For those ready to escape the non-stop excitement of Cabo, consider a more relaxing pace less than an hour’s drive north of Cabo. You’ll find an artist’s colony in an authentic Mexican town. You’ll find laid back residential areas, and the best swimming and surfing beach on the south Pacific side of the peninsula.
Todos Santos is charming and authentic with a traditional central plaza, dozens of art galleries, and small hotels. Visit the Hotel California (no connection to the Eagle’s song, despite their best efforts to promote that with T shirts), browse shops full of handcrafted treasures, and enjoy some great Mexican cooking. What you won’t find are buildings taller than three floors, chain stores, or fast food joints. But there are many delightful and sophisticated restaurants.
Looking for off beat? Go to the mask museum, called Faces of Mexico. Tucked on a side road in Todos Santos, the proprietor provides an enthusiastic tour of authentic masks from the various eras of Mexican history.
Many visitors extend their Cabo vacation and get to know the real Mexico by staying a few days in either Todos Santos or the nearby beach areas. Cerritos Beach is part of El Pescadero, but where the town of Pescadero is old Mexico, Cerritos has that vibrant beach vibe. Cerritos and its neighboring beach, San Pedrito, are both world-class surf spots. There are a couple of ways to get to the beach, either the old dirt road at km 65, or the new dirt road at km 67. Either way, it’s a bump, but what the hell, you’re in a rental car.
Cerritos is perfect for swimming and sunning for a day or a week. Take a surfing lesson or rent a boogie board. There are several restaurants but the beach is not over run with them.
El Pescadero is a small town on the way to Todos Santos. It has a rich history of agriculture, ranching and fishing. The lush poblano chili fields are everywhere, as well as strawberry, tomato and basil fields. The town is between the ocean to the west and the Sierra Laguna mountain range to the east. A modern four lane highway runs right through the town connecting Cabo San Lucas to Todos Santos, then goes north to LaPaz.
Stop at one of the many taco stands along the highway, or buy veggies or fruit along the road. In the afternoon when the fishermen come in with the day’s catch you can buy fresh fish off the boat at Punta Lobos. For a small propina (tip) they’ll filet it for you, too.
Turn off the dirt road just before the Pemex in Pescadero, left toward the ocean, to discover Hierbabuena, a huge vegetable garden with an open-air restaurant smack in the middle of it. They serve fresh organics from the garden, and a nice selection of wines. Stop by the little bakery on the road in and buy a pan dulce, a Mexican version of a doughnut. Duck into some of the little local shops, but be aware, there is no English spoken here.
Off the main street in Pescadero is a tiny backyard restaurant called La Pasidita that has, I kid you not, the best burgers on the planet. Drive around the baseball stadium, and turn at the first dirt road on the left, past the first sleeping policeman, (speed bump).
La Pasidita is a locals place, though, and is only open after 6 p.m. Maybe 7 pm, sometimes a little later than that.
For a truly unique experience book a room at the Arriba de la Roca, (which means “top of the rock”) a high-end boutique hotel that specializes in personalized service and is perched on top of a cliff. You’ll experience 360 degree views not matched anywhere else in Baja.
Just 1 mile south from the Cerritos Beach Club is the Cerritos Beach Inn, 10 suites with full service bar and restaurant with ocean front dining.