Tendering is required to get to Avalon. It is a pretty town but there's not much to do unless you take an excursion. We walked around for two hours just to get some exercise off the ship. It is a very easy town to walk around in. Most of the shops did not open until after 9:00am the Sunday we were there. The shop owners seemed bored in general and were not very helpful. There's a post office in town if you want to mail post cards, and the drugstore sold me stamps. The funnel cakes for sale on the pier were burned.
Ensenada was a scary place for me. Leaving the ship was easy, and it was a short walk into town. The local peddlers are relentless. As soon as we got off the pier onto the first bridge, we were inundated with children and adults blocking our paths trying to get us to buy trinkets from their cardboard boxes. The kids were the worst. They would stand in front of you and jockey back and forth to block your way while shoving things into your face.
We made it to the main drag, Avenida Lopez Mateos, about 3/4 of a mile from the pier. We walked north up the road and then south again, repeatedly saying “No, gracias” to dozens of peddlers and shop owners who tried repeatedly to get us to go into their shop. They would stand up just as we approached and say things like, “Come on, friend, I give you good deal” and “Best prices in the morning, come inside” and “Now it’s my turn, friend, amigo, step inside, I give you best deal yet.” Several of them noted I was wearing an Arizona Diamondbacks hat, so they kept trying to point me to their Diamondbacks merchandise.
We basically speed walked through town as fast as possible, uncomfortable with every part of being in Ensenada. We stopped in at McDonald’s, hoping to get some ‘real food’ that was better than what they had on the cruise ship. Unfortunately it was filthy and they have no seating in the restaurant, so we passed on that. Later, we stopped in at Sweetberry which is a yogurt shop. The girl at the counter spoke no English whatsoever, and they only took Pesos so my US Dollars were no good there. Since it was Día de la Candelaria (a national holiday in Mexico) that day, none of the banks were open so I couldn’t exchange any money. I didn’t want to buy anything from a local and then try to get Pesos back in change, so we just gave up and went back to the ship.