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Enjoy Ensenada

Things to do in Ensenada, Mexico

Travelers come from all over the world to experience the rugged beauty and rich culture in Baja California. Famous for its pristine beaches, authentic local cuisine and blossoming wine country, the Ensenada region has become a ‘must-see’ for foodies and outdoor enthusiasts.

At Hotel Coral & Marina, discovering Baja’s top attractions has never been easier. Our premier oceanfront property is located directly on the shores of Todos Santos Bay, just minutes from top vineyards, world-class surf spots, and downtown Ensenada’s locally owned shops, restaurants and bars.

Not sure where to start? Sign up for one of our all-inclusive tours and we’ll do the planning for you. Spend a day sampling wines at the best vineyards in Guadalupe Valley. Go on a cruise in search of migrating whales. From horseback rides to scuba diving excursions, Hotel Coral is guaranteed to have a tour you’ll love.

Scroll down to learn more about nearby attractions, events, tours and cuisine.

Nearby Attractions

  • Downtown Ensenada (7 mins.)
  • San Miguel Beach (10 mins.)
  • Local vineyards (10-35 mins.)
  • Guadalupe Valley wine region (22 mins.)
  • Baja Country Club golf course (36 mins.)
  • La Bufadora blowhole (50 mins.)
  • Bajamar golf course (57 mins.)
  • Todos Santos Island (12-mile boat ride)

The vineyards and wineries of Ensenada.

Mexico has supplied the world with fine tequilas and beers for centuries and has evolved into a renowned wine region that wine connoisseurs and tourists are sure to enjoy.  Ensenada’s global recognition for their wine region is mostly due to the historical wine route and the new flourishing wineries located in the beautiful valleys adjacent to the ocean.  Baja California produces more than 90% of the wines in Mexico and the majority comes from the Guadalupe Valley appellation which is conveniently located near Ensenada.  The location of the valley shares similar characteristics with the Mediterranean, combines unique characteristics of elevation, temperature, soil and seasons, and is perfect for grape cultivation.

The historical wine producing area of Ensenada offers spectacular events and warm hospitality for visitors as well as wine connoisseurs.  Visitors can learn all about the rich wine culture surrounding Ensenada from the interesting history and traditions to the evolution of the grape varietals that thrive in Baja California.

The winemaking heritage in Mexico dates back to the Spanish conquest at the end of the 16th century.  The ancient wineries adapted to the land and new climates so well that the Spanish crown, due to the fear of competition, banned all wine production from the new wineries.  Many of the missionaries refused and continued producing wine on a very small scale until 1791 when missionaries at Saint Thomas Mission revived the tradition.  Soon after, in 1834 missionaries at our lady of Guadalupe Mission began cultivating grapes in the now famous, Guadalupe Valley.  By the end of the 19th century, the wineries that were tended by the missionaries had been abandoned and did not flourish again until the establishment of Bodegas Santo Tomás.

Explore Baja California’s beautiful wine country and enjoy the finest wines in Mexico.

Package Includes:

  • One night in a Standard Suite
  • Breakfast for two people
  • Three vineyard tour

Please call to reserve 1-(800)-862-9020, or e-mail us at: ventas@hotelcoral.com

Terms and Conditions:
Promotion valid until September 30, 2014. All rates are in USD. Taxes not included. Restrictions may apply.

For more information click here.

Arrival Place              

Includes                                   

L.A. CETTO

Every day 10am - 4pm 

Tour and explanation - 4 wines tasting

MONTE XANIC

Every day 11am - 4pm

Tour and explanation - 8 wines tasting

VIÑA LICEAGA

Every day 11am - 5pm 

Tour and explanation - 4 wines tasting

VILLAS MAGLEN

Every day 10am - 7pm

Tour and explanation - 5 wines tasting

BARON BALCHE

Every day 9am - 6pm 

Tour and explanation - 3 wines tasting

LAS NUBES

Every day 10am - 5pm

Tour and explanation - 4 wines tasting

LAS FUENTES

Tuesday to Sunday 11am - 6pm 

Tour and explanation - 8 wines tasting

VILLA MONTEFIORI

Monday, Thursday and Friday 8am - 4pm Saturdays and Sundays 11am - 6pm

Tour and explanation - 5 wines tasting

LA LOMITA

Thursday to Sunday 12pm - 6pm

Tour and explanation - 4 wines tasting

CASA DE PIEDRA

Reservations required 24 hours before 

Tour and explanation - 4 wines tasting

TRES VALLES

Reservations required 24 hours before 

Tour and explanation - 4 wines tasting

ADOBE GUADALUPE

Reservations required 24 hours before 

Tour and explanation - 4 wines tasting

SAN RAFAEL

Reservations required 24 hours before

Monday to Saturdays 9am - 2pm

Tour and explanation - 3 wines tasting

CAVA MARCELO

Reservations required 24 hours before

Saturdays and Sundays 1pm - 6pm

Tour and tasting

Rates:
$30 USD per person, for 5-18 passengers (wine tasting not included).
$158 USD total, for 1-4 passengers (wine tasting not included).

