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Mexican Riviera

Ensenada Shore Excursions: Wineries, Blow Holes and More

Ensenada winery
Ensenada winery. Credit: Wikimedia
Ensenada shore excursions embrace local wineries, a famous blow hole and an historic casino.

The excursions are available through the cruise lines or directly from the operators who provide them.

The cruise lines market the tours, but independent companies provide the transportation, guides and equipment (if necessary).

Tourists will find that the cruise lines usually charge more for the excursions than if the tourists bought directly from the operators.

But the cruise lines also are able to control the quality of the experience. They offer the ones that visitors enjoy and reject the ones that provide a bad experience.

The following excursions were available at the time of this writing. Prices and features may change over time.

Carnival


Carnival offers a blow hole and wine tasting tour. No, the blow hole doesn’t blow wine.

The La Bufadora blow hole is possibly the most famous natural attraction in Ensenada. It shoots seawater 60 to 100 feet into the air through cracks in the cliff along the coast.

After visiting La Bufadora, tourists then go to Bodegas de Santo Tomas, Baja California’s oldest winery founded in 1888. It is no longer a working winery but instead a wine tasting shop.

The tour also includes opportunities to shop for local arts and crafts. The tour lasts four hours and costs about $46 per person.

Carnival offers just a tour of the blow hole at $25 per person, another blow hole tour that includes kayaking at $90 a person and a “La Bufora Adventure” at $36 per person.

The cruise line also has two other excursions for wine lovers. A wine country ATV tour for $95 and a simple tour and tasting at two wineries for $50.

For anyone wanting a more active excursion in Ensenada, Carnival offers horseback riding ($72), a jeep adventure ($80) and deep sea fishing ($110).

Norwegian


Norwegian Cruise Line offers many of the same tours to La Bufadora and the wine country as Carnival but with slight differences in pricing and overall experience.

NCL has a three-hour city tour of Ensenada for $30 that includes Plaza Civica, which has 12-foot high busts of noted Mexican heroes, and Riviera del Pacifico, which was once a glamorous resort with famous visitors including Al Capone and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. to Al Capone.

The tour also includes a stop at the Bodegas de Santo Tomas winery and a chance to shop in the main shopping district of Ensenada.

The $83 horseback ride requires a 30-minute drive to a nearby ranch for a 90-minute ride. Participants will experience views of Salsipuedes Bay, Todos Santos Island, the Gold Coast and the hills of San Miguel.

Princess


This cruise line also has similar visits to the wine country, La Bufadora and Riviera del Pacífico. All of the tours last from 2.5 to four hours and cost between $30 and $50 per person.

Princess has a city tour that includes Plaza Civica, Malecon Boardwalk and the Ensenada Center for Scientific Research.

From there, tourists will go to the Riviera del Pacifico for a folklore fiesta. Singers and dancers wear will perform for the audience in traditional regional costumes.

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