Passport: If you haven’t already applied for a passport, you should do so immediately. Passport applications can take up to 4-6 weeks to process. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the end date of your program.
Tourist visa: A visa is your official permission to enter a specific country and is granted by that country’s government. U.S. citizens staying less than 180 days in Mexico are NOT required to obtain a visa.
Before you go
Call your credit card company/bank to alert them of travel to Mexico.
Many Todos Santos businesses operate as cash only, so bring cash to have on hand for emergencies. The national currency is the peso, and it is recommended to use pesos during your stay. There is an ATM machine at the airport, and two in Todos Santos.
Contact your cell phone company to arrange for international coverage if desired. Note: some carriers do not have service in Todos Santos.
WhatsApp offers free texting when connected to wifi. You can download the app prior to travel, and ask your friends/colleagues/family to do the same.
Do not wear expensive jewelry or pack expensive items.
Suggested packing list
- Casual and business casual attire such as the following:
- Work jeans, khakis or long shorts
- Dress and casual shirts (polo or button up)
- Skirt or dress
- Shoes (close-toed for meetings, sneakers or hiking shoes, sandals or flip flops)
- Water bottle
- Shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and other personal items
- Insect repellent
- Light jacket (particularly important November – May)
- Small bag, purse and/or backpack
- Alarm clock
- Phone charger (no converter needed)
- Prescription medication in original bottles
- Any over-the-counter medications frequently used or needed (pain medications, GI medications)
- Feminine hygiene products
- Pajamas, robe and/or shower shoes as desired for shared lodging
- Hand wipes
- Snacks, particularly for those with food requirements
- Swimsuit and beach towel
Health and safety
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers up-to-date information on vaccinations and immunizations that you will need for travel.
- Diphtheria, pertussis and tetnus (DPT)
- Meningococcal meningitis
- Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
- Varicella (chicken pox)
Recommended additional immunizations
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
Participants should be vigilant in taking precautions against insects and mosquito bites.
- Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants
- Use mosquito netting over your bed
- Use insect repellents on skin, clothing, bedding and netting
- Products containing DEET may be used on skin in concentrations up to 30 percent and on clothing in higher concentrations
Individuals planning to travel to other parts of Mexico should consult the CDC website for further considerations about mosquito-borne diseases.
Many travelers experience moderate to severe diarrhea as they adjust to differences in food. An antibiotic can be prescribed by your doctor for self-treatment of diarrhea.
When flying to Todos Santos from the United States, the primary airport is San Jose del Cabo (SJD), located 75-minutes from Todos Santos. Most major U.S. carriers fly into SJD.
When flying from Mexico or Latin America, flights are also available into La Paz (LAP), which is approximately an hour from Todos Santos.
Immigration and customs
On your flight, you will receive immigration and customs forms.
The immigration form asks for your passport number and expiration date, the purpose of your visit, and the address of where you are staying. Taking a picture on your phone of the information page of your passport and the address of where you will be staying can save you from digging through your luggage or money belt while filling out the documents on the plane.
The purpose of most visits, including for students, is tourism.
The CSU Center address is:
Colorado State University Todos Santos Center
Todos Santos, Baja California Sur
The customs form asks you to declare if you are carrying certain items in your luggage. Be sure to declare any restricted items as listed on the form, as luggage may be opened and checked. Fresh fruits and vegetables, among other items, are not permitted.
When your flight arrives, you will get off the plane and either ride a bus or walk to the terminal, walk down stairs and arrive at the immigration line. Immigration officials may ask about the purpose of your visit and how long you plan to stay in the country. Explain that you are in Mexico for educational purposes. The official will look at your form, stamp it and stamp your passport, and give you the bottom card back. KEEP THIS CARD. If you lose the card, it is $75 to replace it when you leave Mexico.
After immigration, you will walk into another room to retrieve your checked luggage. With bags in hand, proceed to the next room, which is customs.
