Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Rosarito, Mexico

  • Published 2021/07/31

Rosarito is a famous 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 is 30 miles south of San Diego, California, and approximately 10 miles from Tijuana, Mexico.

It is 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 excellent local cuisine, engage in exciting outdoor recreation, and rejuvenate at the beautiful beaches.

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

Explore Rosarito’s White Sand Beaches

Rosarito Beach

VG Foto /

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.

Its beaches are quite famous for several 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.

The city 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.

See the Iconic Christ of the Sacred Heart Statue

Cristo del Sagrado Corazón

Miles Gehm, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Situated on a hill six miles south of central Rosarito, there is a statue of Christ known as Cristo del Sagrado Corazón or Christ of the Sacred Heart.

The 75-foot-tall, 40-ton statue, located above the town of El Morro, depicts Jesus with open arms stretched forward, displaying his sacred heart with thorns and a 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 Christ of the Sacred Heart can only be accessed through the Villas San Pedro entrance, and the best time to visit is between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.

Experience 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.

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, from January to March.

Don’t forget to carry a pair of binoculars for a perfect whale-watching experience.

Go Horseback or Camelback Riding

Horseback riding in Rosarito Beach

F Armstrong Photography /

Horseback and camelback tours are popular ways to explore and enjoy Rosarito’s beaches and the nearby hills.

Several local stables can provide this unforgettable experience.

The trails are easy and enjoyable, and the horses are domesticated and trained specially for these tours.

Horseback riding in Rosarito is suitable for people at any level of expertise, including children and 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 wear comfortable clothing, sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen.

Try Your Hand at Extreme and Adventure Sports

Paragliding in Rosarito Beach

F Armstrong Photography /

Another popular way to explore Rosarito’s beaches, including the sand dunes of the nearby Primo Tapia village, is by renting an ATV.

Jet skiing and kayaking could also be adventurous modes of enjoying your time in Rosarito.

Some visitors choose to parasail 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’s typically visited for dirt biking and trail running.

Twice a year, in the spring and the end of summer, the traditional Rosarito-to-Ensenada 50-mile bike ride takes place.

This is a famous ride in which thousands of people participate at the same time.

Consider a zip line adventure for an adrenaline-packed holiday and a unique aerial experience of Rosarito.

One of the coastal city’s most attractive local sites is the Underwater Park, with its ship cemetery.

The park stretches over 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.

Tour the Famous Baja Studios

Baja Film Studios

ArtDary /

Baja Studios was built on 46 acres and features a stunning 3,000 feet 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 was owned by Twentieth Century Fox, but in 2007 they were sold to local businessmen.

Baja Studios opened to the public in 2001, and the tour was originally named Foxploration.

As a part of the tour, visitors could see many displays and exhibits related to the movie Titanic and other box office hits.

Among many others, Baja Studios 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.

Vacation Like a Celebrity at the Rosarito Beach Hotel

Rosarito Beach Hotel

VG Foto /

The Rosarito Beach Hotel is an Art Deco-era hotel built in 1925.

This grand hotel has three towers and 500 rooms.

If you wish to experience some old-world Hollywood glam, this is the place to go.

The hotel was once popular among elite Hollywood actors and producers.

Among the most notable guests of this hotel are legends like Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth, and Kirk Douglas.

Today, the Rosarito Beach Hotel is considered one of the most iconic attractions in Rosarito.

Various cultural events are hosted here throughout the year, including the Mariachi and Folklore Festivals, the Baja Blues Fest, and the Flying Samaritans 4th of July Festival.

Discover Rosarito’s Artistic Community

One best way to explore Rosarito’s local culture is to visit the many art centers and galleries.

The most prominent cultural centers are the State Art Center, the Municipal Culture Institute, and the Baja California Culture Institute.

These centers regularly display exhibits and organize various cultural events and festivals.

Ugi Gallery features selected works by Alvaro Morales.

Polo’s Gallery displays the work of many Baja artists.

The Mercado de Artesanias, or Local Artisan Market, is a charming network of narrow lanes full of arts and crafts shops.

In Pabellón Rosarito, local artisans, such as carpenters and sculptors, sell unique pieces of furniture.

For this reason, the city is extremely popular among established and amateur artists.

Shop for Local Crafts and Delicacies at Rosarito’s Marketplaces

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 leather.

You can also go to the Local Artisan Market, which hosts over a hundred stalls.

Various crafts, clothes, and souvenirs can be purchased here.

Another popular place to visit is Dulcería Ayala, where you can buy dried fruits, candies, and other sweet local delicacies.

Apart from offering a great shopping experience, these famous venues in Rosarito also provide a great visual treat.

Hike the Scenic Trails in and around Rosarito

Rosarito and its surrounding areas 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 Rosarito’s Exciting Nightlife

Rosarito has the reputation of a party beach town.

Due to its proximity to the United States-Mexico border, it’s a popular nightlife destination for US visitors.

It’s home to numerous beachfront bars, discos, and nightclubs where you can party all night long.

Every year, there are many beach festivals organized in Rosarito, including the Beerfest and various DJ concerts.

Enjoy the vibrant nightlife of Rosarito for a memorable holiday.

