El Rosario, Baja California
Oldest Town & The Heart of Baja California
- Founded on July 2, 1774 -
surfing spot. Known for natural beauty and consistency, surfing spots of the region have led surfing contests such as the Billabong XXL to be held at Todos Santos Island, part of the city, several times. Wave faces can reach above 60 feet on the island and in 2006 Brad Gerlach, 2006 winner of Big XXL, surfed a wave of 68 feet in December 2006. Tourists also stop in the city on their way to their destinations farther south in the municipality where spots famous for their excellent windsurfing are located.
Maritime pleasure in the city also extends to the global Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, billed as the world's largest international sailing event, begins in Newport Beach and finishes in Ensenada.
Whale watching has also developed as a tourist draw in the city due to the gray whale's annual migration from Alaska to the lagoons of Baja California Sur. Between the months of December and March, and back in the months of April and May, whales can be seen from the coast of Ensenada.
The nearby historical mission town of Guadalupe, was revitalized from 1905 to 1910 with immigrant Spiritual Christians, mostly Pryguny from the Caucasus, South Russia. Currently, about 90% of wine production in Mexico originates in the valleys of Guadalupe and adjacent Calafia. Many local wine producers offer tours and tastings. Every year during the month of August, the beginning of wine harvest season is celebrated in the Guadalupe Valley and in the city of Ensenada with a two-week-long series of cultural and culinary events, all under the title banner of Fiestas de la Vendimia (Wine Harvest Festival). This event attracts people from all over the world.
Some of the best information available on the "real" Baja California originate from sources in Mexico, including residents in the region.
Due to this fact, it will be helpful for viewers who do not read or speak Spanish to use this convenient method for translating the target websites of these links.
Gulf of California - Shores, Lodging, Restaurants, Fuel
The Gulf of California stretches over 900 miles and supports an extraordinary diversity of marine life, including many species of reef fish, sharks, whales, marine turtles, and the vaquita, the world’s smallest porpoise. The Gulf of California is Mexico’s most important fisheries region with commercial species of shrimp, sardine and giant squid. It is also important for sport fishing of billfishes and tuna. Tourists flock to the Gulf’s beautiful beaches and colorful reefs.
Picacho del Diablo - "The Devil's Peak"
Picacho del Diablo is the highest peak on the Baja California peninsula, measuring 3,096 metres (10,157 ft). It is alternately called Cerro de la Encantada, "Hill of the Enchanted." The peak is located in the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir, part of the Peninsular Ranges, in the Mexican state of Baja California.
Mission El Rosario was the first Dominican mission in Baja California, established in 1774 by Vicente Mora and Francisco Galisteo near the modern town of El Rosario. When the Dominicans took over the mission field of Baja California from the Franciscans in 1773, the missions in the central and southern parts of the peninsula were in evident decline, as their Indian populations dwindled under the impact of Old World diseases.
Misión Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario de Viñacado
(from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Surfing Baja California
Surfing in Baja began in the mid 1940’s when vacationing surfers ventured south of the border looking for quality waves. Since then, surfers have been returning year after year, and season after season, with countless stories of perfect peeling right-hand point breaks, barreling beach breaks and freak, big wave surf spots.
Baja can be divided into two major surf regions: Northern Baja and Southern Baja. Northern Baja is much colder than Southern Baja. There is good surf year-round in Northern Baja, but it really fires during the winter months from large northwest groundswells. It’s not uncommon to need full suits, booties and a hood while surfing in Northern Baja.
Cabo San Lucas was once a warm water getaway for California surfers looking to escape the cold. Today, Cabo San Lucas is a colorful vacation town that boasts 5-star resorts just steps from the world-class surf. However, with high-priced oceanfront resorts come overcrowded lineups. It’s still an amazing place to visit and surf, but if you’re looking to escape the crowds and the scene, then you’d better look elsewhere.
Quality of Life
Although Ensenada is near of one of the busiest borders in the world, and it’s known for its industrial and research and development vocations, it still retains the tranquility and harmony of a medium size city, and all the comforts to live as well. Ensenada is known for being the city with the best quality of life in Mexico’s Northwestern region.
