Of course it is safe, unless you go into Ensenada bars, swinging your fists at the locals and screaming profanities, there is little that can go wrong. Americans are sich a frightened flock.
The normal precautions will suffice.
LOL Dynamisto, never a good idea to swing fists in bars.
I've been driving to Baja for 20 years, my girlfriends and I used to camp on the beach. Embarrassed to admit, that my Spanish is minimal at best. I'm a gringo in every sense of the word, I follow the laws and in all these trips we have never had an incident that made me feel unsafe.
My husband and I are driving to Ensenada next week. We will be stopping in Valle de Guadalupe, just East of Ensenada for wine tasting and lunch - the wine and farm-to-table gastronomy are mind blowing.
Mexican hospitality is leaps and bounds above any we have found in the world.
Take precautions as you would in any tourist area in the US i.e. I like to use a cross body purse and my husband usually places his wallet in his front pocket when we are in town/in crowds. Most importantly have a fabulous time in beautiful Ensenada!
You are in for a real treat! A lot of folks arrive in Ensenada via cruise for just the afternoon and only see Papas and Beer. You, however are going to see and taste the REAL beauty! We've traveled Sonoma, Napa, Temecula, even Malibu and Grand Junction for wine tasting and nothing comes close to the excellent wine and food in Valle de Guadalupe.
Have a great time!!
Wear your purse across your body and don't count money in public. Just like any city anywhere in the world. The Valle especially is rural and community-minded. You will find that Mexicans are much more willing to help strangers and much (MUCH) more tolerant of people who can't speak their language than we are on this side of the border.
One hint: when you need to speak to someone, begin with "buenos días" (before noon), "buenas tardes" (after noon but before dark), or "buenas noches" (after dark). Even if you can't say another thing in Spanish, it'll break the ice and show you're interested in being polite. "Gracias" (thank you) and "con permiso" (excuse me, need to get by) are also great ways to see the best side of Mexican hospitality. In the U.S. we tend to just launch into conversations... not so much in Mexico.
travellerCA, these are my thoughts exactly (you put them into words, beautifully!)
A part of me wishes the close-minded Americans would continue to fear Mexico - I really enjoy things the way they are and if/when the secret gets out...it will change.
I was in Ensenada in May and I felt as safe as anywhere in the US. We went to the lower class area of town, where we enjoyed amazing authentic food and extremely warm & friendly people. We went to the Malecon and 1st street area (Av Adolfo López Mateos) where we ate great food, purchased some gorgeous silver jewelry, and took a $2 boat ride around the bay. We also visited La Bufadora on a weekday when there was no one there but Mexicans. We were always comfortable and safe. It was a fabulous visit!
Great report, Roxanna.
ENSENADA IS SAFE!!! Having moved from Palm Desert over 9 years ago to Ensenada... I feel safer here than I did in Palm Desert! Ensenada is a large city but if you conduct yourself as you would in your hometown, or any large city, you should be very safe. I love it here and have never had an issue in all the years I have been living in Ensenada...