When you’re planning a cruise to Ensenada, consider all the amazing things you can do in this beautiful and vibrant Mexican port. From leisurely strolls down the city’s famous malecon (oceanfront promenade) to high-adrenaline adventures in the mountains, there are so many ways to spend the day at this unforgettable Mexican cruise destination. For anyone wondering what to do in Ensenada, here are our 10 top suggestions.
Adventures in the Great Outdoors
Ensenada boasts a stunning landscape, overlooking a Pacific Ocean inlet on the coast of the Baja Peninsula and backed by rugged mountain ranges. Many excursions available in Ensenada showcase the natural environment through fun outdoor adventures.
1. Jeep Adventure Tour
On a Jeep adventure tour, take a rugged ride through the mountains outside Ensenada, rumbling past picturesque vineyards and olive groves to a rural village in the Guadalupe Valley. Here, you’ll stop in at a winery for samples and a behind-the-scenes tour before a Jeep ride back. All the while, a guide offers interesting details about the history and culture of the region, and will gladly show you where to find the most delicious post-tour treats.
2. Baja Bandidos Horseback Trail
If you’d prefer to explore the landscape on horseback, go for the Baja Bandidos Horseback Trail excursion, which is suitable for beginners and experienced riders alike. From the stables of a Mexican country rancho, you’ll ride along scenic trails into the San Miguel hills, taking in views of the Salsipuedes Bay and distant offshore islands. Expert guides are there to match you with an ideal horse, offer riding instruction and lead you along some of the region’s most beautiful wilderness trails.
Take to the Water
As you travel to Ensenada, cruising down the coast of the continent, it’s impossible not to appreciate the beauty of the ocean and be enticed out onto the water. Swimming, fishing, kayaking and other water sports are all among the options for fun things to do in Ensenada.
3. Deep Sea Fishing
Venture by boat into the open ocean in search of marlin, tuna, barracuda, wahoo and many other species on a deep sea fishing excursion, departing from the marina downtown. As a bonus you might see pods of dolphins and even grey whales while you’re waiting to reel in your catch.
4. Bufadora Kayak Tour
The Bufadora, a majestic marine geyser just south of Ensenada, is undoubtedly the region’s most famous natural wonder. Witness it from an unmatched perspective – out on the water – during the Bufadora kayak tour. Paddling over clear, calm waters with a guide and getting close to the blowhole is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Explore the Culinary Scene
Homegrown wines, craft beers, olives, cheeses and the freshest seafood are among the many delightful things to eat in Ensenada that are produced locally. Anyone who loves Mexican cuisine will want to incorporate eating and even cooking into the day’s adventures while in port.
5. Wine Country Tours
Explore the historic and thriving wine country that envelops Ensenada on a guided tour. There’s the wine country tour of two wineries in the Calafia Valley or the exciting wine country ATV adventure in the Guadalupe Valley, which has you riding through vineyards and olive orchards before stopping at an estate winery. Both tours reveal how wine is made and include tastings of artisan cheeses and breads as well as wines.
6. Mexican Craft Beer Brewery and Authentic Tacos
If beer is more your thing, consider the craft brewery and tacos tour, which takes you to a local craft brewery, an award-winning microbrewery and a cantina specializing in traditional tacos. You’ll experience two different sides of Ensenada’s brewery scene by touring and tasting first at a family-owned establishment in the countryside, and then at a modern microbrewery in the city.
7. Taste of Mexico!
Do a little cooking yourself on the Taste of Mexico! tour, the highlight of which is a lesson in preparing Mexican cuisine at a local restaurant. You’ll also get to eat what you’ve made (and more!), and take a guided walking tour of Ensenada.
Go Sightseeing and Shopping
As the historic one-time capital of Baja California, Ensenada has a rich heritage and many intriguing landmarks. Taking a tour with an expert guide is the best way to discover the many sides of Ensenada, and also the best places to pick up souvenirs and gifts so you’ll always remember your time in the city.
8. La Bufadora Adventure Tour
A great way to admire La Bufadora, one of the biggest marine geysers in the world, is by taking an adventure tour that also incorporates many interesting Ensenada landmarks. A guide walks you through the history and culture of the region, and takes you to a local cultural center to learn more. Beautiful coastal scenery on the way to and from the blowhole, along with time for shopping at a flea market, are also featured in the tour.
9. City and Shopping Tour
A highlight of the city and shopping tour is the Riviera Del Pacifico resort and casino, which had its heyday in the roaring 1920s and features picturesque old Mexican architecture. The tour also takes you to the oldest winery in Mexico, and finally to the best district for shopping in Ensenada.
Relax at a Beach Resort
Perhaps the warm Mexican sunshine puts you in the mood for a serene day by the beach and pool, or you’re on a family cruise and the kids want nothing more than to play and splash in the water.
10. Ensenada Resort Getaway
Choose the Ensenada resort getaway and spend hours on end at a luxury beach resort, where a buffet lunch is included. Hit the beach or pool, sip cool drinks, rent jet skis or spend time soaking in the jacuzzi. You might also muster up the energy to visit the resort’s on-site Mexican Culture Museum, where exhibits include pre-Columbian artifacts and Maya, Aztec and Zapotec jewelry.
Excited to Explore Ensenada?
With so many fun things to do in Ensenada, you’re sure to discover that this port is a major highlight of any cruise vacation. Whether you opt for an outdoor adventure, follow your appetite to top-notch restaurants and wineries, see the sights with a local expert or simply lounge on the sand, a day in Ensenada promises to make many happy memories.
Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.