Todo Santos is a charming town, small and not close to Cabo San Lucas but worth the trip. It takes about an hour and 15 minutes to get there from the ship. The ride shows the true geography of the area — arid desert that runs straight to the sea. It is mostly undeveloped or ranching land with some agriculture.
The guide was very engaging while giving us the history and economics of the peninsula. Baja California means lower California. The U.S. California was originally called Upper California but somewhere along the line the “upper” was dropped. The town itself is the site of The Hotel California of the band Eagles fame. We ended up there for lunch, which was a tasting of Mexican food and a beer. Pacifica beer is the state of Sinaloa’s largest brewery, the brewery residing in Mazatlan.
Before lunch we were shown the Cathedral, which is actually not very old and rather small for what we think of as a cathedral. Mission sand color on the outside, it is brightly painted inside and has lots of light. It really is lovely.
My favorite time was our free time to wander the town. It is an art town with many vendors of original wares, some very expensive and some nicely priced.
I bought a beautiful hand-hammered copper vase that is hand-painted with gold and flowers. It just jumped off the shelf at me. What was even more interesting was the bag the owner used. It is made from local newspapers and twine for a handle. She said she tries to be as green as possible. I think this is a wonderful idea. I am thinking of using the idea for document delivery. It would be fun to get newspapers from different countries and use them as packaging. Tell me what you think.
The streets of the commercial Todos Santos are colorful and dotted with gorgeous foliage. There are some delightful restaurants that are always a draw to me. But I had to get to the Hotel California for lunch with the group. I am showing you the most original and LARGEST bathroom signs I have ever seen. It took a minute to read them as I was heading there but I had to stop and laugh when I realized what I was seeing.
If you like seeing the countryside of places you visit and enjoy poking into galleries with original art and crafts, then do visit Todos Santos. I am sure you, too, will return with a treasure.
Joanne Gardner is Oosterdam’s future cruise consultant.