There is enough to do in Ensenada to stay several days but make sure to save time for a visit to La Bufadora.
After the geyser subsides, take a look down the cliff to see what causes the ocean to shoot up so high? Watching the waves crash against the cliffs can be mesmerizing, but the resulting geyser is better than a wake-up call.
Before heading to the local watering hole for a couple of drinks take a ride south and stop at La Bufadora. On the road to La Bufadora you will see the dry, back hills of this Mexican peninsula and anywhere near a village or habitation there are venders along the road selling their wares and some selling foodstuff such as Olives or Tamales.
In this photo, the height of the geyser is not apparent, nor is the power. You'll just have to see it for yourself.
After getting tired of hanging out at the beach in Ensenada drive a little farther south--about a half hour more--and experience La Bufadora (The Blow Hole.)
La Bufadora, located on the south side of Punta Banda Peninsula, is famous because of its magnificent cliffs, where the force of strong waves produce a spectacular crashing sound and natural geyser at times 100 feet high, the second highest in the world.
Ensenada has long harbor side walk or Malecon. It starts at a park proported to have the largest flag in Mexico (Tijuana also claims this). It then passes past restaurants, shopping and the fish market.
La Bufadora is a bit farther south of Ensenada and worth the extra driving. It is a rare sight in the world to see this natural spray coming so high up from the ocean! Especially on a very hot day the showering effect is a nice reprieve.
Mercado de Mariscos in Ensenada is where to go to purchase fresh fish. It also is a lively area of small take out style fish stands for fried shrimp and that "main reason I love coming to Ensenada" food specialty, the tacos de pescado (fish tacos) that are fantastico! Walk among the many stalls of a variety of fresh caught fish and jumbo shrimp, octopus, fresh or smoked tuna, squid, albacore, lobster and clams.
If you are staying overnight at a location with a kitchen or BBQ, this is the place to get that fresh seafood for your dinner. One little bit of warning. Fish Markets tend to get wet and smelly, that is part of the experience. You will also find every fish stand or food stall has a barker that will tell you to come on over and buy or eat at their location. Smile, and say. "gracias", and walk on, unless of course they hit that soft spot in your stomach that cries out,"Gimme, Gimme, Gimme." It is a wonderful little journey into the life of the port and the fishing industry.
The tourist zone near the port to some happy campers are the bars that pour the beer, to others, the shopping bargain area and then there are the arts and crafts shops. Where are they located? Why, on the Paseo Calle Primera. This stretch of all things good, bad, and ugly are found on Av Lopez Mateos from Av Castillo to Av Ryerson. You can find any type of souvenir in every price range.
Ensenada has a regular shopping district further inland that is for locals more than the tourist trade. But, we all know that the tourist trade is what helps the economy of any city and the shops, stalls, vendors, bars and restaurants are all here on Calle Primera. You can spend a lot of time looking around. Perhaps you are a collector of T-Shirts, alcohol shot glasses, chess sets, native art or pottery. Everything is here for the tourist and if you don't live in the region, that means you.
the views in entering and driving around ensenada. you can see and do a lot in ensenada area, the coastal highway goes all the way to the city about 20 minutes more and you will reach Boulevard Lázaro Cárdenas and Lopez Mateos Avenue the heart of downtown Ensenada . The color and festive tradition of the Mexican culture is showcased at the artisan Center (Blvd. Lázaro Cárdenas and Castillo Ave.) a good place to buy handicrafts from various regions of the country that are brought here also you can go to the black market (Blvd. Lázaro Cárdenas, Teniente Azueta) a local favorite to eat delicious sea food or buy fresh caught fish and fresh seafood and then walk around Avenida Lopez Mateos for a shopping extravaganza.
it rivals highway 1 in big sur in northern california, USA. the secenery in the highway in Baja Going to Ensenada is simply spectacular with the deep blue ocean andthe rugged mountain cliffs. If you are coming from Tijuana on the Scenic toll road (usually yes if you booked an ensenada day tour from san diego), you will enjoy the panoramic sites, you will see how coastal cliffs and soft hillsides tumble one-to-one to blend into the blue sea. Upon arrival, El Mirador ( Rosarito to Ensenada Km 23) will first welcome with its beautiful panoramic view of Bahia Todos Santos (All Saints Bay ) then another 1 hour drive to Ensenada you will see more sceneries like tuna fish cages, a big statue of a standing jesus christ. the coastal highway goes all the way to the city about 20 minutes more and you will reach Boulevard Lázaro Cárdenas and Lopez Mateos Avenue the heart of downtown Ensenada .
