescadero area because the Pacific is too rough for this kind of activities, but if you have your heart set on this, it is totally worth the drive to La Paz and spend the day over there.
  • If you want to go to la Paz and you’re not really into any of the activities mentioned above, Rancho Pescadero staff can recommend the best beaches to see.  They can even pack a cooler, provide chairs, towels and anything else you need.
  • From November to March: Whale watching. You can see Gray and Humpback whales.
  • From October to March: Sea Turtle Hatching Releasing. Be part of releasing baby turtles into the Pacific Ocean after they have hatched. A magical experience.

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So ladies, are you convinced yet? ¡Vamos a Todos Santos! And when you find a perfect little taco stand or paletería that’s not on the list above, let us know so we can add it for our next visit.

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