Watching the sunset at Bar Bura at Cuatro Cuatros in the height of summer was one of the highlights of my visits to Ensenada. The enjoyment was as much about the journey as the finale.
When you arrive at the property, a guard collects a parking fee for passage. Once off the old highway to Tijuana, the private unpaved road takes many twists and turns through landscapes of stark scrub and vineyards. LIke the design of a Renaissance garden, this plan presents one surprise after another to delight the visitor. One of the most unexpected was to round a curve and suddenly catch sight of two ancient wooden ships.
Continuing to follow the signs and arrows, we stopped at a parking lot that seemed like the end of the road. A mirador (vista point), but nothing that looked like a bar there. Luckily there was another car with someone who had been before who pointed over the edge of the precipice to a steep road leading below and the structure in the distance. He said he was confused himself, as a month earlier a shuttle bus drove visitors to Bar Bura. Seeing a handful of cars parked at the lower level, both of us decided to drive our vehicles down after enjoying the views from the high mirador. Jaime quipped that this was not a place for getting drunk. I was glad we were in the Quattro four-wheel drive and perhaps the sense of physical danger heightened the anticipation.
In our first attempt to park on the shoulder, Jaime asked me to check the space on my passenger side. I opened the door to look, and said, "If I try to get out of the car here, I'll fall down the cliff." We moved the car to the side of the road in the uphill direction where the drop-off was not as severe.
A maze of hay bales walls off the bar and presents a bit of a puzzle for finding the entrance. But soon we were inside. Seating is mostly made up of hay bales draped with white covers and accent pillows, plus some rustic wooden tables. In the middle of the week, there were less than two dozen customers present. In nearly all the photos I've seen, Bar Bura is crowded with customers, but my own hardly have any people other than staff in them. We claimed a two-top in the front row for the best viewing. This felt like being at the edge of the earth.
Mindful of the return drive and dinner in town ahead of us, we opted for non-alcoholic beverages. The fresh citrus juice coolers were delicious and refreshing. Bar Bura has a small menu of bar snacks as well.
I'd love to return. I do regret that we had less than an hour to enjoy the views and the venue. One should allow at least 20 minutes driving time to reach the bar itself beyond the estimate GPS provides for driving to the front gate. We drove straight in without stopping in order to not miss the sunset, but another time it would be nice to take it slower. Then also allow plenty of time on the two-lane highway, as we were late for our dinner reservation when we got stuck behind a big rig on the return.
Note: Reservation and minimum purchase policy in force on weekends.
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