Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line LIVE! Guidebook
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Making the Most of Ensenada

Making the Most of Ensenada

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You’ll dock at Ensenada Cruise Port, a square, fairly new landfill in Ensenada harbor with space for three cruise ships (optimistic, as even two ships at a time is uncommon). The cruise port is under continuing development, with a marina, hotels, shops, and restaurants either existing or in the works. You will find a “market village” as you exit the ship. On the  2017 2- and 3-night Baja itineraries, All Ashore is 8:00 am and All Aboard is 4:45 pm (8.75 hours). The 5-night sailings typically visit for 7.5 hours.


There are just two tourist sites within reasonable walking distance, Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center, just across the coastal highway from the port, and a waterfront promenade just to the north.Taxis and shuttle vans will be waiting pierside. Shuttles offer rides into Zona Centro, the shopping district on Calle Adolfo Lopez Mateos/Calle Primera, near Calle Miramar, for about $2 round-trip, a 1.5 mile trip. Vans may continue on to La Bufadora, the marine geyser a 15-mile drive to the south, for around $13 round-trip. Yellow Taxi charges similar rates if you meet their four-passenger minimum. We do not recommend car rentals here (see Staying Safe, below), but Avis and several local agencies have in-town locations.


Zona Centro, in the general area of Calle Adolfo Lopez Mateos/Calle Primera and Calle Miramar, is the go-to destination. Tourist-focused shops offer hand crafts from all over Mexico. The real local stuff is Kumeyaay baskets, from Northern Baja. Farther afield, some of the hottest items are Casas Grandes pottery from the state of Chihuahua, and Taxco silver from south-central Mexico. Street vendors will hawk Luchas Libre wrestler masks. Two bars have particular fame, Hussong’s Cantina, on Ave. Ruiz by Calle Lopez Mateos, and Papas & Beer, just across the street. Restaurants of repute include Mariscos Bahia Ensenada, El Charo, L G Restaurante, and El Rey Sol, all on Calle Lopez Mateos/Primero.


Mexico’s drug war continues to make major headlines that cannot be ignored. However, violence involving tourists is very uncommon. And while the violence in Tijuana, just 50 miles to the north, is quite serious, Ensenada has not been significantly involved. The major risk comes when venturing outside of tourist areas, especially on deserted roads and at night. Therefore, we do not recommend car rentals in this port, and encourage you to stick to organized excursions. All this having been said, regular safety precautions should be enough in tourist areas.

In August 2017, the U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning for this region of Mexico: Exercise caution in the northern state of Baja California, particularly at night. Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain an issue throughout the state. According to the Baja California State Secretariat for Public Security, the state of Baja California experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to the same period in 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents injuring innocent bystanders have occurred during daylight hours. 

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