27 Best Things to Do in Ensenada in 2023: Complete Guide

Wondering what are the best things to do in Ensenada? Look no further. I just came back from an epic road trip to Ensenada and in this post, I am going to tell you all about this exciting city!

In this article, I’ll cover 27 of the top things to do in Ensenada that you don’t want to miss, ranging from must-see attractions to off-the-beaten-path gems that you won’t find in your typical travel guide.

Ensenada is an underrated city on the Pacific coast of Baja California (norte) that offers a variety of attractions and activities for travelers of all ages and interests.

Whether you want to explore the stunning scenery, learn about the rich culture, enjoy the lively nightlife, savor the local flavors, or something else, you’ll find no shortage of amazing things to do in Ensenada that will make your trip memorable. 

Ensenada lookout point - things to do in ensenada
Ensenada look out point

 What are the best things to do in Ensenada?

 #1 Shop for local arts and crafts at Avenida Lopez Mateos

Avenida Lopez Mateos is the main tourist street in Ensenada that runs parallel to the waterfront. Here you will find many shops that sell souvenirs, clothing, jewelry, leather goods, cigars, and more.

You can also find some of Ensenada’s best restaurants and bars that serve delicious local cuisine and drinks. 

Probably the best shop to discover the local arts and crafts here is Bazar Casa Ramirez, which, as of writing this article, is also the #1 shopping destination in Ensenada on TripAdvisor.

This two-story store offers a stunning collection of festive items that showcase the creativity and diversity of Mexican artisans.

You can find everything from folk art, silver jewelry, crosses, and mirrors to pottery, textiles, masks, and sculptures. Each piece is hand-made and imported from different regions of Mexico.

On this streets, I also loved trying the delicious cafes, backeries and restaurants.

Ensenada souvenir shop
Ensenada Avenida Primera – main street

#2 Discover the rich history of Ensenada: Museo de Historia and Regional Historical Museum

Those looking for a cultural and historical experience in Ensenada should not miss the Museo de Historia de Ensenada and the Regional Historical Museum in the city.

These museums will take you on a journey through the past of this beautiful city and its surroundings, from prehistoric times to the modern era.

At the Museo de Historia, visitors can see artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that bring Ensenada’s history to life.

The exhibits cover the history of the area, from its pre-Hispanic origins to its role in the Mexican War of Independence, as well as its development as a center of fishing, agriculture, and tourism.

The Regional Historical Museum is housed in a beautiful neoclassical building that was once the municipal jail. One of the most interesting features of this museum are the old prison cells where paintings by former inmates are preserved on the walls.

The museum also offers an exhibit of “Peoples and Cultures of Mesoamerica”, as well as colonial and indigenous collections related to Ensenada’s past. 

Ensenada park
Ensenada Museo de Historia

#3 Wander around Plaza Civica for some historical facts, street food, and souvenirs

Plaza Civica is home to three giant bronze heads of Mexican heroes: Benito Juarez, Miguel Hidalgo, and Venustiano Carranza.

You can learn more about their roles in the Mexican Revolution and independence movement from the plaques below each statue.

It is also a great spot to enjoy some local cuisine and shop for handicrafts. There are many vendors selling tacos, ceviche, churros, and other delicious snacks along the sidewalks.

You can also browse through stalls offering pottery, jewelry, clothing, and souvenirs. Don’t forget to haggle for a good price!

ensenada souvenir street shop

#4 Ride a horse at Rancho Los Bandidos

Riding a horse at Rancho Los Bandidos is a fun and relaxing way to explore the scenic beauty of Ensenada.

The ranch offers guided horseback tours through the hills and valleys of Ensenada. You can choose from different trails and durations, depending on your skill level and preference.

This family-owned ranch has been offering horseback riding tours of the area since 1991 and has a variety of horses for all levels of riders.

