Monday, July 27, 2009

Todos Santos

I admit that I'm a sucker for the "Pueblo Mágico" tourism program, a sort of domestic UNESCO World Heritage designation by the Mexican government. Local and state governments apply for the designation, and if the Tourism Secretary deems a pueblo to be of historical, cultural, or ecological worthiness (with other strings attached), then the pueblo goes up on a distinguished list. Definitely a tourist trap and money-making endeavor, but I'd like to think good people are behind this who truly believe in sharing and preservation. 

Last week, while in Cabo, Amy and I took a 1-hour bus ride up the Pacific coast to Todos Santos, one of the 35 Pueblos Mágicos. With the Pacific Ocean on the left and open land on the right, this could have been anywhere. Then, the pueblitos appear; first Los Cerritos, then Pescadero, and finally Todos Santos. I was very tempted to haul myself off the bus at Los Cerritos after catching a glimpse of the deserted surf beaches. Aahhh... for another time, I thought.

Todos Santos was unlike the other Pueblo Mágicos I've been to. It is sleepy beach town meets San Miguel de Allende. There are both surfers and expats walking the streets, seafood restaurants lining the highway, and art galleries along the main street, Calle Jaurez. Todos Santos is home to the Hotel California, and while Don Henley and the Eagles claim to affiliation with the hotel, I think they like to keep up the mystique. Apparently, a man named Antonio "El Chino" Wong Tobasco opened the Hotel California in 1950, and he was known to sell Chinese food in his restaurant. Chop suey, perhaps?

Calle Jaurez, where most of the art galleries are and the Hotel California

Jill Logan's gallery 

Exterior of the Hotel  California

Mango trees everywhere in Baja California Sur

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