By Jennifer Levin

Known as “the Cinderella of the Pacific,” Ensenada, Mexico lies just 70 miles south of San Diego, making it the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. Find exciting water sports, fantastic Mexican food, and lovely wineries. Once a small harbor town, it is now a hot spot for Baja Norte residents and travelers alike.

Most visitors to Ensenada travel from San Diego by car, train or bus. To fly to San Diego, you will go through the San Diego International Airport. When you’ve chosen the perfect time for your vacation, book your flight with WhatsCheaper.com here  (http://www.whatscheaper.com/flight.php). There are many enticing lodging options for your stay in Ensenada. Choose from a selection of romantic B&Bs, relaxing spas and resorts, traditional hotels and motels, or even a campground or RV park. Ensenada makes you want to be outside, but it also has places to stay that will make you feel as comfortable as if you were home. Book your stay with us here (http://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php)!

Ensenada’s surrounding wine country is not to be missed. Most of the wine produced Mexico is from Baja California, and one of the most important sites is the Valle de Guadalupe, just 10 miles east of Ensenada. If you are lucky (or a savvy planner!) you could be there during their Wine Harvest Festival. WhatsCheaper.com recommends that travelers try and take a vineyard tour or go wine tasting. Another of Ensenada’s main attractions is the harbor; it is a very popular cruise site destination. You will find cruise ship travelers on the beaches and trolling the shops almost every day of the summer.

Many make the trip to Ensenada for the intense surfing. The Pacific’s huge waves crash on the beaches, and even if you don’t surf yourself it is exciting to watch the skillful athletes ride the water. You can also go sea kayaking here; this activity too can offer such an adrenaline rush, just you in a little craft, surrounded by the sea. Ensenada is also a sport fishing destination.

If you love the water but prefer to be in a larger craft, WhatsCheaper.com recommends taking a harbor cruise. The grey whale frequents the waters here at certain times of the year; why not go whale-watching? Ensenada offers land-based adventures as well, such as horseback riding and mountain biking. You could also check out one of the beautiful golf courses nearby.

Wander the streets near the water if your tastes tend more toward shopping and dancing. You’ll find souvenirs, restaurants, bars, and nightlife destinations such as dance clubs and music venues. The nightlife is hopping on the weekends, and sometimes on the weeknights too! Some of the hotels in near the water offer some sort of nighttime entertainment. WhatsCheaper.com also recommends checking out a local club; they are frequented by residents of the city and the constant stream of visitors. You could visit during Carnaval; Ensenada’s six-day, six-night celebration is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Did you travel to Mexico to immerse yourself in the local culture (beyond eating the fabulous food)? Check out one of Ensenada’s history museums. You could spend a whole day exploring the beach and science museums along with the historic and cultural sites of the city, some of which hold temporary exhibitions. You can see local art in some of the galleries in town.

Ensenada has a warm, lazy climate that entices and entraps its visitors. Whether you are there on business, for a family vacation or for a fun weekend away with friends, Ensenada is an easy place to feel contented and a difficult place to leave. Have fun!


  • 1. Bodegas de Santo Tomas
  • 2. La Bufadora
  • 3. Avenida Ruiz
  • 4. Rivera del Pacifico
  • 5. Aduana Maritima
  • 6. Plaza Civica
  • 7. Beach Go-Karts
  • 8. First Street
  • 9. Bahia de Los Angeles
  • 10. Avenida Lopez Mateos


  • 1. Horse, Arts and Wine Festival - May
  • 2. Ensenada Wine Festival - August
  • 3. Rosarito Ensenada Bike Ride - September
  • 4. Day of the Dead - November