In a magical landscape where the desert meets the Pacific Ocean, the town of Todos Santos (‘All Saints’) has thus far escaped the rampant tourism of its sistering cape towns. With charming cobblestone streets lined with art galleries, boutique and artisanal shopping, romantic restaurants and dive bars, Todos Santos is perfectly removed — off the beaten path, but not too far. Outside of town, its long beaches, remote desert landscapes, and wild surf breaks mean there’s plenty to do in the region if you’re into active retreats – or simply unwind for a week at a beautiful hotel. We won’t judge.

To get here, visitors fly into San Jose del Cabo; from there, it’s about an hour and a half drive. If you plan on staying in one place for your trip, you can arrange a taxi from the airport — but we’d highly recommend renting a car instead. While it might sound intimidating, it’s far easier than arranging taxis everywhere — and it ends up being much cheaper too. With cell service and GPS, you’ll navigate Mexico at your own pace, and without a hitch. (That said, an important note: 4WD is necessary for access to any dirt roads, including those to our hotel pick. You really don’t want to get stuck on a dirt road in the desert.)

Read on for our guide to Todos Santos, with lodging, dining, and activity picks in this beautiful region of Mexico!

Where to Stay in Todos Santos: Hotel San Cristóbal

The pool with steps leading to the beach and ocean at Hotel San Cristóbal in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

“All good things are found at the end of a dirt road” says Hotel San Cristóbal, and we couldn’t agree more. Good vibes abound at this 32-room hotel, is one of the newest offerings from Bunkhouse Hotels (of El Cosmico, Hotel San Jose and many more) — a longtime Escape Brooklyn/Escape LA favorite.

Rooms and suites are situated around a central pool and lounge designed by architects Lake | Flato, all of which complement the beauty of the surrounding nature. The intimate property is also home to a restaurant and bar, as well as a library, a seaside mirador, and a small retail shop. Guests should begin the day by a walk on the beach, where you can watch local fishermen head out for the day, then head into town, rent a bike, or go on an excursion. Make your way back to the hotel for sunset, where bonfires happen on the beach during sunset on the regular.

Where the Desert Meets the Ocean: What to Do in Todos Santos

Looking down from a rocky cliff to Secret Beach in the Pacific Ocean near Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico.

As much as the Hotel San Cristóbal is a destination unto itself, part of the allure is the variety of things to do in the surrounding region. If you’re staying at Hotel San Cristobal, check out the menu of excursions they offer: from adventure (think ATV rentals, swimming with whale sharks, cooking classes and island excursions) to beach bumming (such as surf lessons and kayaking.) Free offerings from the hotel include yoga and mountain bike rental. If you’re using the bikes, grab a map and head up the neighboring mountain, which can get a bit steep but is totally rewarding. One trail leads to a secret beach – which is accessible for the daring souls that make the steep descent there. Even if you don’t make it to the beach, the views from a 15 minute trek up the mountain are incredible. Go early in the morning or closer to sunset to avoid overheating.

The drive from Hotel San Cristóbal into Todos Santos is less than 15 minutes, and we found ourselves doing the commute almost daily. The towns’ cobblestone streets are lined with boutique shops, art galleries, open-air markets and restaurants. As you might expect, local artisan shops have friendlier prices than the fancy ex-pat boutiques, our favorite which was the leather-sandal guy in the market. (There’s no record of this shop online, but you’ll know it when you see it. Pro tip: before you leave the states, get the shoe sizes for all your besties and bring home lots of colorful sandals! They’ll love you forever.) Spend at least one afternoon strolling around town to shop, and checking out local art and eats.

Last, surfing destination Playa Cerritos is just 15 minutes down the road from Hotel San Cristóbal. Great for beginners, this beach offers an easy paddle-out, where you can pretty easily catch a current and let it glide you back in. Along with surfboard rentals (and lessons), there’s a handful of restaurants in Cerritos, the best of which is Barracuda Cantina. You’ll love the laid-back vibe of this beachside cantina, where on most diners tables, you’ll spy cocktails and fish tacos.

Where to Eat & Drink in Todos Santos: Fish Tacos & al Fresco Farm-to-Table Fare

Outdoor dining table surrounded by lush vegetation at Rancho Pescadero Garden Restaurant in Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico.

As you explore Todos Santos and nearby communities, you’ll undoubtedly see fishermen driving their little boats along the coast, smell pungent basil in the night air, and watch truckloads of fruits, vegetables and herbs being hauled from nearby farms. The food in this region is fresh and authentic, whether you’re dining at a fancy farm-to-table restaurant or grabbing a roadside burrito.

We began each day at Benno, the restaurant at Hotel San Cristóbal, which is open from 7-11 a.m. each day for breakfast, and 5-10 p.m. for dinner. Lunch is available pool-side from the attentive waitstaff, or dine in the poolside bar. Though we found it hard to stray from the delicious fish tacos, every plate here is fresh and totally delicious. With such great food — plus the ease of not having to leave the hotel — we found ourselves eating here twice a day.

That said, if you can pull yourself away from the San Cristóbal, there’s quite a few amazing meals to be had while out-and-about, too. Our favorites include the aforementioned Barracuda Cantina for laid-back tacos and surf vibes; similar-but-different is El Compa Chava, a small shack serving the best ceviche ever, and amazing fish tacos. For dinners, stand-outs were Jazamango and Los Adobes. At Los Adobes de Todos Santos, whose back dining room overlooks a stunning desert garden. The food is good, but the atmosphere the garden creates is incredible; at the very least, a great spot for an afternoon margarita (or three.)

Last, our most memorable meal was at Jazamango, whose open-concept restaurant is just outside town and perched atop a hill. The restaurant overlooks some neighboring fields where much of the menus ingredients are grown; any supplementary ingredients are sourced hyper-locally, meaning lots of seafood, meat, and vegetables on an ever-changing menu. Make sure to tour the grounds before or after your meal! Additional restaurant and bar recommendations are available from the knowledgable concierge at Hotel San Cristóbal.