Los Santos is a fictional city located in San Andreas, and it is the first city encountered in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Los Santos is the biggest city of the State of San Andreas. Los Santos is based on Los Angeles, California. Los Santos translates to 'The Saints', a play on Los Angeles, meaning 'The Angels'. This also applies to the two cities' nicknames - "The City of the Saints" and "City of Angels".
Like Los Angeles, Los Santos is a huge, sprawling co-mingling of cultures and perspectives, full of two-bit hoodlums and small-time and really big time actors and musicians. The population of 12,416 is divided into 32 districts, which are home to movie and television studios, multi-million dollar estates, crack-ridden ghettos, and the fourth busiest airport in the world. Numerous roads and a central rail line connect Los Santos to San Fierro and Las Venturas. The most infamous street in the city is Grove Street, located in Ganton, southeast of downtown Los Santos, and just minutes south of East Los Santos, which contains a predominantly Hispanic population. Grove Street is home to the Families gang, a once powerful gang whose influence faded due to highly successful drug trafficking by the rival Ballas gang.
Los Santos' police are often corrupt and the politicians avoid the streets like the plague. There is a motocross track, several basketball courts, and an observatory (modeled after the Griffith Observatory) to satisfy stargazers. Occasionally, independent drug dealers are seen carrying huge wads of cash from recent transactions. Graffiti is commonplace and gambling venues like the racetrack are frequented by many of the city's denizens. The suburbs nestled in the north hills (modeled after the Hollywood Hills) are home to wealthy businessmen, movie stars, and Madd Dogg, the killer rap artist, alike. The occasional shack or trailer park can also be spotted within this highly affluent district, testaments to the period prior to the gentrification of northern Los Santos.
Los Santos is the hometown of GTA San Andreas protagonist Carl Johnson, who returns from living in Liberty City for five years, after his brother informs him of their mother's death. The game starts upon CJ's arrival in Los Santos, and the story revolves around a lengthy gang wars between CJ's gang, The Grove Street Families, and their fiercest rivals, the Ballas. Tensions between rival Hispanic gangs, Varrios Los Aztecas and Los Santos Vagos, also threaten the tenuous hold with which GSF clings to its paltry territories. However, due to the betrayal of senior members Big Smoke and Ryder, GSF leader Sweet Johnson is arrested and CJ is run out of town by C.R.A.S.H., causing the disbandment of the Grove Street Families and the mass takeover of Los Santos by the Ballas and Vagos, with the Ballas taking all of what used to be Grove Street territory.
The city is torn apart over the issue of gang warfare. The Grove Street Families and Ballas constantly spar over total dominance in Ganton, Idlewood, Jefferson, Willowfield, and even East Los Santos. In 1992, police officers Frank Tenpenny and Eddie Pulaski of C.R.A.S.H. (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) are charged with murder and sexual assault, after their extensive corruption becomes blatantly obvious, even to the general public. However, Pulaski had already been murdered by CJ in the Arco del Oeste area prior to those events, after he and Tenpenny, who were using CJ as their patsy, decide there is no more use for him. Alone at the court hearing, however, Tenpenny is released when the prosecutor inexplicably drops all charges. The entire city, outraged that Tenpenny walks free from horrendously heinous charges of which he is obviously guilty, erupts in riots. This is a reenactment of the L.A. Riots (also known as the Rodney King Riots) after the release of the police officers that brutally beat up Rodney King. During the ensuing chaos, CJ kills cocaine drug lord and ex-gang member Big Smoke. CJ then chases after Officer Tenpenny, who dies when his stolen Fire Truck careens off the side of the overpass over Grove Street. When news of Tenpenny's death reaches the people of Los Santos, the riots cease, and the Grove Street Families regain their spot as the strongest gang in Los Santos.
Western Los Santos
The "wealthy", affluent and upper-class side of the city containing Vinewood, Rodeo and Mulholland, known around the world as the offices, studios, shopping destinations and homes of the rich and famous. Popular for tourists and also contains varied businesses. The various neighborhoods include
- Stahl House (as the Mulholland Safehouse).
- Hollywood Sign (as the Vinewood Sign).
- Mulholland Drive (incorporated into Mulholland).
- Melrose Avenue
- El Capitan Theater (as the El Dritch Theatre, across the street from Cathay Theater).
- Randy's Donuts (as Jim's Sticky Ring).
- Grauman's Chinese Theater (as the Cathay Theater).
- Capitol Records Tower (as the Blastin' Fools Records Tower).
- Walk of Fame
- Whisky a Go Go
- Carney's Express Limited
- Hollywood Masonic Temple (located just beside El Dritch Theatre, across the street from Cathay Theater).