You can enjoy the scenic views of the mountains, valleys, and the ocean as you ride along well-maintained trails with friendly and experienced guides.

la bufadora Ensenada
Ensenada La Bufadora

#5 Discover the second-largest marine geyser in the world: La Bufadora

La Bufadora is a blowhole and tourist attraction located on the Punta Banda Peninsula in Baja California, Mexico. It is one of Ensenada’s most impressive tourist attractions, being located about 21.7 miles (35 kilometers) south of the city.

Along the way you can enjoy the scenic drive along the Pacific coast and stop at various viewpoints to admire the views.

Once you reach La Bufadora, you will find a lively place with souvenir shops, food stalls and other services. 

If you’re not up for driving there (which I recommend), you can also join a tour that includes transportation and a local guide who will show you around this amazing place. 

La Bufadora overview
La Bufadora Overview

#6 Hike through the El Salto Canyon and see the waterfall

Adventure seekers who are visiting Ensenada should not miss this one. The hike is challenging but rewarding. You will need to use ropes, boulders, and scramble over rocks to reach the bottom of the canyon. 

The trail is not marked and can be slippery, so make sure you wear good shoes, gloves, sunscreen, and insect repellent. You will also need to pay a small fee to enter the area.

Once you get to the canyon floor, you can enjoy the scenery and relax by the waterfall. You can also camp there if you want to spend more time exploring. The El Salto Canyon and Waterfall is a hidden gem that will make you feel like you are in another world.

Disclaimer. I didn’t have time for this hike, but since I read it was a great hiking experience I still wanted to include it in the post for you to learn about it.

You can contact them and learn more or just drive to the campground where you can also set up your own tent and spend the night.

ensenada malecon seagull
Seagull at the Malecon in Ensenada

 #7 Visit Rosarito Beach

Rosarito Beach is a popular destination for tourists who want to enjoy the sun, sand and surf of the Pacific Ocean.

The Beach offers a variety of activities and attractions for all ages and interests. You can relax on the beach, go surfing, kayaking or fishing, explore the local culture and cuisine, or visit nearby attractions, like the Fox Studios Baja (where the Titanic was filmed).

Rosarito Beach is also known for its nightlife, with many bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from. You can find a variety of options to suit your mood and taste, from live music and dancing to karaoke and comedy shows.

Whether you want to party with your friends, meet new people or just relax and have a good time, this will be a spot you’ll surely enjoy.

Ensenada Beach
Ensenada beach

 #8 Stroll along Ensenada’s waterfront marina: El Malecón Ventana Al Mar

A stroll along the Malecón is a must-do activity for visitors to Ensenada. This half-mile boardwalk offers stunning views of the harbor, where you can watch sea lions lounging on the rocks, boats sailing by, and the sun setting over the ocean.

Being a popular tourist attraction, the boardwalk is also lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops, making it the perfect place to grab a bite to eat or a souvenir to take home.

As you walk, you can watch the boats come and go from the marina, and catch a glimpse of local fishermen bringing in their catch of the day. 

Ensenada sign

In addition to the stunning views and bustling atmosphere, El Malecón Ventana al Mar is also a great place to experience local culture.

You can often find street performers and musicians entertaining crowds, and there are plenty of opportunities to try traditional Mexican snacks and drinks. 

If you are in luck, as I was, you can see the fountains dancing around the huge Mexican Flag towering over the Marina.

PRO TIP – You can ask one of the fishermen by the pier to take you on a brief tour along the bay to admire the coastline and the cute sea lions swimming around. It only costs 500 pesos, for 1 hour and they will do it even for one person.

ensenada playa hermosa front
Ensenada Playa Hermosa – Drone view

 #9 Hike the challenging trail in Cañon de Doña Petra Ecological Park

Cañon de Doña Petra Park is located just 15 minutes away from downtown Ensenada and offers one of the best opportunities for hiking enthusiasts. The challenging trail here is 13.3 miles (21.4 kilometers) long and takes about six hours to complete.

