Cruise ship passengers can find many things to do in Ensenada to explore Mexican history and culture as well as the beautiful landscape of the Baja peninsula.
Ensenada is one of the largest cities in the Mexican state of Baja California, with a population greater than 450,000 residents. Just 70 miles south of San Diego, Ensenada is a popular port of call for short term and weekend cruises, but it still offers a wide range of sights and activities for visitors to enjoy. The mild climate and friendly residents ensure that every passenger is welcome in this Mexican port city.
Different Things to Do in Ensenada
While Ensenada is a relatively new cruise destination, it is still an exciting place to visit and offers something for everyone to enjoy, including:
- Beaches: The tranquil beaches of the region are great for surfing, sunbathing, or catching a siesta.
- Water Sports: Guests interested in a bit more activity can enjoy kayaking, sport fishing, diving, snorkeling, and other water sports in Ensenada.
- Horseback Riding: Galloping along the shore is a popular way to spend an afternoon, or trail rides are available in more remote areas.
- Whale Watching: Ensenada is along several whale migration routes and whale watching cruises are popular seasonal activities.
- Golf: World class gold resorts can be found in Ensenada, offering several challenging levels for both novice and experienced golfers.
- La Bufadora: A rare natural blowhole, la bufadora is one of the largest sea blowholes in the world and sprays water from 60 to 100 feet in the air as the tides change.
- Winery Tours: Ensenada is in the heart of Mexico's wine country, and tours are available of numerous vineyards serving a wide range of vintages. Built in 1888, Bodegas de Santo Tomas is the nation's oldest winery and while it is no longer operating, it is still a popular attraction.
- Riviera Del Pacifico: This landmark was a notorious resort and casino during the 1920s and today it still showcases stunning period architecture and history for visitors to enjoy.
- Fox Studios: For history in the making, visitors can tour the Fox Studios in Ensenada complete with interactive exhibits and props from popular films, including Pearl Harbor and Titanic.
- Dining: A trip to Ensenada isn't complete without tasting its distinctive Mexican cuisine, from simple tacos and burritos to more elaborate dishes, wild margaritas, and sugary churros hot and fresh from local vendors.
- Shopping: Many local vendors set up small booths and open air markets in popular tourist areas or visitors can stroll through the numerous boutiques in downtown Ensenada to peruse local crafts, specialty merchandise, and other souvenirs.
Cruise shore excursions are available to all of Ensenada's most popular attractions, and many tours combine different things to do in Ensenada into a larger, more comprehensive experience for guests to enjoy. In addition to visiting different attractions, shore excursions may include:
- Scuba Diving
- Jeep Adventure Tours
- Mexican Cooking Classes
- Cultural Dances and Shows
- Shopping Time
- Free Drinks
Despite the fact that Ensenada is just over an hour's drive from the United States' border, guests will quickly find that this "Cinderella of the Pacific" has a unique and distinctive culture. Understanding a few phrases of Spanish can help guests negotiate shopping prices, ask for directions, and enjoy the culture more thoroughly. Despite the mild climate the weather can be muggy in summer months, and cruise ship passengers should dress appropriately for the season. Mexican currency is not necessary for most transactions because U.S. dollars are widely accepted by local vendors.Ensenada is still a novice cruise port, though interested passengers can find sailings on Carnival Cruise Line as well as Royal Caribbean cruises that visit the city. Departure ports include Long Beach, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, though itineraries will vary. Ensenada is most frequently featured on short Mexico cruises when its proximity to the United States is beneficial, whereas longer cruises typically go further south to visit Puerto Vallarta or Acapulco.
Whether a cruise ship is docked for just a few hours or a full day, there are many different things to do in Ensenada that passengers can enjoy. From water sports to wine tasting to regional shopping, this Mexican city has something for everyone.