Los Cabos to Todos Santos to La Paz, Baja California, Mexico

The arch at Land's End
The arch at Finisterra (Land’s End) in Cabo San Lucas

In March, our Travel Club went to Baja (If you don’t remember from my post on Dominican Republic, TC consists of my husband and I and three of our friends.  The five of us have done a bit of traveling together and always have so much fun – and we might be bound by this little “time share” thing we all signed up for in Mexico five years ago…).

This year, we stayed at a resort for a week, then rented a car for 4 days to explore more of south Baja. (Here’s a tip if you stay at an all-inclusive: You will likely be asked to endure a time share sales pitch.  If you do it (do you really have a choice?), ask for stuff before you agree – extra perks at the resort, an excursion for free.  Go crazy, they’ll likely meet you halfway.  This year we scored a sweet boat ride to the arch in Cabo San Lucas.  It also included whale watching, snorkeling, lunch and transportation to and from the resort.  A previous year we got a rental car for free for a day and we were able to drive to some smaller Mayan ruins and cenotes.  It’s worth it for the 90 minutes of suffering.)

Whale sightings were abundant!
Whale sightings are abundant in the winter months!
On the beach in San Jose
On the beach in San Jose

Our resort was on the beach in San Jose del Cabo.  Lucky for us, it was only a mile walk to the historic downtown.  We were struck by the mellow vibe and the cleanliness too.  If you’re near San Jose on a Thursday evening, go into town for the Art Walk, it’s quite lively and fun. The art galleries are all open, offering up wine and a chance to meet the artists themselves.

In the historic art district of San Jose
In the historic art district of San Jose

Our time at the resort went fast, our days quickly became structured: Breakfast, beach, pool, beach, pool, dinner.  Not a bad way to unwind.  Not bad at all.  But by the end of the week, we were ready for a change.

Art and Beer.
Art and Beer.

We picked up the rental car and headed towards Todos Santos.  We stopped along the way to check out Art and Beer.  I liked this place, a lot. For a small fee/one drink minimum, the couple who run this bar and restaurant welcome you to their open air boardwalk that winds through a desert landscape dotted with eclectic art.  I had one of their famous margaritas, and it was damn good.  We took our drinks to a quiet spot in the sun and the wife surprised us with a plate of chocolate clams.

My friend Tim and I drinking margaritas.
Tim and I drinking margaritas at Art and Beer
Enjoying an afternoon at Art and Beer.
Enjoying an afternoon at Art and Beer.

Todos Santos (All Saints) is about 45 miles north of Cabo San Lucas on the Pacific side.  This post should really be called I Left My Heart in Todos Santos, because I fell in love with the place instantly.  I think we all did.  This town is so charming with it’s historic brick buildings and dirt roads leading to beautiful beaches.  We spent the evening strolling the streets and checking out a few of the bars with live music.

Church in Todos Santos
Church in Todos Santos
Rooftop bar in Todos Santos
Rooftop bar in Todos Santos
Looking towards Playa La Cachora.
Looking towards Playa La Cachora, Todos Santos.

The next morning, after a walk on the beach, we decided to drive to La Paz, across the peninsula on the Sea of Cortez.  It took us awhile to find an inexpensive place to stay that was near the water and the action on the promenade.  We did well with the Seven Crown Hotel, the room was sparse and modern, but the location was perfect (and the rooftop deck was awesome!)

KDickinson - La Paz
Overlooking the promenade in La Paz… From our rooftop deck!

The following day, we drove out to Playa Balandra, the second to last in a string of beaches outside of La Paz.  I love this beach because you can wade out in knee deep water for what seems like forever.

Playa Balandra, La Paz
Playa Balandra, La Paz
Playa Balandra, La Paz
Playa Balandra, La Paz

After two nights in La Paz, after a unanimous vote, we headed back to Todos Santos for our last night in Baja.  We found Posada del Molino, a great place to stay in town. We also participated in a turtle release with Tortugueros Las Playitas in Las Tunas, one town over.  We spent the evening learning about sea turtles, why they need rescuing and how the process works.  We were each given one tiny turtle to release into the ocean and we stayed until every last one was in the water.

An Olive Ridley sea turtle.
An Olive Ridley sea turtle.
Releasing Olive Ridley sea turtles
Releasing Olive Ridley sea turtles

The next morning we lingered over coffee, watching the American expat next to us working away on his laptop and greeting every person who passed by name.  I know we were all imagining, just for a second, what our lives would be like if we could live here too.  But that fantasy didn’t last long, soon we were in the car on our way to the airport in San Jose.  (Then the gas light came on at some point before Cabo San Lucas and we drove a good 30 miles, the boys refusing to stop.  We made it, and they were very proud of themselves.)

Brian and Matt holding their sea turtles.
Brian and Matt holding Olive Ridley sea turtles.

Todos Santos, we’ll definitely be back!

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