One-hour drive from the U.S. border and you can find something for everyone: wine tasting, gourmet restaurants, golf, sport fishing, ecotourism, shopping and major cultural events, among others. Besides its great variety of activities, you can also enjoy many natural attractions like beaches, deserts, pine forests and its famous marine geyser, better known as 'La Bufadora'.
Ensenada’s Wine Route is located in the Guadalupe Valley and is recognized at the national and international level. The Wine Route consistes of many awarded wineries and offers a combination of a great variety of wines, amazing gastronomy and beautiful sceneries.
Center of Science & Technology
Center of Science & Technology
Ensenada is claimed to be the city with the highest number of scientists per capita in Latin America. The Center of Scientific Research and Higher Education of Ensenada (CICESE) conducts research in Earth Sciences, Optics and Applied Physics, Oceanography, Communications and Experimental and Applied Biology. Further research is conducted on the campus of the Autonomous University of Baja California, Ensenada (UABC), mainly in Oceanography and education areas although there are groups in Physics, Biology and other related sciences. Mexico's National Autonomous University (UNAM) has a research campus in the city. The campus hosts the Institute of Astronomy and the Centre for Nanosciences and Nanotechnology. The National Astronomical Observatory (Mexico) is located on the mountains south of the city.
The city is home to the largest cluster of bio-medical device companies in Mexico and is a developing center that is drawing a growing number of biotech researchers. Unique to the city is that its biotech cluster is near that of another, larger, cluster in San Diego. The proximity of these two biotech clusters fuels their interaction.
While Ensenada has it's own significant manufacturing base, it is located only 60 miles from the U.S. - Mexican border region that is central to what is now commonly referred to as CaliBaja. CaliBaja boasts the highest concentration of electronics, aerospace and medical device manufacturing in all of Mexico. Ensenada benefits from and supports the economy of the CaliBaja region due to the close proximity. As an example, Baja California has over 50 aerospace and defense companies which represent about 25% of all companies within Mexico that manufacture components and assemblies. The following websites provide additional information:
CaliBaja Bi-National Mega-Region: CaliBaja.net
Tijuana Economic Development Coalition: http://tijuanaedc.org/
Ensenada Economic Development Coalition: http://investinensenada.com/en/
La Bufadora Geyser
In the peninsula of Punta Banda, 21 miles south from the city of Ensenada, lies one of the region’s most impressive natural attractions: La Bufadora, one of the largest marine geysers in the world. This geyser is caused by the breaking of waves against a cave that is at the bottom of the cliff, reaching a height of up to 65 feet.
Every year, hundreds of gray whales migrate from the cold waters in the north to the lukewarm waters in the south; legend has it that many years ago, during one of these migrations, a baby whale became separated from the group while snooping around the coastline. During its wandering it got stuck in the rocks, and in its search for help it decided to launch a jet of water
Valle de los Cirios - "Valley of the Candles"
About halfway up the peninsula and just across the border between the states of Baja California Sur and Baja California, lies the entrance to one of the largest and best preserved of the 176 Protected Areas in Mexico, with more than 9,650 square miles: El Valle de los Cirios, or Valley of the Boojums.
The plants it is named for were dubbed cirios - or candles - in Spanish, evidently because of their resemblance to tapered church candles at the missions nearby. South-western naturalist Godfrey Sykes later christened that same tree the “boojum,” for an imaginary animal character in Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark.
Alejandro Espinoza, civil engineer and native of El Rosario has maintaining a very informative blog since 2007, and he continues to publish new articles. Much can be learned here about the history of El Rosario and it's citizens, as well as current events.
- Get to Know Baja -
Guadalupe Valley Wine Region
Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe, or Guadalupe Valley, produces 90% of all of the wine that comes from Mexico. Although the valley has been producing wine for nearly 100 years, just in the last decade has the region experienced the incredible growth that has turned it into an up-and-comer on the global scene. It’s now become an epicenter of northern Baja for boutique wineries, gourmet restaurants and chic hotels, garnering the attention of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast Traveler and the LA Times.
