Ensenada is a coastal city in Mexico, the third-largest in Baja California. Lying 125 kilometres (78 mi) south of San Diego on the Baja California Peninsula, it is locally referred to as La Cenicienta del Pacífico, "The Cinderella of the Pacific".
One of the first settlements founded in the Californias, Ensenada has emerged as a cruise ship destination, aerospace center, and heart of a wine country regarded as the best in the Americas alongside Napa Valley. It is said that the first Vitis vinifera made it to the region's San Ignacio Mission in 1703, when Jesuit Padre Juan de Ugarte planted the first vineyards there.
Situated on the coastline of Bahía de Todos Santos — an inlet of the Pacific Ocean on the peninsula's Gold Coast the Port of Ensenada is an important commercial, fishing, and tourist port. Residents often refer to themselves as "porteños" (port-dwellers), in reference to the historic harbor. The city is home to a navy base, army base, and Ensenada Airport, a military airfield which doubles as an airport of entry into Mexico.
Ensenada is the municipal seat and cultural and commercial center of Ensenada Municipality, one of five into which the state is divided. The city had a population of 279,765 as of the 2010 census, 59% of the total population of the Municipality.
Ensenada is backed by small mountain ranges. Proximity to the Pacific and a warm Mediterranean latitude create mild year-round weather. The rainy season during the winter is short and the area is prone to prolonged droughts, which can threaten its grape harvests. The National Park Constitution of 1857 created the Sierra de Juarez and San Pedro Martir National Parks, which maintain one of the best astronomical observatories in the country