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Ensenada Geography

Compass on map
Credit: Sergunt | Thinkstock

Located in the northern part of Baja California Norte about 90 miles south of San Diego, Ensenada is a coastal city built around Todos Santos Bay on the Pacific Ocean. Its latitude is 31°N and longitude 116° W.

A major west coast port for Mexico, Ensenada is the third-largest city in Baja California after Tijuana and Mexicali. The city’s metro area population is nearing half a million and growing.

The beautiful pine forest mountain range of Sierra de San Pedro Mártir, which runs north to south down the peninsula, can be seen northeast of the city and is the location of the National Astronomical Observatory. The Sierra de Juárez mountain range is visible to the southwest.

Just off the coast of Ensenada, Guadalupe Island is a favorite playground of the great white shark and has been a wildlife sanctuary since 1975. Gray whales and sea lions are also in abundance. On land, you might see coyote, bobcats, pumas and ocelots.

Ensenada is about a 45-minute drive to Mexico’s famous wine country, Valle de Guadalupe. To its northeast, the valley is home to over 100 wineries and is a magnet for weekend tourists mainly from Baja California Norte and Southern California. Rosarito Beach, another expat favorite, is about a one hour drive north on Federal Highway 1D, a toll-road that ends in Tijuana at the California border.

Ensenada is in the Pacific Standard time zone and observes daylight saving time beginning the first Sunday in April and ending the last Sunday in October of each year.