More than 36,000 tourists from the U.S. are expected to hit the beaches of Rocky Point this Memorial Day Weekend.
Taking in the sun, the great weather, fantastic cuisine, along with fun activities and of course Rocky Point’s beaches, are just some of the attractions visitors can expect this Memorial Day.
Based on advance reservations, the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau anticipates 90% hotel occupancy over the upcoming holiday weekend. Thousands of visitors, principally from Arizona and California, are expected to fill our shores, streets, and family-fun spots!
With U.S. Memorial Day falling on May 29th this year, projections point to the arrival of visitors and families from the U.S. starting Friday, May 26th. Many are expected to take advantage of the extended border hours of the Lukeville/Sonoyta entry (6 am – 10 pm, applicable only Friday, May 26th and Monday, May 29th).
Rocky Point is ready to welcome Memorial Day visitors and offers a variety of spots to stay, from resort condominiums to hotels and homes, with reservations already registering high numbers.
If you haven’t booked yet, there’s still time to start planning and pick a spot for you and your family to stay this holiday weekend!
The U.S. Memorial Day Weekend is among the busiest times in Rocky Point, right up there with Semana Santa, Spring Break, and the Rocky Point Rally.
Puerto Peñasco and its surrounding desert were an important part of the all-terrain World Rally Raid Championship “Sonora Rally”, held April 22nd – 28th across Sonora.
The race, which started out in Hermosillo and ended in San Luis Rio Colorado, included 5 routes in all. Three of these started and/or ended in Puerto Peñasco, putting this Sonoran port on the map as the event was broadcast daily to 180 countries.
The Dakar style trek welcomed 115 internationally renowned drivers who maneuvered their all-terrain vehicles and bikes across the sand dunes and mountainous landscapes while trying to conquer Sonora’s desert. The challenging Sonoran desert had been chosen for this edition of the Rally in being the only spot in the world with such a rich biodiversity of plateaus along and climate.
The intense and trying journey, backed by the Sonora Secretary of Tourism as well as the municipal administrations of Puerto Peñasco, Caborca, and San Luis Rio Colorado, attracted participants from Qatar, the U.S., the Czech Republic, Italy, Japan, Spain, China, Australia, New Zealand, Lithuania, and beyond.
Among the winners of the various categories of the “Sonora Rally”, stand outs included Jeremy Gray, Lithuanian racers Laizvydas Kancius and Rocas Baciuska, Brendan Crow, Romain Dumontier, the young Spanish driver Cristina Gutiérrez Herrero, and the distinguished sheik and 5-time champion Nasser Al Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel.
Racers, who follow this circuit across the globe, had the opportunity to experience the wonders of the heart of the Sonoran Desert and the Sea of Cortez along with star-filled nightly camps and the great hotel and cuisine offerings in Puerto Peñasco along with the warmth of the people of Sonora.
In addition to its certified clean beaches, Puerto Peñasco is home to numerous spots and activities to help you enjoy the warm weather and make summer special!
There are endless activities to explore during your stay in this beautiful corner of the Sea of Cortez, from swimming to jet-skis and banana boats, and more. If traveling with kids, you can always make sand sculptures, sunbathe, pick up a game of beach volleyball, or simply stroll along the sand and enjoy the view.
Boat cruises: Enjoy time with family and friends on one of the many “sunset” cruises, replete with music, snacks, and drinks!
Isla San Jorge (Bird Island): Don’t miss out on a trip to Isla San Jorge (aka Bird Island) to see the sea lions. Get in the water, or jump on a kayak or paddleboard, and explore this spot which is home to one of the largest communities of migratory birds and sea lions.
Pinacate Biosphere Reserve: Take advantage of the still cool mornings this time of year to visit the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. Take in the spectacular Elegante maar crater and sand dunes, as well as the desert flora and fauna. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a family of pronghorns or bighorn sheep that reside in this area, which is considered sacred to ancestors in the region as well as a UNESCO recognized natural World Heritage Site.
All-terrain excursions: Afternoons are the perfect time to cruise the dunes and tourist spots on ATVs or other 4×4 vehicles, though being sure to wear helmets and follow safety rules at all times.
Founders Malecón: Wander around the Malecon with friends or family. The Governors’ esplanade is an inviting area, just across from the tiled stairs leading to the upper part of the Malecon. You can also stroll though the various curios shops and stands along the street, where you’ll surely come across all types of souvenirs and Mexican handcrafts.
Curios Rodeo Drive – Road to La Cholla: This popular spot filled with quaint shops and galleries offers folk-art and jewelry from across the country, plus shell art and wood carvings made by local craft smiths.
