Cabo, La Paz, and Todos Santos with a Toddler: A Baja Sur Road Trip

We adore Mexico and Todos Santos was one of those places that intrigued me the minute I heard of it. A west coast, low key version of Tulum? Sign me up!

We were invited to our friends’ destination wedding there and were thrilled to attend. We always joke not to invite us to a destination wedding unless you really want us to attend because we will 100% show up!

To get to Todos Santos, you fly into Cabo. Our friend works at Hilton and we get a discount so we decided to tack a few days on the front end for a mini Cabo resort vacay! And once looking at the map I noticed we weren’t far from La Paz which I had always wanted to visit as well. Thus a Baja Sur road trip was born!

One Week Baja Sur Road Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cabo

We arrived in Cabo and checked into our super nice resort! I didn’t realize until we arrived how Cabo was laid out. We were staying closer to San Jose del Cabo than Cabo San Lucas. These two areas are 30 minutes apart. We hit the resort pool and ate at the hotel restaurant. Rookie move in Mexico. With so many great food options nearby we instantly regretted our lazy decision, but we had a sleepy toddler and I was pregnant with Hobie so we decided to take it chill on night one.

Day 2: Explore Cabo

Learning from our mistake the night before we left the hotel for trendy chilaquiles brunch at La Carreta in the nearby food hall, El Merkado. We spent the day at the pool discussing how we are not “lay around the resort” people but more adventure travelers!

That evening we headed into Cabo San Lucas for dinner. I was expecting a much nicer vibe. Instead it was very similar to Cancun with Senor Frogs, tacky restaurants, and pharmacies hawking prescription meds to be used recreationally. We found a nice Mexican restaurant, Los Tres Gallos, tucked amidst the chaos.

I initially wanted to do the arch boat tour in Cabo, but I didn’t want to splurge on a private boat and the thought of being packed like sardines wearing orange life vests sounded miz. Maybe next time!

Day 3: Drive to La Paz

Flora Farms

On our way to La Paz we stopped by Flora Farms. My foodie friend Alexis recommended it and she was spot on. This place is awesome and cannot be missed. It is a farm to table restaurant and we had an awesome brunch!

The property is beautiful. Marin was bummed we didn’t see any farm animals at the farm to table restaurant, but the gardens are lovely. There are also some shops and residences there, it’s a whole concept. It did however feel more like Southern California than Mexico.

San Jose del Cabo

On our way out of Cabo driving to La Paz we drove through downtown San Jose del Cabo. It is so charming. Definitely prefer this area to Cabo San Lucas.

Balandra Beach

The drive to La Paz takes about 2 hours and we headed straight for Balandra Beach. The drive in is beautiful with the cactus lined highways and turquoise seas. The water in Balandra Bay is so clear and shallow. It is a stunning place to swim! There were mixed reviews about opening hours. We were able to get in the afternoon no problem and had a couple hours before they closed at 4.

Don’t miss nearby Playa el Tesoro. The water is equally pretty and it has a great laid back vibe. Marin especially loved the guacamole.

We checked into our cute hotel and strolled the malecon of La Paz. The city was bigger than I had imagined and there were a lot of people jogging, biking, and soaking up the sunshine! We were going to eat dinner by the water but didn’t feel like Marin could make it through a sit down dinner so we opted for street tacos (almost always a good call in Mexico!) and had some delicious jamaica tea and birria.

Day 4: Drive to Todos Santos 

Playa Tecolote vs. Playa Tepetates

Funny story: There are many tours that operate for day trips to Isla Espiritu Santo, but we didn’t want to be with a group since we had Marin with us (one year olds can have unpredictable mood swings!), and we didn’t want to be gone all day because we had to drive to Todos Santos in the evening. I talked to our hotel receptionist and she said we could go down to the boat docks ourselves since we speak Spanish and haggle for a private boat for a few hours. Perfect! I did a little research while laying in bed the night before and told Grant where to drive to. We were in a tiny sedan rental car and the road started to get rough. I assured Grant this was the right way because I read reviews that the road is bad.

