Ensenada Baja California

Ensenada Baja California

Ensenada Baja California Fish Market

“We have always enjoyed the safe and vibrant city of Ensenada. We love starting at the Mercado Negro and walking south down the malecon, past sportsfishing boats, tourist markets and taco stands. The ocean is the lifeblood of the city.

Ensenada Baja California Fish MarketEnsenada is a fun stopover for the road traveler. Restaurants are plentiful, handicrafts are plentiful and fun is just around the corner. Many, like us make this the first real stopover to this incredible country.”

Dorothy Bell

Ensenada, Baja California

Ensenada MapLocation:

Ensenada is located on the Pacific Ocean on the North West corner of the Baja Peninsula. It is 110 kms south of the border when you drive Highway 1 D from Tijuana.

Population: 466,900

Weather: Semi-arid – similar to a Mediterranean Climate with 280 mm (11 in) of annual precipitation falling mostly between December to March. Ensenada experiences warm summers with average highs of 21°C (70 °F) and cool winters 13 °C (55 °F). Often receives the warm Santa Ana winds from the interior.

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ensenada malecn_MG_0431History

Yuman Indians occupied the coast and interior valleys of the San Pedro Mártir and Sierra de Juárez. Portuguese explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo founded the city September 17, 1542 and named it San Mateo. It was renamed Ensenada de Todos Santos by Spanish Sebastián Vizcaíno in 1602.

The Jesuits established settlements in the early 1700’s and when expulsed in 1768, the Dominicans replaced them. The first governor built a home in Ensenada 1805. William Walker, an American invaded the Baja in 1853 for a short one year and declared himself President. In 1882 Ensenada became the capital of the Baja and in 1915 the title was transferred to Mexicali. The name was shortened to Ensenada and the “Todos Santos” part was dropped.

Like Tijuana and Rosarito, Ensenada became an entertainment magnet during prohibition with Americans jumping the border for free flowing alcohol. By the 1950’s Ensenada’s population rose to 20,000 people and the economy became diversified and stable.

Tourist Attractions

Ensenada is a seaside – marine resort area. Many of the tourist activities and economic industries are based on marine location. Surfing, sportfishing, yachting, sailing races, whale watching, research, education provide recreational and economic opportunities to the locals.

The seaside malecon provides sports fishing opportunities as well as open markets for locals and tourists. Handicrafts and tourist trinkets are readily sold at the shops and stands as well as local foods and carts. Ensenada’s Mercado Negro (black market) is the largest fish market on the Baja and is located just north of the Malecon on the sportsfishing pier.

Ensenada Baja California Hussongs

Ensenada Baja California Hussongs

Downtown Ensenada is a good place to shop for handicrafts or to head out to a restaurant.

The famous Hussongs cantina still stands and still claims to be the inventor of the first margarita. Other restaurants/nightspots have entered the market and you can enjoy the young and wannabe young crowd or simply go to their “clothing store” and pretend you did.

Wine and vineyard tourism has become a major attraction for the city. 90% of wine production in Mexico originates in the valleys near Ensenada and many producers offer tours and tastings. Fiestas de la Vendimia (Wine Harvest Festival) is a 2 week festival celebrated at the end of August.

Ensenada Baja CaliforniaLocated only 108 kilometers south of the border as advantageous for car and cruise traffic from the US. Highway 1D quickly ensures safe roads for road travelers. 3 cruise lines operate short trips to Los Angeles. Ensenada has been a traditional starting point for off road racing – The world-renowned Baja 1000 held every year in November and the Baja 500 held in June.

One of the largest Carnival’s in Mexico is held in Ensenada.

Ensenada Baja California HussongsIndustry


Ensenada is developing into a marine sciences and biotech research cluster.


As noted above, Ensenada is noted for its vineyards. Other crops include olives, tomatoes, asparagus, green onions and broccoli.

ensenda stretMining

Traditional mining of gold and silver continue albeit in a small limited amount. Gravel is currentyly being extracted from creekbeds for construction in California.

ensenada peirThe Marine Industry

The Port of Ensenada is the only deep water port in the Baja and has become part of the largest shipping route linking the west coast of the Americas with the cities of Hong Kong and Yokohama.

Commercial fishing significantly contributes to the economy with 90 different spiecies commercially fished in the area – tuna, shrimp, sardine, California spiny lobster, mackerel, abalone, sea urchin and seaweed – much of which is shipped to Asia.

Sport fishing is very popular as the large fish are comparatively close to the marine. This industry has been developed over 50 years.

Getting There:

From the Tijuana border, drive Highway 1D 110 kms past Rosarito directly to Ensenada.

Ensenada Map1Accommodations


Ensenada Hotels


South Rosarito

Alisitos K-58 Surf Point Camp

Clam Beach RV Park

Baja Seasons

Playa Saldamando Camping Park



Villa de San Miguel

California Trailer Park

King’s Coronita

Ramona Beach Trailer Park

Campo Playa RV Park

Estero Beach

Corona Beach RV Park

Mona Lisa

El Faro Beach Camping

Estero Beach Resort and RV Park





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