Where We Be
|Todos Santos -- Baja Peninsula, Mexico
Todos Santos is an artsy coastal town on the
Pacific side of the Baja peninsula about an hour
north of Cabo San Lucas. Just south of town is a
little beach community known as Los Cerritos
where we did some terrific bodyboarding, and
just north of town is a turtle sanctuary called
Tortugueros Las Playitas where, on many
evenings from mid-November to April, you can
watch hatchlings being released at sunset.
Volunteers at the sanctuary search for turtle
nests on the beach each morning and store the
ones they find in a greenhouse on the beach
until they hatch. Hatchlings are then released at
sunset when their chances for survival are
best, since preying sea birds have gone to
roost. We watched as a volunteer released the
hatchlings in front of us and they slowly made
their way towards the ocean. When the first
waves hit them they got tumbled around a bit
but always righted themselves and continued
their march to the sea undaunted. It's free to
watch this little miracle of nature play out in
front of you, though donations are appreciated.
|The turtle nests are stored in this greenhouse until
they hatch. If you see this sign, you're in the right place.
|This is the lovely stretch of Pacific beach north of Todos Santos
where the turtle nests are found and the hatchlings released
|We arrived early and watched surfers catching the waves
|The volunteer arrived half an hour before sunset and set this
plastic bowl down in front of us filled with hatchlings -- 64 to be exact
|The hatchlings were covered with sand and climbing all over each
other in their eagerness to get out of the bowl and into the ocean
|So cute! These are Ridley turtles, most
of which hatched earlier the same day.
|Releases happen most days from mid-November through February, but
in March and April it's more sporadic. We were lucky to see a release.
|Sunset! The hatchlings begin their commando crawl to the ocean.
The ocean seems to call to them -- they know it's their home.
|We stood behind a line drawn in the sand by the volunteer and watched the hatchlings' progress.
They got tumbled around by the ocean waves but always righted themselves and pressed on.
|Some were slower than others but they all made it eventually.
What an adventurous first day of life for these new hatchlings!
|As with most Baja towns, the mission
anchors one end of the square
|We paid a quick visit to the central square in Todos Santos.
All around the square are fine art galleries to explore.
|Another great option for Asian food is Rumi Garden in
Todos Santos, where we reveled in pad thai and spring rolls
|A good budget option is Marina's, a
Mexican restaurant in nearby Pescadero
|When we weren't watching hatchlings, we were at Los Cerritos
beach having a terrific time bodyboarding on the waves
|Los Cerritos is a popular surfing beach and is
sometimes called the best beach in Baja Sur
|We made a day of it, borrowing a beach umbrella, two chairs, and two bodyboards
for free from our lodge, Olas Los Cerritos, located just two minutes' walk away
|Hacienda Cerritos offers rooms overlooking the beach
for $350 per night. We enjoyed looking at it, anyway!
|Olas Los Cerritos is more to our taste and budget at $55 per night (on a promotion). It has
a nice pool, fast wifi, free continental breakfast, and lots of free beach gear you can use.
|Olas Los Cerritos from a distance. There's a sort of frontier feel to Los Cerritos: it's
developing quickly but is located along a dirt road and is still rough around the edges.
|We liked our sausage pizza and mint lemonade at Free Souls Restaurant in Los Cerritos but thought it was
pricy at $30. Then again, they offer an elegant rooftop deck with a heated infinity pool for their customers.
|A silhouetted chair displays the words Pacifico
Light, one of the most popular beers in Baja
|From Olas Los Cerritos we fell asleep to
the sound of Pacific waves crashing ashore