Rather than drive our RVs further south, we decide to stay parked in La Paz and do 3 separate day trips to the sights we want to see—Land’s End at Cabo San Lucas, snorkeling at Cabo Pulmo National Park, and exploring Todos Santos and Playa Los Cerritos on the Pacific side of the cape.
First up is the day trip to Todos Santos (which translates to “All Saints”). The town promotes itself as an upscale artist and culinary tourist destination and is described in many tour books as an upcoming “Santa Fe of Baja.”
The biggest building in town also happens to be the most well-known, the Hotel California (and yes, they indeed play the Eagles’ “Hotel California” album seemingly non-stop throughout the hotel lobby and bar).
Hoards of unsuspecting cruise ship tourists come up here for day trips from Cabo San Lucas to check it out, but here’s the joke..it’s not THE Hotel California…rather, just a bit of masterful marketing more than anything. But, still, it’s a pleasant looking boutique hotel if you’ve got some spare cash to spend.
In our 1,000-mile journey down the Baja peninsula, Todos Santos is the first town that has had more foreign tourists-per-capita than locals. Most of the shops along the main street are tourist-focused with lots of overpriced pots, blankets, jewelry, shoes, and boots (and most are priced in US dollars rather than pesos). After an hour or so, Hans, Ursula and I are ready to leave “Todos Turistas” and hunt out a nice beach along the Pacific.
Playa Los Cerritos used to be a favorite for RV boondockers coming to Baja who liked to surf. But a few years ago, a big developer bought up most of the land and built a very odd-looking resort on the point of the beach…
with these corny-looking cabana rooms along the beach.
Most of the beach is now fenced off with only one small parking lot and access point for non-resort visitors. So, sadly, no longer a place to RV boondock, but still a nice day trip destination to walk, swim, and surf.
But if you come to Playa Los Cerritos, be sure to bring your own food, water, and facilities. Otherwise, prepare to seriously be price-gouged!
We arrived around lunch time thinking we might find a taco truck or something along the beach. Nope. Not allowed here. So, we decide to try the resort’s bar and grill on the beach instead. It’s nothing very fancy-looking—just a grass hut with a bar, and some tables and chairs with beach umbrellas.
We find many unoccupied tables, so we sit down at one. A waiter soon appears saying that table is reserved and he wants us to move to a table missing an umbrella with less comfortable chairs. We argue a bit and finally get a third table with slightly more shade. Jeez!
Then we open the menus (all in English with prices in US dollars only), and almost simultaneously fall off our hard-won chairs…. the price for a simple taco lunch at this place, excluding drinks? Just $18.00 US dollars!!! Are they out of their insanely greedy little minds???!!!
We may be starving and thirsty, but we’re not stupid! So, with one quick look at each other, we’re up and “outta there” headed to drive back to Todos Santos.
As I drive, Hans searches TripAdvisor and finds Miguel’s—a simple restaurant under a palapa with great reviews. Perfect! No $18.00 tacos here—just a delicious lunch, at a fair price, with great service.
While we finish our drinks, a guy comes in with a large fish he’s just caught. Miguel gladly offers to cook it for the guy (and Hans captures their exuberant bargain perfectly!).
So, while Todos Turistas and Los Cerritos have not quite turned out to be our cup of tea, we at least end the day on a more authentic and spontaneous high note. There are, indeed, some small pockets of “real Baja spirit” still left in this town if you’re lucky enough to find them!