After leaving Rosarito Beach going south on Ensenada Cuota the land is primitive and the views are spectacular. Sometimes there are people along side the road selling local favorites such as fruit or tamales. It's fun to stop and try them out.
There are several small beach communities/fishing villages where many retired people from the U.S.A. have settled amongst the local population.
Ensenada is the largest town south of Tijuana and though it does have a tourist section catering to all the Curise Ship passengers, there is a a bit of industry in something like six industrial parks. Ensenada has the highest number of scientists per capita in Latin America. The Mexican Navy and Mexican Army has a base here and there is an Airport. There are plans for a railway line to be built between Ensenada and the U.S.A.
Fislhing is historically a main occupation and one of the favorite things to do is stop at the fish market to buy the fresh catch of the day.
Something that is rarely done by visitors is to drive south of Ensenada which can be pretty nice. This view from the cliffs at La Bufadora, looking south, shows that there are more little towns further down, to be explored. Who knows what wonders can be found in the little villages beyond, especially on the west side of Baja California Norte?
When I first came to La Bufadora there was nothing out here except dirt and on the other side of the road, a little restaurant that served the best, lobster I've ever eaten. Since then, everytime I bring someone here I can see the massive changes to the area. Soon it will be much like Puerto Nuevo, crowded with people hawking their wares, stalls full of merchandise and a few tourists, like me at the new La Bufadora Observation Structure.
The whole look has changed. The path up to La Bufadora has been paved and the hawkers have built sturdier structures for their wares. Restraunts, fast food and full service have opened and with the Cruise Ship tour buses pulling in the place is much more crowded.
The best time to get there is during low tide, it may sound strange, but the geyser is highest during low tide. Also, early morning or late afternoon are the best time to avoid the crowds since the Cruise Ships offers this as a side trip.
It is located about 18 miles south of Ensenada, on the Punta Banda Peninsula drive south to Maneadero. Then follow the signs.
having a sex shop in Ensenada in plain public view is sort of surpising for me since mexico is known to be deeply religous roman catholic country. That being said, since it is located in the tourist area of ensenada makes sense since mostly tourist and the curious i think are the main customers of the shop. Well what to do you expect to see in a sex shop! (lots of sex toys, aphrodisiacs, adult magazines, dvd's, edible underwears, BSDM stuffs, sex enchancer and all of other stuffs. You can find most of the stuff sold in here in sex shops in the united states (you pervert hehehe) and they don't allow photos inside so sorry if i dont have photos inside. The store is located at a corner in Avenida De lopez Mateos, you will not miss it when you are walking.
Las Canadas cabins look like a bunch of dorms. I have never been so dissatisfied in my life and I am all about roughing it. In fact while staying there I spoke with the other cabin tenants and they all agreed with me, we had all been royally screwed over. The pools were cool, you know- if you're under 12. There's also some cool place to go 4 wheeling, but stay away from those cabins, you're way better off just camping in your own tents.
No doubt the #1 natural attraction near Ensenada is La Bufadora (The Buffalo Snort), a magnificent tidewater blowhole that roars like a hugh animal at bay, then spews seawater and foam into the air, often to heights over 70 feet. It is formed by a hollow rock formation that acts as a sea spout. During incoming tides, water rushes into an underground cavern, sending spray shooting into the air like a geyser. La Bufadora is near the tip of Punta Banda, a rocky peninsula forming the southern end of Todos Santos Bay.
La Bufadora is about a hour's drive south of Ensenada, and can be reached either by bus, taxi or private vehicle. We splurged and took a taxi, and I was rewarded with a wonderful opportunity to practice my limited Spanish, with a driver who knew less of my language than I did of his.
There is a small fee to visit La Bufadora.
Tara is a large colorful statue built on a small hill, just beneath the municipal water tank, in the northeast part of the city. It was built by sculptors from Nepal and Bhutan on the original site of the 1930s Fort Keki, and presented as a gift of peace and friendship by a Nepalese international cultural organization in 1993.