If you’re looking for a challenging hike while you’re in the area, you can’t miss this one. The trail is rated as moderate to hard, with some steep and rocky slopes that require poles.

You will encounter different microclimates along the way, from desert landscapes to oak forests.

The dense vegetation in some areas provides shade and coolness on hot days.

Before embarking on the trail, make sure to bring plenty of water, and sunscreen, and wear sturdy shoes.

It’s also a good idea to bring a snack or two to keep your energy levels up. With the right preparation, hiking this trail will be an unforgettable experience.

If you are traveling solo I would hire a local guide as it’s not very smart to be in the wilderness on your own. Also watch out for rattlesnakes, especially in the summer.

Ensenada malecon fountain
Ensenada Malecon Fountain

 #10 Visit the Caracol Museo de Ciencias (Caracol Science Museum)

The Caracol Science Museum is dedicated to promoting the natural wonders of Baja California and the scientific research that studies this beautiful peninsula.

The museum is divided into three main galleries: Sala del Cielo y Planetario (Sky and Planetarium Room), Sala de la Tierra (Earth Room), and Sala del Mar (Sea Room) where you can learn about astronomy, biodiversity, and oceanography respectively. 

In the planetarium room, visitors can immerse themselves in a 360-degree view of the night sky.

It’s a truly awe-inspiring experience that will leave you feeling connected to the vast expanse of the cosmos. 

Ensenada main street
Ensenada main street

#11 Taste the original margarita at Baja California’s oldest cantina: Hussong’s

Hussong’s Cantina is a legendary bar that was established in 1892 by John Hussong, a German immigrant who came to Ensenada during the gold rush.

His bar, as it stands today, is among the top of Ensenada’s tourist attractions.

It is the oldest and most famous bar in all of Baja California. And for good reason, it is reputedly the birthplace of the margarita, the iconic cocktail made with tequila, lime, and orange liqueur. 

According to the story, bartender Don Carlos Orozco named the drink in 1941 after Margarita Henkel, the daughter of a German diplomat who was visiting the bar at the same time as Don Carlos was experimenting with a new drink.

The drink was received very well, and on the same day it was named after Margarita Henkel.

Ensenada murals
Ensenada murals

#12 Discover the art of chocolate-making at Maya Cacao

Who doesn’t love chocolate? But not a lot of people know that the Mayans played a significant role in the history of chocolate as we know it today.

They revered chocolate and it was an important part of their culture and belief system.

Maya Cacao is a place where you can experience the ancient art of chocolate-making as practiced by the Maya civilization.

You can taste cacao beans from colorful pods, grind them with stone tools, and enjoy a traditional dark chocolate drink that was reserved for the elite Mayas.

You can also participate in a workshop where you will learn about Mayan culture, and make your own chocolate (following the authentic recipe of the Mayans).

Surfer in Playa hermosa
Surfer in Playa Hermosa

#13 Relax in the uncrowded, clean beaches of Playa Hermosa

If you’ve ever been to a beach in a tourist destination that’s known for its beaches, you know a lot of those beaches can get very crowded. 

Playa Hermosa (meaning “Beautiful Beach” in Spanish) is different. It is one of the best-kept secrets in Baja California, offering uncrowded, clean, and serene shores for you to enjoy.

Best of all, it’s easily one of the top free things to do in Ensenada.

Whether you want to sunbathe on the soft sand, swim in the clear water, surf the gentle waves or explore the pristine beach, you can do all that (and more) in peace.

Ensenada Playa Hermosa
Ensenada Playa Hermosa

#14 Try deep-sea fishing

Ensenada is renowned for its diverse marine life, including yellowtail, tuna, dorado, and more.

As such, it is also a great place to go deep-sea fishing, suitable for all levels of experience, from beginners to experts.

You can choose from different types of boats and equipment depending on your preferences and budget.

You can also hire a professional guide or captain who will help you find the best spots and techniques for catching fish.

