#1. Hands down, the food.
From tacos to sushi to ramen to falafel, to basically any food you can think of, it’s here. And it is so good. All over Ensenada and within walking distance of our base, there are an abundance of little restaurants and food stands with unbelievably delicious and cheap food. If you ask any of our staff or students, what they like to do in their free time, you will probably hear a majority of them say that they love to go out to eat with their friends. It’s basically our biggest hobby and we are so proud of it.
My personal favorites are “La Gran Tierra” a juice bar, “Nigori” a sushi place, and really any taco stand that’s near me.
#2. The Coffee shops.
From amazing aesthetics, to cheap prices of specialty coffee and amazing chai, there are so many different coffee shops to enjoy in Ensenada. There is one to match whatever type of mood you are in and the majority of them have really great coffee! One-on-Ones, small groups, friend outings, devos, reading and studying are all the perfect excuse to pick your favorite cafe, get comfy, and enjoy your time. Coffee shops are my love language so you join us, you can find me in one here multiple times throughout the week.
My faves are “Black Coffee” (I go there so often they even opened up a tab for me), “Alameda” (They are Christian!) and “Cafe con leche” (they have super comfy couches and delicious brownies).
#3. The Ocean.
The most popular beach in Ensenada is a whopping 30 second walk from the base. It is fittingly named, Playa Hermosa, or Beautiful Beach. It is perfect for walks, surfing, sports, swimming, hanging out, runs, introspection, or whatever you like really. It also isn’t the only beach here! There are tons of other beaches open to the public in Ensenada. My favorite thing about the ocean here is that no matter what beach you are at, you are guaranteed to catch an incredible view at sunset. There have been countless nights when all of our staff will stop what they are doing and walk down to the beach just to watch and document the sunset. We have all traveled to multiple places and seen tons of different sunsets around the world, but I am pretty sure most of the staff here would agree with me when I say that there ain’t nothin’ else like an Ensenada sunset!
#4. The Mountains:
Along with the ocean, we have a beautiful background of mountains surrounding Ensenada. They make for great views of the city and really fun hikes. Us YWAMers have also taken it upon ourselves to put a cross at the top of a hike, that we venture on often, as a reminder of God’s faithfulness. The mountains compliment the ocean so beautifully and Ensenada would not be the same without them.
#5. The Fish Tacos.
Ensenada is the birthplace of fish tacos...and they are amazing.
#6. My Church!
A lot of us staff here attend a church in Ensenada called “Horizonte” and we love it. A bilingual service with amazing worship, preaching, hipster vibes, and a coffee shop? What else could a traveling millennial want or need? But for real, we all love getting out of our little bubble to take part in another community, and many of our staff here also help serve in this church! My YWAM San Diego/ Baja experience definitely would not be the same without Horizonte, and I think a lot of other staff here would definitely say the same!
#7. The Chill Vibes.
The skate and surf culture, the ocean air, the beautiful views and the relaxed Mexican culture, all combine to create the best atmosphe. Ensenada is such a laid back city. I am all about vibes and so the relaxed, go with the flow culture here really helps me feel comfortable.
#8. The People
Obviously, a huge part of a city is the people. I absolutely love meeting the locals here. From the modernized and hipster “Ensenadans” in the coffee shops to the indigenous people in the mountains, they all bring such a beautiful aspect of Mexican culture to the city. They show the diversity between urban and rural, modernized and conservative that this city encompasses so well.
#9. We can walk everywhere!
One thing I love about Ensenada is that there are a lot of places that are close to each other! I love that I can walk to a grocery store, the beach, the base, a coffee shop, an OXXO (a Mexican convenience store), or any of my friends’ houses from my house. Most of the time, the weather is amazing for a walk, which is so good for the soul. Let’s also not forget the physical and mental health benefits of walking, and the environmental benefits as well. Hello healthy body, clear mind, and a cleaner earth.
#10. The YWAM Base (obvi)
This is obviously the biggest part of our experience in Ensenada! Here lies the majority of our intimate friendships and community. This is where we do life together. This is where we encourage one another and keep each other accountable. One of the biggest reasons Ensenada has a huge hold on my heart are the people on the base. No matter where I am in the world, I know I have a close knit community that loves me, supports me, and are always there for me.