August 12, 2015
So you’ve finally decided to get down here to Todos Santos. You’ve made a smart decision. Fortunately for you it’s easier than ever to pop in for a weekend or a week and take in all the area has to offer. You can catch a nonstop flight to Cabo or La Paz, and it’s a short drive on modern roads to reach town.
You can rent a car and make the drive yourself (it’s about an hour from La Paz and an hour and a half from the Cabo airport), take a cab, or arrange for a driver. Let us know if you’d like us to arrange transportation for you.
Most people want some local currency immediately, but we don’t recommend changing your money at the airport—the exchange rate is usually terrible. You’re better off using your bank card at an ATM to get pesos from your US account (ATMs have an option for English). If you go into a bank to exchange money, be sure to have a photocopy of your passport with you. There are two ATMs in Todos Santos—one at the Banorte and one at Bancomer. The exchange rate typically hovers around 15:1.
Be prepared to think in pesos, and be sure to let your bank and credit card company know you’ll be using your cards while traveling. You’re wise to exchange at least some money to have on hand because many of the small shops and restaurants in Todos Santos and Pescadero don’t accept credit cards.
Tipping can be a range, from leaving your change at a taco stand to US standard percentages when fine dining. And by the way, it’s considered rude for the waiter to bring out the bill at a restaurant before it’s been requested, so be sure to ask for your bill when you want it. Say “La cuenta, por favor” (lah KWENtah, por fah-VORE), or you can use the international symbol—where you pretend to be writing something on your palm.
If your wireless provider is AT&T, you’re in luck; your service should be fine in most areas. Verizon is next best but can be a little hit and miss. With any other company you’re probably not going to have service you can count on—your phone may work in Cabo, but not in Todos Santos. Try calling your provider beforehand and ask about a Mexico plan. We strongly recommend downloading a Wi-Fi-based messenger service like WhatsApp or Viber. Skype can be spotty with the fragile Baja Internet.
Todos Santos travel is easy and you can pack light pretty much year round. Here on the Pacific, the ocean helps keep us around ten degrees cooler than La Paz and much of Cabo San Lucas. Days are generally perfect—70 to 80 degrees and sunny with no humidity. Sunglasses are a must. A hat is nice. Flip-flops are the footwear of choice. The day-to-night temperature swing can be 30 degrees, with night temps occasionally even dipping into the 40s—this is the desert, after all. Bring layers and prepare for perfect sleeping weather. Baja Sur winters mimic mountain summers.
If you’re surfing, you probably just need a rash guard and board shorts much of the year; maybe a springsuit heading into winter. And talk to Mario at the local surf school for information on breaks and shipping boards.
If you have a little extra room in your suitcase, you can always bring donations for the local orphanage, Hogar del Niño. The kids are ages 4 to 16 and they can always use clothing, sneakers, and school and art supplies. We’re also helping to support the children’s library; they are always in need of children’s books!
Eat and Drink
The food and water is generally safe during Todos Santos travel here on the peninsula, but the best travel-food advice we can give you is to keep your own hands clean. Most hotels and restaurants serve filtered water and ice, but you can ask, just to be sure. We’ve vetted our favorite restaurants for food safety standards, but the lure of a street taco is a siren song we understand. Look for places that are busy and have refrigeration—and go easy on the spices. You can always follow your meal with a slug of tequila for the antiseptic properties.
Relax and Enjoy
A trip to Todos Santos should be easy, relaxing and carefree—why else would you come here? If there’s anything at all we can do to make that happen, just Let us know.