Category Archives: Ensenada

Best Breakfast of 2019

My VIP guests asked for the best breakfast here on the south side of Ensenada.  There are a few fun ones.  But, Punto en el Cosmos is the winner!

The pancakes and piggy cookies are courtesy of the chef and the Cosmos for your good karama.

The Croque Madame was a fun hommage to France.

I love machaca.

Jose, our host, suggested I get the pig cheek ommy with a light chapotle sauce.  It was delicious and unique.  Gotta ask for it, as it is not on the menu.

Maitre D’

Presentations are fresh and friendly.

Here is the beverage engine room.

Dessert treats like this are a specialty at Cosmos.

We are thrilled to award Punto en el Cosmos our 5 out of 5 intergalactic alien servers award.

Location is 1Km west of Maneadero(south Ensenada) hwy 1 on Carretera La Bufadora.

8A – 9P Lun, Mar, Jue, Vie, Sab

8A – 8P Dom

Cerrado Miercoles!

+52 646 148 6742







Salsa, Bachata, Vino

Whether you consider yourself a good dancer or not, this month returns the Salsa, Bachata and Vino 2019 to the Guadalupe Valley, where you will want to show off your best steps and enjoy the wine.

Next Saturday, August 24, the fourth edition of the social dance, Salsa Bachata & Vino 2019, will be held at the Alximia Winery in Valle de Guadalupe.

That offers? Wine tastings from more than 100 wineries, delicious restaurant food with acclaimed chefs and dinners from the farm to the table, salsa lessons and spectacular presentations of local teams.

The Mexican, Dj Panchito Lair will be in charge of creating the best bachata and salsa atmosphere, meanwhile, from Los Angeles the great DJ Voss will come.

Tickets are already on sale and you can get them through eventbrite for only $ 15 dollars, plus $ 2.55 dollars per commission. The fun will take place from 3 in the afternoon until midnight. Don’t miss it!

More information here.


Ensenada Water Crisis Continues

Bajadock: Photo is June 2014 celebration of the Aqueduct Doña Petra Canyon success

zetatijuana 5 Aug 2019

The wells of the Doña Petra Canyon, the desalination plants and the reverse flow have not yielded to the maximum. CESPE developed the 2018-2036 master plan that sets priorities for investment, in the order of 10.6 billion pesos

The water crisis in the municipality of Ensenada has not been overcome and is latent, because the works carried out in this state administration were insufficient to guarantee the supply to the total population, 24 hours a day, in addition to not ensure the supply in the short term.

Among the failed, unfinished and delayed projects, there are the wells of the Doña Petra Canyon, the desalination plants in the city and San Quintín (Kenton), the reverse flow, a Public Private Partnership (APP) to replace pipes in the city , the treated water aqueduct for the Guadalupe Valley and the State Water Plan.

Although between four and five years before, the volume of water available to the city was less than 700 liters per second (lps) and that to date almost one thousand liters per second is reached – which has allowed to provide water to about 130 thousand more inhabitants, according to the State Commission of Public Services of Ensenada, CESPE-, currently coverage is 95 percent of households in the city.

Due to the demand and to avoid the shortage again, in the next two years it is proposed to activate the second stage of the desalination plant, calculated the director of CESPE, Carlos Loyola.

Official figures show that, of average daily supply of 17 hours in 2015, in 2019 there is already water for 22 hours. In some areas it is reduced to 20 hours, where before the service was held for 10 hours. However, in the southern area the panorama is chaotic.

Currently the city is supplied by the following sources: Maneadero, 240 lps; Chapultepec, 70 lps; city, 20 lps; desalination plant, 250 lps; water treatment plant (with four months in operation, 40 lps; La Mision, 240 lps; reverse flow, 130 lps. The Guadalupe Valley has a capacity of 25 lps destined for that area.


In February 2014, the then director of CESPE, Arturo Alvarado, announced the drilling of wells in the Doña Petra Canyon with an investment of 25 million pesos, which would end the tandeos.