Visit CEDO: This summer calls for a trip to CEDO, the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans. The center, which does research on marine ecosystems and biodiversity, houses a welcome center and gift shop, offering guided eco tours and natural history talks while showcasing a whale skeleton to greet everyone!
Oyster farms: A can’t miss spot is definitely a visit to the oyster farms! Did you know there’s a great oyster route in Puerto Peñasco? The oyster route starts at KM 7 along the highway to Caborca, guiding you to relish fresh oysters recently taken out of the sea. Diners can enjoy a view of the estuaries and rustic furnishings while thoroughly experiencing the phrase “From the Sea to your Palate”.
These are just some of the many activities and spots to visit this summer in Puerto Peñasco, complementing our culinary treats, tremendous hotel offerings, the warmth of our people, and magnificent beach weather.
The recertification audit of Islas del Mar, which is currently the largest sustainable clean beach in Mexico, concludes successfully.
The exhaustive audit work carried out by the Mexican Institute for Standardization and Certification on this coast showed that this coast meets all the requirements for the renewal of its certification and only awaits the opinion of the national jury.
The Islas del Mar beach has an extension of 2,302 linear meters that were rigorously audited in terms of water quality, biodiversity program, federal zone concession, security, sediment profile, solid waste review, among other important points.
In addition to this certified beach, Puerto Peñasco has 4 more awards for Clean Sustainable Beaches, Platinum Beach and Blue Flag in the areas of Sandy Beach and El Mirador.
We would like to thank all the participating institutions, companies, and participating civilians, and above all, the caring for beaches that has made us the only place in Sonora with certified beaches, including the one with the largest territorial extension for recreational use in the country.
Puerto Peñasco (aka Rocky Point) proved once again to be a favorite tourism destination for thousands of families and friends over the Easter break holiday. Visitors enjoyed the beautiful beaches, spectacular sunsets, splendid weather, cuisine, popular sights, and high demand in hotel offerings.
The influx of tourism could be seen as early as Thursday and through Easter Sunday, with Friday and Saturday being the peak points. Streets were packed throughout the break, with the busiest spots being the Malecón, Calle 13, oyster farms, La Loma “Competition Hill”, Playa Hermosa, Sandy Beach, Mi Playa, La Cholla, la Explanada just off Calle 13, and Playa Tesoro.
Puerto Peñasco welcomed entire families and groups of friends over the Easter break, principally traveling from Chihuahua, as well as Mexicali and Tijuana in Baja California, the state of Arizona, and from municipalities across Sonora. Visitors stayed at hotels, condos, beach rentals, and camping spots, in addition to the many who arrived to stay with family.
The vacation fiesta atmosphere could be felt across the city with the music of bandas spurring children and adults to dance. Visitors also took part in plenty of activities by sea, land, and air with parasailing, ATVs, boat trips, jet-skis, and banana rides. Plus, this year welcomed the unusual natural wonder of an elephant seal sighting along the beaches of Puerto Peñasco.
A fundamental part of this vacation period was the presence of safety and rescue crews from the three levels of government who maintained safety and monitoring operations along area beaches, within the city, and on highways. In addition, the “Sonora Me Encanta” (I love Sonora) brigade of the Sonoran Secretary of Tourism was on hand throughout the break, providing important information and tourism kits to visitors. The careful work and attention of hotel and tourism operators was also key in ensuring safe spaces for visitors who chose Puerto Peñasco for rest and relaxation.
This vacation period marks the launch of the high season in Puerto Peñasco and reactivation of tourism across the city, which continues to position itself as the most important tourism destination in northwestern Mexico.
The POTENTUR platform, made up of travel agencies from across the country, has recognized Puerto Peñasco and Hermosillo as emerging destinations in Mexico.
Representatives of the Convention and Visitors Bureaus of Puerto Peñasco, Hermosillo, and Guaymas-San Carlos, as well as from the Peñasco del Sol Hotel, gathered in Mexico City to receive the honored distinction. There, they met with leaders of the tourism platform, which is made up of travel agencies and tour-operators and considered to be one of the most important forums for the central and southern parts of the country. POTENTUR is a means to position tourism destinations both nationally and internationally.
This recognition was achieved once POTENTUR agents had the opportunity to travel to familiarize themselves with Puerto Peñasco by taking advantage of the launch of the Calafia Airlines direct flight from Tijuana in May 2022. This brought in more than 40 travel agencies from around the country to the area.
