Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Ensenada, Mexico

  • Published 2022/07/10

Ensenada is a Mexican seaport town located near San Diego.

It is a very famous vacation destination around the world.

The town offers a variety of outdoor activities to tourists.

Ensenada is very vibrant and lively and offers some high-adrenaline adventure activities to all those who visit.

Your trip to this town is definitely going to be a one-of-a-kind experience that will stay with you forever.

These are the best things to do in Ensenada, Mexico:

Enjoy a Day in the Lap of Nature at Cañon de Doña Petra Ecological Park

Cañon de Doña Petra Ecological Park is a very famous natural park located in a residential area in Ensenada.

The park is one of the best places to capture some of the most beautiful views of the city and the coastline of Baja.

It is a perfect place for enjoying light activities such as reading books in the lap of nature, jogging, walking, as well as mountain biking.

You can also enjoy watching birds and several other animal species in the park.

Cañon de Doña Petra Ecological Park also has a very beautiful statue of a Buddhist Princess Tara.

Being such a relaxing place, this park is definitely worth checking out.

Admire the Displays at the Caracol Science Museum

The Caracol Science Museum is a recent addition to the town of Ensenada.

It revolves mainly around the scientific and engineering technology in Mexican and Baja projects.

The museum has detailed information about all these projects in Mexican and English translations.

Its permanent exhibits revolve around the heavens and the earth, while its temporary exhibitions focus on polar ice and the marine environment.

For a twist, the Caracol Science Museum also has a dinosaur exhibit, which is quite famous among kids.

Visit the Majestic El Salto Canyon and Waterfall

El Salto Canyon and Waterfall is a place that you would rarely find in travel books about Ensenada.

The place is just perfect for hiking and exploring the city’s natural bounties.

At the base of the canyon, there are seasonal pools and rock formations that look very pretty.

For more adventure, you can climb up the large hill and enjoy more stunning views, spend some time on an inland lake, and enjoy swimming and fishing.

If all that isn’t enough for you, there’s also the option to set up camp and spend a night here.

Swim with the Great White Sharks at Guadalupe Island

A shark at Guadalupe Island

Dmitry Pradun /

If you are someone who is willing to try more adventurous activities, this is the perfect place for you.

While on Guadalupe Island, you can enjoy diving in a cage with great white sharks.

Scenic view of Guadalupe Island

Alessandro De Maddalena /

You can also spend some time on the vessels and enjoy various cultures from around the world.

The diving activities are completely safe, performed under expert supervision, and definitely worth trying.

Two sharks at Guadalupe Island

Hakan Basar /

Taste the Original Margarita at Hussong’s Cantina

People in Hussong’s Cantina

Los viajes del Cangrejo, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A trip to Ensenada cannot be considered complete without checking out Hussong’s Cantina at least once.

This place is believed to be the place where the margarita was first created.

It is always crowded and offers a major Mexican vibe.

Interior of Hussong's Cantina

Isaacmoon, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The place is always entertaining, with a live band performing at all times.

While in this pub, you should make sure to taste their signature margarita, which has been a constant on the pub menu since 1941.

At the same time, don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet some locals and learn more about Ensenada and its wonders.

Treat Your Taste Buds to the Best of Mexican Cuisine with Juan More Taco Food Tours

Juan More Taco Food Tours is a blessing for all the foodies who visit Ensenada.

This food tour takes visitors all over Ensenada to familiarize them with Mexican cuisine and covers major places serving authentic Mexican food.

The tour involves tasting local flavors and exploring the city of Ensenada on foot.

This walking tour takes almost three hours to complete.

You can easily expect to explore some locally important areas in the city.

Joining a food tour is also a great way to get familiar with the city’s culture, history, and people while enjoying its food.

Witness the Famous La Bufadora

People watching the La Bufadora

Ritu Manoj Jethani /

One of the most famous tourist attractions in Ensenada, La Bufadora is one of the largest blowholes in the entire North American region.

This naturally unique place produces water waves as high as 100 feet due to the pressure exerted on water inside the cave.

View of La Bufadora from a kayak

dotspencer /

These waves are produced every few minutes, and you can expect to spot one and get drenched in water if you stand on the viewing platform.

However, it is always advisable to check the time of tides to ensure that you are able to witness this wonder for yourself.

The water spout of La Bufadora

Ron Kacmarcik /

See Ensenada from a Different Perspective through the Las Cañadas Canopy Tour

The Las Canadas Canopy Tour is part of the Las Cañadas campground.

It is an exciting adventure in form of a zip line.

