You need to visit Playa Todos Santos as soon as possible, and you’re about to find out why…
On the west coast of Mexico, you get the best of everything–natural beauty, big waves for surfing, tranquil beaches for sunbathing, and incredible cuisine.
Even with all that, it’s relatively unknown among tourists. And we hope it stays that way for just a bit longer. It’s what gives it such a charm and a different experience than other big beaches in Mexico.
Where is Playa Todos Santos?
Located in the beautiful Baja California Sur state, this area is known for its surfing opportunities, beach lovers, and eclectic vibe.
Todos Santos isn’t actually right on the beach, but it is a wonderful neighborhood worth visiting.
If you fly into Cabo, you should rent a car and take a road trip up the coast. There is a highway called Mexico 19 that you can follow all the way up and see the ocean on the left and the mountains on the right. It’s a beautiful drive—do it if you get the opportunity.
You can also fly into La Paz, check out all the La Paz beaches and then drive south, which is a different experience but just as pretty.
Now, let’s get to it—here are all the best beaches near Todos Santos.
About Todos Santos Town
Although the town of Todos Santos is not directly on the beach, the whole coastline is one long beach.
You can find fabulous boutique hotels, top-notch restaurants, and plenty worth seeing.
The waves here are unbelievable, and surfers from all across the world come to practice their skills. Even if you don’t surf, you can find plenty of ways to stay entertained. From paddleboarding and kayaking to hiking and sunbathing, this place has it all.
Keep in mind that you cannot swim in these waters–they are far too rough. This part of the coastline is known for its currents, although there are plenty of beaches nearby that are perfect for swimming and lounging.
On Sundays throughout the summer, Todos Santos is teeming with people. You can find a variety of tents, music, tables, and chairs. It has such a community vibe and is worth the visit. You can also find a few specialty shops for locally made goods like clothing, leather products, jewelry, and more.
If you’re strolling around downtown, you might notice a hotel named Hotel California. Although it is just a rumor that the legendary song by the same name was inspired by this location, it’s still cool to see.
Yoga retreats are also increasing in popularity in this region. But if that’s not why you came, sign up for a class to get your zen on while you visit.
Festivals and Events in Todos Santos
If that isn’t enough, there are loads of festivals and events that happen throughout the year.
In January, there’s a rock music festival fundraiser that raises money for the town’s projects.
In March, there’s a film festival where you can see various fiction, documentaries, and short films from Latin America. Also, there is an art festival that celebrates multiple artists each year.
In May, you can attend the Wine Festival, which celebrates all the different wines of the region.
The mango festival happens at the end of July. Artisans showcase the mango in creative ways and celebrate its gastronomic diversity.
Finally, in October, there’s a cultural festival with concerts, dances, and local food throughout the town.
Even though it’s a small town, it is vibrant and teeming with things to do throughout the year.
Top Todos Santos Beaches You Must Visit
Playa Los Cerritos
Best for sunbathing
One of the most famous beaches in Todos Santos is Playa Los Cerritos.
Don’t expect to find much shade here, but it simply could not be better for sunbathing. You can also find plenty of beach bars right on the water, and surfers will be thrilled to find some great waves. If you don’t know how to surf, try out one of the many surf schools at the beach that offer lessons and equipment for rent.
Apart from surfing, you can also find boogie boards, lounge chairs, paddleboards, umbrellas, and more for rent.
This is arguably the most popular beach for travelers. It’s easy to get to, really pretty, and family-friendly. The ocean floor has no rocks, which is great for kids.
If you want to stay at Playa Los Cerritos, you have plenty of options steps away from the crystal clear water.
Stop at the Barracuda Cantina and Desert Moon Hotel restaurant for ice-cold beers and the freshest guacamole you’ve ever tasted.
As with any spot in this region, be aware of strong currents farther from the shore. It’s best to stay in more shallow water than to venture too far out if you’re not a strong swimmer, and Los Cerritos Beach, Todos Santos, is no exception.
Since it’s so popular, it will get a little crowded, especially in the afternoon. Get here early to stake out your perfect spot. It’s about a 10-minute drive from downtown and worth every second you spend commuting.
Playa San Pedrito
Best for seclusion
This beach is located in a small village named El Pescadero, which is mainly a farming town. Mountain rain storms make the ground quite fertile here, so you will see cherry, tomato, and basil plants throughout the town. Commercial agriculture is prevalent in Pescadero, mainly for export.