During this ¨Fam Trip¨, and in conjunction with the Peñasco del Sol hotel, the distinguished guests learned more about the benefits of this Port, its hotel offerings, emblematic sites, and cuisine. This led to an invitation to the POTENTUR EXPO in Mexico City held in August 2022, which serves hundreds of agencies seeking information on new destinations and tourism proposals.
This is why the most important destinations in Sonora are now on the radar of hundreds of travel agencies that form part of the POTENTUR group as it continues to promote emerging destinations.
These types of recognition and actions strengthen brand presence at a national level, which is a priority for the State of Sonora, State Secretary of Tourism, municipal tourism coordination, and the Puerto Peñasco Convention & Visitors Bureau. It also strengthens relationships with travel agencies, which are an important part on the agenda to position our destination within new markets.
This year’s Tianguis Turístico (Tourism Fair) once again provided an important platform to showcase the natural beauty, benefits, cuisine, hotels, and everything that Puerto Peñasco has to offer as the strongest and strongest emerging tourist destination in northwestern Mexico.
The national tourist event, which took place this year from March 25th – 29th, has been a great opportunity for the Puerto Peñasco Visitors & Convention Bureau (OCV) to promote this corner of the Sea of Cortez. In joining efforts with other destinations across Mexico, national tour operators, travel agencies, and the media, the OCV has successfully shared information about this treasure on the Sea of Cortez while creating alliances with potential clients.
Teaming up with the State Secretary of Tourism, which takes advantage of all events and spaces the tourism platform provides to promote and position the grandeur and hidden gems of Sonora’s tourism spots, the Puerto Peñasco OCV strengthens its presence by highlighting the most essential and captivating elements Puerto Peñasco has to offer for business opportunities and in expanding new tourism markets.
This was again the case this year, reflected in agreements reached by the Secretary of Tourism at the event as well as the over 70 working meetings the local OCV held throughout the event. Benefits of this work on behalf of both will soon bear fruit for the area.
At the Sonora pavilion of the Reforma Tourism Festival, as well as other events across the program, Puerto Peñasco and the state of Sonora maintained a strong presence at the Tourism Fair, which is currently the most important promotional platform in the country.
Sonora representation at this year’s Tourism Fair included Sonora Governor Alfonso Durazo Montaño, Sonora Secretary of Tourism Celida Lopez Cardenas, local representatives of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, hoteliers, the director of the Mar de Cortes airport, tour operators, certified tourist guides, providers of regional products, and cultural representatives showcasing traditional crafts and dances from the state of Sonora.
Spring break has arrived; the long-awaited vacation season for students and families from the United States who for years have chosen to visit Puerto Peñasco.
To welcome all visitors looking to spend a special and enjoyable vacation in our port town, Puerto Peñasco hotels, resorts, restaurants, and bars are prepared in offering reservations, the best service, and a handful of special events.
Simply being seaside and enjoying the beach in a festive atmosphere is a good way to spend a pleasant stay with friends or family during this holiday period.
For this spring break season, the weather is warming up and you can enjoy the beaches, pools, and outdoor activities, as well as sample the local cuisine at restaurants offering a variety of dishes.
During your spring break, don’t miss out on visiting the malecon, the curios shops, walks through the dunes and/or a boat ride or simply visit the beach and enjoy the sand and the sunset.
By night, restaurants and bars offer live music, drinks, and bites in the party atmosphere that spring breakers love.
Visit our events section to find out everything you can do to have fun this holiday break.
Our little corner of the Sea of Cortez is ready for you to enjoy your vacation!
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, otherwise known as the “Day of Love and Friendship” in Mexico. Celebrated in many spots across the globe, February 14th is particularly notable in Rocky Point with romantic walks on the beach, dining out, and sunset boat tours, among other options to share with that someone special.
If you’re planning something special and fun, how about a dinner-picnic at the beach? You can organize a simple meal or elaborate with candles, cushions, a small table, and even music for the special occasion. Or surprise your sweetheart or friends by booking with an event planner, who will prepare everything for you professionally!
Book a boat tour! Take advantage of whale-watching season paired with Valentine’s Day and enjoy the adventure with friends or just that special someone; or how about a sunset tour to take in the Sea of Cortez along with good music, food, and drinks?
Enjoy a delicious meal at a local restaurant. Reserve a spot and surprise your honey with a special dinner. There are plenty of dining options in Rocky Point for all tastes.
Reserve a room or condo at a local hotel or resort.
How about a fun evening with a group of friends, or just with that special person in your own private setting? Booking a room or condo at a local resort or hotel is a wonderful option as you can prepare your own delicious dinner, or order to have it brought in to help celebrate.