- House of Blues
- Hollywood Boulevard
- Sunset Boulevard
- Hyatt West Hollywood
- Argyle Hotel
- Chateau Marmont Hotel
East Los Santos
Also known as South Central Los Santos. The "poor" side of the city, made up primarily of working-class suburbs, small-time businesses and stores, small, single-family homes and housing projects that are all subject to violent crime, gang violence, drug problems (especially crack-cocaine), car crime (e.g. carjackings), poverty, prostitution, unemployment, marked by the Ballas-Grove Street War and the area where the Los Santos Riots started, which eventually spread to the entire Los Santos area. Considered to be "the ghetto" of Los Santos. Four different black and hispanic gangs that are split into varying sets make their home in various neighborhoods here. Despite the crime, there are a minority of neighborhoods that are more middle-class and some areas contain some tourist destinations, such as the eastern beaches, Glen Park or the Jefferson Towers. The area is based off of South Central Los Angeles. The various neighborhoods include:
- Union Station (as Unity Station)
- Dana Strand Village Housing Projects (Now currently demolished)
- Twin Towers Correctional Facility
- Imperial Courts Housing Projects (the projects where B Dup formerly resides)
- Rosecrans Avenue (the main road in Ganton)
- Spruce Street (Grove Street)
- Shrine Auditorium (as the Alhambra).
- Jordan Downs Housing Projects and Nickerson Gardens (the Crystal Gardens projects where the crack house is in Cleaning The Hood)
- Terminal Island (incorporated into Ocean Docks).
- Vincent Thomas Bridge (as the unnamed suspension bridge connecting the Ocean Docks island).
Central Los Santos
The middle section of the city and business/financial district, containing major corporate headquarters in Downtown, skyscrapers, very busy streets, many tourists and shoppers, civic-minded buildings around Pershing Square, and their airport. Neighborhoods and areas include:
- Bonaventure Hotel (as the Atrium).
- City Hall (at Pershing Square).
- Two California Plaza
- Beverly Wilshire Hotel
- Beverly Hills City Hall (as the Los Santos Police Headquarters at Pershing Square).
- Biltmore Hotel (at Pershing Square).
- Downtown (Downtown), Commerce (Civic Center), Conference Center (Convention Center) and Verdant Bluffs (Griffith Park)
- Los Angeles Convention Center (as the Los Santos Conference Center).
- Gas Company Tower
- US Bank Tower (as Los Santos Tower)
- Standard Hotel
- Sunset Vine Tower
- Figueroa Tower
- Griffith Observatory
- Los Angeles Freeway (as Los Santos Freeway)
- Los Santos International Airport (Los Angeles Int. Airport "L.A.X.")
- Mulholland Intersection (US 101 and SR 110 Intersection (Four Level Interchange)
- North Broadway Viaduct
- 6th Street Bridge
Los Santos is the most crime riddled city in the State of San Andreas, suffering from rampant gang violence, drug-trafficking (especially crack-cocaine), car crime (e.g. carjackings), poverty, prostitution and corruption on several levels. However, despite the city's size there is no real major organized crime element with the criminal underworld of the city (with the exception of a brief period of influence from the Russian Mafia); being primarily occupied by warring street gangs, drug lords and up-and-coming criminals. Eastern Los Santos is by far the most active city in terms of small-time street gangs (known as sets) with gang wars and gang related violence occuring on a regular basis. The city is home to several large and violent hispanic and African-American gangs;
- Grove Families (Grove Street Families, Seville Boulevard Families, Temple Drive Families)
- Ballas (Front Yard Ballas, Rollin' Heights Ballas, Kilo Tray Ballas, Temple Drive Ballas)
- Los Santos Vagos
- Varrios Los Aztecas
- Russian Mafia (formerly)
The areas plagued with the most crime, gangs, prostitution and drug-trafficking include the entirity of South Central Los Santos. Further, many crack dealers can be found in South Central Los Santos. Pockets of neighborhoods and districts to the west also suffer from crime (primarily gang violence) but on a much lower scale. This includes Temple, Verona Beach and Santa Maria Beach.
Los Santos is the only city in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas that contains gang territories without exploiting a glitch in the game.
Los Santos has two basketball teams, the Saints and the Dribblers, and a hockey team, called the Slappers. In 1992, Los Angeles held a hockey team, the Los Angeles Kings, two basketball teams, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, along with two football teams, Los Angeles Raiders and Los Angeles Rams, with a baseball team, Los Angeles Dodgers and another baseball team in Anaheim, a suburb of Los Angeles not depicted in the game, the Los Angeles Angels, whom the Saints could very well be named after. The Saints could also be named after the professional football team, the New Orleans Saints.
- Main article: Los Santos in GTA V Era
- In Grand Theft Auto IV, there are a lot of references to Los Santos (in television, radio, different characters, etc.). They also confirm that "Vinewood" still exists as their Hollywood parody.
- Although the GTA IV Era follows an alternate continuity to the GTA III Era, the GTA III Era rendition of Los Santos still has a cameo on the TV show I'm Rich, even showing CJ driving and skydiving.
- Unlike other cities in San Andreas, this city is the least accurate city. For example Verdant Bluffs is near the airport when in Los Angeles it's near the Hollywood sign. Also Santa Monica is to the west and not to the south.
- The statement "you can't get there from here" applies more in Los Santos than in any other city in San Andreas, due to its often-confusing network of overpasses and bypasses, that are not always evident on the map provided with the game. Knowledge of the idiosyncrasies of the city's road network is an asset when attempting some of the odd-job missions such as taxi, ambulance and fire to avoid costly (and often mission-ending) detours.
- Although it is the most populous city in San Andreas, it has the smallest presence of Burger Shot outlets, with only two.
- In some safehouses, there are guidebooks for different places, including Los Santos.
- Los Santos is misspelled Las Santos in a magazine in some houses.