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La Bufadora

La Bufadora is a marine geyser, or Blowhole located on the Punta Banda Peninsula in Baja California, Mexico. The spout of marine water (occurring every minute or so to varying degrees of height) is created when ocean waves and air are drawn into an underwater cave located in the Cliffside, and the trapped air and water then explode upwards. This interaction not only creates the upward-shooting spout, but a thunderous noise as well.

La Bufadora is the second largest blowhole in the world, and can shoot upwards as high as 80 feet above sea level.


A deep underwater canyon leads to the cave in the cliff, gouged out over aeons of time by trillions of tons of pounding surf. The surge of heavy ocean swells is channeled through the canyon and forced beneath the surface into the narrow, tunnel-like entrance of the cave. This phenomenon of nature has been a strong influence in the tourist development of Punta Banda peninsula.


La Bufadora roughly translates as "The Blowhole" in English. Its name arises from local legend surrounding the marine geyser's origin. Folklore describes a baby whale entering the underwater cave over a century ago and becoming stuck (calves grow very rapidly in a very short period of time). The spout of water is from the (now-grown) whale’s blowhole (hence the name La Bufadora – or "The Blowhole") and the thunderous noise are its cries.


This spectacular marine geyser explodes upwards sometimes as high as 80 ft. above sea level, producing a tremendous sound. This is the reazon for its name, "The Blowhole". The invading ocean wave collides with the air that is drawn down in a pumping action caused by the force of receding waters after the previous spout. For an instant, trapped air and water choke the cave, then the compressed air and water explode through the only exit. This marine geyser is considered as the second highest of the world, after Hawai. Other "Blowholes" exist in Australia, Tahiti and one in Japan, but Japan's is artificial. "La Bufadora" is the most spectacular of all of them, because it's situated on a rocky inlet near the tip of the ruggedly beautiful Punta Banda peninsula. Its tremendous roar seems to come from a huge angry animal at bay. Against this background of sound and fury, exploding water and flying spray, a legend has come down through the years: "The Legend of the Whale Jail". A century ago, within easy sight of The Blowhole, there was a whaling station below the bluff close to the water's edge. The whalers spun a yarn of a mother whale returning to the Arctic with her new-born calf from the breeding grounds at Scammon Lagoon in Guerrero Negro, four hundred miles south. One night the baby whale skipped away to explore a mysterious under water cave in the cliffs of Punta Banda. A whale calf grows very fast - fifty pounds a day, or more than two pounds an hour - and this "little" fellow stayed in the cave all night. By morning he was too big to squeeze through the narrow, crevice-like entrance of the cave. The following day the whalers in the camp saw a small spout rising mysteriously from the cave and heard the frightened sobs of the trapped baby whale. As years passed the spouts grew larger, his lamentations louder. And legend says that the spout, accompanied by a tumultuous crash emerging from the Blowhole today, is the spout and fulmination of a still-trapped but now full-grown leviathan.

How To Get There

Located at 17 miles south of Ensenada by taking the Transpeninsular highway to Maneadero. From there follow the clearly marked road that goes west and takes you all tha way to La Bufadora, which is located at the end of the Punta Banda Peninsula. The scenic paved road offers you a beautiful panoramic view of the Ensenada Bay, its beaches and Todos Santos Island.

Just head south and rejoin the toll road you came in on. You will have to pay a toll right after the AM/PM market and another one just as you get to the outskirts of Ensenada. It costs the same as on your trip to Rosarito (around $2.35 depending on exchange rate). Once you pass the second toll booth, just follow the signs on in to Ensenada. As you come into the area, you will soon see the ship yards and just continue to follow the beautiful coastal route on into town.

Follow the road until you come across the Punta Morro sign and the bridge next to it. Once that you pass the bridge, keep to your right and follow the sign marked Zona Turistica. Then pass the bridge and follow the sign that reads Ensenada Harbor.

Keep to your right and when you get where the road splits, follow the sign that says Zona Turistica San Quintin and go straight to enter the Ensenada tourist area.

When you enter Ensenada, keep to your right and follow the signs marked "San Quintin" (Malecon)

Follow this road for a couple of miles until you come across a Men's Club to your left that has a horse on top of the building and a PEMEX gas station across the street and take a left at that intersection. Then keep straight until you see a tall Gigante Store and an Office Depot and turn right.

Keep going for a couple of miles until the road goes from a six lane (three each way) road to a four lane (two each way) road.

Keep driving until you get to the next "Bufadora" sign. It will be several miles before you see it.

Turn right and this road becomes a single lane highway in both directions.

Follow the road for several miles and go up the mountain until you get there. Don't worry, you won't miss it. Make sure that you stop and have a delicious "Tamal de Elote" (corn tamale) in one of the little shops on the road.


There is a commercial area where you can find all kind of arts and crafts of the region; the restaurants offer you an excellent selection of seafood plates. Don't forget to try the famous "churros", a flour stick deep-fried and rolled in sugar. Near La Bufadora is a little cove where professional diving is recommended. The little Sierra along the peninsula of Punta Banda invites you to practice hiking, camping, mountain bike riding and the observation of flora and fauna.

Also offers various restaurants, souvenir shops, and a recently added museum. Bed & Breakfast is now available for up to 8 persons at La Casa Verde in La Bufadora and other vacation rentals are available from the UPS office serving La Bufadora from Punta Banda now.


Climbing is not recommended due to the dangerous rocky area. Do take your camera though and wear comfortable clothing. In winter use warm clothing.

More information can be found at the following websites:



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