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Ensenada is among Mexico’s many atmospheric ports, a laid-back, historical city on the western, Pacific coast, and also one of our favorite areas to walk for superb seafood, wine, and also whale-watching.

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Sail boats in the marina through a cruise delivery in the harbor of Ensenada, Baja Mexico.

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Frequently inquiry Questions around Ensenada

Where is Ensenada?

Ensenada is a city in Mexico, top top the northwestern, Pacific coast of the country in the state the Baja California. Ensenada is simply 110 kilometres south of the us border in ~ Tijuana, and 135 kilometres (84 miles) south of main San Diego in California. Ensenada is end 2825 kilometres from Mexico City – at least 36 hours by road. The nearest major airport is in ~ Tijuana (a 1 hour 45 minute drive from Downtown Ensenada).

How big is Ensenada?

Ensenada has a higher metro population of virtually 525,000, though it’s central core is reasonably compact. Downtown or “Zona Centro” is concentrated on the liven waterfront and also harbor, where the fishing fleet and also cruise pearl dock, and also runs inland for several blocks. Although there are no beaches in the center, a long strip of sand runs along the wide Bahía de Todos Santos (Bay of all Saints) for nearly 20km, start with Playa Hermosa just to the south.

What is the background of Ensenada?

Ensenada was officially “founded” in 1542, yet this yes, really denotes once the area was found by the Spanish (Quechan- or Yuman-speaking peoples had lived right here for countless years). It continued to be little an ext than a village until gold to be discovered nearby in 1872. Ensenada to be then arisen as a mining port, and was designated resources of Baja California in 1882 – the modern-day city was planned and developed through the British-owned mexico Land & emigration Co in succeeding decades. Ravaged by the Mexican change (1910–1920), Ensenada shed its funding status in 1915 and also remained a backwater until tourism took off in the 1950s. The yearly Newport come Ensenada global Yacht Race started in 1948 (Humphrey Bogart took part in the first race), while the renowned Baja 1000 motor race began in Ensenada in 1962 (the Baja 500 complied with in 1969).

How perform I gain to Ensenada?

Ensenada does have actually a tiny airport, however this only serves a couple of areas in Baja California. The nearest significant airport is at Tijuana, which is connected to plenty of destinations in ~ Mexico through non-stop flights, despite there are at current no worldwide flights. Many European flights to Tijuana will path through Mexico City. Buses run from Tijuana airport direct to Ensenada; taxis can likewise be taken, but these room expensive (at the very least US$80), though a lot an ext convenient.

In practice, most US and Canadian visitors pertained to Ensenada through cruise delivery or by auto (see below), though it’s relatively straightforward come visit by bus. This shuttle back and forth in between the united state border in ~ Tijuana and also Ensenada bus station every hour or so and take about 1 hour 30 minutes.

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Ensenada is famous for the fantastic wineries in the area.

Can I use Uber in Ensenada?

Uber is accessible and cheap in Tijuana, despite not typically for airport pick-ups, whereby a regional taxi monopoly operates – use main airport taxis or buses instead from Tijuana airport. Uber chauffeurs in the us cannot take passengers throughout the mexico border – walk throughout the border and order one more Uber ~ above the mexican side, and also vice versa.

Once in Ensenada (assuming phones have actually the app and has roaming in Mexico), Uber deserve to offer convenience and also cheaper prices over timeless taxis. In addition, a company dubbed “uberVALLE” provides day-long, round-trip rides come the Valle de Guadalupe wine region from Ensenada – just select “valleX” in the Uber app (the driver will certainly wait in ~ the miscellaneous vineyards).

Can ns drive come Ensenada?

Driving under to Ensenada native the us border is easy and also straightforward – the key four-lane Highway-1D is in great condition every the means (allow 1 hour 30 minutes), though we’d recommend leaving Tijuana as easily as possible if it is the point of entry. There are three tolls coming southern from Tijuana (around US$5 total in peso) top top Hwy-1D (“cuota” method toll), however the original two-lane Hwy-1 can likewise be taken, which is totally free (allow at least 2 hrs on this road). The journey should also take roughly 1 hour 30 minute from Tecate, and also just end 3 hours from Mexicali.

Another plus: international vehicles do not need a mexico “Temporary importation of car Permit”, as long as they continue to be on the Baja peninsular.

If are renting a vehicle, that much easier to execute this once throughout the mexican border, together taking us rental vehicles right into Mexico comes through all sorts of restrictions.

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Tourists enjoy it the splash of the waterfront geyser.

Do I need a vehicle in Ensenada?

A car isn’t really needed in Ensenda. Most of what there is come see and do lies in ~ Downtown, i beg your pardon is quickly explored on foot. Regional buses, taxis, and also Uber cars have the right to be required to destinations outside the city reasonably cheaply. To do experimenting in the surrounding countryside, consisting of the Valle de Guadalupe, having a car can be an ext convenient. The also feasible to arrange vehicle rental on come in Ensenada; Alamo, Enterprise, and also Hertz operate in the city, along with several cheap mexico rental outfits.

