Near the southern tip of Baja California, the small Mexican town of Todos Santos is a haven for surfing, fresh seafood and gorgeous scenery along the Pacific Ocean. Missionaries settled the village in 1724, and tourists settle into town today for spa relaxation, whale watching, arts and crafts shopping and more. Todos Santos is also an oasis from the cartel violence that has plagued much of Mexico and prompted travel warnings from the U.S. government.

Travel Warning Exemption

With 113 U.S. citizens murdered in Mexico in 2011, the U.S. Department of State has extensively warned American travelers heading south of the border to be aware of the upheaval caused by the battle between organized crime and government forces. Drug-trafficking gangs have been responsible for the slaying of U.S. citizens; gun battles that indiscriminately catch foreigners in the crossfire; kidnappings and carjackings of anyone who appears to have wealth; and highway robbery. In 2012, the southern portion of the Baja Peninsula rejoiced when the state department broke this blanket warning down by individual states and deemed this region to be free of any travel warnings. The advisory confirmed as of April 2013 that Todos Santos, along with its northern neighbor La Paz, and Cabo San Lucas to the south, is among the safest places in Mexico.

Getting There

Driving to the Baja Peninsula may not be the safest route of travel based on the state department's travel warning. Americans may be tempted to cross the border in California or Arizona and drive the length of this beautiful peninsula to soak up the sea and coastal mountains. But north Baja, including Tijuana and Mexicali, is designated as a risky area for U.S. citizens, and the roads are especially dangerous at night. The safest way to get to Todos Santos is to fly into Manuel Márquez de León International Airport in La Paz, or the Los Cabos International Airport in San Jose del Cabo.


It's a credit to Todos Santos that when there is a rash of burglaries or petty crimes the locals take notice and demand better police response and crime prevention efforts from the local government. The Mexican government wants to protect regions that bring in lucrative tourist dollars, so you can expect they will try to keep any crime spikes at bay. Nevertheless, be proactive and take basic crime prevention measures similar to those you would take in any U.S. city. Be cautious about leaving valuables in a hotel room or car and be extra careful and aware when out at night. Do not bring a gun for personal safety as importing a firearm into Mexico could land you in prison.

Natural Hazards

June to November is hurricane season when Pacific storms can develop and come onshore. Year-round you should heed all local warnings and sign postings about water conditions. The state department reports that rogue waves in the more hazardous areas of Baja have washed out to sea people simply taking a stroll along the beach; sharks can also pose a hazard to swimmers on the Pacific Coast. Baja California is a seismically active region, and visitors may experience earthquakes of varying magnitude here.