Some come to surf the nearby breaks – widely regarded as among the country’s best – or find out where to swim with sea lions. Others come to wander the cobblestone streets lined with tiny artisan shops and refurbished haciendas in the old part of town. Still, of all the things to do in Todos Santos, some just come to learn of its enchanting culture and history.
The area is so enchanting, in fact, that in 2006, the Mexican government designated Todos Santos a Pueblo Mágico — one of just 100 or so small towns honored for its natural beauty, cultural riches, or historical relevance.
However, Todos Santos’ newfound prosperity does not reflect its often complex past. Founded in 1723, but nearly destroyed by the Pericú rebellion in 1734, Misión Santa Rosa de Todos los Santos limped along until its abandonment in 1840.
However, when the late 19th century rolled around Todos Santos began to thrive as the Baja sugarcane capital, supporting eight sugar mills at the turn of the century. Only one existed by the time the town’s freshwater spring dried up in 1950 and the last mill closed in 1965.
The crumbling, photo-worthy brick structures still remain in several parts of town.
However, the pueblo was essentially re-discovered when the Mexican Government paved Highway 19 in the mid-1980s. The highway brought tourists, and the rich farmlands have subsequently been revived. The town began to prosper from farming vegetables, avocados, papayas and mangoes; as well as fishing and ranching.
And today, adventure tours run the gamut. Between all the Sea of Cortez kayaking junkies, snorkeling and diving aficionados, the slew of hiking tours on offer, and astonishing views to boot, Todos Santos cannot be missed.