The beach here is secluded but quickly becoming more popular among surfers and digital nomads. The entrance of the water at San Pedrito is pretty calm, but the further out you go, the rockier it’ll get.
Expect to find a laid-back atmosphere and friendly people.
Best for a quiet day away
Right next door is Playa Pescadero which has the softest, pillowy sand you’ve ever laid on in your entire life. So if you want to get away from the crowds and relax, this is where you do it.
Always keep an eye on the weather and conditions, as they can change at any time, but you should be able to swim here.
Playa Las Palmas
Best for natural beauty
You won’t accidentally stumble upon Playa Las Palmas. You must take a dirt road through the desert to get there, which takes a little over an hour. When there, you will notice a wall of palm trees and a private beach surrounded by steep cliffs.
Occasionally, the water is swimmable, but it is often quite rough. The views alone are worth the visit, but bring your supplies as there isn’t much out there.
Playa Punta Lobos
Best for swimming
One of the best beaches in Todos Santos is Playa Punta Lobos. It is a fishermen’s beach where they land their boats by coming in with the waves. They pull the motor out of the water at the last possible second when the boat reaches the sand. It is a fun sight to see, but don’t go in the afternoons if you want to swim, as there will be a lot of fishermen docking.
There’s a rock that protects the beach and shallow waters from the waves, so you can swim there without worrying about getting knocked over by a rogue wave. This is just a couple of miles away from downtown Todos Santos.
Playa La Cachora
Best for whale watching
There aren’t any beach vendors here, so it might not be somewhere you want to spend a whole day. However, you can often spot whales and rays offshore, which provides an incredibly unique experience.
You can take whale-watching tours or watch them from the coast. Since the waters are so choppy here, it is an excellent spot to see some wildlife.
Playa Los Mangos
Best for relaxing
This beach is located in Las Tunas, about 10 minutes from downtown Todos Santos, which is named after the fruit trees on the road to the beach. This is a quiet and calm beach, perfect for a relaxing afternoon.
The sunsets in Los Mangos are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Think of the brightest pinks, yellows, oranges, and reds you’ve ever seen. Blend them together, add in some waves and tan sand, and you’re at Playa Los Mangos.
Playa La Pastora
Best for watching professional surfers
This beach has the biggest waves in the area, so experienced surfers will absolutely love Playa La Pastora. It’s fun to watch some super-talented surfers catch waves, but there are also miles of sandy beach here, perfect for sunbathing. You’ll see beautiful mountain peaks if you turn away from the ocean. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Bring all your own gear, as this is an undeveloped area. It’s about five miles north of Todos Santos, so it’s an easy enough drive. The sand here is more golden than white–perfect for a beach photoshoot.
Best for families
This beach is perfect for a little day trip from Todos Santos. It takes about an hour and a half by car to reach, but the stunning views are absolutely worth it. This is super family-friendly, as the waters here are protected off the Sea of Cortez. The whole bay only ever gets about shin deep, so it’s virtually one big baby pool.
The landscape is worth the visit even if you don’t have kids, as the desert surrounding the bay is completely barren, but then you stand in the bright blue waters and lay in the stark white sand. The contrast between water and desert is breathtaking and almost otherworldly.
Playa Las Pocitas
Best for surfing
Another beautiful beach in Todos Santos that is better for surfing than swimming is Playa Las Pocitas. There’s a strong undertow with the bigger waves, which makes it very easy to lose your balance.
Playa de Agua Blanca
Great to see sea turtles
This is another beach that is part of the town of Todos Santos. What makes this beach so unique is the protected sea turtle habitat. If you time it right, you might even see some turtles heading into the ocean. They usually lay their eggs between June and November, with the little babies hatching in early fall.
Old Port/Puerto Algodones
Best for overhead views
This isn’t so much a beach opportunity as a beach viewing one.
You can either take a hike or car up the hill to the top of the cliffs. You leave from Punta Lobos and trek up to the dramatic views of the turquoise waters and the waves crashing into the port.
Where to Stay in Playa Todos Santos
You have a ton of different options for where to stay in Playa Todos Santos and its surrounding beaches. You can find hostels, boutique hotels, or entire vacation homes, depending on the experience you are looking for. You can also choose whether to stay on the water or in town, both great options.