Feel the Outdoor Vibe at Pikin Rosarito Park

Pikin Rosarito Park features amenities, including a pool area, barbecues and campers, a kids’ playground, a cafe bar, and even more to ensure everyone in the family has fun.

The five-foot swimming pool is immaculately clean because a reverse osmosis filtering system is utilized to keep it.

The children’s playground has a trampoline, swings, slides, and open areas.

The restaurant and bar at Pikin Rosarito Park offers live music, a wide selection of food, WiFi, and a terrace with views of the adventure circuit.

There is a rental option for sleeping bags and tents.

You may also have fun in the air by doing quick jumps, strolling on the hanging bridge, and zip lining.

Spend Your Day Pampering at Le Spa

Le Spa provides its customers with the highest luxury and health care standards while offering them the best service and keeping their costs low.

Individual spa packages, including sea salt, soaks, sugar scrubs, masks, and lotions in a range of aromas, are included in their premium and deluxe treatments.

Le Spa has more than 400 gel colors and more than 500 polish colors.

Choose among their body treatments, massages, pedicures, and facials to pamper yourself.

Eat, Drink, and Party at Papas&Beer

People from all around the world visit Papas&Beer, an upscale recreational beach club accessible all year.

Rodrigo Ampudia and his uncle Rogerio Ampudia were the minds behind the family-run beach club.

The oceanfront bar has gained a reputation for entertaining guests.

People come from far and wide to have a good time at Papas&Beer because of their famous fries, the team’s positive spirit, and the warm and welcoming setting.

The location offers a multi-level, beachside party complex and food and beverage options.

Papas&Beer’s industrial-grade onstage is the ideal location for live shows.

Trips to Rosarito are incomplete without attending one of their pool parties, including twerk battles, wet t-shirt contests, bottle service, and leading DJs.

Spend a Relaxing Day at Hotel Festival Plaza Playas Rosarito

Hotel Festival Plaza Playas Rosarito puts you in the core of Rosarito, only a few minutes from the Rosarito Theatre Guild and Baja California Center.

Each of the 120 beautifully furnished bedrooms is a perfect place to unwind.

Pamper yourself with relaxing massages, body treatments, and facials.

Aside from providing local papers in the lobby, Hotel Festival Plaza Playas Rosarito also features a 24-hour front desk, multilingual personnel, free WiFi, concierges, and wedding services.

Nine restaurants and a cafe are among the hotel’s various dining options.

You can also unwind with a cool drink at a hotel’s two bars or lounges.

The hotel has event spaces measuring 255 square meters.

Check Out Items to Purchase at Fausto Polanco Furniture

Purchase at Fausto Polanco Furniture is a beautiful exhibition of artisan furniture inspired by historic Mexican Haciendas and estates.

Locals and tourists visit the store to buy purchase ornamental clay pots.

They sell beautiful pottery that is handmade and highly uncommon.

Their furniture is perfect for offices, bars, bedrooms, dining rooms, and more.

Fausto Polanco Furniture also features pieces ideal for living spaces, terraces, gardens, and any other space in the house that calls for a focal point.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Sail Away to the Coronado Islands

Boat in Islas Los Coronados

VG Foto /

The Coronado Islands (or Islands of the Coronation) are a group of four barren islands just 12 miles from the shore of Rosarito.

You can take a boat tour to these exotic islands.

You’ll experience crystal-clear, azure waters and pristine, deserted beaches.

Numerous folk tales are told about these mysterious islands.

According to some, they were never permanently populated due to the lack of fresh water.

Others say they were once home to several pirate coves and caves.

Rich in biodiversity, the Coronado Islands are 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.

Try the Famous Lobsters at Puerto Nuevo Lobster Village

Rosarito has a rich and unique gastronomic scene, with more than 30 eateries.

The traditionally prepared lobster is arguably the most famous local specialty.

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, 20 minutes from Rosarito.

Every year, an estimated 100,000 so-called “langosta” lobsters are served here.

The indigenous wine and beer are also not to be missed.

Visiting Puerto Nuevo lobster village is typically a one-day trip.

Take a Side Trip to Tijuana


Denis Kabanov /

Just 30 minutes from Rosarito lies 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, cafes, galleries, and street murals.

Discover the brimming with life El Popo Market for a taste of local cuisine and pretty souvenirs.

Sample the Wine and Beer at Valle de Guadalupe

When in Rosarito, book a two-to-four-day trip to Valle de Guadalupe through a local tour operator.

The region has become very popular for its wide range of locally produced craft beers and quality wines.

Indulge yourself in this sensory experience for a memorable time, and see for yourself why Mexican wines are becoming world-famous.

Final Thoughts

The beaches and all of Rosarito’s attractions lure many vacationers.

It’s a genuinely relaxed vacation spot with lots to offer everyone.

The bright coastal city has a flair for aquatic pursuits like swimming, surfing, and jet skiing.

Galleries offer everything from textiles and jewelry to apparel and leather, showcasing the flourishing local art scene.

Furthermore, it serves as a shelter for migratory animals, such as whales, seabirds, amphibians, and other species.

Browse this list of the best things to do in Rosarito, Mexico to help you plan your next beach vacation!

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