07 March 2017

La Bufadora

Mexico is not all spring break parties, cacti, and loud mariachi music; Mexico is a place of rolling, green hills, wine country, and geological phenomena. La Bufadora falls into that last category. We took a little day trip from Tijuana down the coast to Ensenada, then out to this little treasure. La Bufadora is an ocean blow hole. The sea shoots up through a crevice in the rocky shoreline and sprays spectators. People come from all over to see this display of the sea. 

La Bufadora is located on the back of the peninsula on the southern edge of the Ensenada bay. To get there, we took a very scenic route through Wine Country, but the simplest way is to head south from Tijuana on the toll road from Playas, through Rosarito, and then keep heading south. Once in Ensenada, follow the signs. Once you pass the city, you come across the town of Maneradero, and you take a right down this inconspicuous road that looks like it goes nowhere. The road twists and turns through camping areas and some lowland farming areas. There are plenty of roadside shops selling home-pickled olives, fresh Olive oil, and fresh honey, along with other canned goods. You follow the road until it ends. There's a parking lot that cost us about $5. From there, you have to walk down to the cliffs. 
Ensenada is a huge port town, and cruise ships headed to Mexico almost all stop there, so there's a big tourist industry in the area. At La Bufadora, you walk down a path lined with people selling all of the usual Mexican souvenirs- ceramic knicknacks, ponchos, knock-off purses, leather sandals, and of course, there's a ton of food. Seafood is the typical choice, seeing that the ocean is about 10 feet away. We didn't stop to eat that day- we should have. The prices were typical for a tourist place: expensive for people who live in Mexico, but cheap by American standards. We also didn't buy any souvenirs because it's the same stuff sold in Tijuana's tourist areas. 

At the end of the path, there's a white building with restrooms- $10 pesos per person. They were relatively clean, but there was no soap to wash with, and no towels to set with. That is very typical in Mexico in all public restrooms. Outside of building, is a path on the cliff edge. There's a lot of nice places to take pictures, and watch the tides. However, at the back of said building, sits the bottom of the viewing area for La Bufadora. Even for a blustery February Sunday, it was really crowded. People all clambered to get a spritz of ocean on their faces. We couldn't get through to even see the water come up, so we had to go higher. 

There was a path that headed up the cliff above La Bufadora someone had built a higher viewing platform. There was almost no people up there except for a few peddlers selling coconuts.  We got a great view, looking down into the waterspout. The kids were more entertained by the hills and boulders above us than by the spraying water down below. Hector's fear of heights made us not stay for long, but we did have some fun climbing around, in places not above stone cliffs. 

La Bufadora is a fun addition to any Ensenada trip, and it made for a lovely diversion from the fast-paced life in Tijuana. I recommend heading out in the morning, because the drive from Tijuana to Ensenada takes about an hour, and La Bufadora is about 45 minutes past that. Bring change for parking and bathrooms. Exchange your dollars for pesos in Tijuana before you leave. The exchange rate in Ensenada is not as good as it would be closer to the border, and out towards La Bufadora, there were no casas de cambio. It is much easier to deal in pesos than dollars, since any merchant can take the dollar at any rate they want. Bring a sweater and mind the safety signs and railings- it's a long way down without a soft landing. Finally, enjoy one of the natural wonders that Mexico has to offer. It really is more than cheap liquor and loud parties. 

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