Avenida Lopez Mateos
Avenida Lopez Mateos
3.5
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Main shopping street lined with shops selling everything from straw hats to wood carvings.
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3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles93 reviews
Excellent
27
Very good
25
Average
28
Poor
10
Terrible
3

squirrelmama
Los Angeles, CA441 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2013 • Couples
I returned to Ensenada after an almost 30 year absence and it sure has cleaned up. The streets were spotless and the sidewalks literally gleamed. The sidewalk vendors weren't too pushy. The rose vendor is charming and a hoot, The southern end has some nice higher-end restaurants and stores if you're looking for something less kitchy to buy. I was saddened to see the effect of the economy and the bad press the narco wars have wracked on this charming town. Don't be scared away, we felt very safe and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Written March 21, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FIITStacy
Phoenix, AZ104 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2014 • Couples
My husband and I visited Ensenada on Nov 19th. We were aboard the Princess Golden which stopped here for the day. We were told by our cruise director that there were no taxis to take us within the cruise terminal and that we needed to take the shuttle. We paid $2 per person to ride a shuttle, which they waited until EVERY seat was full before we left. They took us on a very short ride to town, in which we probably could've walked seeing it was maybe a mile or so. You can see the cruise ship from where they drop you off at McDonald's. They charge $1 for a return trip.

We felt very safe the whole time here. People were friendly and joked around. Had a couple vendors that were pushy but for the most part, a good experience. Definitely many pharmacies around if you want to get any meds. Good prices. We were especially looking for some dia des los muertos items for my daughter who is taking a Spanish class and has an interest in this holiday. We asked a few vendors, but not many had anything of super interest until we came across Casa Ramirez store. We had the pleasure to meet a lady at the store who was very informative and took her to the upstairs of her store and had a beautiful altar set up to view. They had tons of items to choose some that it was a hard decision! Awesome store and wonderful staff!!! Highley recommend seeing their upstairs if you are at all interested in the Day of the Dead items and traditions.

One thing I wasn't thrilled with was that most of the stores didn't open until about 10 am or later. Our ship got into town at 8am. So we walked around for about an hour trying to find places to shop. Not sure why they open so late when a cruise ship is in port? I thought their livelyhood relied on the passengers being in town? But, once they open, you can have as much alcohol as you want, even at 10am! Lots of little cafe style bars around.

Was a typical town with shops. Nothing too exciting. Not many picturesque photo opportunities. Probably won't visit here again.
Written November 21, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tillie F
Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico16 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2013 • Solo
Av. Lopez Mateos is ls also o known as First St., Only a couple blocks from the cruise ship terminal. and perfectly safe . It is never overcrowded with tourists. Parts of First street on the Southern end houses the better quality shops such as Los Castillos for silver and Casa Colonial for Mexican designer clothing and the Blue Shell for fun funky items. Always fun to walk First Street and maybe stop for a coffee at one of the many outside coffee shops. Street vendors usually on every corner, I have never found them pushy or aggressive. On the North end are the not so trendy shops but fun. If only interested in a Margarita, stop at Papas and Beer or Hussongs bar and watch the world go by . Ensenada is a fun place, ,
Written February 2, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joan H
San Bernardino, CA1,027 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
My husband and I took a shuttle into town from where our cruise ship, the Majestic Princess, was docked. It was a short walk from the shuttle terminal to Avenida Lopez Mateos where the silver shops are located. Having been here many times before, nothing has improved. If you have any walking issues, the irregular sidewalks and curbs can be difficult and unsafe.

Along Avenida Lopez Mateos you will find pushy sidewalk vendors selling questionable silver jewelry and aggressive salesmen trying to lure us into their shops. I did enter a very nice jewelry shop and liked a Blue Fire Opal whale pendant which was too pricey for me. The salesman wouldn't lower the price. Then I spotted a square blue fire opal pendant set in silver. The desperate salesman weighed it and said the cost was $125. He really wanted to make a sale. The price kept coming down after refusing his offers. Finally, he asked how much I would pay, and I said $20. He asked his boss who said to give it to me for $20.

I did buy a little ironwood dolphin statue from a vendor for $10 which probably should have been half the price.
Written March 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

marcmalano
Florida292 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Overview:
The main shopping area in the tourist zone along Lopez Mateos is appealing with brick paved sidewalks which are cleaned every morning. Since this is in the tourist zone, expect to pay higher prices though. Streets are packed with tourists when the cruise ships are in (Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday).

Don't miss trying some of the Mexican Ice Cream, which is much better than what you get in the U.S. and is all natural...the way it used to be made.

If you would like to shop where the locals do, then simply walk four blocks into the city (on Ruiz or Gastelum) to a street called Juarez, which is lined with all kinds of stores, cheaper prices, and less sales pressure. Watch where you step though because the sidewalks may not be as well maintained as Lopez Mateos

Pesos or Dollars:
U.S. dollars are generally accepted here, however note that the exchange rate may be better or worse depending on the store.

If you plan to convert to pesos, the ATM machines at local banks like Banamex or HSBC have excellent exchange rates (better than the currency exchange houses). Visa/MC also have good exchange rates, but many banks now charge an additional 2%-3% fee for foreign purchases in addition to the 1% that Visa/MC charges to do the conversion, which seems unreasonable to me considering the bank doesn't add any value to the transaction process. Check your bank's policy so that you are not surprised after the trip.

Safety Tips:
Ensenada, unlike Tijuana, is a reasonably safe place to party and have a good time. Here are a few basic DON’Ts to stay clear of problems.