With experienced and knowledgeable local guides, you can explore the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and test your angling skills against some of the most challenging game fish in the world.

You can either keep your catch or release it back into the water.

You can find a lot of fishing boat tours on the Malecon.

Ensenada tours at Malecon

#15 Take a boat trip around the bay

One of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of Ensenada is to take a boat trip around the bay.

If you’re not into fishing, you can choose other options, such as a whale-watching tour or a sunset cruise. However keep in mind that for whale watching Ensenada, is not the best destination as you will find closer whale encounters in other spots located in Baja California Sur.

However, taking a boat trip in Ensenada is still a cool thing to do to watch the sea lions and birds, over the Pacific coastline.

ensenada marina flag

#16 Try the food from the famous La Guerrerense food cart

La Guerrerense is a humble street stand that has been serving fresh and delicious ceviche and tostadas for over 40 years and has earned the praise of celebrities like Anthony Bourdain and Mark Wiens.

You can choose from a variety of toppings, such as sea urchin, octopus, clam, scallop, abalone, shrimp, and more, and spice them up with their homemade salsas. 

But it’s not just the food that makes La Guerrerense special; it’s the experience. The food cart is located in a bustling street market, where locals and tourists alike gather to enjoy the lively atmosphere and mouth-watering dishes. 

The service is fast and friendly, and the owner, Sabina Bandera, is always ready to greet you with a smile.

In fact, the experience is so good that some reviewers have called this the “best food cart in the world.” Whether that title is true or not you will tell me.

To be honest, I didn’t try that one, but I found another incredible food cart that I totally recommend. See below.

El rey Sol
El Rey Sol – Iconic Restaurant in Ensenada

#17 Eat your way around Ensenada

Besides the iconic places that everybody knows, you will find a lot of food carts in Ensenada that offer equally delicious seafood. I have tried a few of them and here below are my favorites:

El Güero – this is where I had the most delicious seafood tostada in my life! I am serious. The food cart itself is a must-see, so well organized and clean and the guys dressed up in yellow and blue uniforms. Adorable.

The seafood looks extremely fresh and the way they serve it is incredibly professional. It’s more expensive than a regular street food cart but you totally pay what you are getting.

Also, the amount of seafood that you get is giant. It makes a full meal.

El Guero Taqueria

La Floresta Taqueria – Try the delicious shrimp and fish tacos in this historical taqueria downtown.

Ensenada la floresta tacos
Ensenada Taco from la Floresta
Ensenada taqueria la floresta
Ensenada Taqueria la Floresta

#17 Learn how to scuba dive, snorkel, and other water activities

Ensenada is a water lover’s paradise, with plenty of options to suit your preferences and budget. Whether you want to dive deep or float on top, you will find an adventure that will make your trip unforgettable. 

For those who prefer to stay on the surface, snorkeling is a great way to discover Ensenada’s diverse aquatic world. Snorkeling tours take you to the best spots to view schools of tropical fish, playful sea lions, and other underwater creatures.

If you’re looking for more adventurous water activity, try kayaking or paddleboarding along the rugged coastline.

Looking for something a bit more daring? Try scuba diving. You can choose from several dive sites, such as Campo Kennedy, Arbolitos Coves, and more, where you can see colorful sea life, shipwrecks, and even great white sharks.

You can find dive shops in downtown Ensenada. Keep in mind that in winter the water can be very cold. So it’s advisable to wait for the summer for this activities.

sea lions
Sea Lions around Ensenada Bay

#18 Ride the Desert Nest Zipline in El Sauzal

If you are looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure, you should definitely try the Desert Nest Zipline. This zipline course is located in El Sauzal, about 15 minutes north of downtown Ensenada.

You will soar over the desert landscape and enjoy panoramic views of the landscape and the mountains.

The zipline course is divided into 5 lines, the longest of which is 5,100 meters! The Desert Nest Zipline is safe, fun, and suitable for all ages.

