Best Secret Beaches on Earth

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Jay Graham / Courtesy of Rancho Pescadero

These beach hideaways are understated, unexpected, and—at least for now—under the radar.

Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

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The artist colony of Todos Santos is way cooler in both temperature and temperament than the Margaritaville of Cabo San Lucas, an hour to the south. Pacific breezes stir up rough and tumbling waves that have made this kicked-back community a surfer’s haven. (Swimmers should venture out only on calm days.) Like San Miguel Allende, Todos Santos has attracted creative expats and is filled with galleries and lively cafés. Guests at Rancho Pescadero (from $210) get complimentary use of surfboards, boogie boards, and bicycles, while a stay at Guaycura Boutique Hotel and Spa (877-448-2928; doubles from $125) comes with classic beach getaway amenities like a rooftop pool and bar. But the funky hippie spirit of the town may be best expressed at the 11-room Hotel California, which, having opened in 1948, has nothing to do with the Eagles’ song (doubles from $105). It hosted the first-ever Todos Santos Music Festival in January 2012.

David A. Keeps

Best Secret Beaches on Earth

Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

The artist colony of Todos Santos is way cooler in both temperature and temperament than the Margaritaville of Cabo San Lucas, an hour to the south. Pacific breezes stir up rough and tumbling waves that have made this kicked-back community a surfer’s haven. (Swimmers should venture out only on calm days.) Like San Miguel Allende, Todos Santos has attracted creative expats and is filled with galleries and lively cafés. Guests at Rancho Pescadero (from $210) get complimentary use of surfboards, boogie boards, and bicycles, while a stay at Guaycura Boutique Hotel and Spa (877-448-2928; doubles from $125) comes with classic beach getaway amenities like a rooftop pool and bar. But the funky hippie spirit of the town may be best expressed at the 11-room Hotel California, which, having opened in 1948, has nothing to do with the Eagles’ song (doubles from $105). It hosted the first-ever Todos Santos Music Festival in January 2012.

David A. Keeps

Jay Graham / Courtesy of Rancho Pescadero
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