The wells were inaugurated in June of the same year, with a volume of 117 liters per second. However, months later they only contributed 6.6 liters per second. They are currently not listed in the source list.

After at least four delays in the date of operation and with an investment in the order of 155 million pesos, 60 more than originally planned, the reverse flow was launched at the end of 2015.With a capacity to send 300 liters of water per second, it currently provides 130 liters to Ensenada.

In 2016, the Secretary of Infrastructure and Urban Development of the State (SIDUE) launched the call for APP 009/2016 under the SIDUE-CESPE-APP-2016-009 contest, to carry out the project “Works Needed in order to Modernize the Distribution System of Potable Water in the Municipal Head of Ensenada, Baja California ”.

The winning company would invest 321 million 116 thousand 588 pesos with 88 cents, without Value Added Tax (VAT) included, obtaining a monthly consideration of 4 million 50 thousand 974 pesos with 62 cents without VAT, which would cost CESPE more than 800 million pesos in a period of 15 years. The project was rejected because it was not viable for the parastatal.

Without environmental permits, in March 2016 the symbolic start of the construction of the Kenton desalination plant in the area known as “La Chorera”, in San Quintín, took place. The work has an investment scheduled for the order of 875 million pesos, a 27-year contract under the APP scheme, with a production of 250 liters per second. Formally the works have not started, three months after the end of the current state administration.

In the first months of 2018, the State Commission of Public Services of Tijuana awarded the company Odis Asversa the contract for the “Design, Construction, Equipment and Operation of the Recovered Water Conduction System for the Guadalupe Valley in the Municipality of Ensenada ”Per thousand 544 million pesos.

In October of the same year, the document was signed between the state government and the company of Israeli origin. To date, the wine growers have not signed with the company, due to differences in the price of water.

At the end of last year, with almost 20 months of delay and a cost greater than 882.4 million pesos -310 million more than originally projected- the Ensenada desalination plant began operating.Provides 250 liters per second, with the possibility of increasing up to 500 liters per second in a second, without having a date to start it up. Even without operating, it was inaugurated in June 2018 by the then President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto.


In the southern delegations of the municipality, such as Camalú, Punta Colonet and San Quintín, CESPE provides water to its inhabitants every three to four weeks, only for one day, residents of those delegations reported.

The water arrives directly to the battery and from there it is pumped (generating greater consumption of electricity) to the houses for basic needs, such as washing dishes, using the toilet and bathing. The liquid that falls into the batteries lasts approximately two weeks.

Once the water in the battery runs out, the inhabitants must buy it from the CESPE pipes at a much higher price, between 12 and 30 pesos, the 200 liter warmth, although the distributors give priority to those who fill their batteries.

Between Camalú and San Quintín about 80 colonies are calculated without water networks, many of these irregular, while in Colonet there are three lacking pipes.

Regarding the Kenton desalination plant, Carlos Loyola commented that an ejidatario is missing for closing the deal to install the lines for its land, and acknowledged that the company has had problems from a regulatory point of view, although it already has the credit line. In his opinion, the solution to the problem of water in the southern zone is to desalinate seawater.


In Ensenada the quality is not always adequate when exceeding total dissolved solids and, since it is not of potable quality, the right to water -included in Article 4 of the Constitution- is not fulfilled, according to Dr. Mariana Villada Canela , a researcher attached to the Oceanological Research Institute (IIO) of the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC), Ensenada Campus.

In coordination with Vanessa Elizabeth García Searcy, one of her master’s students whose work was focused on the issue of ecosystem management in arid areas, Villada developed for two years the study “ Implications of the Human Right to Water in the Management of Water Resources in Baja California ”.

For both, the human right to water implies having enough recourse, that is healthy, acceptable, accessible and affordable for personal and domestic use. However, not all people have the same ability to access water.

On this subject, Loyola acknowledged that the quality of water in Ensenada varies from source. Currently the source with the worst quality (highest salinity) is that of former Ejido Chapultepec.