The staff is friendly, and professional, and will go above and beyond to make sure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Ensenada bars
Bar in Ensenada

#19 Enjoy the nightlife in various bars and clubs

If you love the nightlife you will love Ensenada even more. The city is also known for its live music scene, with many bars and clubs featuring local musicians and DJs.

The city is also known for its live music scene, with many bars and clubs featuring local musicians and DJs. They each have their own vibe and atmosphere, so you’ll never be short of things to do in Ensenada at night.

In addition to the venues themselves, the atmosphere in Ensenada’s nightlife is unmatched. The city’s friendly locals and visitors create a welcoming and inclusive vibe that makes it easy to meet new people and make new friends.

Whether you’re traveling solo or with a group, you’re sure to have a great time exploring Ensenada’s nightlife scene. Just take precautions and stay safe.

Bar Andaluz
Bar Andaluz – where they claim that the Margarita was invented…not sure about it.

#20 Taste the local craft beer

Whether you’re a beer enthusiast or simply looking for a new and delicious drink to try, Ensenada’s craft beer scene is definitely worth exploring. 

Ensenada’s local craft beer is characterized by its use of locally sourced ingredients and innovative brewing techniques. Many of the beers are made with local fruits, herbs, and spices, giving them a distinct and refreshing taste. 

The city’s brewers are also known for experimenting with new brewing styles and flavors, meaning that there is always something new and exciting to try.

Best of all, there are a growing number of microbreweries and taprooms in the city that offer a wide variety of unique and flavorful beers.

Valle de Guadalupe aerial view
Valle de Guadalupe aerial view

 #21 Rent a car and take a day trip through the Valle de Guadalupe wine route

Valle de Guadalupe region, located at about 40 minutes drive from Ensenada, is home to over 120 wineries that produce some of the best Mexican wines.

It is easily one of the best places to visit in Ensenada. Even if you’re not a fan of wine, you shouldn’t miss out on exploring this region.

You can explore the diverse and beautiful landscapes of the valley, taste different varieties of wines, learn about the winemaking process, and enjoy delicious meals at local restaurants.

Valle de guadalupe domeq wine pouring
Valle de Guadalupe Domeq wine tasting

There are both small micro wineries and large commercial ones in the area, and you will find something to suit your taste and budget. 

The vineyards are surrounded by rolling hills and scenic vistas, providing a picturesque backdrop for your wine-tasting adventure.

I stayed in the Valle de Guadalupe for two nights in the beautiful B&B Casa Mayoral, and I suggest you do that too, for the best experience.

However, it’s possible to visit in one day as it’s only 30 minutes drive from Ensenada.

If you don’t feel like driving there are great tours offered from Ensenada where they take you to visit different wineries and lavender fields.

Valle de Guadalupe domeq wine tasting
Domeq Winery in Valle de Guadalupe

#22 Watch the sunset from the Ensenada Mirador

Right above the main road Calle Primera, at 10 minutes winding road you will get to the mirador of Ensenada where you can enjoy spectacular views over the city and the port.

The sunset is on the other side but you will still be able to enjoy the city in a spectacular light. Perfect for stunning pictures.

Ensenada lookout at sunset
Sunset from Ensenada

Recommended Guided Tours in Ensenada

#23 Las Cañadas Canopy Tour in Ensenada

This tour lets you experience the thrill of flying in five zip lines, two of them about 500 meters long, and crossing multiple hanging bridges, each with a unique challenge.

You will enjoy breathtaking views of the mountains, forest, and lake as you soar through the air and test your balance and courage.

Don’t worry about the safety aspect, though. The tour is very safe and suitable for all ages. You can take part in the activities here as long as you are at least 50 inches tall and can fit the safety harness.

The grounds also have swimming pools, the biggest children’s water park in the whole state, ATV rentals, paddle boats, camping, and more.

#24 La Bufadora Tour in Baja California

As we’ve already covered in #5 on this list, La Bufadora is the largest sea geyser in North America, and one of the most spectacular natural attractions in Mexico.

