Understanding the lay of the land is key to identifying where you might want to stay while visiting the Ensenada region. The municipality of Ensenada is large, so it is important to ascertain where, in regard to the downtown area, your accommodation is located (for instance, the famous La Fonda hotel near the kilometer 38 surf campground is a good 30-minute drive from the city). Here are just a few questions to ask yourself, that might help you plan your trip.
-Would you enjoy hearing the waves crash at night and having an oceanfront view of the Pacific Coast sunset?
-Is a wine valley experience what you are seeking?
-Are you interested in spa services or is golf more your thing?
-Would you enjoy a kitchen-equipped condo or house rental, or is a smart hotel more your idea of a vacation?
As you think about lodging, consider some of the pros and cons of each type. These decisions, as well as the activities you want to do, will help you choose the best place for your trip.
Bed and Breakfast inns and retreats
In recent years, just northeast of Ensenada, Mexico’s wine country has flourished. Today, there is a variety of B&B choices available. Some are boutique and some are basic, with a wide price range. Many of these not only serve breakfast, but have restaurants available for dinner service as well. Be prepared to tackle dirt roads (usually fairly well graded) to get to these inns. Also, be prepared to pay cash at many of the smaller facilities, and be aware that there are no ATMs or banks in the wine valley.
Ensenada boasts many hotels diverse in style and cost. Some of the most spectacular of these are on the ocean, while there are others immediately in the downtown area. Hotels typically accept credit cards.
Small hotels and funky lodgings
These kinds of accommodations range vastly in quality, atmosphere and cost. They will almost always be a bit quirky but ‘quirk’ isn’t all bad. At the northern end of Ensenada’s municipality, La Fonda, Poco Cielo and Hotel La Mision offer some signature atmosphere and unique lodgings, but don’t expect Ritz-Carlton amenities!
Vacation rentals are not as abundant in Ensenada as they are in some other Baja regions. However, if having your own kitchen and laundry facilities is appealing, you definitely can find a villa, condo or even luxury home for rent in a variety of locales – on the beach, at a golf course, etc. Because most of these kinds of rentals are not immediately in town, they often offer a closer experience with nature and a chance to experience the diverse wildlife of Ensenada (bobcats, roadrunners, giant egrets and more).
The best way to get close to nature and save money for food and activities is to bring your own shelter and camp at the beach or at inland campgrounds. Veteran Baja road-trippers pride themselves on having the ideal camping setup for the desert/ocean environment. They might pop a tent in the sand, sleep in the bed of their pickup truck, or drive a fully equipped RV camper to the region.