Given this scenario, CESPE developed the 2018-2036 Master Plan that contemplates the need to invest 10.6 billion pesos in the next 18 years, in new sources, replacement of networks, sewage collectors and treatment plants.

The plan, with a cost of 9 million pesos -50% contributed by the National Water Commission-, includes the diagnosis, demand, infrastructure and financial model; It is considered by the owner of the parastatal as a key to raising the quality of service.

Despite having identified the problem, at the end of this administration no investment will be made, instead, the plan will be delivered to the next state administration headed by the morenista Jaime Bonilla Valdez, seeking to offer a real picture of the situation facing CESPE and the city in water matters, but without the guarantee of being attended.

The first step to be taken to make CESPE’s service more efficient, engineer Loyola said in an interview, “is to have a tariff policy that achieves operational self-sufficiency.”

For the state official, it is not possible that more than 70% of the water in Ensenada has a below-cost rate, which causes losses in each cubic meter. The current domestic rate is around 19 pesos on average, while the average cost per cubic meter reaches 32 pesos.

The next step would be to review the feasibility of the projected investments, for which it opened the possibility of doing so under a mixed, adequate and transparent scheme, with private investment, without discarding public investment.

According to the diagnosis, the city of Ensenada has about 400 thousand inhabitants in the urban area and more than half a million in the municipality.

In October 2018, there were 800 leaks in the network and almost one thousand in meter frames. In June 2019, 170 leaks were reported.

As for calls due to lack of water, in 2015 there were 3,741 monthly reports, that is, almost 45,000 calls in the year. Three years later, the number dropped to 1,667 monthly reports, 12,000 a year, while in 2019 the average is 340 monthly calls.

However, approximately 40% of the water networks in the city are in poor condition, with a useful life close to 40 years, causing the parastatal to operate “practically manually, we do not have automation”. Said automation, Loyola said, “would save resources on personnel, gasoline and units, which would allow to invest in efficiency and reduce operating costs.”

CESPE has a portfolio of approximately 145 thousand clients; In 2036 it is projected to reach 270 thousand accounts, almost double the current. This will cause the current demand to increase from one cubic meter per second to between 2.7 and 3 cubic meters per second.

In order to cope with this situation, in addition to the increase in the rate, the need to replace driving lines, fountains, aqueducts, sewerage network and treatment plants is included.

Just to efficiently operate the Maneadero aqueduct, an investment of 411 million pesos is calculated; Another aqueduct to which it is urgent to invest is the Morelos, from San Antonio de las Minas to the tanks.

For the urban area, for the next few years it is proposed to activate the second phase of the desalination plant (until reaching 500 lps), then build another plant north of the municipality, between El Sauzal and La Mision, along the Carretera Libre, where the CESPE has identified an enormous amount of land susceptible to development in which the main inhibitor is water.

“After that desalination plant in the north I no longer dare to say what the next work would be, it could be the Tanamá-Ensenada aqueduct or a third desalination plant,” the head of CESPE analyzed.

Finally, the section of the financial model is considered as the tool for decision-making regarding tariff and administration policies, aimed at generating investment conditions between the various government orders.

The vision of this model is that CESPE can have a sustained and efficient operation, that at a given moment the government resources go to investment and not operation, as is currently the case.

He exemplified with the inability to pay desalinated water due to the non-approval of the increase in the rate by local deputies. At the end of this year it is estimated that the state government will contribute about 170 million pesos for the payment of said water, when the ideal would have been to invest it in infrastructure, he explained.

The current operating cost of CESPE is estimated at 760 million pesos, with an overall amount of 840 million, taking into account liabilities with the National Water Commission and Issstecali, among others; generates revenue of 600 million pesos and, at the same time, faces a debt in the order of one billion pesos.

Ensenada Toll Road Approach

Check out this 360 view of the beautiful approach to Ensenada from the north on the Toll Road.