The drive to La Bufadora is quite scenic, where you can enjoy the views of the Pacific Ocean and the rugged cliffs.

You might also have a chance to stop at a local market, where you can find a variety of souvenirs, crafts, snacks and drinks.

But, of course, the main highlight of the tour is witnessing the amazing power of La Bufadora, which shoots water out of a sea cave more than 100 feet into the air with a loud roar. The water spray creates a rainbow effect that adds to the beauty of the spectacle.

The best time to visit La Bufadora is when the tide is high and the waves are strong, as this makes the geyser even more impressive.

If you don’t feel like driving on your own you are in luck becuase you can find a lot of affordable tours some of which combine different activities so you can squeeze more attractions in one day.

More highly rated tours to la Bufadora

#25 Guadalupe Valley Wine Route Tour in Baja California

Want to tour the Guadalupe Valley but aren’t up for renting a car and taking the drive? No problem! This tour will take you to the best spots along the wine route in Guadalupe.

Hotel pickup and drop-off is included, which means you just have to book the tour and hop on the bus; the company will do the rest.

Along the tour, you’ll visit four different wineries, each with its own style and personality.

And you will have the opportunity to taste a variety of wines, from reds and whites to roses and sparkling wines. You will also learn about the winemaking process and the characteristics of each wine.

Valle de guadalupe field
Valle de Guadalupe field – La Cetto

Other tours to the Valle de Guadalupe

#26 Horseback riding

Horseback riding is a great activity for people of all ages and skill levels, and it allows you to explore the scenic coastline and estuary of Ensenada at your own pace (and in a very fun way).

These tours take riders on scenic routes through the countryside, vineyards, and coastal areas, offering stunning views of the landscape.

There are many companies offering horseback riding tours in Ensenada in a variety of different places.

la cetto valle de guadalupe
La Cetto Valle de Guadalupe

#27 ATV off road adventure in the Valle de Guadalupe

Want to ride on a powerful and easy-to-use ATV through the scenic backcountry of the wine region, passing by vineyards, hills, and valleys? Say no more!

There are tons of tours in Ensenada that will take you on a wild ride through the region’s most beautiful natural areas, including valleys, hills, and vineyards.

Many tours include stops at local landmarks and points of interest, providing visitors with a unique glimpse into the history and culture of Ensenada.

Food and beverage options are also available (though not always with every tour), with many tours including wine tastings and local cuisine.

#28 Lavender field tour

At Aires de Lavanda farm in Valle de Guadalupe, you can take a guided tour of the lavender fields and learn about the cultivation, harvesting, and distillation of this fragrant herb. The farm is one of the hidden gems in Ensenada.

You will also get to sample some of the natural cosmetic products made from lavender, such as soap, lotion, and oil.

You can even make your own bouquet or sachet of lavender to take home with you. The tour lasts about an hour and includes a refreshing lemonade drink and a lavender dessert.


When is the best month to go to Ensenada?

The best month to go to Ensenada depends on personal preferences and interests. Generally, the peak season in Ensenada is during the summer months of June through August when the weather is warm and there are many festivals and events happening.

However, as you can guess, prices for accommodations and activities will be high during this time.

For those looking to avoid the crowds and save money, the shoulder seasons of March through May and September through November offer a good balance between good weather and slightly lower prices.

You’ll still enjoy many of Ensenada’s attractions and festivals during these times, with fewer crowds and more affordable accommodations and activities.

If you really want to maximize your savings, visiting during the winter months of December through February, when temperatures can be cooler and rain is more common.

However, you’ll find great deals on accommodations and activities during this time.

I was there in February and I loved the cool weather, and most of all I loved that I didn’t see any snakes around.

