Local handicrafts, artfully tiled walls and baby turtles delight visitors.
When we arrive in Todos Santos, known for its artisan culture, my friend Michael and I make a mad dash for fish tacos. We settle in at El Santo Chilote, where we order coconut shrimp, tuna and avocado tacos, and massive goblets of horchata, a sweet, refreshing drink made of rice, almonds and cinnamon.
Just an hour in, we can tell that this Mexican town on the Pacific coast of Baja California Sur suits us. About an hour’s drive north of Cabo San Lucas along Highway 19, Todos Santos is home to some 6,500 people. As we walk back to Guaycura, our historic boutique hotel, we stop frequently to admire the beauty around us.
Attention to detail is evident everywhere. Banners of colorful, intricate pierced paper decorations — papel picado — stream from the roof of our hotel to a building across the street. At an open-air art market in the center of town, I admire colorful, hand-woven bracelets and tote bags. Across the street is a wall of painted tiles featuring floral and geometric patterns in a wide array of colors. Outside a row of shops, the sidewalk is studded with iridescent mother-of-pearl, another artistic detail.
Founded in 1723 by Jesuits, Todos Santos once was known as a major producer of sugarcane, with eight processing mills. Today, the surrounding farmland produces vegetables and fruits. An air of calm seems to emanate through the narrow cobblestone streets, many of them framed by old stone buildings. It feels as though it’s illegal to be stressed here, a vibe we adore immediately.