This exotic landmark, symbolizing Mother Nature, is set in what tourist brochures call an ecological park. If I had not read the brochure I never would have guessed as much. The dirt road up to the monument was very badly eroded, there were huge piles of cans, broken glass, and other litter about the base of the statue, weeds were neck high, and graffiti covered much of the statue. The statue and site, with good views of the city, has an outstanding potential, but we found it sorely neglected.
With map in hand, Karen and I walked about 20 blocks from our hotel to find Tara. We felt the walk would be good exercise, and it also gave us good opportunity to get away from the tourist areas and see some of the local business and residential neighborhoods of Ensenada. In that regard it was worth the effort.
Directions:Northeast of downtown, on Calle 13, between Ave. Obregon & Moctezuma.
Punta Banda is a rocky peninsula jutting into the Pacific Ocean, about 20 miles (32 km.) southwest of Ensenada. It forms the southern end of Todos Santos Bay, and the waters on here are popular with scuba and skin divers. There are also said to be an abundance of hot springs in the area. We saw a couple of RV parks along BCN 23, the paved road that traverses the peninsula. These were apparently occupied in large part by campers from the United States. Several unmarked hiking trails beckoned us off the road, if only we had had more time to explore them.
Go for a short walk from the tourist zone shopping area (Lopez Mateos) past Mango Mango Restaurant to Ryerson, then about one block into the city to Calle Segunda, you will be able to turn left and walk up to some nice homes on the hilltop and a great view of the city. Note that the walk up Calle Segunda is a bit physically challenging.
If you are driving down to Ensenada, you may enjoy the scenic view from a rest stop between Rosarito and Ensenada.
Look for an exit that says "El Mirador" with a large orange building at the top. Here there are rest rooms and also a picnic area.
For a place way off the beaten path, try El Taco de Huitzilopochtli. They serve food from the Aztec region of Mexico, including this fantastic barbequed meat. It is so homey feeling and I promise there will not be an American for miles. Very very unique place. Only open Sat and Sun, 9 to 5. It is located at Ave de las rosas 5 and Col. valle verde. To get there, take Ave. Reforma north from the Juarez statue for 1.6 miles; rt on calle ambar, take it to its end, then turn left, go two blocks, make another left.
Mexican wine is such an undiscovered secret right now. The quality of some of the wines is just amazing, especially the merlots and cabernets.
A great place to get your introduction to Mexican wines is at Sede Vino in Ensenda (located right across the street from Husong's Cantina, which, trust me, you will be able to find). You can taste almost every Mexican wine here, and they have nice food and atmosphere as well. They also are super friendly.
Also worth a stop for wine shopping (and also for their art) is La Esquina de Bodegas, Avenida Miramar at Calle 7 in Ensenada.
Most of the wineries themselves are about a 30-40 minute drive from Ensenada, in the Valle de Guadalupe.
If you are interested in visiting some of the wineries, you may want to ask the staff in Sede Vino for help in arranging a visit. One of my favorite wineries in Case de Piedra. They only see people by appointment, so see if the nice people at Sede Vino can arrange a visit for you.
Other wineries to visit include Monte Xanic and Chateau Camou. Both of these places have stellar wines and I have never needed an appointment to visit on a weekend.
For a more touristy winery (but with a good gift shop) and lots of selections, head to L.A. Cetto.
If you are with children you might enjoy going down to the docks near the fish market and looking for the friendly Ensenada seal named "Pedro" who hangs out there. Well, he was there in 2001, but with the quality of the food people throw to him I don't know how long he can survive.
Ensenada's many residential areas are very rarely frequented by out-of-towners since the tourist industry here focusses on the resorts. Strolling through any of the city's neighborhoods, eating at a local restaurant and shopping in a local market or strip mall is the best way for you to really see the real Ensenada.
You can Rent a horse by the hour or join one of the Horseback Trail Riding Tours with views of the Bay of Ensenada, Todos Santos Islands and the Salsipuedes Bay.
The wind blasted my wife and I as we walked the beach. There was pletny of trash that washed onto the shore. Hopefully after the storm they did some cleanup.