Ensenada (Spanish: Ensenada De Todos Santos) is the city seat of the largest municipality in Baja California, Mexico on the Pacific Coast south of Tijuana. It is locally referred as La Bella Cenicienta del Pacífico (Spanish:The Beautiful Cinderella of the Pacific)

32 things to do

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The city of '''Ensenada''' is on the Ensenada Harbor, so you'll have to drive south or north to get to a local beach. Private beaches like '''Estero Beach''' and '''Mona Lisa''' have resort accommodations and facilities, but public ones like San Miguel and El Punto are free for anyone who wishes to walk by the sea. Ensenada area has several celebrated surfing spots, such as '''San Miguel Beach''', '''California Trailer Park''', '''Stacks''' and '''3 M's''' (Spanish:''Tres Emes''), which are located in the north coast of the city. '''Todos Santos Island''' a small island located west of Ensenada (about 2 hours by boat), and a world-famous surfing spot. The Billabong XXL surfing contest has been held at Todos Santos Island several times. Wave faces can reach above 60 feet on the island. '''Brad Gerlach''', 2006 winner of Big XXL, surfed a wave of 68 feet in December 2006.

SEE   —  Map

Wine Harvest Festival

Every year, before the end of spring and until the end of August, the wine harvest season is celebrated around the Guadalupe Valley and in the city of Ensenada with a series of events. These events range from private wine tastings and galas, to concerts of both classical music and famous pop artists at the wine yards. The end of the harvest season is commemorated by a two day free event at the Santo Tomas winery in Ensenada with a festival that is preferred by the locals. Be sure to check out the site for there is an event almost daily.

DO   —  Map

Baja 1000

This important race held in November as well as the '''Baja 500''' Off-Road race held in June start in Ensenada. While the '''Baja 500''' almost always ends in Ensenada the '''Baja 1000''' ends in Ensenada in even numbered years while in odd numbered years ends at the tip of Baja, usually in Cabo San Lucas. Amenities are extended during the days prior to the start. Race info including course map updated regularly at www.score-international.com.

DO   —  Map

Tortas Michoacan

- really good sandwiches with either pork, ham, carne asada, or all three, very delicious, kind of a little walk away from the tourist area, look for the counter with a big line of people on the main street just 1 block south of a Chinese buffet, it's about 2 blocks east from the main tourist area and about 10 blocks south on the widest big road with all the shops all the way along it.

EAT   —  Map

Sports Fishing

Ensenada Baja California has been known for sport fishing over fifty years. Each year hundreds of anglers head for Ensenada to go fishing and take advantage of the shorter distances needed to travel by sea to get to the big catch. The short range day trips are good for cranking in Bass, Bonita, Barracuda, Cod and Yellowtail, while the long range trips pull in Tuna, Albacore, Dorado.

DO   —  Map

Ocean View Rental Home

Su Casa is set on a hillside with a spectacular panoramic ocean view of Todos Santos Bay and its islands in the gated secure community of Cibolas del Mar. It is located 15 minutes north of Ensenada, where the toll road ends. This Spanish style home with tile roof has a large flagstone deck and covered outside area. It is in an area of private family homes in a quiet neighborhood.

SLEEP   —  Map

California Motorsport Adventures

Off road adventure tours for people of all riding abilities. Everyone welcome: families, couples, friends, single riders, bachelor and corporate groups. Full day excursions or longer tours available also. Ride in the dunes and then enjoy a guided adventure into the surrounding mountain trails. Contact the office for reservations.

DO   —  Map

Whale Pursuing

The gray whale's annual migration from Alaska to the lagoons of Baja California Sur between the months of December and March, and back in the months of April and May, can be seen from the coast of Ensenada. Sightseeing tours are available every day during migration season. Whale watching not guaranteed

DO   —  Map

Cantina Hussong's

Legendary and historic bar. Established in 1892 Hussongs is the oldest bar in the Californias, Hussong’s was originally a stagecoach stop built by its German founder Johan Hussong. Some say that the city of Ensenada was built around this bar. Rumor has it that the Margarita was invented here.

DRINK   —  Ruiz

Tacos El Paisa

If you want to have the TRUE Mexican taco experience, go to this place. Favored by locals, it offers $1 USD tacos. Carne Asada, Adobada, Tripas and Cabeza are available as quesatacos, tortas, and huaraches. A must taste that will scratch that Tex-Mex flavor you are used to. With everything

La Taberna (Cervecrería Tijuana)

Located on 1st Street (half a block away from McDonald's), the Tijuana Brewery Tavern offers award-winning draft beer in many varietals, ranging from light lagers to dark ales. This is a local favorite hangout for all sorts of people, and happy hour is available at least two nights a week.

DRINK   —  Map

Fish Tacos

- The Fish Taco is said to have been born in Ensenada (or possibly San Felipe). The local style includes deep-fried seafood, with a white sauce and a shredded-cabbage topping, along with several salsas. Dining at the row of fish and shrimp taco eateries by the pier is an Ensenada must.

