I recently took a trip to Todos Santos Mexico in January and had an amazing time. It's a quaint little Mexican town full of artists, expats and hippies free to live their bohemian/low maintenance lifestyles in a small rural city an hour away from the commercialized Cabo San Lucas. Todos Santos has many draws including the widely known Hotel California which also happens to be the host of this years Todos Santos Music Festival.
The festival was created by Peter Buck of REM and brought to life by The Hotel California. The Todos Santos Music Festival first debuted in 2012 to bring musicians together to help make a difference in the community and support local charities.
Aside from the music festival the area is full of fun activities! There are both quiet and built up beaches where you can surf and boogyboard and many pleasant restaurants and cafes in town. There are also local food and artisan markets weekly and at sunset you can occasionally go see the turtle release.
Above are photos from a turtle release on January 20th 2016.
Tortugueros Las Playitas is an environmental conservation with a sea turtle focus whose mission is "to protect, conserve and replenish the fragile marine eco-systems of Baja California Sur, Mexico". On occasion when a nest has hatched they have a free viewing of the release at sunset. You are also able to adopt a nest for $40 USD and contribute to their cause. In exchange they will send you photos of your nest once it hatches! Cute right!
Aside from the turtle release I recommend you go to La Esquina Cafe - a cute outdoor cafe that has a relaxing bohemian feel. Their menu consists of great options from healthy veggie shakes and smoothies to full breakfast and sandwiches all very reasonably priced. I had a breakfast enchilada (seen below) paired with a La Esquina Special (a fresh, local and organic fruit smoothie) which was delicious. On Wednesdays they host a small outdoor market where locals sell their home made breads, artisan leather goods and even organic pesticides. When I went to the market they had a musician playing live music and people couldn't help but get up and dance while they waited for their breakfast. On Thursday evening they are also known to host a band and although I never had the chance to go I definitely would check it out next time I go back.
Above: Photos from La Esquina Cafe
I was so inspired by all the great food and culture of the area that I took advantage of the local markets and fresh ingredients to cook an authentic Mexican meal! I was able to find fresh chorizo at the market along with zucchini hearts (otherwise known as squash blossoms), fresh fish from the local fisherman and all the citrus fruits your heart could desire. In pursuit of my goal of a home cooked Mexican inspired meal I made chorizo potato tacos with fresh guacamole, fried stuffed zucchini hearts and fresh traditional Mexican ceviche ! Also as a refresher my friends came up with this delicious 'Mexican Screwdrivier' which had vodka, fresh orange juice, Cointreau, and a splash of fresh pomegranate juice! Perfect for sipping by the pool! All of these delicious dishes, which I encourage you to try making yourself, can be found under the Food & Drink section of my blog!
On top of all the great food there are some hidden gems that I also want to share with you including this fabulous hidden beach that is so picturesque and great for boogyboarding. Off the highway, down a dirt road and hidden behind an oasis of palm trees there lies a hidden, remote beach called Los Palmas. Its a little tricky to get to so ask a local for directions just to be safe. When my friends and I went to this beach for the afternoon there were wild horses grazing along the oasis of palm trees. I do not recommend getting to close as they are wild but please enjoy them from a distance. The beach seemed practically deserted and is a great place to have a romantic picnic or bask in the cool ocean water and hot sun!
Above: Photos from Los Palmas beach just outside Todos Santos, Mexico.
Before I end this adventure I also have to tell you briefly about three more things! The first is called Tacos El Poblano which was my favorite little Tacoria with the best Carne (pork and/or beef) Tacos I have ever had, not to mention they were so cheap! It doesn't look like much of a spot from the outside but it is well known and loved by the locals. We ordered 40 tacos for our group when we went there and kept having to go back for more!
The second thing, I am not sure how you will even find because we literally saw him on the side of the road selling his tamales out of a cart! We stopped and bough a dozen and was never able to find/saw him again. The tamales however were SO DELICIOUS! I also think they were less then $1 a piece which is ridiculous! If you happen to see someone with a cart selling tamales I urge you to stop and try one!
The third place was a small Italian Pizzeria/Cafe called Caffe Todos Santos. I didn't have a chance to actually eat there but the back patio looked very quaint and they had a outdoor pizza oven. I stumbled upon this place while looking for pizza dough and was directed to this cafe by a local artist. I also bought some of their jams while I was there (I thorough enjoyed their fig jam) along with some fresh bread and of course the pizza dough. I took a look at their menu which appeared to have both Italian and Mexican dishes and although their prices may of been high for the area I would say they were traditional American standard pricing ($15-$22 for a main)
and so now I must go but before I do I will leave you with this....
On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
- Hotel California, The Eagles