As the “Cinderella of the Pacific”, Ensenada has long been a favorite travel destination for all types of travelers. Although the city has many charms, and has become one of the first stops for many cruises along the Mexican Rivera, one of its most popular and well known spots, “La Bufadora” (The Blowhole) is actually located outside of the city confines. Located at the tip of the Punta Banda peninsula on a rocky outcropping, La Bufadora is a marine geyser and now in 2017, a popular tourist attraction with restaurants, shops, and a museum leading up to the actual blowhole. Like any marine geyser, L a Bufadora is formed by a partially submerged sea cave, which is affected by the tidal flow along the coast. As the waves from the Pacific come into the cave, water and air are trapped, and then forced through an opening at the top. At La Bufadora, the geyser regularly shoots out water over sixty feet, and is considered to be the second tallest marine geyser in the world.
Directions: From the city square in downtown Ensenada (Playa Ensenada), La Bufadora is thirty-six kilometers to the South (22 miles). Visitors to the area that have access to a car or have a car should follow Mexico Highway 1 most of the way to the blowhole, although as always, should consult their own navigational aids (maps, GPS, etc.) for specific directions. Visitors to the region who are on a cruise or similar non-vehicle excursion also can find either a taxi service or tour group to take them to the area, as the spot is very popular.
From the end of the road, there are a variety of parking lots for parties to park in, and a variety of rates. While exchange rates between the dollar and peso may vary, generally, if one is paying more than $1.50-2.00 to park, you are being overcharged. While the blowhole itself is a quarter mile walk from the parking lots, this walk has plenty to observe, as there are shops and restaurants lining both sides of the streets. These shops (and restaurants) offer a variety of things ranging from souvenirs to knockoff luxury goods for sale. Generally, visitors can get better deals in Ensenada proper, but exceptions remain as haggling over price is common. At the end of the walkway, travelers will have the option to walk up to either the high viewing platform, which overlooks the lower platform and the blowhole from a distance, or the low platform, which abuts the blowhole. While the view is similar from both platforms, the lower platform is generally more crowded due to its proximity and the view it provides.
As La Bufadora is at the tip of the peninsula, it is active all day, every day as the waves that enter the cave never stop, and it generally erupts once per minute. Obviously, at high tide, the geyser has a higher flow, but even at low tide, the blowhole can produce some large eruptions. Visitors to the area should be aware that the shops, restaurants, and blowhole are very popular with tourists and locals alike, and as such, there is rarely a “slow” moment near or around it. Having said that, La Bufadora is a unique experience in that one rarely has the opportunity to view a marine geyser in person, and is a fun partial day excursion from Ensenada.