Imagine a beautiful, little coastal town with sparkling crystal-blue waters, stark mountains and a Mediterranean climate. Add to that a long, varied history and world-famous restaurants. You might think we’re talking about Italy or Greece – but this stunning destination is Ensenada, Mexico.
Ensenada is quite a popular cruise destination, and one that’s sure to provide you with great travel stories for your friends and family. While listening to travel stories is always fun, you can also accompany your tales with some authentic Baja California gifts, handpicked for them!
Here are some of the best types of souvenirs to buy in Ensenada.
1. Silver Jewelry
Silver is always a good thing to buy in Ensenada – especially when it’s a memory from your cruise vacation! The prices are right and the craftsmanship is excellent. Look for the 925 stamp for sterling silver and then pick your favorite design.
Taxco silver jewelry from the town of the same name has become famous all over Mexico and the world. Items are collectible and valuable. You can find Taxco silver jewelry and much more in Ensenada.
Made from the blue-gray tequilana species of agave, tequila is a favorite for many cocktail lovers. Tequila is a great base for everything from classic margaritas to palomas and more. Connoisseurs will be happy to find brands not available in the U.S. at very manageable prices.
3. Baja California Wine
Ensenada is where Mexico meets the Mediterranean. The unique climate of this area of Baja makes it a great wine-producing region. You’ll find red, white, rosé, sparkling wine and other varieties – but the region is home to some especially nice Zinfandels, perfect for sipping under the Mexican sun.
If you’re not a fan of tequila, bring or ship some wine to a friend back home. Who knows, they may even share it with you!
4. Local Textiles
If you like artisanal crafts, the bounty of gifts from Ensenada is seemingly endless. Mexico is rich with beautiful handmade textiles like clothing, rugs, hammocks and blankets. From embroidered flowers to prints and patterns in bright colors, Mexican textiles are true works of art. You can stuff your suitcase full of clothing and snuggle up with your blanket on the plane home.
5. Wooden Handicrafts
If you’re on a family cruise, everyone will love shopping for wooden crafts. Hand-carved wood items in Baja run the gamut from statues, toys, mythical animal masks, wall hangings, pens, frames and more – take your pick! Some are brightly painted, some are polished, some are stained.
Mexico’s brilliant wood carvings take many creative forms, and they’re all a delight for the eyes. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to buy a piece directly from the artist. No matter what, it will serve as a special keepsake from your trip.
If you’re looking to bring home a taste of Ensenada, then look no further! Caramel’s richer, sweeter cousin cajeta – or dulce de leche – is made with sweetened condensed milk instead of sugar. Cajeta is widely used in Mexican desserts like crepes, ice cream and cake fillings – but it’s delectable all by itself.
A jar of gooey, creamy cajeta is the perfect gift for practically anyone, but especially a baker or a friend with a sweet tooth!
7. Ceramics & Tile
Mexico has a very long tradition of ceramic and tile-making with both Spanish and native influences. Talavera-style ceramics are the colorfully painted and shiny glazed pieces you see in bathroom sinks, on floors, entryways, fountains and practically everywhere else in Mexico. As a coffee table coaster or wall piece, they make a happy reminder of your cruise to Ensenada.
8. Handmade Leather Goods
Leather items in Mexico are often still handmade using traditional methods. Stroll through the mercado and browse leather sandals, belts, purses, boots, wallets and more, embossed with cool designs or even your name. Braided leather, dyed leather, fringe – it’s all there.
Who do you know that would love a new leather belt from Mexico? Hint – maybe it’s you!
9. Mexican Vanilla
If you love a vanilla latte or vanilla ice cream, you have Mexico to thank. The vanilla orchid originally comes from Mesoamerica, which includes parts of today’s Mexico and Guatemala. Vanilla smells and tastes great, and you can bring it back as a gift from Ensenada.
Pure Mexican vanilla (in liquid form) may cost you, but it’s so worth it. And remember, a little goes a long way. Vanilla makes a great gift for a friend or family member, or a little something for you.
10. Mexican Coffee
While on your cruise, you can start your day with a delicious coffee and a stunning view. And when you step off the cruise ship, put local Mexican coffee beans on your what-to-buy-in-Ensenada list. The country produces a lot of excellent coffee, with shops featuring local brews to satisfy your taste buds.
Take home a bag or two, so you can enjoy a nice cup of memories anytime you like.
If you’re going on, or considering taking a cruise to Mexico, you have a fantastic vacation in store for you. With each trip, you can expect to have a blast on our great shore excursions, learn about an amazing culture and take home some special Baja California souvenirs.
Carnival has Ensenada cruises available – with cruises leaving from Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, California. All you have to do is choose where you want to start your adventure. We’ll take care of the rest.