Rosarito is a popular beach town on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, in the foothills of the Peninsular Ranges.
Rosarito is visited by more than a million people every year.
This resort destination is located 30 miles south of San Diego, California, and approximately 10 miles from Tijuana, Mexico.
It has a reputation of an attractive holiday destination that can be visited at any time of the year, having a perfect Mediterranean-like climate and over 25 hotels.
Whether you want a traditional holiday at the beachside, or you hope for a destination with plenty of nature and culture immersive activities, Rosarito will not disappoint you.
Discover the awesome local cuisine, engage in exciting outdoor recreation, and rejuvenate at the beautiful beaches of Rosarito.
Rosarito Beach and Watersport Activities
Rosarito has beautiful, scenic, white-sand beaches.
You can take a stroll, go for a jog, sunbathe, eat tacos and other local delicacies, exercise or swim.
Rosarito is known as a surfer's paradise.
The beaches of Rosarito are quite popular for a number of water activities, such as scuba diving and snorkeling.
Rosarito has a few popular trails including Cerro El Coronel, which rewards you with a stunning panoramic view of the beaches of Rosarito.
Rosarito is also known for its stunning golden sunsets.
One of the best viewpoints to enjoy the ocean view at sunset is from the boardwalk which leads from the Rosarito Beach Hotel.
Another way to experience the magical sunset in Rosarito is to book a boat sailing tour.
Christ of the Sacred Heart Statue
Situated on a hill 6 miles south of Rosarito, there is a statue of Christ known in Spanish as Cristo del Sagrado Corazón.
The 75 feet tall and 40 tons heavy statue, located above the town of El Morro, depicts Jesus with open arms stretched forward, displaying his sacred heart with thorns and coat of color.
The project took seven years to complete, and the statue was inaugurated in 2006.
This iconic statue is made of steel and fiberglass.
The landmark can only be accessed through the Villas San Pedro entrance, and the best time to visit is from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Sport Fishing and Whale Watching
The waters off the coast of Rosarito are rich in ocean life, including fish, seabirds and migrating whales.
Consider either sport fishing directly from the Rosarito Pier, or chartering a boat.
When it comes to all things fishing, another on the list of must-do activities is a visit to the nearby fishing village of Puerto Popotla.
This small village, located approximately four miles south of Rosarito Beach, has an intriguing history.
It is said that during the prohibition, Al Capone had a house in Popotla.
Today Popotla is quite a dynamic rustic community of fishermen, with a fresh fish market.
Test your knowledge of seafood here, and enjoy the local delicacies at one of the many snack stalls and eateries.
Another very popular eco-activity in Rosarito is whale watching.
Baja California is an important area along the migrating route of whale species.
Join one of the many whale-watching half-day tours offered in Rosarito.
The most popular time to go on a whale-watching excursion is in winter (January to March).
Do not forget to carry a pair of binoculars for a perfect whale-watching experience.
Horseback or Camelback Riding
A popular way to explore and enjoy the beaches and the nearby hills of Rosarito is to take a horseback or camelback tour.
There are several local stables that can provide this unforgettable experience.
The trails are easy and enjoyable.
The horses are domesticated and trained specially for these tours.
Therefore, horseback riding in Rosarito is an activity suitable for people at any level of aptitude, including children and absolute beginners.
Pony rides are also available for children.
You can opt for a customized tour for your family or friends, or join a standardized group tour.
Don’t forget to put on some comfortable clothing, sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen.
Extreme and Adventure Sports
Another popular way to explore the beach, including the sand dunes of the nearby Primo Tapia village, is by renting an ATV (an all-terrain vehicle).
Jet skiing and kayaking could also be adventurous modes of enjoying your time in Rosarito.
Some visitors choose para-sailing, for an incredible view of the beach, the sea and the surrounding area.
The Historical Rosarito Canyon is a perfect, yet less explored nature spot in the Rosarito area.
It is typically visited for dirt biking, but also for trail running.
Twice a year, in spring and end of summer, the traditional Rosarito-to-Ensenada 50-mile bike ride takes place.
This is a popular ride in which thousands of people participate at a time.
For an adrenaline-packed holiday and a unique aerial experience of Rosarito, consider a zip line adventure.
One of the most attractive local sites in Rosarito is the Underwater Park with its ship cemetery.
The Park stretches over an area of 125 acres and contains the sunken ship Uribe 121, settled 95 feet on the ocean floor.
Expert divers (certified Advanced Open Water Divers) can take a full-day diving tour.
Visit to the Baja Film Studios
Baja Studios were built on 46 acres and has a stunning, 3000 ft of oceanfront.
It was originally built for filming the epic, blockbuster movie “Titanic”.
The facility also has one of the largest water tanks in the world, with a capacity of 17 million gallons.
This “infinite horizon” tank, overlooking the Pacific, created stunning visual effects of an infinite ocean horizon.
Originally, Baja Studios were owned by Twentieth Century Fox, but in 2007 they were sold to local businessmen.
Baja Studios opened for the public in 2001, and the tour was originally named Foxploration.
As a part of the tour, the visitors had the opportunity to see many displays and exhibits related to the movie Titanic and other box office hits.
Among many others, Baja Studios has built the sets for the movies “Tomorrow Never Dies,” “Deep Blue Sea,” “Pearl Harbor,” “The Curse of the Black Pearl” and “Planet of the Apes”.
Although the tour is no longer available, the studios can still be visited.
