The word baja (meaning lower in Spanish) has come to be synonymous with the rugged, arid landscape of the Mexican state of Baja California. Its proximity to alta (upper) California, once Mexican territory but now a state in the United States, has made its gateway, Tijuana, the most visited city in Mexico. There competition dictates that one should never accept the first quoted price while shopping, while some are attracted by the risque’ night life.
For the short-term visitor Ensenada provides a bit of balance due to the calming effect of its large harbor, and more sedate nightlife. For a few blocks the narrow streets of Ensenada make it appear more active than Tijuana and certainly a more intimate dining experience.
While a world apart from the rest of Mexico, given the chance Baja exudes its own charm, and considering the traffic locals are as willing (and able) to help the poor lost gringo as anywhere in the country.