In the summer it is most likely that you see rattlesnakes around your hotel room, easily. I know I freaked out when I learned about it. Just make sure you close your hotel room door and window and you’ll be fine.

ensenada cafe
Ensenada Cute Cafe

Where to stay in Ensenada

When I visited Ensenada I stayed in an Airbnb on the main coastal road which was away from the busy downtown and I loved it. But I had a car.

If you don’t have a car I would recommend staying Downtown so that you will be at walking distance of shops and restaurants and the main attractions.

In my where to stay in Ensenada post, I will share all the best hotels and home rentals that I have specially selected based on location and guest rating.

Here I am sharing a few options as well.

Hotel Villa Fontana Inn – budget-friendly hotel in downtown Ensenada

Casa Asturias – luxury hotel in downtown Ensenada

City Plus Ensenada – Mid-range hotel on the beach just outside Ensenada

Ensenada drone view at sunset
Drone view from my Airbnb in Ensenada

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you spend a day in Ensenada?

Ensenada is a beautiful coastal city that offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors. Above, I’ve listed just 27 of them, but that list is far from exhaustive.

There’s an endless array of possibilities on how you can go about spending a day in the city. 

You can try delicious Mexican food in one of the countless restaurants in the city, spend a day learning about the history of the region in the Riviera Cultural Center, take a drive to La Bufadora, try horseback riding, visit Valle de Guadalupe and enjoy world-class wines, enjoy the vibrant nightlife of Ensenada in one of its many bars, casinos, and clubs, and the list goes on and on.

When it comes to having fun in Ensenada, the sky is the limit.

Ensenada Church in Downtown

Is Ensenada worth visiting?

Absolutely! I had very low expectations and I have to say that I was quite impressed by all the things Ensenada has to offer, especially the food. Soo good!!

is a city that’s packed with fun opportunities for visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

From stunning beaches and vineyards to outdoor adventures and cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone in Ensenada.

Where is Ensenada Located?

Ensenada is located in the Baja California State of Mexico only 64 miles (107 km) south of Tijuana.

Is Ensenada walkable?

Generally, yes. But it also depends on what you want to do/see here and where you’re staying.

Ensenada is a walkable city if you are staying near the port or the downtown area, where you can find many things to do and see within walking distance. 

However, if you want to enjoy more of Ensenada’s attractions like Hermosa beach, or if you want to go all the way to La Bufadora, you need to take a taxi or a bus to get to some of the places that are farther away from the port.

Ensenada Marina
Ensenada Marina and Malecon

Can you swim in Ensenada?

Yes, you can swim in Ensenada, but it’s important to be aware of the conditions and take necessary precautions.

Ensenada has several beaches that are safe for swimming, like Playa Hermosa, Playa Estero, and Playa Baja.

However, some beaches may have strong currents or rough surf, so it’s important to pay attention to warning signs and be cautious when entering the water.

With proper precautions and awareness, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable swimming experience.

Are Ensenada beaches clean?

Ensenada has several beaches that are clean and well-maintained, offering visitors a safe and enjoyable swimming experience.

Playa Hermosa and Playa Baja are two of the most popular and well-known beaches in Ensenada, and are known for their clean and clear waters.

However, generally speaking, the more popular and crowded beaches tend to be less clean than the less frequented ones.

This is because they receive more visitors who may leave behind trash, debris or pollution.

This does not mean that these beaches are unsafe or unhealthy.

They still have their charm and appeal, and many people enjoy them for their convenience and amenities.

ensenada playa hermosa
Ensenada Playa Hermosa

Do I need pesos in Ensenada?

Yes, I highly recommend that you carry pesos when traveling to Ensenada.

While some businesses may accept US dollars, the exchange rate they’ll provide you is not favorable and you will end up overpaying (by at least 10%). 

Additionally, many businesses, notably the smaller ones, only accept pesos.

Visitors can exchange their currency for pesos at banks or exchange houses in Ensenada, or withdraw pesos from ATMs using a debit card (this approach is not recommended as the ATMs will charge you extra).

Overall, having pesos on hand will make your trip to Ensenada smoother and more enjoyable.

