Is Ensenada Baja is safe to travel 2019? Is a common question from cruisers, airbnb couples and ensenada weekend visitors. There are no official travel warnings from US State Department for Ensenada, only other parts of Mexico, 1,400 miles away!
Unofficially, as an expat spa owner here for 8 years, this is my two pesos worth of advice: For the traveler, Ensenada is safe. Tourism is an important industry here in Ensenada, so local police keep a close eye on centro Ensenada, La Primera, Malecon for security and food safety as well. You will see a 24/7 security guy roaming the Malecon (mostely telling me not to ride my bike) and a cop car parked in front of Parque de Tres Cabezas.
Your body is safe in Ensenada. Ensenada crime rates are lower than Tijuana, and Los Angeles. Nobody will mug or kidnap you, or something horrible such as steal a kidney. My Dad worried about his since the violence and kidnapping news filtered through to him 15 years ago. Baja today is much much different. These things are very, very rare around Ensenada, and do not affect travelers when they do occur. Locals feel safe generally as well and the wealthy I have observed do not travel with bodyguards. Keep in mind, historically Ensenada has been considered a safe haven for the crime cartels and other shadow businesses. Any cartel violence was not enforced here.
While there is serious violence in Mexico, this is a geographically huge country just like the US, and dirty business in Sinaloa is so far away does not affect Baja.
Your stuff is pretty safe in Ensenada. Generally I don’t hear stories of purse snatching, phone grabbing, or carjacking. Ensenada is a city, so property disappears if you leave it unattended and in open. This is mostly relevant for living here. You can see visitor report feeling safe. This survey reports low to moderate perceptions of crime and high levels of safety.
Safe Travel Tips for Ensenada: Exercise same good caution in most any city in the US:
Don’t leave bags unlocked or sitting around.
Lock your bike up, valuable car or off road vehicle; the more valuable the stuff, the bigger the target.
Understand that late night drinking leaves you vulnerable
Feel free to ignore random people that talk to you, mostly to sell you stuff . . .
Bigger bills are hard to make change often. Not a security threat, but an inconvenience.
Prepare Girl scout: Check if you will have cell coverage, have insurance coverage, any emergency info you might need. Save walking map down below here:
Within walking distance of the curiseport and downtown area is cleaner and well guarded. The Malecon has security 24/7 (no bikes or homeless or soliciting), the police station is 1 block off La Primera, and regular patrols. As you get away from La Primera in Ensenada Centro, it does get dustier and more full of potholes, (especially compared to SoCal Catalina Island for you Carnival cruisers). We don’t have street sweeper machines and for the potholes. . . local government what can you say? Please know that this is just daily life for us. Mostly people working, buying shoes, taking kids to school, going to the dentist, working to pay rent.
Safety concerns for living here are different. In the next month, I will also post about border crossing issues and updates.
Dance today and embrace life; Get a Massage and Give a hug!
Jesse is owner and the ‘deep tissue’ guy at Ensenada Massage.