Emmanuel Zambrano Photography

Breakfast Burrito Wars

Some mornings call for a breakfast burrito from the street.

Our research staff decided to inspect a few B.B. vendors and compare them.

We started with a favorite stop, the San Miguel 7/11&Pemex just south of the Ensenada toll booth.

SanMig “Arbolitos”(my nickname for him) has been here for several years, located on north edge of the 7/11 in shade trees.  A gas stop, handful of selections of fresh 7/11 coffee for the toll road and a couple of burritos ease the ride.  Check the Micky Mouse pants.

Yep, it’s just a snack, not a monster gut bomb.  But at 13 pesos, it’s warm and comfy.

That’s real ham.  I think SanMig Arbolitos opens at 7.

A new guy opens his trunk at 6AM at San Miguel.  He is located 50 meters north of “Arbolitos”.  I’ll call him “Palmas”. He was getting his sign out at 5:55 this morning. Location is empty lot on north side of 7/11.  Manta ray ‘rito?  Hmmm.

Seems to be more of everything in SanMig Palmas ‘ritos.  Tasted great at 6AM with some coffee.  Price is 13 pesos, same a SanMig Arbolitos.

Both of the SanMig rito vendors offer salsa, but, I’m not ready for heat in the morning and a bigger mess in my car.

Ricardo’s purple cart is stationed about 100 meters south of the CBP booths at San Ysidro. Guessing he has approx 4-6 camareros hustling at the border wait.

This guy was flattened, likely for packing space consideration.  It was also flat on flavor.  Bought 2 at 20 pesos each at Ricardo’s, so I had to endure the second one.  Meh.

Had my best CBP smile this Thursday morning as a hot woman in uniform is a fine sight.  Told her she had a great smile.  Thought that might get me into an ankle cuff for some adventure.  No luck.

At the Costsco on H in Chula Vista is a Burger King shoe horned into a hidden corner.  Great coffee and a bacon cheese rito make me smile.  I think it is $3.50 USD.  I like these a lot.

Carls Jr at Otay Mesa(U.S. side) has had a 2 rito for $4 special past 2 months.  It’s much larger than its south of the border cousins, but, most of that is the tortilla folded over itself.

There is more bacon in the CJ rito than my photo shows. These are excellent BBs.

My favorite BB in San Diego is Panchos, located at 2130 Birch Road at Otay Ranch.  It’s the most expensive of our research study at $5.45 with bacon, but it is twice the size of BK and CJ.

You also get this salsa bar at Panchos.  Which means I’m sitting down and relaxing with this stuff instead of hauling bunz to my next destination.

But, for overall value and fun, I’m switching my loyalty to SanMig Palmas in Ensenada, located in the empty lot just north of the 7/11.  2 burritos for 30 pesos(4 peso propina) or ~ $1.60USD is a hot value(cover photo).

What’s yours?

Toll Road Booths Collecting Again

by traffic editor Quincy Quiebra

Surprise, surprise, they thieving protestors were no longer at the toll booths Thursday afternoon.  They were present in the early morning on my Ensenada to San Diego early commute.

Above photo is TJ toll booth just after 5:30PM.  Southbound was backed up approx 300 yds with a 10 minute delay.  Are they retraining the operators after 8 months of vacation?

Could not get a good photo but this zoom shot shows you that northbound traffic in background was also backed up for a similar distance.  I am curious why the big drama and delay.

There was a big police and military presence at TJ booth both in morning and afternoon.

Rosarito toll booth operating as normal Thursday evening with no wait.

‘Nada toll booth is running smoothly Thursday at 6:40PM.

Back to TJ Chaparral crossing, had a report that the new southbound US inspection booths were open and questioning travelers on Thursday morning.  Noone was home to greet me here after 5PM.

US CBP secondary inspection approaching TJ Chap crossing.  You have the prospective adventure of a vehicle inspection twice at TJ southbound.

