Ensenada Grande Beach (Playa Ensenada Grande) is a secluded beach nestled in a picturesque cove on Baja California Sur’s Isla Partida.
The beach is one of the few places where visitors can step onto the charming uninhabited island, which is protected as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, along with neighboring Isla Espiritu Santo.
With shallow, turquoise-blue water, it’s no wonder that so many visitors to nearby La Paz take day trips to this gorgeous beach.
If you’re hoping to spend a day at Ensenada Grande Beach, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn how to visit.
Note: This article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases through these links, at no cost to you. But don’t worry, I only share products I’d truly recommend to a friend.
Overview of Ensenada Grande Beach
Playa Ensenada Grande is the most commonly visited beach on Isla Partida, but it still feels like a remote paradise.
Most of the island’s visitors travel from La Paz, Baja California Sur’s capital city, which is about an hour away via boat. While you can get a permit to visit Isla Partida on your own, most visitors book a day trip with a local tour company.
Most day trips also include a snorkeling experience at nearby Los Islotes, where there is a large sea lion colony. This is a once-in-a-lifetime ecotourism experience, and I highly recommend it.
If you do choose to swim with sea lions, be sure to admire them from a respectful distance and wear a wet suit. Trust me, the water is ice cold and a wet suit makes the experience far more enjoyable.
Back to Ensenada Grande Beach—most tours stop at the beach for lunch after the sea lion experience.
Though its called Playa Ensenada Grande, which means the big cove beach in Spanish, the beach itself is not that large, and visitors are prohibited from exploring the island beyond the beach.
Thankfully, there is plenty to explore along the shoreline and in the water. The cliffs surrounding the cover are stunning, and there is decent snorkeling along the edges of the beach.
Stunning desert landscapes on Isla Partida
Essential Mexico Travel Resources
Have a Mexico trip coming up soon? There are a lot of travel companies out there, but some are better than others. After traveling to dozens of countries and living abroad on several continents, here are some of my favorite websites and resources for planning unforgettable trips.
Insider Tips for Isla Partida, Isla Espritu Santo, and Los Islotes Day Trips
1. Expect bees at Playa Ensenada Grande
It is normal to encounter swarms of bees at Playa Ensenada Grande. But don’t let this scare you away! The beach is so worth visiting.
The bees will try to eat anything sweet that you have with you. To keep them at a distance, you can put a few pieces of ripe fruit on the ground away from your spot. This will keep them busy and eliminate the amount of bees trying to taste your food.
If you are allergic to bee stings, consider the risk of visiting Ensenada Grande Beach.
2. Bring sun protection
Make sure to bring everything you need to protect your skin from the sun.
Sunscreen is a must, and I also recommend investing in a UPF sun shirt and sun hat for your trip to Baja California. I recently got my first sun shirt and I love it! It’s a great way to shield your skin from damaging rays without having to reapply sunscreen over and over again.
3. Bring something warm for the boat ride Back
While the sun is powerful, the boat ride back to La Paz can get chilly, especially if you’re wet.
Even if its hot out, be sure to bring a sweatshirt, puffy jacket, or something else warm for the boat ride back. You’ll thank me later!
4. Wear a wet suit (If you swim with Sea Lions)
If you choose to swim with sea lions, do yourself a favor and rent a wet suit. Most (but not all) tour companies have wet suits available for rent.
I made the mistake of going on a tour with a company that did not have wet suits, and I regretted it the moment I jumped in the ice cold water at Los Islotes.
I was so cold, it was really challenging to enjoy the experience, and it almost felt like I was going into shock. My husband and dad had a better experience than me, but still wish they had wet suits as well.
Unless you’re very comfortable spending extended periods of time in cold water, or have a lot of fat on your body, be sure to rent a wet suit.
5. Bring a Gopro (or Underwater Phone Case)
Swimming with sea lions is such a special experience that you’ll want to capture. I highly recommend investing in a GoPro if you like snorkeling.
My GoPro HERO11 is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made as a frequent traveler to Mexico. I use it all the time, and it is such an upgrade from my 10-year-old GoPro. The new one has screens on both sides and incredible photo quality. Alternatively, you can also get an underwater phone case.
The gorgeous teal water of Ensenada Grande Beach
Top Rated Ensenada Grande Beach Tours
★★★★★ 4.5/5 Stars out of 35+ reviews
Leaves from La Paz, Mexico
This is the tour I would take if I were to do it again. The trip includes swimming with sea lions at Los Isoltes, relaxing at Ensenada Grande Beach, and swimming with whale sharks. It is operated by a local ecotourism company and includes wet suits.
“Highly recommend the sea lion and whale shark tour from Eco Migrations. Our friendly and knowledgeable guide led us through an amazing day with lots of up-close wildlife encounters, while always prioritizing the well-being of the animals. Incredibly fun, educational, safe, and smoothly run. Don’t miss out!”Review from Evan on Google
★★★★★ 5/5 Stars out of 18+ reviews
Leaves from La Paz, Mexico
Rent a private yacht and explore the Sea of Cortez, including remote beaches like Playa Ensenada Grande. If you’re looking for a luxurious experience with a group of friends, this is it!
“My friends and I rented this yacht for a birthday and our experience was just absolutely incredible. Lester waited for us in the marina and saved us a parking spot right next to the entrance. The crew was amazing, they were always asking us if we were okay or if we needed another drink or more food. They made ceviche and also went down to the ocean to get us fresh oysters! They set up a little table with the cake and helped us sing happy birthday. Lester was great, the crew was great. 100% recommended.”Review from Daniela on Viator
Final Thoughts: Ensenada Grande Beach
A visit to Ensenada Grande Beach gives you a glimpse of the abundant natural beauty and biodiversity of Baja California’s protected islands. If you’re looking for a unique experience on a visit to La Paz, be sure to plan a visit to this beach.
And if you’re planning an upcoming Baja trip, be sure to take a look at my other Baja California travel guide so you don’t miss my favorite hidden gems!
★ 12 Stunning La Paz Beaches + Insider Tips
★ 6 Reasons to Visit Santiago, BCS (one of the best day trips from La Paz!)
★ Sol De Mayo Waterfall, Santiago
★ Santa Rita Hot Springs, Santiago
★ Playa Balandra, La Paz Full Guide
★ Playa El Tesoro, La Paz Full Guide
★ The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Travel in La Paz, Mexico