On the road to Todos Santos, the southern tip of Baja quickly morphs from the bustle of the resort towns of Los Cabos to the wilds that define the peninsula. You are flanked by the mind-blowing vastness of the Pacific Ocean on the left and the foreboding desertscape of the soaring, craggy Sierra de la Laguna mountain range to your right. For centuries, Todos Santos had secret status—from sacred indigenous lands to Jesuit mission to mecca of surf spots to hidden artistic enclave. That is no longer true.
Still, you can experience the magical realism of this centuries-old town—eating, drinking, interacting with quirky locals, and shopping your way through cobblestoned streets lined with side-by-side historic and architectural structures. A handful of not-to-miss galleries speaks to the burgeoning creativity that increasingly defines sunbaked Todos Santos.
As the main location of the new Art Baja California (debuting in March 2023) the region is finally garnering the attention it deserves as a creative hub. Long-established galleries—like Galeria Enrique Guerrero, Galeria de Todos Santos, and Galeria Militar—offer an introduction to a diversity of local talent and exhibitions featuring paintings, mixed media, ceramics, and conceptual art. By appointment, Proyecto Dracula cultural center stages popups and seasonal happenings at historic Castillo Dracula.
Well-curated boutiques featuring contemporary Mexican fashion designs suited for the beachy setting and artisan-crafted homewares hewn from the natural materials of the region define the retail landscape. In the historic core, Etnica is a journey to the handcrafts of Mexico via beautiful huipils, maguey-fiber handbags, and hand-embroidered textiles. El Taller Todos Santos on the square is the spot for luscious caftans, minimalist linen dresses, beautiful jewelry, and a small selection of traditional barro pottery. Pop into eccentric Mixtica for one-of-a-kind pieces and vintage treasures. As you swoop to the Otro Lado, stop by Pronto Muy Pronto for gorgeous fashions (with a bohemian touch), ceramics, furniture, and homewares. Pack light but bring a big suitcase on your way to Todos Santos. You will leave with both your luggage and your heart full.
Minimalism becomes the new, eight-room, architectural award winner Casa Santos designed by Mexico City–based architects Héctor Coss, Maria Gomez, and Giovanni Ocampo in an earthy palette of sand, terracotta, and cool gray concrete.
Nearby, the 35-suite Paradero Hotel from architects Yashar Yektajo and Rubén Valdez features an alfresco farm- and sea-to-table restaurant, as well as a dreamy pool to complement the expanse of ancient desert.
For an authentic sense of place, tuck into the seven-room, El Perdido Desert Dream in El Pescadero with a minimalist chapel, subterranean spa, viewing tower, and immersive menus.