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Ensenada Travel Guide

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Ensenada at night © Gregg Erickson

Just south of the border on the Baja Peninsula lies Ensenada, a flourishing port and holiday destination. It's a 90-minute drive south of San Diego and joins Tijuana via the spectacular Trans-Peninsula Highway, with its breathtaking ocean views. The first visitor to this beautiful bay was Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaino, who set ashore in 1602 and named the spot 'Ensenada de Todos los Santos', meaning 'inlet of all the saints'.

The saints have indeed been kind to Ensenada, which has progressed from a Spanish mission station to a fishing village to Mexico's second-most visited port of call for cruise liners and yachts. It's an extremely popular holiday destination for land-based tourists and a leading convention centre.

The weather is bright and sunny throughout the year and the Pacific beaches are magnificent. These basic ingredients have been enhanced by some wonderful natural and man-made attractions, great restaurants serving up fresh seafood and local wines, and amiable local tour operators providing a huge array of outdoor recreational activities and excursions.

Even the town's industry, which consists mainly of fishing, winemaking and canning, has become a lure for visitors, who can visit factories and wineries and liberally sample the delicious wares. Shops burst with massive arrays of Mexican arts and crafts, from elegant Taxco silver jewellery in the boutiques of the Avenida Lopez Mateos to bargain selections of leather goods, hand-blown glassware, woodcarvings, and ceramics at the bustling Los Globos flea market.

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