You can also find several specialty experiences, like staying in a yurt in the middle of the desert or enjoying a private luxury villa with butler service. No matter what you choose, you will certainly enjoy every second of your trip.
When booking accommodation, consider what beaches you want to be closest to and what is most important.
Do you care more about the budget or amenities?
Do you want to be able to walk to grab a taco at any point in the day, or do you value seclusion?
With so many options, you get the opportunity to be a little picky.
Where to Eat in Playa Todos Santos
When you visit a new place, it’s so important to try local dishes to really get to know the culture. Try the lobster in butter, beef burritos, stingray machaca, lion claw clam ceviche, and La Paz style fish tacos.
The Todos Santos beaches are famous for their wonderful restaurants, offering plenty of different flavors for everyone. You can also find restaurants for the ultra-budget traveler, fine dining, and everything in between. So whether you want sushi and sashimi, a vegan hamburger, or a fish taco, you’re in luck.
Make sure to eat your weight in guacamole and have as many beachside margaritas as you can handle.
Weather in Playa Todos Santos
Todos Santos is on the west side of Mexico, so the weather will be slightly different than in places like Cancun or Playa del Carmen.
It is pleasant throughout the year but certainly the warmest in summer. Summers are typically pretty long, with temperatures reaching the low 30s°C (90s°F).
Winters are short and dry, with nighttime temperatures dropping down to 18°C (65°F). The best time to visit would be late fall and spring when the crowds have thinned out and it is less hot and muggy.
Luckily, you don’t have to worry much about rain. September gets the most rain but still has plenty of sunny days.
Todos Santos only gets around 195 millimeters (7.7 inches) of rain annually. However, this qualifies as a desert, so you will likely get sunshine no matter when you go.
It’s hard to say when the best time of year is to visit. It depends on what you’re looking for, as there are benefits to every season.
Packing List Essentials for Playa Todos Santos
When traveling, you should be prepared for just about any situation. In Playa Todos Santos, you should be prepared for big waves, rocky shores, intense sun, and limited services.
To prepare for your trip, you’ll want to pack the following:
- Bathing suits
- Reef safe sunscreen
- Microfiber towel
- Waterproof bag
- Portable fan
- Water shoes
- Bug spray
- Cooler with water, snacks, drinks, and anything else you need for the day
If you rent a car, bringing coolers and snacks on your Todos Santos beaches road trip will be easier. If you don’t, make sure you at least pack a daypack. The last thing you want is to be out in the sun without access to water or a granola bar.
Don’t forget to leave room in your suitcase for shopping. This area is known for its cool Mexican wares.
Map of Todos Santos
This interactive Todos Santos map has all the popular beaches you need to check out while on your beach-hopping getaway.
How to Get to Playa Todos Santos
There are two methods to get to Playa Todos Santos:
- A bus from La Paz to Todos Santos, which takes an hour and a half.
- You can also head to this pristine beach from Cabo San Lucas in about the same time.
Playa Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, is a little bit remote but is worth the trek to get to.
Make sure to check out all of Bookaway’s routes in Mexico when planning your vacation.
Last Thoughts on Todos Santos
Playa Todos Santos is a dream. The entire state of Baja California Sur is worth visiting, but don’t skip out on this area. The natural beauty is simply stunning and has an entirely different vibe than the east coast.
You’ve likely heard of places like Cozumel, Tulum, or Playa del Carmen. Of course, these places are all great in their own right and still worth a visit. Still, this cute beach town provides a unique cultural opportunity you won’t find anywhere else in Mexico.
If you’re a surfer or you’ve always wanted to learn, this is the place to do it. If you love the beach but also want to be able to explore the mountains and a cool town, look no further. Playa Todos Santos is calling your name.
Los Cabos Airport (SJD) would be your best bet, especially for international departures. You can then rent a car or take a bus to Todos Santos.
La Paz is likely the closest big city to Todos Santos beach, but Cabo San Lucas is also just a short drive away.
Yes! It’s perfectly safe. Practice basic safety precautions, and never leave your valuables unattended on the sand.
Much of the water at Playa Todos Santos is unsafe for swimming, but some beaches less than a 10-minute drive away have calm waters.