1.) Don’t talk to the Raterios! These are the guys hanging out on the street that usually make an attempt to approach gringos looking for a good time. Most of them speak good English. They always act as if they are trying to help you find anything you may be looking for. Let me just call them what they are: hustlers. You will end up broke & unhappy if you waste you time talking to them. They are smart and have a playbook of games. Just say no thanks or ignore them and keep walking. They don’t want to waste time either and will move on.

2.) Don’t walk down any street in Ensenada with a drink in your hand.

3.) Don’t bring or buy drugs period!!!!!

4.) Don’t ever hit anyone or start a fight unless you want a tour inside of the local jail.

5.) Don’t get so drunk that you can barely walk down the street.

6.) Pedestrians have the right of way in the crosswalks, however you should still exercise caution before stepping out into the intersection.

Important Note About Street Beggars:
Some people may be shocked to see elderly women and young children begging (or selling gum), however be aware that the ones you see in the tourist zone are known to be exploited by a crime organizations who keep most of the money for themselves and chase away others who might have a legitimate need.
Written May 30, 2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Margit G
Ensenada, Mexico29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 • Couples
I have spent almost 30 years visiting First Street, and have befriended many of the local vendors. They sell quality goods, and Street vendors and shop keepers CAN NOT SELL THEIR PRODUCT FOR LESS THAN THEY BOUGHT IT!! Many times the typical UGLY AMERICAN will offer the vendor less than half price for their goods-- DO THE MATH FOLKS!! One vendor has lovely purses from Chiapas that she sells for $25.00 -these are hand made by her family-- She needs at least 15.00 to break even- It's a slap in the face to offer her $10.00- and she sits out there all day trying to sell her purses and jewelry- These people are HUMAN BEINGS AND NEED TO EAT TOO! Be courteous- Please!
Written September 12, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DL9022
Marin County, CA199 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 • Family
My teen daughter and I went into Ensenada when our Carnival Cruise ship stopped here for the day. We thought it would be safe since it's a port of call and decided to see a bit of the city rather than do a preplanned short excursion. I thought I was prepared....but once we got off the ship and walked a ways down....it became apparent I had no idea where to go for the "shopping". Not many Americans were around either, so we really did not feel very safe. But we caught up to a couple who showed us where to go, and once we found this street and saw all the other Americans and stores, we felt better. But this street is off the main street and the main street is really pretty creepy. I'm no naïve traveler, but this even caught me off guard. We spent about an hour here...nothing really exciting and not many deals to be made even though we tried. From a cultural perspective, it was good for my daughter to see the horrible conditions and appreciate what we have in Northern Ca...but all in all, next time, unless I'm with a large crowd of people, I will skip this and do a planned excursion which I think it safer. I really do not know why Carnival stops here at all....maybe you have to venture further out into town where it is nicer. Biggest piece of advise....KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING BEFORE YOU GET THERE.
Written July 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Qualnurse
Bullhead CIty, AZ199 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Couples
I am always surprised by the number of people I know who are afraid to get off a cruise ship and walk through downtown Ensenada. Other than the amount of alcohol available (and a few sketchy "gentleman's clubs" near Ave. Miramar) the place is relatively sterile, with stereotypical Mexican shop owners selling belts, sunglasses, and any number of one-of-a-kind Mexican curios. There is a fairly heavy "tourist police" presence, cameras on every corner, and a moratorium on begging -- although I did notice more women with children selling Chicklets on the street, although they did not follow people around like in other cities.

My wife and I love to visit here, but it is really like an adult Disneyland... not really authentic, like a stereotype of what Mexico should look like. If you are visiting from the cruise ship, really -- it IS safe to walk off the ship and walk to the main shopping and entertainment district. You won't get mugged or pick pocketed, will find the food tasty and safe, and will find bargains on jewelry and trinkets.
Written July 22, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sixseto
San Francisco, CA348 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2014 • Friends
We came here twice this year on cruises, one of which was a back to back with Ensenada as a port. It is a quick 20 minute walk from the port, heading into town. Yes, it is touristy, but is safe and is dotted with not only souvenir shops but also great local restaurants off the main street. The famous Husson, where Margaritas were born, is located just off Avenida Lopez Mateos as well as Papas and Beer, where many tourists ends up. Try La Compadre! Bruno is the owner and is a graduate from Napa Valley Cooking School in California. He makes great seafood plates while his mom runs the other side of the restaurant where she and her staff cooks up all the rest--carne asada, chicken, pork etc.. GREAT food! Cheap prices!

Prices are better at the marketplace at La Bufadora if you are looking for bargains. However, as everyone knows, one needs to negotiate for your goods.
Written January 29, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Janet L
Acton, California, United States8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2015 • Family
I have had many massages, and this is one of the best. Ladies, there were 3 of us that had a massage on January 8th. We were celebrating my daughter's birthday. The facilities were clean. The staff was friendly and professional. We all filled out a form with a front and back picture of a person for us to indicate any muscles that needed attention and the pressure (light, medium or hard) that we wanted. The massage tables were laid out with fresh clean sheets and a light blanket with subdued lighting and soothing music playing low. The ambiance was relaxing. After disrobing to panties left on, we let them know we were ready for our massage to begin. The women were very good about maintaining our privacy with draping the towels over us. From the top of our heads to the bottom of our feet, kinks were worked out and kneaded just perfectly. We were all impressed with the strength they had to keep the pressure required for the hour workout! The women all did a fantastic job...we will go back every time we are in town.
Written January 10, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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