The tour consists of five separate zip lines that make you balance on hanging bridges and enjoy the views of the beautiful surroundings.

This adventure activity starts at the central tower, and you are tied to a harness to ensure your safety.

These activities are carried out under expert supervision and are incredibly safe.

You can also keep your belongings with the tour company as they have some secure lockers.

Watch the Art of Chocolate-Making at Maya Cacao

There has been the mention of chocolate in ancient Mayan Scriptures, which date back 3,500 years.

It is believed that the first cacao beans were bought to the Mayans by God.

Ever since then, cacao beans have been continuously produced and revered as the major food of gods.

On your visit to this special place, Maya Cacao, you will be able to learn about the history and legacy that comes attached to cacao beans.

You will also learn how the trees are grown and how fresh beans are collected from the pod.

The special place will also offer you a chance to participate in a chocolate-making demonstration that continues for about one hour and shows how the process is carried out by hand.

You will also get a chance to taste sample Mayan chocolate drinks and taste other samples of handmade chocolates produced using cacao beans.

Go Back in Time at the Ensenada Museum of History

Exterior of Ensenada Museum of History

Ritu Manoj Jethani /

The Ensenada Museum of History is a perfect place for those who want to learn about the city’s history and how it developed.

The museum is a part of the Riviera Cultural Center of Ensenada and focuses mainly on the history of people in the Baja Peninsula and its development.

It also shows how European influence has affected the growth and development of the city as well as the mindset of the local people.

The museum is not very big when it comes to infrastructure, but the historical details it showcases are quite extensive, and a large number of documents are also present.

These documents are available in Spanish and English translations.

Apart from the documents, the museum also has a library, shop, and photo library.

Shop for Beautifully Crafted Jewelry at The Opal Mine

The Opal Mine is where you can find thousands of pieces of beautiful jewelry made with opal, Mexico’s national stone.

This is a jewelry store that is set up in the form of a mine.

The inside of the store resembles the interiors of an actual opal mine in order to remind the visitors of how this beautiful stone is discovered.

The store has a well-trained staff that will help you select the most suitable jewelry piece for you.

This place also has jewelers who can resize the rings as well as other accessories.

The Opal Mine is not only suitable for people who can’t resist buying locally made jewelry but also for those who want to do that in an affordable manner.

The store offers items in varying price ranges, from cheap to very expensive, and you can choose the things that suit your budget and requirements.

This place is perfect for buying some gifts and souvenirs to remind you of your trip to Ensenada.

Taste Some of the Best Wine in Ensenada with Valley Girl Wine Tours

Valley Girl Wine Tours offers the perfect way to try the best wine in Ensenada.

These tours will not only provide you with an opportunity to test freshly prepared wines but will also allow you to see the vineyards and experience the wineries and their processes with the help of trained guides.

The entire tour covers at least three wineries in the city, a visit to an artisan cheese factory, and a wonderful lunch.

This experience will definitely be one of the best parts of your visit to the city, as you will get to know more about the locals and the processes that they follow in making their world-famous food and wines.

Take an Adventurous Tour of the City with ATV Ensenada

ATV Ensenada offers a must-try experience for all those who seek adventure.

It’s a different type of fun activity where you can enjoy driving your own all-terrain vehicle throughout the city.

You can also opt for an ATV wine tour, which will give you the chance to visit some of the city’s best wineries on your own ATV.

ATV services can also be availed with additional adventures, such as ATV mountain tours or a zip line combo tour.

Kick Back and Relax in Playa Hermosa

Scenic view of Playa Hermosa

Comisión Mexicana de Filmaciones from México D. F., México, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Playa Hermosa is a famous beach in Ensenada.

It is located near the cruise port and is quite famous among tourists.

This beach is a perfect place to learn basic surfing techniques under the guidance of expert surfers.

The place is also good for spending some time relaxing and enjoying ocean views and the cool breeze.

If you are lucky and the weather is right, you can also play in the water.

Get Your Adrenaline Pumping with Skydive Baja

Skydive Baja is a thrilling adventure company that will help you enjoy skydiving in the city of Ensenada.

It is a different kind of experience and makes most people feel overwhelmed.

The expert instructors will help you familiarize yourself with the steps that you have to follow while jumping off the helicopter from a height of 12,000 feet.

Even though it might seem quite overwhelming, skydiving is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the views are simply breathtaking.

If you think that you are ready for this adventure, you should definitely give it a try and thank yourself later.

Meet the Animals at the Paipai Ecotourism Park

The Paipai Ecotourism Park is a famous rehabilitation center where big cat cubs are kept for their safety and development.