Departure: 11 a.m.
Arrival: 4 p.m.

* Schedules are subject to the availability of each winery.

Mexico features 18 gastronomic routes, which cover 155 destinations in 32 states. In their scents and flavors, the 1,500 dishes and drinks found along these routes embody the culture and traditions of Mexico.

Within the Baja California and Baja California Sur range is a route known as "the kitchen between vineyards and the aromas of the sea." In the northern part of the peninsula, the trip includes the municipalities of Mexicali, Tijuana, Tecate, Rosarito and Ensenada.The journey offers a unique experience based on culture and the natural resources of the region.

In the state capital of Mexicali, Chinese food has been part of the cuisine for decades due to a strong Asian presence there. Tijuana, on the other hand, is famous for the "Caesar Salad" produced from romaine lettuce, hardboiled eggs, bread crumbs fried in oil, dried cheese, vinegar, sugar, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Rosarito Beach has taken advantage of the local marine resources to create one of the route’s most famous dishes, "Puerto Nuevo-Style Lobster," which is served with rice, beans and flour tortillas.

Drinks and desserts are also abundant along the route, with the most popular drink being Tecate beer. The famous Tecate brewery shares the same name of the region where it was born.

In Baja California, the locals have been baking sweet bread for decades. Visitors can try white and wheat breads, crackers, fine pastries, sandwiches and traditional donuts. Bakeries and mini-marts are on virtually every street corner in town.

As the largest city in Baja California, Ensenada offers dishes and drinks known for their unique seasonings and local ingredients. The gastronomy tour is from the Guadalupe Valley to Cedros Island, and it features traditional drinks and innovative styles of cooking.

Main Dishes

  • Fish Tacos – For over 30 years this dish has received praise for the originality of the recipe. White fish fillets are covered in a thick, delicious batter, fried in oil and served on a corn tortilla accompanied with pico de gallo, cabbage, sour cream, avocado and onions. Kiosks and stands on street corners will make your tacos however you like.
  • 7 Seas Soup – The 7 Seas Soup is served hot and the recipe includes fish, scallops, clams, catfish, shrimp and vegetables. The soup is seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and an optional hint of cilantro.
  • Ceviche – This delightful dish is prepared with fresh-squeezed lemon juice and fish, which give it an authentic Mexican flavor. By adding fresh vegetables and tomato juice, ceviche makes the perfect spread for crunchy toast on a summer afternoon.
  • Seafood Cocktail – There are two types of seafood cocktails: single or mixed. The first includes only one selection of seafood, such as shrimp, octopus or clam. The second combines all of the seafood that’s in season. The meat is dipped in lemon and tomato juice with fresh tomato, onion, chili, avocado and cilantro. It is served in a large wine glass and is typically accompanied by crackers or tortilla chips.
  • Russian Cuisine – Early Russian settlers came to the Guadalupe Valley over a century ago, and the Russian style of cooking is still alive. The area offers a variety of recipes that are typically prepared with dairy products, geese, ducksand wild rabbits, and then accompanied by traditional Russian bread.
  • Paella – Baja California carries on the tradition of paellas through Guadalupe Valley’s annual harvest festival. Paella usually includes meat, seafood or a mix of both, combined with rice and various vegetables. By cooking on an open fire, the tradition has been adapted to Baja California.
  • From the Valley – You can find a variety of authentic Mexican cuisine in the valley. Some of the dishes include lamb casserole, steak, lamb chops, beer-marinated prime cut steaks, chicken breast stuffed with spinach and mushrooms, pizzas and more.

Desserts

  • Artisan Sorbet – This soft-textured desert is full of flavor and sure to delight your taste buds. Local traditional specials are goat cheese and red wine sorbets.

