Ensenada Facelift


foto por Zeta Tijuana

Ensenada’s Facelift at the city’s north entry on Blvd Costero is starting this week.  Also the malecon is undergoing its own cosmetic surgery.

Our staff’s Ten Point Ensenada Improvement Plan offers some fresh ideas, but, city officials have not yet contacted us.  We are keeping our lunch schedule available.  So, one of our photographers took a twirl downtown on a January cruise ship Tuesday to see what is happening in the city known as the “Cinderella of the Pacific”.

ensmalplma ensmallot ensmalplma3 ensmalelfaro

ensmalalley ensmalbas ensmalban ensmalplma2

click above thumbnail photos for larger size, photos by undercover Bajadock staff photographer


Downtown Ensenada, the malecon and the northern entry to the city were definitely SLEEPY this Tuesday.  There were few tourists, but, lots of security guards, disguised as pigeons.

Shuttered doors, empty shops, an empty fenced parking lot and trash dominated the scene.  There were signs and posters for lots of 2014 events stapled on kiosks and poles.

ensmalcrucerofoto por Bajadock

At 3PM, saw approx 12 workers dawdling on the malecon construction job.  Some block, some pipes and other materials plus fences had the area closed to tourists.   Hope the work progresses with a grand scene as a result.

The large Plaza Marina, with two floors of vacant shops, casts a dark shadow on the malecon.  Please forgive my spoiled gringo perspective, but, Plaza Marina could offer restaurants with a view of the cruiseport, boats and sunsets.  There have been a handful of restaurants come and go.  Embarcadero and Texas BBQ(that’s right) are the latest victims.

The Mercado Negro fish market also seems worn out.  There is as much old fish and fishy measuring on this market as fresh seafood.

As our staff photographer’s fashion statement and blue eyes scream “Gringo Turista”, he stopped in at the 2 Proturismo information centers to see what info was available.

When asked about activities, kayaking and restaurants at La Bufadora, a weak “just go out there” while pointing at the map was the response.

Our undercover dude also inquired about live music on the weekend.  “This is winter and there is not much music activity this time of year.”.  Hmmm.  That’s it?  That’s your “music in Ensenada elevator pitch”?  Way to pump up the volume.

What about a Valle de Guadalupe wine tour?  A 3 page typed sheet of approx 12 tour vendors was provided with names, phone numbers and prices of various tours.   OK, this was good info on wine tours, whale tours, Pedro San Martir and more.

Where can I take a picnic lunch with a view?  Playa Hermosa, the municipal beach was a good answer.  Can I take beer on my lunch?  Our hostess showed me the OXXO convenience store, where “everybody buys there beer and cross the street to the beach to sip and sunset.”  2 THUMBS UP on this answer.

Where can I rent a kayak?  “Just go out on the road to La Bufadora.  Out there in Cantu, you will find kayaks to rent.”  Ummm, that’s not a very good answer.

To be fair, on a slow day sitting behind a desk, it is difficult to summon your stage presence for a dumb gringo.  These desk clerks likely are not well paid.  It’s just that there was little engagement with our undercover gringo.

“Where are you from?”; “Is this your first visit?”; “How long is your visit?”; “Where are you staying?”; “What activities interest you?”; “What is your budget for an evening escort?”   OK, just kidding!   But, none of these questions were offered.

I did receive a very nice “book 2 nights, get the 3rd free” hotel coupon from Proturismo.  The coupon expired December 31, 2014.  But, it does have a colorful and spiffy “comeback 2 Ensenada; One Day is not enough!” slogan on it.

Our standard advice when visiting?  Find a cafe or bar, like Cafe Arabiga or Bar Andaluz and chat up the locals for solid tourist and entertainment information.  Those people are motivated to show you a good time and are in the know on good food, good music and good shopping deals.

2014 Entrada Grande a Ensenada 

Ensenada’s facelift on Costero Blvd and the Malecon will last through the summer and will be painful for those businesses on the north end of the city.  We hope that the disruption is minimal and the results are more Snow White than Sleepy the Dwarf.

foto por El Vigia…and away we go!


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