If the US CBP shakedown isn’t enough, there is always a chance of a Mexican shakedown plus XRAY delay of approx 30 minutes.

This is the old westbound alley approach to TJ Chaparral crossing.  I’m looking east here. The new path is much better.

There is a new ramp at Salsipuedes(“leave if you can”) toll road approx K86 on the flat after El Mirador. You will merge into the northbound side.

The diversion was only about 1K and here is the ramp taking you back to the southbound side, approx K87.

Toll road changes are constant.  YMMV!  Safe travels, yall!

JornadaBC toll booth article

AFNTijuana toll booth article

SintesisTV toll booth article


Punto en el Cosmos Restaurante


My VIP guests who visit often have never had the pleasure of dining at Punto en el Cosmos in Maneadero. So guests decided to dine there on a recent Wednesday evening. CERRADO LAS MIERCOLES!

Good things come to those who practice patience. Thursday was a fun evening at “Cosmos”.  Temperatures at 6PM were mild with a light breeze on the outdoor patio.  Inside tables are also available.

That rib board on the cover photo somehow missed one of the highlights of the meal.  The beans are smoked along with ribs.  There is a non-smoked rib offering.  So get the “ahumada” for Smokey Bear’s birthday celebration this month.

I asked our Cosmos host Jose for his recommendation tonight.  It was a lamb burger.  The lamb was actually shredded meat and meshed together with carmelized onions and cheese.  This is the best burger I have had in Baja.

There regular burgers are also excellent, but, my camera failed me tonight.

A bird joined the scene in our view south at Cosmos.

Looks like our alien couple are taking a break from each other.

Just last week, Cosmos put up a new sign on Carretera La Bufadora.

Owner Beba, Chef Jackie, Host Jose and team are so welcoming and accommodating of their guests.  This business treats customers like family!

We are out of this world with happiness and award Cosmos with out 5 out of 5 Best Papas Fritas in Baja Award.

They open at 8 for breakfast and close 9PM.  CERRADO MIERCOLES!



Cosmos’ location is 1K west of Highway 1 on Carretera La Bufadora, south side of street.

Islas de Todos Santos Boat Tour

by staff nautical director, Amiguito Pececillo

Thanks to Ensenada Professional Tour Guide, Mariana Hamman, our team enjoyed a cool day on the ocean with our captain and first mate.

You can simply walk the malecon and catch different tours of the harbor or islands or other routes.  But, we had VIP guests and reserved a private boat, Kingsman, for our four hour excursion.

We asked for permission, very unlike me, to bring our picnic including adult beverages.  We shared plenty with the crew, x-adult beverages.  And always remember that a Coke(#1) or an orange Fanta(#2) always makes you friends in Mexico.

Water, bathroom, life vests and a Mariana, a pro bi-lingual tour guide, were included.

Enjoyed seeing the container ship.  It is gigantic!  Loads of money has been spent on the cargo port infrastructure.  Mariana is pointing to the container that has her Ferrari to be delivered mañana.

One of our crew said early on that the fog would make it a bad day for boating.  Us white boys appreciate the clouds.

Bait tanks were heavily guarded.

Leaving the harbor

They have different types of cranes in Ensenada

We had a bet on whether we would see dolphins.  Should have placed the over/under at 1,000 dolphins.

Islas de Todos Santos

We learned that the fish farm rings are yellowtail tuna being fed and grown, operated by a Korean company

There are two islands.  This is the bigger and rockier one on the south.

Old and new lighthouses are on the north island.

This is my shot from the microwave tower point on Punta Banda(“Cabo Punta Banda”) from an old hike.  Even though the shot is from 1,110 feet a.s.l., the two islands appear to be connected here.

On the outside of the islands, this surf spot is known as Killers.  Any questions why the name?  Foto from

Just as we returned to Ensenada harbor, the sun began to come out of hiding.

You can find the Kingsman at 646-130-5198.  They also do whaling tours during winter whale season.

