La Bufadora is one of the coolest hidden gems that we have discovered in Mexico. Located just outside of Ensenada, this marine geyser is supposed to be one of the largest in the world! When we saw the pictures of this incredible natural phenomenon, we knew we had to go. So we planned a trip to Ensenada, with a visit to La Bufadora the first thing on our list.
The experience didn’t disappoint. La Bufadora is very accessible, only a short drive outside of Ensenada, and the only cost associated with visiting is a small parking fee. When we arrived at La Bufadora, watching the water erupt out of the oceanside cliffs and spray visitors with water was incredible. It was so cool, we risked taking pictures with our very un-waterproof camera.
If you’re planning a visit to La Bufadora, we’ve included everything you’ll need to know below. But if you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you.
About La Bufadora
La Bufadora is a marine geyser/blowhole located on La Peninsula de Punta Banda, just outside of Ensenada, Baja California. The Spanish name “La Bufadora” roughly translates into “The Snorter” in English.
The spout of water is caused by ocean waves pushing air and water into sea caves. As the air and water pressure builds up, the water is forced out of holes in the top of the cave. The resulting explosion of water can reach up to 100 feet above sea level, spraying nearby visitors from head to toe.
When we visited, it was about 2 hours after high tide and the blowhole was erupting about every 30 seconds – one minute. While it’s best to go as close to high tide as possible, we’ve heard that you can experience the blowhole phenomena pretty much no matter what time you go. You just won’t get as big of explosions if you go during low tide.
How to Get to La Bufadora
Getting to La Bufadora is very easy and straightforward. Putting “La Bufadora” into google maps will take you exactly where you need to go on La Peninsula de Punta Banda. The roads along the way are in great shape, and there are no tolls.
When you arrive, there is parking along the side of the road just before the “Bienvenidos A La Bufadora” sign. We parked there for 50 pesos, and recommend that you do the same. It’s the best place to park and the walk to La Bufadora is very short – no more than half a mile.
As you walk toward La Bufadora after you park, there are a ton of tourist and souvenir shops set up along both sides of the street. The shops sell everything from street food to souvenirs like T-shirts, hats, art, etc. The people manning the shops are very friendly and will come out and try to sell to you, but aren’t imposing in any way.
A lot of the stuff for sale didn’t look that appealing to us, but there were a few shops that had some really cool looking art. We also walked by a few food stalls and were tempted to stop, but we had just eaten before we came.
Just before you arrive at La Bufadora, there is a colorful Ensenada sign in front of the water. A lot of people stopped to take pictures here since it has such a beautiful view of the ocean.
Just behind the sign there are public restrooms, but you have to pay a few pesos to use them. We’d recommend using the bathroom before you come if at all possible, since the bathrooms weren’t that clean. Also, you had to collect toilet paper from the bathroom attendant on the way in–the stalls themselves had no toilet paper in them.
Planning Your Visit to La Bufadora
If you are staying in Ensenada, leaving yourself about 3 hours total will give you plenty of time to drive to and from La Bufadora and observe the blowhole while you are there. Bring about 100-200 pesos with you for parking, bathroom use, and any souvenirs that you may want to buy along the way.
We’d recommend that you wear something athletic that you don’t mind getting wet, since it’s inevitable that you get a little water on you. When we left we definitely weren’t drenched, but we weren’t dry either. Bring a light jacket or hoodie, since La Bufadora is right on the water and it can get windy and chilly even during a warm day.
The blowhole itself is surrounded by a viewing deck with railings. People line up around the deck to view La Bufadora, but you can get a great view pretty much anywhere that you are standing. Peering over the railing, you can see and hear the water pressure begin to build up in the caves, so you have a bit of a warning before it full out explodes.
We went on a sunny Friday morning in November, and there weren’t very many people there at all. We had definitely expected larger crowds, so it was nice to see only 20-30 people there. La Bufadora doesn’t open until 10 AM or 12 PM on most days, so be sure to check the hours before you go.
It’s safe to bring your phone or camera since you’ll be able to take pictures from behind the splash zone. When we got close to the edge of the viewpoint, we just put all our electronics in our jacket pockets and they were fine.
Visiting La Bufadora is one of our favorite things that we have done in Mexico. We felt so lucky that La Bufadora is only a few hours from where we live in San Diego, so visiting was a must!
Our final recommendation would be to try to time your visit with high tide to see the biggest eruptions. You can view Ensenada’s tide chart here.
Questions about La Bufadora? Drop us a comment below!
Also, if you like La Bufadora, you’ll probably also like Badwater Basin, a salt flat in Death Valley that’s the lowest point in North America! Read our blog post Badwater Basin: Exploring the Lowest Point in North America.