Is Ensenada safe for tourists?

Yes, Ensenada is generally a safe destination for tourists. Thousands of tourists visit Ensenada each year without any unpleasant incidents.

However, that doesn’t mean you can throw caution to the wind when you’re here. So be aware of your surroundings.

Like any popular tourist destination, Ensenada has its share of petty crime.

While you’re in the city, please take common sense precautions such as avoiding walking alone at night, not flashing expensive jewelry or electronics, and keeping valuables out of sight.

With just a little bit of caution, you’ll have a very enjoyable trip to Ensenada.

Ensenada main street restaurants and shops
Ensenada Main Street Shops

Is driving to Ensenada from San Diego safe?

Yes, driving to Ensenada from San Diego is generally safe, but you should do prior research the driving conditions and take necessary precautions. 

The route from San Diego to Ensenada is heavily traveled.

However, traffic can be heavy during peak tourist season, and you should be prepared for long wait times at the border during this time. 

It’s also important to have proper documentation, including a valid passport and valid driver’s license, when crossing the border.

Additionally, visitors should be aware of local driving laws and customs, such as the use of turn signals and the requirement to have Mexico-specific liability insurance

You can also check out Baja Bound Mexican Insurance, one of the most popular car insurance for US travelers to Baja.

How far is Ensenada from the US border?

Ensenada is around 70 miles (110 kilometers) from the US border.

What food is Ensenada known for?

Ensenada is famous for its seafood and wine, as well as its fusion of Mexican and Asian cuisines.

One of the most iconic foods of Ensenada is the Baja-style taco, which consists of crispy fried fish or shrimp wrapped in a soft corn tortilla and topped with shredded cabbage, salsa, and crema.

You can find these delicious tacos at street stalls, markets, and restaurants all over the city.

Another popular food of Ensenada is ceviche, which is raw fish or shellfish marinated in lime juice, onion, cilantro, and chilies. Ceviche can be served on a tostada, in a cup, or on a plate with crackers or chips.

If you are a fan of spicy food, you should try Aguachile, which is a version of ceviche with a green chili sauce that covers the shrimp or scallop.

Ensenada’s cuisine also has a strong influence on Chinese food, which can be seen in dishes like Camarones enchiladas.

This is a dish of pan-fried shrimp cooked in olive oil with garlic, Pequin pepper, and salt. It is usually eaten with rice or in a taco.

Cruise Ensenada
Cruiseship in Ensenada Port

Why do cruise ships go to Ensenada?

Cruise ships visit Ensenada for several reasons. First, Ensenada is a popular port of call for cruises departing from California, offering a convenient and accessible stop along the coast of Mexico. 

Additionally, Ensenada is known for its scenic coastline, picturesque harbor, and vibrant culture, making it an attractive destination for cruise passengers. 

The city is also home to several popular tourist attractions, including wineries, beaches, and historic sites, providing visitors with a variety of activities and experiences to choose from. 

And finally, Ensenada is a gateway to other popular destinations in Baja California, such as the Valle de Guadalupe wine region and La Bufadora, a natural blowhole attraction.

Overall, Ensenada’s combination of accessibility, natural beauty, and cultural attractions make it an ideal destination for cruise ships.

Ensenada Main Street
Ensenada Main street

Things to Do in Ensenada: final thoughts

As you may have realized by now, Ensenada is a gem of a destination, offering visitors a wealth of activities, attractions, and experiences to enjoy.

Whether you’re interested in history, culture, outdoor adventure, food, and drink, or simply soaking up the sun on a beautiful beach, this city has you covered. There’s no shortage of fun things to do in Ensenada.

From exploring museums and historical sites to hiking through canyons and sampling local wines, the city and its surrounding areas are full of unique and memorable experiences.

You can easily spend a week or more exploring all the attractions and activities that this beautiful city has to offer.

I hope this guide has helped you plan your trip to this pretty city of Baja California.