Introduction to Things to Do in Ensenada
Cruising boaters know that Ensenada offers more than just free beer. I often sailboats (power and sails) to Ensenada in Baja California, Mexico, but cheaply from bright red sports fishing to quiet spa treatments, drinking local wine and tequila to watching.
I’ve always found a lot of fun and entertaining adventures. The movie being filmed. The best part? It’s all in English.
Recreational boaters from Southern California (known in Spanish as “yatistas”) consider Ensenada to be our foreign port right next door.
Nearly 1,000 yachts head south each fall, making Ensenada the easiest place to enter Mexico. Every spring, more than 2,000 yachts cross the finish line from Newport Beach to Ensenada Race.
Ensenada, a safe north of Hurricane Alley, is an ideal “hurricane hall” for budget-constrained Yatistas. And until the California tax law is amended, about 500 newly purchased yachts participate in the theoretical “isla mujeres catamaran” each year.
Cruising to Ensenada via the Coronado Islands
Ensenada is located 75 nautical miles (n.m.) down the coast from Point Loma Light in San Diego, or on the highway 60 miles south of Tijuana. Either way, it can be done in a day.
Sailing down will take you through the Mexican-owned Coronado Islands. You can anchor fish, dive, and rest at night, but you can’t land in the nature reserves of these four islands.
A Mexican Navy patrol based in Smagler’s Cove in Coronado del Norte will help yatistas. My favorite berth is in Coronado del Sul.
If you’re towing a boat and getting off by car, buy Mexican car insurance at San Isidro and take the toll road. The presence of a new tourist patrol prevents security issues and helps Gringo in English.
Mexico recently actually developed a marina. The Ensenada region has 1,400 full-service vouchers for voyage tourists.
In geographical order, Marina Puerto La Salina and Marina Coral (both north of town), Cruiseport Village Marina, Marina Baja Navy, Sergio Sport Fishing, and Bandito Dock (in the harbor of Ensenada). Puerto Fuson and another marina are under construction.
Port Captain set up a new mooring at the harbor in 2008, but if you want to berth for free, check out South Todos Santos Island or Puntavanda Cove.
In mild weather, small boats can anchor the beautiful Playa Estero beach and dinghy at the mouth of the birdwatching estuary at high tide.
Ensenada’s Jack & Jill
Jack gets up early and joins a half-day charter sport fishing boat (located at Marina Coral, Cruiseport Village Marina, or Sergios) to Baho San Miguel or Todos Santos Islands in search of a winter bus or summer Dorado and Merlin.
If Jack owns a recreational fishing boat, a local crew will clean Jack’s catch and wash the boat. Downtown Restaurante Casa Mar grills Jack’s fish for lunch.
Meanwhile, Jill heads to the Spa (Marina Coral) and offers a menu of hot mineral soaks and massages, from deep tissue to fruit wraps.
Invented by the Aztecs, the legendary “Temetskar” sauna is served at the Uruapan hot springs and the spas of most hotels in town.
On the way to meet Jack for lunch downtown, Jill goes to Mateos Boulevard to buy a silver boring and Josefa fashion jacket.
Further visit: Best Vacation on Boat or Cruise In 2020
With half the marina open, summer is the perfect time to visit Ensenada by boat. (Thousands of US cruising yachts in Mexico will be full by November when the cruising season begins.) Local culture blooms throughout the summer.
In August, six indigenous peoples from Baja, Arizona, Sonora, and California gather near the Marina Baja Navy to enjoy a “kill kill” or traditional gourd dancing with songs, music, food, and handicrafts.
At the same time, many Ensenada winemakers hosted Fiesta de Bendimia 2008 on a free wine tasting tour. L.A. Cetto is my favorite, but others are close to the marina.
The Ensenada Tequila Festival 2008 will be held until October. Taste mezcal, tequila and appetizers at the Riviera Cultural Center (near Cruiseport Village Marina) and see Hugoda Costa’s “Agave and Mezcal Culture”. Gourmet dining features unique tequila recipes.
There is no marina on this beach outskirts, but cruise ships berth and land people-it’s very famous. Since the 1930s, Hollywood celebrities have sprinkled Stardust on the venerable Rosalit Beach Hotel and Spa.
In 2008, stars often come here in the secret mode for a wellness break, with the whole family taking part in water parks, children’s sandcastle classes, and world-class boutique shopping. Please make a hotel reservation.