The second busiest port in Mexico
The town is known for its bustling harbour community and for its mountainous agricultural centre.
The town boasts many flourishing vineyards that are well known throughout Mexico and other parts of North America. Wine aficionados seem to agree that Ensenada has wines to rival those of Southern France and Northern California. However, wine is not the only treasure Ensenada has to offer, for the locals strive to keep visitors comfortable and in good cheer while exploring the area and to create a gentle and attentive atmosphere. You can enjoy many activities, ranging from relaxing on the beach, to shopping and everything else in between. There are outdoor cantinas and partying is very popular. Ensenada also has reasonably priced restaurants with over sized margaritas and mariachi bands. Since the town is only 90miles south of the US border, many visitors will schedule a day trip to Mexico, to eat, drink and party.
There is a Tourist and Convention Bureau booth located at the western entrance to the town, where you can acquire a map of downtown and directions to major local sites. They also provide information on upcoming special events. The booth opens at 9am and closes at dusk and there is usually at least one employee that speaks English.
Though Ensenada has become popular with tourists, it is still a border town with a multifaceted vitality. Despite the hospitality offered to tourists, this is not Ensenada’s only industry and the bustling port consumes the entire waterfront. The Pacific fishing trade and agriculture from the valleys surrounding the city still dominate the economy. However, some of the areas most beautiful beaches lie just to the north and south of town. Ensenada is also a sports fisherman’s haven, with a number of charter boats being available at the docks.
To enjoy the true personality of the area, visit the indoor-outdoor fish market in the northernmost corner of the harbour. Every day, from early morning until around midday, merchants and housewives gather to pick the best catch of the day from a selection of several varieties of fish, including tuna, snapper and marlin. Afterwards, venture to the stalls just outside the market and sample the culinary craze that is sweeping the region, Baja fish taco. These are thin strips of fresh fish, which are battered, deep-fried and finally wrapped in tortillas. Also, don’t forget to visit a winery, like Bodegas de Santo Tomás. Here you can experience the old-fashioned methods of wine processing on the 45minute tour. Then take advantage of the invitation to sample several vintages, including a Cabernet that has won an international medal.
Other sites you might want to visit include Plaza Civica, which displays statues of Mexico’s most famous and revered heroes. The Centro Cívico, the primary cultural centre in Ensenada, is also a must see. One of the towns other major attractions, which lies about 45miles south, is a natural sea spout called La Bufadora, or “buffalo snort”. Every wave produces a geyser as water is forced upward, through the rocks, creating a loud grunt that gives the attraction its name.
Transportation is not a problem, as local taxis are known for their fair prices, have a reputation of being safe and courteous and their yellow colour makes them easy to distinguish. However, since the town is so close to the port you may prefer to take a leisurely stroll. The streets are considered safe and most of the attractions are located within five blocks of the marina.