part 2 of our trip to Todos Santos, part one starts HERE
On our first morning in Todos Santos we woke up to fog blanketing the beaches to the West. Clearly it would burn off later that afternoon, but the fog gave us an extra excuse to slow down and enjoy our morning at the Rancho. We cooked up a wonderful breakfast of eggs and sausage with avocados and fresh fruit. We ate at our outdoor table by the pool, the reality of vacation setting in.
We decided to check out town and pick up tortillas and some fish for dinner, then head out to the beach. We drove into town and parked our car, then took on discovering Todos Santos by foot. It did not take too long to find everything we were looking for: views of the iconic church and town square, an ATM, the fish market, local produce stands. It was great. We were not really that interested in souvenirs, so past by most of those places in favor of groceries and getting to the beach.
After selecting some fresh snapper for dinner, and picking up fresh flour tortillas, we dropped them at the Rancho and headed to the closest swimming beach: Las Palmas.
Now it is a good thing we asked about the beaches because there are two things you should know before heading to Todos Santos.
A) Many beaches have very dangerous surf and are stunning, but not swimmable (this was true of the beach that we could walk to from Casa Rancho)
B) All beaches require driving on a sand/dirt/rocky/washed out and unmarked roads
Yep. It was a good thing we got directions! We were speeding down highway 19 when we suddenly saw our “exit” at km post 57: a dirt road taking off through the desert. Yep, we missed it. Of course on highway 19 there are very few exits (or rules it seemed), so we drove another km or so, flipped a U turn into the other lane, drove back, flipped another U turn, and this time made our exit. The road was pretty bad, but my off-road driving confidence was growing…even if concern for the rental car was also growing as we bottomed out a few times and made it through a few hairy ruts. Eventually we made it to what appeared to be the parking lot, and we grabbed our beach stuff and headed through a grove of palm trees towards the sound of crashing waves.
Las Palmas was beautiful; exactly what you would picture of a deserted Baja beach. White sand, clear blue crashing waves, arid desert cliffs and an oasis-like grove of palm trees. We went straight for the middle and set up camp. There were fewer than 10 other people on the beach all day, with plenty of space to feel like it was all ours. We baked in the sun, swam, and ate a mango and avocado washed down with cold beers for lunch. Great day.
After navigating our way back through the washed out road, we stopped for ice cream in town then went home to get cleaned up and grill some fish. Fresh snapper tacos really hit the spot. As we ate dinner and played Carcassonne after sunset we planned our next day: surfing!