A Boat Ride to Islas Los Coronados
Coronado Islands (or Islands of the Coronation) are a group of four barren islands, just 12 miles away from the shore of Rosarito.
You can take a boat tour to these exotic islands.
You will experience crystal-clear, azure waters and pristine, deserted beaches of Los Coronados.
Numerous folk tales are told about these mysterious islands.
According to some, the islands were never permanently populated due to the lack of freshwater.
Others say that these beautiful islands were once home to several pirate coves and caves.
The Coronado Islands have extraordinarily rich biodiversity, and they have a status of a protected wildlife refuge for many species, including gulls, sea ducks and elephant seals.
Experienced divers can explore the rocky reefs and caverns of these amazing islands.
Amateur swimmers and divers should be cautious of open sea currents.
It is also important to note that the boat can be anchored near the shore, as trips ashore are not allowed.
This restriction has been put in place to protect the diverse wildlife of the Coronado Islands.
Dining at Puerto Nuevo Lobster Village
Rosarito has a rich and unique gastronomic scene, with more than 30 eateries to choose from.
Arguably the most famous local specialty is the traditionally prepared lobster.
Soaked in butter and fried, the fresh lobster is served with beans, rice, tortillas and molcajete sauce.
This dish is available in Puerto Nuevo lobster village, located 20 minutes out of Rosarito.
Every year, an estimated 100,000 so-called “langosta” lobsters are served here.
The indigenous wine and bear are also not to be missed.
Visiting Puerto Nuevo lobster village is typically a one-day trip.
Apart from the great food, there is plenty more to enjoy in Puerto Nuevo.
There is the music of the mariachi bands.
There are many local shops where you can buy Mexican art, crafts and clothes.
The beaches are laid-back and peaceful.
The Rosarito Beach Hotel
The Rosarito Beach Hotel is Art Deco-era hotel built in 1925.
This grandeur hotel has three towers and 500 rooms.
This is a place to go if you wish to experience some of the old-day Hollywood glam.
The hotel was once popular among the elite Hollywood actors and producers.
Among the most notable guests of this hotel are many movie legends, including Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Kirk Douglas.
Today, it is considered one of the most iconic objects in Rosarito.
Various cultural events are hosted here throughout the year, including Mariachi and Folklore Festivals, the Baja Blues Fest and Flying Samaritans 4th of July Festival.
Discovering Rosarito’s Artistic Community
One of the best ways of exploring the local culture in Rosarito is to visit the many art centers and galleries.
The most prominent cultural centers are the State Art Center (CEART), the Municipal Culture Institute (IMAC) and the Baja California Culture Institute (ICBC).
These centers regularly display exhibits and organize various cultural events and festivals.
The Ugi Gallery features selected works by Alvaro Morales.
Polo’s Gallery displays the work of many Baja artists.
The Local Artisan Market in Rosarito is a charming network of narrow lanes, full of arts and crafts shops.
In Plaza Pabellón, local artisans, such as carpenters and sculptors, sell unique pieces of furniture.
For this reason, Rosarito is extremely popular both among established and amateur artists.
Shopping in Rosarito
Rosarito’s main street is Boulevard Benito Juarez, packed with stores and stalls.
Here you can buy an authentic Mexican poncho, pottery, furniture, silver jewelry or leathers.
You can also go to the Local Artisan Market, which hosts over a hundred stalls.
Various crafts, clothes and all kinds of souvenirs can be purchased here.
Another popular place to visit is Dulceria Ayala, where you can buy dried fruits, candies and other local sweet delicacies.
Apart from offering a great shopping experience, these famous venues in Rosarito also provide an extraordinary visual treat.
A Visit to Tijuana
In just 30 minutes from Rosarito, you can reach Tijuana, the gateway to Mexico and one of the world’s most visited cities.
Tijuana has a rich cultural scene, beautiful beaches, diverse Mexican and international cuisine and great nightlife.
This vibrant border city offers a lot of fun.
Do not miss seeing the iconic, spherical and desert sand-colored Tijuana Cultural Center.
Visit the colorful Avenida Revolucion packed with restaurants, cafés, galleries and street murals.
Discover the brimming with life El Popo Market for a taste of local cuisine and pretty souvenirs.
Wine and Beer Tasting
Visit some of Rosarito’s fine wineries and breweries, or book a longer, 2-4 days trip to Valle de Guadalupe, through a local tour operator.
The region has become very popular for the wide range of locally produced craft beers and quality wines.
Indulge yourself in this sensory experience for a memorable time in Rosarito, and see for yourself why Mexican wines are becoming world-popular.
Rosarito and its surrounding area have a few hiking trails popular among nature enthusiasts.
Camino al Coronel is a five-mile out and back trail, appropriate for hikers of all levels, and recommended for its scenic views.
The three-mile, moderate Cerro Piloncillo is another trail, whose highlight is the chance to see some wildlife.
The 12-mile-long Sendero El Descanso is a moderate loop trail.
All these trails start near Playas de Rosarito.
Experience the Night Life in Rosarito
Rosarito has the reputation of a party beach town.
Due to its proximity to the United States - Mexico border, Rosarito is a popular nightlife destination for U.S. visitors.
With its numerous beachfront bars, discos and nightclubs, where you can party hard, all night long.
Every year, there are many beach festivals organized in Rosarito, including Beer Fest and various DJ concerts.
Enjoy the vibrant nightlife of Rosarito for a memorable holiday.