Most of the cubs are either sick, injured, abandoned, or orphaned when they are brought to the center.

All these cats are divided into different groups depending on their ages.

The center also has other animals like parrots.

The Paipai Ecotourism Park also has a small petting zoo that houses a large number of domestic animals.

This is a perfect place to visit if you are visiting Ensenada with kids.

The small admission fee is used toward the park’s development and maintenance.

See the Sea Lions at La Lobera

Sea Lions at La Lobera

HTurner /

If you are excited to see some aquatic animals like sea lions on your visit to Ensenada, La Lobera is the perfect place for you.

This is a sea cave located on the south coast of Ensenada.

This stunning cave is 20 feet below the beach and is home to some sea lions.

Sea lions swimming at La Lobera


The place is a bit far, but it is so beautiful that the drive there will surely be worth it.

La Lobera is truly awe-inspiring and will live forever in your memories.

There is a nearby restaurant that serves delicious Mexican food at very reasonable prices, so you can grab a bite to eat after your visit.

A sea lion on the shore of La Lobera

HTurner /

Go Horseback Riding along Desert Trails

Desert Trails is just a quick five-minute drive from downtown Ensenda.

It offers unique opportunities for equestrians and visitors in general who want to experience horseback riding.

Horseback riding may be a standalone experience or a part of a multi-day trip with the company’s small stable of well-trained horses.

Taking a few lessons before hitting the beach or the beautiful hilly terrain is a great way to brush up on your riding abilities.

Itineraries might be as short as an hour or as long as four hours, depending on your preferences.

Catch a Show at El Parque De La Bandera

A water fountain show at Parque De La Bandera

Pornprapa Korprasert /

Malecon, a waterfront promenade, runs across the city’s central area, much like many other Mexican coastal cities.

To get to Parque de la Bandera (which translates to “Park of the Flag”), go down the Malecon.

Tourists can see why the park is named like that due to the tall Mexican flagpole on the site.

A child in the middle of Parque De La Bandera's water fountain

Pornprapa Korprasert /

You may often see open-air performances on the park’s stage.

The most magnificent concert takes place every evening at 8:00 p.m.

If you’re looking for an entertaining and educational water show for the whole family, visit this park.

Experience Deep-Sea Fishing with Sergio’s Sportfishing

This outfitter’s fleet of custom-built sport fishing boats has been hosting anglers since 1997.

It has a vast fleet of vessels that can seat anywhere from three to 30 people.

In addition to deep-sea fishing, it also hosts tours to Punta Banda, San Miguel Reef, and Todos Santos Island.

A live bait, fish-finder, fishing rods, reels, and sinkers are all included in the trip’s price.

Also available for charter are scenic cruises, parties, or celebrations on the boats.

Discover the History of the Hotel Riviera del Pacifico

Exterior of Hotel Riviera del Pacifico

The original uploader was Tempo at Spanish Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Throughout its long and colorful history, the Hotel Riviera del Pacifico in Ensenada has been known by many different names.

American vacationers would stay in this luxurious hotel and enjoy the stunning beach as a way to escape Prohibition’s restrictions during the 1920s.

While serving as a center of operations for Mexican and American troops during World War II, when Prohibition was abolished in the United States, the hotel was bankrupt and shuttered its doors.

Several years after WWII, the hotel reopened.

Still, it became the scene of a great lover’s scandal, finally leading to the property’s final demise.

When Mexico’s government took over, it chose to begin the process of reunification in 1978.

Restoration of the building was completed in 1981, and it reopened to the public as a social, cultural, and civic center.

Today, the Hotel Riviera del Pacifico comprises a theater, a cantina, and the Ensenada History Museum, all of which are open to the general public.

Support Local Arts and Crafts at Avenida Lopez Mateos

A decorative bridge at Avenida Lopez Mateos

Sherry V Smith /

Ensenada’s main thoroughfare, Avenida Lopez Mateos or Calle Primera, is located in the city’s heart.

This street is dotted with restaurants and stores where you can purchase souvenirs and sample Mexican gastronomy.

Mariachi musicians may be heard performing music at the cafes and on the street in Mexico.

Buy handmade leather goods, ceramics, and textiles from different parts of Mexico.

Cruising tourists seeking a quick jaunt into the city love this street.

Final Thoughts

Ensenada, Mexico, is a stunning destination for a day trip from San Diego or a more extended tour across Mexico.

Thanks to the abundance of exciting activities and mouth-watering dining options, you’re guaranteed a fantastic visit.

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