Drinks

  • Wines – Thanks to the unique microclimates in the valleys surrounding Ensenada, the region produces delightful red, white, rose and sparkling wines. The extraordinary quality of the wines has brought international fame to the region. Our wines have become a symbol of Baja Californian culture and are an integral part of the local economy.
  • Margarita – In the mid-1940s, the queen of cocktails arrived in the beautiful port of Ensenada. A renowned bartender, Mr. David Negrete Covarrubias, wanted to make a perfect drink that kept the salt separate from the other ingredients. David combined an ounce of lime with tequila and orange liquor, and then poured it into a glass with salt along the rim. This was the first time the famous “Margarita” was served.
  • Craft Beer – The nearby cities of Tijuana and Tecate are home to breweries that have worldwide distribution. Innovative entrepreneurs in the region have begun creating artisan beers that are characterized by a mix of traditional lager and fruit extracts. Some of the flavors use mango, tamarind, strawberry, honey and mint.

Products

Ensenada’s local farms and ranches have produced craft foods for generations. These handmade products are sold along the route in Baja California and represent the best of local culture and tradition.

  • Olive Oil – The quality of olive oil depends on the composition of the soil, the microclimate, the ripeness of the olives and the care in the processing. The region and climate in the Guadalupe Valley are ideal for olive cultivation, and visitors can take home a variety of delicious blends.
  • Real del Castillo Cheese – At the tip of Ensenada is a region called Ojos Negros, and it’s here that Los Quesos Real del Castillo are produced. These dairy products are known for their gourmet style and natural processing. They do not contain artificial flavoring, coloring or preservatives, and the dairy cows are raised without chemical treatments or hormones. Home-style cheeses are aged from 21 days to 18 months.
  • Abalone – Mexico is home to eight of the nine species of abalone eaten in North America. Between 1945 and 1965, the locals on Cedros Island ate the seafood caught in the local waters, especially lobster and abalone. However, a lack of electricity on the island created problems for storing the food. The fisherman developed abalone sausage to avoid the need for refrigeration. These techniques led to the creation of crèmes and pates, which are typically made from ground meats and herbs minced into a spreadable paste.

Baja-Med dishes infuse three different types of cuisine: Spanish Mediterranean, Asian (due to the strong presence of Asians in Mexicali) and Mexico’s traditional flavors and spices. The bay of Todos Santos shares similar characteristics with the Mediterranean, which allows the people of Ensenada to cook with similar raw foods.

Chef Miguel Angel Guerrero devised a plan to bring a nouvelle style of cooking to the area. He worked with his wife for over seven years to create the Baja-Med cuisine that is famous in the region today.

Roasted quail hamburger and tuna melts with shitake mushrooms are among the dishes that Chef Miguel features in his restaurant, La Querencia – the place where the exciting development of Baja-Med took place. This style of cooking has become renowned worldwide and represents the true culture and heritage of Baja California.

Join in Ensenada’s local customs and traditions at our annual festivals.

February

  • Festival de la Concha y el Vino

April

  • Feria del Taco y el Platillo Mexicano
  • Baja Beer Fest

June

  • Ensenada Gastronómica
  • Baja 500 Race

August

  • Fiestas de la Vendimia
  • Expo Mar y Tierra
  • Festival de la Pizza y el Vino
  • Gran Festival del Taco y la Cerveza

September

  • Feria del Pescado y el Marisco
  • Festival de la Sardina

October

  • Fiesta Anual del Tequila

November

  • Baja 1000 Race

December

  • Festival de chocolate
  • New Year’s Eve

Helpful Sites:

Discover Baja California

Ensenada Live it!

Baja California Tourism

Contact:
COVE – (646) 175-0000
MEX – 01 (800) 026-3100
USA – 1 (800) 862-9020
www.hotelcoral.com

Explore the beauty of the Wine Route by visiting the most recognized vineyards in Mexico.

For more information click here.

Enjoy two days of horseback riding on a variety of scenic paths. 

For more information click here.

Witness the whale migration from Alaska, spend the day fishing or simply relax on lovely Ensenada Bay with a private boat tour.

For more information click here.

Tour nearby destinations on a private scooter, ATV, golf cart or Rhino UTV.

For more information click here.

Go snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking and more with one of our Aquatic Activities Tours.

For more information click here.

“Hotel Coral Concerts” boasts a spectacular oceanfront stage, exclusive ambiance, high-end equipment and furniture, safe parking, good food, amazing shows and an overall great experience. These events take place in the Grand Terraza Coral, a large patio located in front of the Marina, featuring a panoramic view of Ensenada’s port.

We offer special hotel packages for the concert day, including one night in an ocean-view suite, tickets for the show in the champagne area and VIP cocktail access in BC Bistro & Cava restaurant.

Parking: We offer parking spaces next to Hotel Coral & Marina.

Note: Cameras are not allowed in the event area.