Mariana can be found via her tour website, Tours by Mariana.  She does this ocean thing, historic Ensenada tours, food & beverage tours and Valle de Guadalupe tours.  She is also a surfer, born in Ensenada and has energy that will light up your Ensenada visit.


Tijuana Most Dangerous City in World

The American newspaper USA Today placed Tijuana as the most dangerous city in the world in an analysis it released.

In his justification, with data from the Public Safety Citizen Council, he states that: “This Mexican border city 15 miles south of downtown San Diego has long been one of the most violent cities in Mexico. But even by the standards of The capital of murders, Tijuana has an extremely high murder rate, with no signs that the murders will diminish, and 2019 began with three murders on New Year’s Eve.

The city’s homicide rate increased from approximately 100 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2017 at 138 per 100,000 in 2018 “.

Regarding Ensenada, he states that: “This coastal city on the Baja California peninsula, 65 miles south of Tijuana, is one of the six Mexican cities that debuts in this ranking amid a nationwide increase in violent crime. Ensenada It has traditionally avoided cartel-related violence that inflicts other parts of western Mexico, but like other cities in Baja California, violence seems to be changing direction.

In 2017, the tourist city of Los Cabos, at the tip of the Baja California peninsula was the most dangerous city in the world. Los Cabos fell off the list in 2018. “ It should be noted that the rankings include other cities such as Acapulco, Ciudad Juárez, Ciudad Victoria and Irapuato.

The full list can be found at

<strong>1. Tijuana, Mexico</strong><br />
<strong>&bull; Homicides per 100,000 in 2018:</strong> 138<br />
<strong>&bull; Homicides in 2018:</strong> 2,640<br />
<strong>&bull; Population:</strong> 1,909,424<br />
<br />
This Mexican border city 15 miles south of downtown San Diego has long been one of Mexico's most violent cities. But even by murder-capital standards, Tijuana has an extremely high murder rate, with no signs of the killings abating. Already, 2019 kicked off with three murders on New Year's Eve. The city's homicide rate jumped from roughly 100 murders per 100,000 residents in 2017 to 138 per 100,000 in 2018.

1. Tijuana, Mexico
• Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 138
• Homicides in 2018: 2,640
• Population: 1,909,424

This Mexican border city 15 miles south of downtown San Diego has long been one of Mexico’s most violent cities. But even by murder-capital standards, Tijuana has an extremely high murder rate, with no signs of the killings abating. Already, 2019 kicked off with three murders on New Year’s Eve. The city’s homicide rate jumped from roughly 100 murders per 100,000 residents in 2017 to 138 per 100,000 in 2018.

<strong>34. Ensenada, Mexico</strong><br />
<strong>&bull; Homicides per 100,000 in 2018:</strong> 47<br />
<strong>&bull; Homicides in 2018:</strong> 253<br />
<strong>&bull; Population:</strong> 542,896<br />
<br />
This coastal city on the Baja Peninsula, 65 miles south of Tijuana, is one of six Mexican cities debuting on this ranking amid a nationwide increase in violent crime. Ensenada has traditionally avoided cartel-related violence inflicting other parts of western Mexico, but like other Baja cities, the violence seems to be shifting its direction. In 2017, the tourist city of Los Cabos, on the tip of the Baja peninsula, was the world's most dangerous city. Los Cabos fell from the list in 2018.

34. Ensenada, Mexico
• Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 47
• Homicides in 2018: 253
• Population: 542,896

Reimagined Art CEART Ensenada

Enjoyed a tour of Vincent Hammer Wray’s “Reimaginando” opening night art exhibit at CEART Ensenada on Thursday July 18.

Vincent is a Brit with fabulous wit.  This display of art is found items in the rural Valle de Guadalupe of metal, fabric and discarded farm stuff.  Wine barrel wood is a big feature.

Late notice, but, “Chente” will be at CEART today to tell you all about it.

Cow ear tags heard about this herd.

The show is available through late August 2019, open to the public.

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