Top 9 Things to do in Ensenada, Mexico

July 31, 2017 Ying Subia

In Ensenada, only 80 miles south of San Diego, travelers can get a taste of Mexican food, culture and nightlife. Californians flock to this beautiful seaport town, one of the largest on the Baja peninsula, for rest, relaxation and excellent outdoor recreation activities. From surfing and sea kayaking to horseback riding and mountain biking, even the most discerning sportsperson will be impressed. Ensenada's nightlife is also a big draw. Papas and Beer and Hussong's Cantina serve up an on-going party atmosphere and lots of tequila, while nearby vineyards offer wine tasting in a more traditional and serene setting. Nature enthusiasts are wowed by the sight of gray whales and the underwater cave that randomly squirts water at onlookers. Whatever your interests, enchanting Ensenada will not disappoint.
Restaurants in Ensenada

1. First Street

Ensenada, Mexico 0463339630
Excellent
35%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
19%
Poor
3%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 269 reviews

First Street

This street is lined with shops selling curio, with many items costing under $5.

Reviewed By Jack P - Moreno Valley, California

We were looking for the taco truck parked near McDonalds because one of the TripAdvisor reviewers gave it a thumbs up. We were just off a cruise ship and it was Revolution Day. We followed the parade and came to McDonalds... And there was the truck (well actually a trailer left there by another vehicle. Think Roach Coach.) As soon as the parade was done we crossed the street to the corner across from McDs.
These guys were busy feeding the parade crowd, but got to us after a short time. Their breaded shrimp taco is fantastic. Shrimp cooked perfectly, covered in a crispy breaded coating. Piping hot and ready to go. I agree these street tacos are King!

2. Bodegas de Santo Tomas

Avenida Miramar 666 | btwn Calles 6 & 7, Ensenada 22800, Mexico 52-617-83333 ext. 22
Excellent
63%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 143 reviews

Bodegas de Santo Tomas

Founded in 1888, Baja's oldest winery continues in the Santo Tomas Mission's wine-making tradition and offers visitors samples of wines, breads and cheeses.

Reviewed By buhollos - Ensenada, Mexico

Santa Tomas wine is among the best of Baja's, especially at a reasonable price. The Bodegas' tasting room is an inviting corner to head for a few hours of comfortable and relaxing sipping of whites, reds, port and desert wines. Offering a surprisingly vast array of simple to complex vintages, the staff is knowledgeable, warm and welcoming. While no food is currently served on site, next door one can pick up various nibbles such as a cheese tray, and bring it along to enjoy with the wine. Tastings are offered starting at about $5 and the Bodega is conveniently located in the heart of Ensenada. The wines are also available by the bottle so be sure to take some with you!

3. La Bufadora

Punta Banda, Ensenada, Mexico +52 646 107 2073
Excellent
36%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
22%
Poor
4%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

La Bufadora

Roughly translated as "the snorter," this underwater cave regularly sucks in sea water and spits it out the cave's top drenching visitors to the site.

Reviewed By Diane N - San Diego, California

La Bufadora was the highlight of our cruise ports on this trip. The blowhole is a must see and the drive there which is 45 minutes is enjoyable. Our guide was very interesting and told us about the culture, history and current news about Ensenada. There is shopping here and the vendors are a bit pushy but you expect that in Mexico. We ended up hanging out for quite a while watching the blowhole and taking lots of pictures . The views are amazing. We had some tacos from the shop at the front of the walk to the blowhole and they were delicious. Great day!

4. Cultural Center of Ensenada

Ensenada, Mexico +52 646 176 4310
Excellent
35%
Good
48%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 98 reviews

Cultural Center of Ensenada

Housed in an old casino, this center contains space to be rented out for public events, but also has a natural history museum that can be seen for US$1.

Reviewed By 870mindys - Mission, Texas

The architecture of this building is simply incredible! Beautiful woodwork, tiles, and history come together to make this a must see. Carefully and lovingly maintained, this is a great tourist attraction. My husband and I visited Ensenada on our honeymoon and are so glad we chose this tour from our cruise ship. If you love history, this is for you.

