Tips to Avoid Trouble:

Ensenada is for the most part a reasonably safe place to party and have a good time. Here are a few basic DON’Ts to stay clear of problems.
  1. Don’t talk to the Raterios! These are the guys hanging out on the street that usually make an attempt to approach gringos looking for a good time. Most of them speak good English. They always act as if they are trying to help you find anything you may be looking for. Let me just call them what they are: hustlers, thieves, robbers. You will end up broke & unhappy if you waste you time talking to them. They are smart and have a playbook of games. Just say no thanks or ignore them and keep walking. They don’t want to waste time either and will move on.
  2. Don’t walk down any street in Ensenada with an alcoholic drink in your hand.
  3. Don’t get so drunk that you can barely walk down the street.
  4. Don’t ever hit anyone or start a fight unless you want a tour inside of the local jail.
  5. Pedestrians have the right of way in the crosswalks, however you should still exercise caution before stepping out into the intersection.
  6. As in many countries, the purchase of controlled medication requires a doctor's prescription. The Mexican list of controlled medication differs from that of the U.S., and Mexican public health laws concerning controlled medication are unclear and often enforced selectively. The list of controlled medication should be available from the closest Mexican Consulate. Possession of any amount of prescription medicine (especially psychotropic drugs, such as valium) brought from the United States can result in arrest if Mexican authorities suspect abuse or if the quantity of the prescription medicine exceeds the amount required for several days' use. Individuals should consider carrying a copy of the prescription and a doctor's letter explaining that the quantity of medication is appropriate for their personal medical use.

"Tolerance Zone"
Miramar Street

There are a few strip clubs here in Ensenada that are located on various streets, but in general they try to keep a low profile. One street in particular (Miramar) between Lopez Mateos and Ave. Juarez is known as the "Tolerance Zone". The Tolerance Zone has a rather seedy look and feel, with prostitutes, transvestites, junkies, and street hustlers trying to solicit those who walk by. Some people may be able to navigate in this environment without any problems. Others should avoid walking down this street especially at night.

Auto Theft in Mexico:

Unfortunately, vehicle theft can be a big problem in Mexico, and tourist vehicles are often targeted. Even older, beat up cars are not immune.

  1. Employ at least one type of anti-theft device such as steering wheel locks (an autotazer with 50,000 volts might be fun to watch), kill switches, and other anti-theft devices are highly recommended.
  2. Always park in a parking area that is clearly visible, near other vehicles, and has plenty of foot traffic.
  3. Never leave your vehicle parked on the side of the highway.
  4. For overnight parking, always try to park in area that is gated or employs a security guard.