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Overview

Yes, camera-toting tourists descend from their cruise ships and swarm downtown several times a week. And yes, partiers revel in the streets during weekend jaunts from Southern California. But to define Ensenada solely by these facts is to give the city, which is located on one of Baja's most dramatic bays, short shrift. Remember, cruise-goers only get a few hours on land and (if you wish to) avoiding the handful of noisy frat bars is easy. The seafood here is sublime, the fish markets are hopping, and street-side taco stands sell the best fish tacos you'll likely ever eat (they were invented here, after all). Although the U.S. influence on ...

Yes, camera-toting tourists descend from their cruise ships and swarm downtown several times a week. And yes, partiers revel in the streets during weekend jaunts from Southern California. But to define Ensenada solely by these facts is to give the city, which is located on one of Baja's most dramatic bays, short shrift. Remember, cruise-goers only get a few hours on land and (if you wish to) avoiding the handful of noisy frat bars is easy. The seafood here is sublime, the fish markets are hopping, and street-side taco stands sell the best fish tacos you'll likely ever eat (they were invented here, after all). Although the U.S. influence on Ensenada is obvious (it's far from anything you'd find in mainland Mexico), it's distinctively its own place, with an interesting blend of Mexican and U.S. culture. What's more, a short drive east will put you smack in the middle of the Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico's premier wine region. And the city's waterfront, popular with families from both sides of the border, is a marvelous place to close the evening. After that, of course, it's margarita time – and few places in Baja do margaritas as well as Ensenada.

Danny Palmerlee
About the Expert

Danny Palmerlee is the main author of numerous Lonely Planet travel guides, including Ecuador, Argentina, South America on a Shoestring, and Pacific Northwest Trips.

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Danny Palmerlee for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Ensenada is located in the Mexican state of Baja California. It is 116 km (about 70 miles) south of Tijuana
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Mexican Peso
  • Research: Wikitravel | Ensenada
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    May through October