By David Bear, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The southwest coast of the Baja peninsula is essentially one long sandy beach interrupted occasionally by headlands. All of it is open to the public, but none of it is patrolled or staffed with lifeguards. Steep drop-offs, rip tides, undertow and sneaker waves make swimming dangerous, except on a few somewhat sheltered stretches. During our three-day visit in January, we found all of the beaches along the 12 miles near the town of Todos Santos. Directions are essential because access roads to all the beaches are unimproved and unmarked. Persistence and a sense of adventure are also handy.
North of Todos Santos
Playa Las Pocitas: Constant waves and undertow make it more suitable for walking or surfing than for swimming. Take the road Topete north through the palm valley (Callejon) and follow the dirt road. Playa la Pastora: Another long beach, best for advanced surfing. Also take Topete north of town until road turns to dirt, then follow it past signs for Agua Blanca campground.
South of Todos Santos
Playa Punta Lobos: A lovely beach also used by the local fishermen to launch their skiffs. Drive south of town to Highway Km. 54, then west on dirt road 1.5 miles. Playa las Palmas: One of the best beaches in southern Baja, it is just a quarter-mile long, very secluded and good for swimming. South of town to Km. 57, then dirt road 1.5 miles to ocean. Playa San Pedrito: A popular surfing beach also called El Pescadero after the fishing village nearby. In season, whales spout near the shore, and mangoes ripen twice a year. South of town to Km. 59, then dirt road 1.5 miles to the beach. Playa los Cerritos: This miles-long stretch of sand is the safest swimming beach near Todos Santos. Also most developed of the beaches, with a bar, a restaurant and showers. South to Km. 64 and 1.5 miles to beach.
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