(see my pictures)
the assorted street views of the Downtown Ensenada area, In this area you will find emblematic sites as the Civic Plaza, with its sculptures of Mexican heroes and the huge Mexican flag and the Malecon (board walk) whose coastal access to international cruise ships arriving is the best place to admire the port activities (Blvd. Teniente Azueta 224) and the Naval cruise terminal (Blvd. Lázaro Cárdenas and AV. Castillo). Also dont forget cruise and walk around the Avenida de Lopez Mateos which is the main tourist street running for about 12 blocks and a kilometer long. (see my other tips here in ensenada for a more through discussion).
lots of shopping in ensenada for shoppers like me. Not as congested or too touristy as Tijuana and where else you can find many items and products from Ensenada and other places in Mexico; from handcrafted ornaments, clothing, food, fishing or camping supplies, to books and magazines. A nice place to hang out for purchasing your souvenir or needs is at the main street of Lopez Mateos (look at my avenida lopez mateos tips) or at Ruiz Avenue, where you will find many types of stores, as well as some restaurants to accompany your shopping. Don't forget the food like the Taco Mariscos and the other Mexican Cocktails like camaron or the chorio ar the pata (see my other tips). Ensenada also offers many other stores, for different needs; pharmacies, special products stores as well as furniture and electronics. Most of the stores accept US dollars for payment of the assorted Ensenada products, as well as International credit or debit cards.
Avenida Lopez Mateos (also known as Paseo Calle Primera) is the main tourism Street of Ensenada and is about 1 kilometer long (between Avenida Ruiz and Avenida Blancarte )and the side streets next to it also have a variety of shops selling everything. Avenida Lopez Mateos is lined with paved red bricked sidewalks which are sort of slippery. Since this is the main tourist zone (also known as a tourist trap hehehe) expect to have higher prices than the average but you can also haggle on the prices if you know how to haggle ok. This is the main souvenir drag in Ensenada. Although none of the stores are particularly noteworthy and prices tend to be fairly uniform, you will find the largest selection of goods in the city here. Small hole-in-the-wall shops selling everything from postcards, beach gear and t-shirts to paintings, sombreros, and woven baskets. try to buy tequila at Licores Plaza or t-shirts at Chamuco!
you will find many street food stalls in ensenada offering a gastronomic street food experience aside from the standard fish taco de mariscos, they also offer other kinds of tacos like the camaron tacos (shrimp tacos), pulpo tacos (octopus), scallop tacos (ostion) , almeja (clam tacos) and other seafood goodies like pata de mula ( a kind of mangrove shell clam) and others. Ensenada is not just about fish Taco de Mariscos but also other mexican seafood delights! try to eat in one of these streetside food stalls and be adventurous enough! the price starts from 15 mexican pesos for a fish taco to 25 mexican pesos for the pata de mula, try it!
mexico is notorious for having cheaper drug prices so many people cross the border from the US just to buy prescription drugs here which are 30 to 70% cheaper than in the US. A Caveat, not all pharmacies have geniune medicines as some of the stuff are fake so be careful in buying medicines here. most ask for prescription from US doctors (but some don't ask for precsriptions) and dispense you the medicines and you don't need a refill prescrition to buy more of the stuff. the pharmacies are like mushrooms and are located everywhere here.
examples of the medicines are:
500mg x 100 caps.
800mg x 100 tabs.
21.99 Retin - A
20mg & 40mg
tacos are a generic thing in mexico but the specialty of the ensenada and baja califronia area is the taco mariscos or the fish tacos served in a shoft rolled tacos and not the crispy kind like the other tacos of other parts of mexico and the sauce is either the guacamole (made from avocados) and or the regular mexican chili sauce and one must tey the local specialty since it is avaialble everywhere here in ensenada and the cost is just 30 mexican pesos for one order of taco mariscos, it is made from breaded sole fish fillets and deeply fired and again having some chopped vegetables and eaten with guacamole and chili sauce and viola! really superb taco!