EAT   —  Map

Canon de Dona Petra Hike

Every first Sunday of the month, locals hike through this 10km hike. It's free and you can find many people. It takes about 3 and a half hours at good pace and it's of moderate difficulty. At the end of the hike, you can take the bus back to Ensenada for about $1 USD.

DO   —  Map

Fox Studios Rosarito

was the location for much of the at-sea filming of James Cameron's "Titanic", which gave this studio location its start. Since then many films have been shot here including "Master & Commander", which the ship from that film remains on site. They offer tours.

DO   —  Map

Ceviche La Guerrerense

- Great street ceviche car that serves a huge variety of ceviches for $1 USD each. It also has a huge variety of salsas ranging from light to super hot. Be careful with those and ask for assistance. Also serves cocktails. Located on 1st street and Alvarado

EAT   —  Map

La Bufadora

La Bufadora is a marine geyser and the largest blowhole in the world, often shooting upwards more than 100 feet above sea level. The exhibit hall roof top is approximately 80 feet above sea level and the blowhole frequently sprays above it.

DO   —  Punta Banda

San Carlos Hot Springs

Features pipe-fed hot pools, cold pool, and mud pool as well as cabins, showers and camping, is popular with the locals, despite a 10-mile rocky dirt road with 13 (or so) shallow water crossings; medium-clearance vehicles are recommended.

DO   —  Map

El Salto

Its a beautiful canyon, excellent for rock climbing, rappel and hiking; and in rain season you can view a spectacular +100ft. waterfall. You can find it at KM 76 in the Tijuana - Ensenada Libre Highway. Camping Facilities.

DO   —  Map

San Miguel Beach

A small rocky beach that offers a great night view of the city. Great for camping and drinking, locals favor it for it's relaxed nature and private nature which means you won't be disturbed unless you make a lot of noise.

DO   —  San Miguel Beach


Incredible fine dining. Located in the heart of Ensenada on the cobblestone street, across the road from Hussongs (whether it is the original or not is unknown). It also serves delicious burgers on a back grill.

EAT   —  Map

Open Air Fish Market

Baja's largest seafood market. Located near the oceanfront. Most of the market's open air stalls sell catches fresh off the fishing boats that dock nearby. This is also a great place to try a famous fish taco.

EAT   —  Boulevard Costero


Mall with clothing and supermarket options. If you want to see a movie and don't mind Spanish subtitles, go to a Mexican movie theater. $5 USD tickets is a steal compared to USA prices

BUY   —  Transpeninsular

Ensenada Backpacker

The Ensenada Backpacker is located a few blocks from Ensenada's most popular attractions. They offer dormitory and private rooms.


Hiking can be done on the nearby Canon de Dona Petra, and on the near Laguna Hanson. Arrangement with local eco tours needed

SEE   —  Map


The Ensenada Carnaval is one of the country's largest, as thousands of people gather in the streets for six days and nights.

DO   —  Map

Hotel Coral & Marina

A resort with a marina for your yacht and many amenities. Shuttle service into town (3 miles away), $4 for a taxi.

SLEEP   —  Map

Papa's and Beer Ensenada

Another legendary and historic bar right across the street from Hussongs.

DRINK   —  Ruiz y Primera

Abel's Bar

Rock oriented bar serves cheap drinks and good music with a metal mood

Taqueria El Fenix

is a local favorite and serves delicious tacos, both shrimp and fish.

EAT   —  Map


Many regional art pieces for cheap can be found on 1st Street

BUY   —  On 1st street

Hotel Las Rosas

By the sea hotel that is a good spot for a wedding.

SLEEP   —  +52 646 174 4320 —  Map

Mango Mango

A place to dance Caribbean and norteno rythms

DRINK   —  Primera & Ruiz

About Ensenada

Located in the Bahía de Todos Santos — an inlet of the Pacific Ocean — Ensenada is an important commercial and fishing port as well as a cruise ship port of call. There is also a navy base, an army base and a military airfield, which functions as an airport of entry into Mexico.

The city is backed by small mountain ranges. Due to its location on the Pacific Ocean and Mediterranean latitude, the weather tends to be mild year-round. Although the winter rainy season is short and the area is prone to prolonged droughts, Ensenada sits in the heart of a wine country that is widely regarded as the best in Mexico and the Americas with the Napa Valley in California. It is said that the first vitis vinifera made it to the peninsula (specifically to the San Ignacio Mission) in 1703, when Jesuit Padre Juan de Ugarte planted the first vineyards there.

Ensenada is the only deep-water port in the state of Baja California and is part of standard shipping routes that directly link it with the Mexican cities of La Paz, Manzanillo, Mazatlán, Acapulco and Lázaro Cárdenas, and with the U.S. cities of San Diego, Long Beach and Los Angeles, the Guatemalan city of Puerto Quetzal, the Chilean city of Valparaíso, the Japanese city of Yokohama and the Chinese city of Hong Kong.

Source: wikivoyage