Bridgie's Babble - Feb 22, 2007
Our first order of business in Ensenada, once settled in a slip, was to check in with the authorities and become
legal visitors of Mexico (now there's a novel concept...legally checkin to a country). We walked the mile or so
to the "one stop shop", the CIS (Centro Integrales de Sevicios) which includes the Port Captain, Aduana and
Migracion. It's true what you read in the guides; everything is under one roof, making it relatively easy. Since
we had done our homework, we had 5 copies of EVERY DOCUMENT required and we were armed with
serial numbers for our Volvo motor and Nissan outboard motor (a new requirement as of early 2007) The
check-in took us 3.5 hours. The delay was due mostly to very slow computer processing connections. There
are 5 windows to visit, each requiring a "fee", which must be paid before one can move on to the next
window. There is a lot of back and forth from windows to the bank. At the time we checked in, the photo
copy machine was not working. Those needing copies were directed to find a pharmacy within the city, get
copies made and return to the back of the line. We found that the chandlery right across the street made
copies for free as a courtesy and to draw business. I'd recommend that one should have either cash or credit
cards to pay on hand when they arrive. The "bank" at the CIS is really more of a cashier; you can't exchange
money or make withdrawals, etc. The regular banks were closed on the day we were there, as they were
preparing for Carnaval. One woman in line tried to go to 3 different banks, to find they were all closed.
I'd also suggest buying Mexican Liability Insurance before entering Mexico. We had heard it could be
purchased once in Ensenada but decided to buy it in San Diego just in case. It's a good thing, too. The very
first document the marina asked for was proof of insurance. And, even though we still had our U.S. coverage,
it was the Mexican policy they cared about.
We spent 4 days in Ensenada and had a good time. The Carnaval Parade was a spectacular sight of
colorfully dressed young women (and a few men) with typical Mexican music and dancing in the streets.