Northern Baja remains relatively unchanged, as a place where traveling surfers can find perfect waves without the crowds. Some coastal developments and vacation residences have sprouted up in the larger towns of Ensenada and San Quintin. These towns are a good jumping-off point for surfing and exploring the wave-rich surrounding area.
Punta Baja is a hard-to-get-to surf spot that offers an excellent right point break and no crowds. Punta Baja like most Mexico surf spots gets pretty windy in the afternoon and there are little to no accomodations nearby. The beach is a little rocky and the break itself offers rock and sand bottoms. On a good west or southwest swell, mostly summertime Punta Baja is a great and racy right break. Location: Hard to find, bring someone thats knows the area.
However, the northern portion of the peninsula, only recently reconnoitered by Gaspar de Portolá and Junipero Serra, had much more potential. The site of El Rosario, located near the western coast among the northernmost Cochimí Indians, was chosen as the initial Dominican mission site. The location had been initially identified by the soldier José Velásquez in 1770 and had been favored by the Franciscans as a potential mission site. Its native name was variously given as Viñadaco, Miñaraco, and Viñatacot. In 1802, the mission was moved from its first site to a location about 6 kilometers closer to the coast with more space, more agricultural land, and better access to external supplies. When the second site ceased to function as a mission in 1832, it was turned over to local residents. Ruined walls and foundations from both the first and the second mission survive.
and then a larger one and so on. Over time, this whale turned into stone until it merged with the rocks at this place.
Cave paintings at least 7500 years old found in a cave at the Valle de los Cirios. According to anthropologists, the magical-religious paintings are associated with the painter’s lifestyle. However, an elevated level of skill is noticeable in the lines and colors, especially considering the rudimentary tools at their disposal. There is a perfectly drawn picture of an ewe. A deer, a turtle and fish such as a tuna or mackerel can be clearly distinguished. However, human figures are always strangely represented. Some have their elongated arms outstretched with hands with six fingers. Notably, the artists had to have some kind of scaffolding to paint the figures.
Ensenada known as the "Cinderella of the Pacific", is the third largest city in Baja. It has been said that Ensenada is the city that was built around a bar, Hussong's Cantina, which opened in 1892, has played a key role in the development of this port town. Ensenada Mexico is tourists friendly, with almost its entire shopping district located on a single street Boulevard Lopez Mateos. Ensenada is the heart of Mexico 's wine country. The weather in Ensenada is similar to San Diego, and enjoys warm summers and mild winters, which also makes Ensenada Mexico the perfect setting for wine production. In mid August there is a wine festival, which is one of Baja's most popular events.
Port of Santa Rosalillita (active development for Escalera Nautica project)
This major project is planned for providing stops for tourists from California down along the Pacific Coast of the Baja Peninsula, and further development of ports and marinas all the way around the peninsula and up through the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California).
Guerrero Negro & Scammon's Lagoon, Whale Watching
Located half way down the Baja California peninsula, Guerrero Negro lacks the palm tree picture postcard appeal of San Ignacio to the south, but it does have its own attractions which make it an interesting place to visit.
The town's name means "Black Warrior" - this was the name of a ship which sank in the area in the mid 19th century. Not that there was a town here at this time, or even when John Steinbeck sailed down the Pacific coast of the peninsula in 1940. He makes no mention of the place in his "Log from The Sea of Cortez" because the town didn't exist until the 1950s.
Ensenada's proximity to California also makes it a destination for short cruise ship trips from Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach. The world-renowned Baja 1000 off-road race is held in Ensenada every year in late November, while the Baja 500 race is held in early June. Off-road enthusiasts use Ensenada year-round as a starting point to explore Baja California.
Ensenada and coastal beach towns of Greater Ensenada have several renowned surfing spots, such as San Miguel Beach, California Trailer Park, Stacks and 3 M's (Tres Emes in Spanish), which are located on the north coast of the city. Todos Santos Island is a small island located west of Ensenada (about two hours by boat) and a world-famous