Then we met the troll. This man and his crazy dogs peeked out of a trailer in the middle of nowhere and made us pay him a few pesos to pass. Seemed weird but onward we went. We knew we were heading toward the water so we figured the boats had to be close and then… we got stuck! The sandy rocky road was definitely intended for 4×4 vehicles. We were stranded in the Mexican desert with no food, little water, and a toddler! Did I mention I was 5 months pregnant? It was as horrible as it sounds.

We saw some camper vans not too far away so we walked over to ask for help. The guys were super cool and from Laguna Beach. They helped us push the car out and we miraculously got unstuck! I couldn’t believe our hotel receptionist had recommended this route. And that’s when I looked at my map. We were supposed to go to Playa Tecolote not Playa Tepetates! I had read about camping on Playa Tepetates the night before and that’s why everything seemed on brand with what I had read…it’s just not where we were supposed to go! Oops, pregnancy brain!

Isla Espiritu Santo

We finally arrived at the correct beach (Playa Tecolote) and the road was super easy to drive on and there were tons of boats and restaurants! I’m a great haggler (Grant even called me a “berber woman” in the medinas of Morocco!) but these guys weren’t budging much. We finally managed to get a 3 hour tour with Teco Rafa for around $100. It was totally worth it.

We cruised around the island, relaxed on a private beach and even saw whales! We skipped on snorkeling with sea lions since we had Marin with us. It was on the other side of the island and we had fortunately done this many times before in La Jolla and the Galapagos.

Todos Santos

We arrived in Todos Santos and met up with my sister! (She was going to watch Marin while we were at the wedding events). We checked into our super cute boutique hotel, La Bohemia, and explored the streets of Todos Santos. First stop: to die for chile rellenos from Miguels. Todos Santos wasn’t as Tulum-y as I had hoped. It had a bohemian feel, but was very underdeveloped in terms of tourism. It seemed like your standard Mexican pueblo.

Day 5: Todos Santos

We went shopping in town and checked out Playa Los Cerritos. Grant considered surfing (my sister and I didn’t want to because she was pregnant too!) but changed his mind because the water was Pacific cold. This beach had a potentially good vibe but the weather was a little overcast and cold when we visited. We had a wedding pre-party that night so we didn’t do much else! On the way home from the party we had amazing street food. I don’t recall exactly what but baby Hobie was doing a happy dance inside my belly!

Day 6: Todos Santos

We set off to explore another beach, Playa San Pedro Las Palma. (Don’t forget to grab a delicious coffee and baked good from Taller 17 togo before you head out of Todos Santos!) I had read that it was a secluded palm tree beach and it was. It’s tricky to get to (turn near mile marker 57) and we did have to trespass a bit (gates are meant to be opened right?) but we made it! It was rugged, natural beauty and definitely a cool spot. Once back in town we had life changing quesadillas from a super local and casual spot, Quesadillas Muñe, washed down with Topo Chico of course.

That evening was the actual wedding on the beach (congrats Tyler and Molly!) and the reception was underneath disco ball lit palm trees at Dūm Todos Santos. So magical!

Day 7: Drive back to Cabo

We dropped my sister and Grant’s brother at the airport and headed back to Cabo. We had one more night before flying back home. (And by home I mean straight into another vacation in Belize!) We didn’t splurge on the Hilton this time but instead stayed at a basic hotel in Cabo San Lucas. (I wish I would have booked a place in San Jose del Cabo instead!)

However CSL was growing on me the second time around, in large part due to the amazing tacos we had. We started with lunch downtown at famed hole in the wall, Tacos Guss. So freaking good. Then we hit the public beach near The Office, and ended with more tacos at La Lupita (such a fun trendy vibe!). Marin really learned to love tacos this trip and his picky toddler palate became quite interested in some Mexican flavors!

Baja Sur is awesome. From stunningly beautiful beaches and bohemian towns to street food and taquerias, you can’t go wrong with Mexico.

Tacos all day,


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