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Ensenada, Mexico

Located on the Pacific Ocean midway along the arid Baja California peninsula, Ensenada was one of the first European settlements in Mexico. It is the third largest city in the Baja area, and more diverse in its economy than most. The shallow bays of the region attract migrating marine mammals, particularly gray whales, sea lions and elephant seals, which birth their young here in season. Ensenada has a long history as a getaway for tourists from the United States, and its Hussong’s Cantina, started in 1892, is supposedly the birthplace of the margarita cocktail. In recent years, the winemaking area of the Valle de Guadalupe has burgeoned into a major tourist attraction, with over seventy vineyards making the bulk of Mexico’s wines. The boom has also supported the rise of a well-reviewed culinary scene. For sightseeing, the desert landscape provides the bizarrely photogenic boojum trees, and the shoreline includes a natural blowhole called La Bufadora that frequently spouts nearly 90 feet in the air.