Ensenada has a convenient single office for Immigration, Port Captain
and customs. Each has a separate area in the building. If you
don't have a visa already you will need to get that first. Then go
to immigration, Port Captain and customs. It took us a little over
half a day to clear in. Allocate the whole day.
I understand many of the local marina's will handle the clearing in
for a fee. But it is not a hugely complex process to do yourself.
You will need patience, a bit of Spanish, a sense of humor, a smile and:
- Copies of Passports
- Four copies of the crew list
- Liability Insurance
- Boat registration
- Engine serial numbers, (dingy engine number in your back
pocket just in case)
- Money or credit cards (about 115 bucks for us not including
The office is located a block or so north of the north end of the
Marina. Immigration - no problema, we
pays our money and all is good. The Capitania de Puerto
however, won't clear the boat into Mexico unless we are in a
Marina. "OK Capitainia, uno hora por favor " we say.
Then we zoom back to the boat, haul up the anchor and move to a
guide book recommended marina called "Cruise Port". Ooooouch! Cruise Port stinks - literally, it stinks! Surely
a temporary stink - we hope. Such beautiful facilities
would not be here if it stunk all the time. So we choke down
the $45 per day rate, sign in and walk the mile
and a half back to the Puerto Capitania offices.
We get the boat cleared by the Puerto Capitania, but customs
want the serial numbers of our engines and some extra copies of
forms. The sweet senorita in the Puerto Captinia's office
copies the forms. Now back to the boat we go to get serial
Pheeeuuuu! The marina still stinks. Grab our stuff and
back to Peurto Capitania's office. Immigration scolds us for importing to much wine,
(officially only two liters each), but they look the other way
and we bounce over the
last hurdle and are cleared into the country.
Back to the boat. Whew! This place is ripe. We
were anchored for free in a good spot in the harbor and now we
are in a very expensive marina where the water smells like
sewage, rotting fish and burnt broccoli. We sleep
the night with hatches closed and stuffy air. Next
morning we have had enough. Wash the boat, load up
with water and out of there! Back to our nice anchoring
We cut a deal with Roger at Baja Naval, to allow us to
use his dock for the dingy, showers and wireless broad band Internet
access for 1,000 peso's a day - about ten bucks.
Other options in Ensenada Harbour:
- Banditos - find the guy in the wheel chair and he
will get you a spot;
- Baja Naval - talk to Roger, he will do his best
to get you on his dock;
- A New Marina, just North of Banditos under
construction that is willing to cut deals to get people to dock
These are small marina's with one or two docks, maybe
25-50 boats each.
Carral which is a few miles north of Ensenada Harbor is