Todos Santos is located on the Pacific Coast of Baja California Sur, and the name means the city of “All Saints”
Todos Santos is an eclectic little town situated on the Pacific Coast of The Baja Peninsula very close to the southern tip. Located about halfway from La Paz to Cabo San Lucas on Hwy 19, this delightful spot is another one of the earlier settlements in Baja and has a long and colorful history. Today Todos Santos hosts a thriving art community, cultural center, surfer’s paradise and is a beach lovers dream.
Jesuit missionaries founded Todos Santos in 1723, capitalizing on the region's only reliable water supply.
For over two hundred years, the town flourished as an agricultural center, which was centered around Sugar Cane production. At one point eight sugar mills were in full operation. The rich growers built colonial style buildings and homes, many of which are still standing. Unfortunately, Sugar Cane requires large amounts of water to grow and the aquifer supplying the town’s spring could not keep up with the large demand. In the 1950’s the water ran out. The spring on which the town had been founded more than 200 years earlier had ceased to flow.
At one time the majority of the La Paz mission was moved to Todos Santos when disease and water became an issue in La Paz.
In 1847 arm conflict ensued near Todos Santos between the US Army and Mexican volunteers and a handful of Mexican regulars in the Mexican -American War in Baja. The Mexicans were able to hold their ground and repel the Americans who retreated back to San Jose del Cabo.
Not only did the spring dry up, the town did as well. Only the heartiest of the old timers were left in the now nearly deserted town. Over time Mother Nature healed a bit, and finally in 1981 the aquifer feeding the town’s spring filled up enough so that once again the spring flowed.
The “re-birth” of the spring ushered in a new era for Todos Santos as well.
In 1984, the two lanes of Highway 19 were paved from La Paz to Cabo San Lucas. This created a major supply route running smack through the middle of Todos Santos. Artists soon arrived, led by painter Charles Stewart, a refugee from Taos, N.M. Surfers and hippies followed, and so did expats seeking an escape from the "L.A.-ization" of Los Cabos. Todos Santos got a reputation as an artist's colony and an "Old Mexico" outpost.
Today, the downtown has paved streets and a population of about 5,000. The main thoroughfares are lined with fine-art galleries and shops selling Mexican wares. Beyond that, dusty side streets have the Third World look of chickens roaming rubble-filled yards under laundry drying on the line. It’s a combination of the old and the new. Many come to visit the newly remodeled Hotel California, rumored to have been an influence of the Eagles song “Hotel California” and album of the same name. While most of those rumors have been shown to be false, the hotel is open with a bar, restaurant and accommodations.
Todos Santos sits beside the Pacific coast and straddles the Tropic of Cancer, one hour north of Cabo San Lucas and one hour southwest of La Paz. The Sierra de La Laguna Mountains, Pacific Ocean and the Baja desert all meet here. Some come to surf the many fine breaks that the area offers. Some come to view the amazing variety of original art in the local galleries, others to walk the nearly deserted beaches, not yet developed, no condos to be found, and yet some just come to absorb the gentle pace - the slow persistent calming pace of life.
Todos Santos is nestled amongst ancient orchards of mango and palm, with spectacular views overlooking its white sand beaches and the Pacific Ocean. The town itself is located on a mesa to the west of the Sierra de La Laguna mountain range. Blessed with what some call the most favorable climate in Baja Sur, Todos Santos is a haven for artists, craftsmen, surfers and travelers seeking adventure, natural beauty and a healthy lifestyle. It is here that rich history, centuries’ old traditions and warm hospitality blend with modern conveniences to make this a magical community. There is fine dining, unique resorts, excellent shopping and renowned art galleries, calls itself Baja's one and only “Pueblo Magíco”.