Give the officer your customs form and press a button. If it lights up green, walk through. If it lights up red, they’ll look through your bags. The red/green light system is random.
There are two sets of sliding doors from customs, both of which bring you to the same final destination. As you proceed through two rooms, there will be people trying to offer you a taxi or shuttle or hotel. Say “no, thank you/no, gracias” and keep walking. You will reach a final lobby where there are restrooms and ATM machines. The final set of sliding doors takes you outside. Outside you will see many people with signs, and this is the area where transportation vendors stand. You can ask anyone here for help if you are looking for a particular vendor or for a CSU group.
Transportation (to and from airports)
Eco Baja Tours group shuttles are available for ~$25 (USD). Book online here: www.ecobajatours.com.
Rental car agencies are available at the SJD airport, with rates carrying from $60-100+/day.
Mario’s Private Transportation service provides roundtrip airport transfers for approximately $300-350 USD for up to 10 people. Email in advance with flight information to request a quote and reserve services here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Center
CSU welcomes groups of up to 50 individuals to stay, dine and/or utilize the CSU Todos Santos Center meeting and educational spaces. In addition to an affordable option for lodging, the CSU Center has indoor and outdoor meeting spaces that are ideal for conferences, working groups, and educational trips.
The CSU Todos Santos Center has five apartments with kitchenettes, 16 resident suites with capability for occupancy of up to four individuals, including an in-room shower, restroom, and vanity sink.
The Center is situated in Town Farm in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, adjacent to a 3-mile trail to the beach for hiking, running or biking. The Center is also on the edge of more than 30-miles of mountain biking and hiking trails. In addition, CSU has mountain bikes and helmets for use while utilizing the Center.
Photos of the CSU Todos Santos Center are available here.
- Drinking water
- Meals, when scheduled in advance
- Linens, bath towels, pillows
- Limited internet
- Dining hall with industrial kitchen space and local catering options, with seating for 35-50 individuals. The space is equipped with a projector and can be transformed into a presentation space.
- Meeting room adjacent to the dining hall, with seating for eight individuals.
- Two rooftop areas for meetings, receptions, and physical activities (capacity of up to 50 per rooftop). Chairs included, if desired.
- Classroom area with accommodation for 12-20 people with chairs and tables.
- Outdoor fire pit area with seating and beautiful views.
CSU joined the Baja California Sur community several years ago. Our approach has been to learn from regional traditional knowledge, wisdom, and academic expertise, to listen to diverse perspectives, to prototype courses and workshops, and to offer the research and knowledge that are the cornerstones of a major international research university.
Working in collaboration with two researchers from Todos Santos, CSU concluded a community needs assessment in 2015, which included engaging many stakeholder groups: youth, women’s groups, farmers, ranchers, fishermen, ejidatarios, school directors, teachers, elected officials, tourism service providers, individuals interested in environmental topics, and expatriates.
Results of this community-based participatory research are available on our website, todossantos.colostate.edu. Complex issues require ongoing engagement and dialogue and CSU is laying the groundwork for enduring collaborations.
This is the very purpose of the CSU Center, to be a hub for dialogue, engagement, and learning around real world challenges and issues.
Colorado State University is renowned in the areas of sustainability, environmental conservation and ecology, and is committed to the conservation of the local culture, industries, water, and ecosystems. As a land-grant university, the approach to solving these issues is through objective research and study, followed by the sharing of accurate information and knowledge with local communities.
In collaboration with local experts, CSU is currently building educational opportunities for CSU students, as well as Baja California Sur residents. Mexican and CSU faculty are co-creating research platforms aimed solving real-world problems that involve efficient water use, wildlife ecology, farming, veterinary medicine, and animal sciences, among other topics.
As a facility the CSU Center is focused on water and energy conservation. All guests are educated and encouraged to practice green usage of water and energy, on-site there is available composting and recycling, xeriscaped landscaping and the development of continual improvements at the Center, as identified.