The sand of the beach turns into desert and palm trees merge with forests
The great variety of natural attractions around Ensenada, Mexico, make this an interesting place to visit and explore. It is situated on the coastline of Bahia de Todos Santos, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean in the state of Baja California about 50 miles from the United States border. The municipality surrounding the city has considerable climatic variety as well as clear blue seas, lakes, coniferous forests, and an extensive desert area.
The ships of the Spanish Crown landed at Ensenada on September 17, 1542. It was named Ensenada de Todos Santos in 1602. Ensenada is the largest municipality in Mexico and attracts adventurous spirits who enjoy water sports such as diving, surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, and sport fishing.
With its Pacific Ocean location, fishing is one of the municipality’s most important economic activities. But there is more than fishing here. On the Ensenada coast, the “ocean geyser” is a big attraction. Created by the action of the sea on rock formations, La Bufadora, as it is called, expels water more than one-hundred feet into the sky as a result of the force of water entering a narrow rock cavity.
Visitors can get up close to the whales from December to March. A flotilla of small boats carries hundreds of onlookers close enough for an encounter with these giants of the sea. And Guadalupe Island, off the coast of the city, is one of the best places in the world for observing the great white shark.
In the municipality’s valley region, there are two national parks: San Pedro Mártir and Constitución de 1857. It is a source of local pride that these protected areas shelter endangered species like the puma and many other native species.
In addition, Baja California accounts for 80 percent of national wine production, and the majority of the wineries are in Ensenada. Nearby Guadalupe and adjacent Calafia, known for olive and wine production, is where about 90 percent of Mexico’s wine production originates.
The harvest season has one of the best festivals, focusing on wine tasting and visiting wine cellars. Since this is Mexico, expect the experience to be accompanied by good music, shows, and food.
It’s best to combine a nature tour with a cultural tour, bringing to life the Spanish conquest era. The indigenous Yuman people, who the Spanish encountered upon their arrival nearly 500 years ago, have undergone many changes, including losing part of their language. In twenty-first century Ensenada, there are groups of Kiliwa, Paipai, and Kumeyaay peoples dependent on sustainable tourism for the preservation of their traditions.
- Extreme Sports
- Village Tours
- Museums and Cultural Centers
- Traditions and Festivities
- Arts and Crafts