Local Spotlight: Living and Retiring in Ensenada, Mexico
Thinking of visiting or even living in Ensenada, Mexico? There is a lot about Ensenada that you may not know. You’ll of course want to do your own research but we’re happy to get you started with a few helpful tips. Below, we’ve rounded up some things to keep in mind about Ensenada, Mexico.
Location and Population
Ensenada is a port city on the Pacific coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. Since Ensenada is located very close to the U.S./Mexico border – about 70 miles away – it’s a convenient destination for vacationers and expats who want to stay closer to home.
San Diego is the nearest large city to Ensenada; since it’s only a 90-minute drive away, it makes for the perfect day trip. Expats in Ensenada enjoy living in close proximity to a large U.S. city and airport.
Boasting a population of more than 522,000 people, this community is best described as having a “city living” vibe as opposed to a resort style or beach community. Locally, Ensenada is sometimes referred to as La Cenicienta del Pacífico or “The Cinderella of the Pacific” due to its raw beauty and popularity as a port for cruise ships.
Geography and Climate
As a Mexican coastal city, Ensenada is very close to the beaches of the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California. Its landscapes feature small mountain ranges and a harbor and waterfront area that is popular with tourists.
Ensenada has a warm Mediterranean climate that’s mild year-round. The city’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean brings cool air on warm days. Ensenada’s pleasant climate supports many excellent vineyards which have been compared to those of Napa Valley. During the winter, the rainy season is short, lending the locale to blue skies and sunny days.
What to See and Do
What is Ensenada most famous for? If you like sandy beaches, you’ll be in good company. Private beaches like Estero Beach and Mona Lisa have resort accommodations, but public beaches such as San Miguel Beach and El Punto are free. Ensenada also has several well-known surfing spots, including 3 M’s or Tres Emes, which is located in the north coast of the city.
Once you soak up enough of the sun on the beach, there are plenty of other things to see and do in Ensenada. La Bufadora or “the blow-hole” is in a small village about 19 miles from town that offers breathtaking views of the sea and mountains.
On the outskirts of Ensenada are many wineries, most of which offer wine tastings and tours daily. There are plenty of places for hiking and nature walks in Ensenada, too.
Ensenada is a good place for both introverts and extroverts; whether you like a lot of interaction or prefer peace and privacy, this city has got you covered.
Cost of Living for Expats
According to Forbes, thousands of U.S. expats call Ensenada home due to its lower cost of living and laid-back culture. How low exactly is the cost of living in Ensenada? Below are some comparisons to consider.
When you compare the cost of living in Ensenada to the closest large U.S. city of San Diego, consumer prices in San Diego are 221.08% higher than in Ensenada – and rent prices are a whopping 789.19% higher.
But living in Ensenada is not only cheaper than living in the states but also less expensive than living in other parts of Mexico. Assuming you rent, you would need around $2,239.54 a month in Mexico City to maintain the same standard of living that you can have with $1,607.06 in Ensenada. Rent prices in Mexico City are 187.41% higher than in Ensenada.
As you can see, there’s much to like about Ensenada, Mexico.
Travis Luther is a Denver, Colorado writer and educator. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Metropolitan State University of Denver and currently serves as Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Colorado Denver, where he received his Master’s Degree in Sociology. Luther first became interested in Baby Boomers retiring in Mexico during graduate school. His Masters Thesis research contributed to the content in this book. He continues to be interested in U.S. expatriates retiring all over the world and continues to monitor those who have retired in Mexico.
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