5. Rivera del Pacifico

Boulevard Lazaro Cardenas 1421, Ensenada 22880, Mexico +52 646 176 4310
Excellent
48%
Good
45%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 53 reviews

Rivera del Pacifico

Once a casino, this graceful white building is now an architectural monument and features tours of its voluptuous interiors.

Reviewed By southguy - Terrebonne, Canada

It was one of the stops on a Cruise Excursion. Interesting narration of the origin of California and Baja California. Visit of the building with information. Refreshments were included in the tour and also wine tasting where you could buy wine from the region. Outside, in the courtyard, there are merchants with a good choice of products and souvenirs.

6. La Casa de Dona Lupe

Valle de Guadalupe | Parcela 72-92, Ensenada, Mexico +52 664 155 2323
Excellent
45%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
4%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 121 reviews

La Casa de Dona Lupe

Reviewed By jiggerb - Las Vegas, Nevada

We've been to Ensenada more times than we can recall over the past 50 years...yes, it's changed. The past 12 years, we stop several times a year as a ticket punch for a cruise. Twice, we have taken an inexpensive ship excursion to two wineries out in the countryside - this is one of them. Our first visit was entertaining - great nibbles, wine, more nibble, more wine and we did some shopping for infused olive oils and some tasty jams. We were also entertained by an Aztecan-style fire dance. Second visit, less food, less wine and no entertainment. I would hope that second visit was just a fluke as we were impressed the first time around to return.

7. El Parque de la Bandera

Avenida Castillo | Zona Centro, Ensenada 22800, Mexico
Excellent
66%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 23 reviews

El Parque de la Bandera

Reviewed By LandCruisers - San Diego, California

This relatively new attraction by the waterfront is delightful, night or day. During a summer day, children by the dozens frolic in the ever-changing dancing Fountains, as their parents and other bystanders watch with big smiles. At night, starting at 8 pm, the Fountains are gated off so no one can run through them, and the light show begins. The Fountains and lights are synchronized to music, from classical to pop, with breath-taking swings from murmuring puddles to tall, pulsing geysers. Hundreds of people gather to watch, small children on their parents' shoulders, everyone with a cell phone held high, taking photos and movies. Nearby, toddlers (and older) can ride plush jungle animals to the sounds of Lion King or other fun music. A small electric train also offers rides starting from here. Cotton candy, churros, coldstone ice cream, and snacks of every kind are available from street vendors. And beyond this plaza, you can stroll in either direction along the waterfront, watching the boats, the ships, the tugs, and all the happy families glorying in their time to relax. Good for the soul.

8. Plaza Civica

Ensenada 22800, Mexico
Excellent
34%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
32%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 74 reviews

Plaza Civica

Ensenada's city center containing the busts of three historical figures: Benito Juarez, Miguel Hidalgo and Venustiano Carranza.

Reviewed By Jill L

We came to this location through a tour. The statues are beautiful and the history behind them is very interesting. There are about 4 monuments in the same location.
There are also people who come out from behind things to sell you their handcrafted items, which is a little creepy. However we learned to just say no thank you and keep walking if you don't want something. Remember they barter. I did get a bracelet from one, because it was worth it to me.

9. El Salto Canyon & Waterfall

Off The Tijuana - Ensenada Libre Highway at KM 76, Ensenada, Mexico
Excellent
70%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 23 reviews

El Salto Canyon & Waterfall

Reviewed By Katie O - Los Angeles, California

I guess it was literally and figuratively miles away. The hike was short but, like every review of the place mentions, it depends on how much scrambling around the creek you do. We went up and around some of the different areas, bouldering and climbing up rocks. It was really fun and the scenery was beautiful. It was dry season so no waterfall but I can imagine it being absolutely stunning!! A great stop and it's not far from Wine Country. You can camp there too. It's great, really.

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