How carry out I get about Ensenada without a vehicle?

Walking is the best means to check out Ensenada, however it’s fairly easy to uncover taxis (or arrange an Uber) for longer trips come the beaches, or to La Bufadora.

When is the finest time to walk to Ensenada?

Ensenada has a mild, Mediterranean-like climate – that stays reasonably dry year-round (though that slighter wetter in the winter 보다 the summer) and experiences surprisingly cool weather December come March. In general, the summer month – June v September – are the finest times to visit, as the weather is hot but not unbearable, and the beaches are because of this a lot much more appealing. It also doesn’t rain much. However, visiting in October/November or April/May will still mean warm weather without the crowds (and cruise ship visitors). Whale-watching is additionally best December come April.

Where must I remain in Ensenada?

Most tourist in Ensenada stay in Centro (Downtown), wherein there’s a wide variety of accommodation – the cheapest places lie additional inland from the seafront and along Avenida López Mateos. The bigger and also posher resorts have tendency to be situated along the coastline to the north and also south – a pricey taxi ride indigenous Downtown. These room recommended mostly for travelers through their very own vehicles.

What are the best beaches in Ensenada?

The finest beaches in Ensenada lie past Downtown. Our favorite is Estero Beach, a reasonably tranquil spot with soft sand some 13 km south that the city. Work passes the provide accessibility to pools, restaurants, and activities are usually accessible at the posh Estero beach Hotel here (the hotel take away up lot of the seafront however the public ar is known as El Faro Beach). Otherwise, Playa Hermosa just south of the port is nice good, through locals maintaining the sand clean and also umbrellas available to rent for a couple of pesos. For competent surfers, the finest spot is Playa san Miguel, 13 km north the Downtown.

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Tourists enjoying the beautiful waterfront.

Where to change money in Ensenada?

Though the mexico peso is the official currency in Ensenada (often prefixed v a “$” sign), plenty of hotels, restaurants, and also vendors will accept united state or Canadian dollars (especially as soon as cruise ships are in town). However, readjust will regularly be given in pesos, and also US/Canadian dollar price invariably work-related out to be higher than peso prices since of inflated exchange rates.

Try to use ATMs to withdraw peso cash in Ensenada if feasible (check with the financial institution before leaving to check it’s feasible to use a debit card and how much they will certainly charge – using credit cards can incur interest or international transaction fees). Credit transaction cards room widely accepted, however cash is required for buses, many taxis, and tiny purchases.

What are the finest things to perform in Ensenada?

In Ensenada chin it’s funny to visit the Riviera del Pacifico, a Spanish Revival-style casino and also hotel perfect in 1930 and also now a social center. Inside there’s a little but absorbing background museum and also Bar Andaluz, one atmospheric spot for a drink. Throughout the street, the Caracol Museo de Ciencias is a new-ish science museum that’s mostly aimed at kids. Stroll follow me the waterfront indigenous here, approximately the Mercado de Mariscos, the classic fish market, i beg your pardon is always crammed v fresh seafood. This is a good place to sample Baja’s legendary fish tacos – claimed to have actually been developed in Ensenada. Wine lover should check out the Bodegas de Santo Tomás, one of Baja California’s largest and oldest wineries – it’s likewise easy to arrange tours of the surrounding Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico’s up-and-coming wine region. And also don’t forget Hussong’s Cantina – this spit-and-sawdust bar was established means back in 1892 by German immigrant Johann Hussong and also is among several point out to claim the innovation of the margarita. Whale-watching tours (from mid-December to mid-April), to see the grey whale migration, are quickly arranged from the harbor – call Sergio’s Sportfishing facility in advance.

What are the restaurants in Ensenada like?

Restaurants room pretty good, though street food is where Ensenada really excels. This is the house of the fish taco, and numerous places finish for the title of “best in Baja” beginning with venerable stall tacos Fenix (Espinosa at Juárez). There’s also La Guerrerense, a food stall beloved of the late Anthony Bourdain that serves fresh shellfish tostadas and ceviche. Bronco’s is the ar for steak, if Chef Benito Molina’s Manzanilla Restaurante is our favorite location for gourmet mexican seafood. Cervecería Wendlandt is the ideal of a growing number of Baja craft breweries.

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Souvenirs for sale along the waterfront.

Is Ensenada expensive?

Ensendada is no really expensive. Every little thing is loved one of course, yet hotels in Ensenada – particularly inland indigenous the seafront – tend to be sensibly priced, and public transport and the city’s famous street food is very cheap – almost everything is priced in pesos, not united state dollars, though services targeted specifically at cruise delivery passengers always cost more.

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Is Ensenada safe?

Yes. Ensenada has usually avoided the medicine violence the has influenced other components of Mexico. Take the normal precautions, specifically at night, and keep valuables in room safes. Theft of personal items native beaches does happen – never leave something of value unattended, even on seemingly empty stretches the sand.