Ensenada, Baja California

Dec 14, 2019 - National Geographic Venture


Welcome to Mexico! And to Ensenada, Baja California Norte! We have left the United States and our first port of call is sure to be a memorable one. This morning we sailed slowly into the port of Ensenada, past Isla de Todos Santos, All Saints Island. Over half a million people call the city of Ensenada home, and there is a thriving culture and business center. After we pulled into the dock on the north side of the city, we boarded coaches and took the scenic hour drive up the Route de Vino to the northeast into the Valle de Guadalupe. This area has been called the Napa Valley of Mexico and produces more than eighty percent of the country’s wine. We found ourselves at perhaps the most well-known of all these wineries, Mount Xanic. We were treated to a walking-tasting tour of the facility. The beautiful grounds and the flavorful wines ushered us down to the nearby reservoir for lunch. The delicious Mexican feast was complete with mariachi music and a chocolatey dessert spread. Reluctantly we boarded the busses back to Ensenada, but our hesitation soon faded as we wandered through the city on our own or relaxed back on board. Low and behold, just off our port side, dozens of local fishing boats, adorned in holiday lights, paraded around in the harbor giving us the perfect show before dinner. A beautiful welcome to Mexico.

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About the Author

James Hyde

Naturalist

James is a home-grown, free-range Pacific Northwest outdoorsmen. Born in Seattle and reared nearby on Vashon Island, he grew up in and surrounded by the Salish Sea. James has saltwater in his veins, but would be quick to point out we all do, echoing Carl Safina " We are, in a sense, soft vessels of seawater." Born with the travel bug, James was fortunate enough to spend time on four continents before graduating college. During his studies at Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment, James went to Australia and visited the Great Barrier Reef. He was never the same. A lifetime of playing in the productive, but opaque green water of the Northwest had offered him little firsthand experience of the creatures below its depths, but with a clear view of the colorful dramas playing out across the bottom of the tropical Pacific, he was hooked. Scuba diving and underwater ecology were solidified as his passion and after college, it took him to a dive shop in Seattle fixing gear, tidepooling with local middle school students, and generally making a spectacle of himself in the surf.

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