Relax and treat your body and soul to a spa.
A relaxing way to spend this day of love and friendship is with a trip to a local spa, either as a couple or with friends. This will surely make for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day!
These are just some thoughts for Valentine’s Day. Plus, there’s always the gift of flowers, chocolate, maybe an outing to the movies, or, for even more adrenaline, an afternoon ATV adventure across the dunes.
You will undoubtedly find that special spot, restaurant, or activity in Rocky Point to make Valentine’s Day special. There’s still time to plan and surprise your sweetie or your friends!
Whale watching season has just begun in Puerto Peñasco, with the first spotting of these ocean giants about 15 nautical miles from Puerto Peñasco on January 25th.
This corner of the Sea of Cortez is a privileged spot as at the beginning of each year it welcomes back whales that make their way up from North American coasts to feed and have their young. Their time here also offers a wonderful natural spectacle for many!
In Puerto Peñasco, the season to catch a glimpse of these species, which are considered to be the largest in the world, is generally from about when they start to arrive at the beginning of the year through possibly early April.
The privilege of whale watching off the shores of Puerto Peñasco is authorized by the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) under Official Mexican Standards that establish regulations for such activities NOM-131-SEMARNTAR-2010.
Three types of whales can generally be spotted in this part of the Sea of Cortez. These include the fin whale, considered to the second largest sea mammal in the world, as well as gray whales and humpbacks. Humpbacks tend to be more active and with greatly mobility in the water. This time of the year also frequently provides spectators with sightings of hundreds of dolphins swimming in large groups just off our shores.
There are various companies in Puerto Peñasco that offer whale seeking/watching adventures, bringing people closer to these enormous and majestic marine species while abiding by outlined protocols.
Tours, which are often in the morning or just before sunset to areas where whales have been spotted, offer the opportunity to enjoy seeing a whale breaching the water or even spot a family group of whales.
To ensure protection of the whales while preventing any disorder, strict protocols are in place both tour boats and passengers.
Contact your favorite tour operator and enjoy this wonderful experience right here in Puerto Peñasco!
The wonders of the beaches and desert surrounding Puerto Peñasco are front and center in the new film “Infelices para siempre” (Unhappily ever after), which will hit movie theaters this week across the country.
The movie, starring Consuelo Duval and Adrián Uribe, was filmed in 2019 at different locations throughout Puerto Peñasco. These sites will be on display to the country and the world when the film opens in theaters nationally on January 26th.
Locations such as the dunes, beaches, resorts, airport, Golfo de Santa Clara highway, and other sites around the city all serve as part of the film’s background. Filming took place over a period of a month in 2019, with the involvement of over 120 people, among actors and the production team.
The romantic comedy, produced by Jorge Aragón, portrays the daily exhausting routine of a couple that has been married for over 20 years. Additional filming locations included San Carlos and Hermosillo.
“Infelices para Siempre”, which makes its way to the screen following the challenging spell of the pandemic, and tremendous post production work, also stars Livia Brito, Ari Telch, Eduardo Yáñez Pocholo, and leading actress Angelica Aragón.
The film joins a list of cinematographic projects that have been carried out in Puerto Peñasco. This area continues to be chosen as a film location given its spectacular desert and beaches, as well as amenities. Projects have included series, documentaries, video-clips, soap operas, and commercials.
Following a brief pause at the end of last year, the Calafia Airlines Tijuana-Puerto Peñasco-Tijuana flight resumed operations as of Jan 6 th. Stronger promotion and a greater presence within the tourism markets of California and Baja California aim to position the flight as a secure connection in the region.
This aerial connection has represented an influx of nearly 3,000 passengers since operations began in April, 2022. In 2023, the flight is projected to top 5000 trips, per data provided by the Puerto Peñasco Airport administration.
This year, the goal is to strengthen the route throughout the region via greater promotion nationally and abroad. To date, the route has drawn in more tourism from Tijuana, San Diego, and Los Angeles. This current flight has established itself firmly through support of the Sonora Ministry of Tourism and the private sector, along with the municipal administration.
This has also included participation of the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau in promoting the flight. The goal is to position Puerto Peñasco as the most important tourism destination in northwestern Mexico with flight connections. It’s important to note the Tijuana-Puerto Peñasco flight also can be boarded from Loreto and La Paz, Baja California. In 2023 flights will continue to be Mondays and Fridays. For more information on costs and times, visit: www.calafiaairlines.com
Calafia Airlines is maintaining tremendous promotions on their flights between Tijuana-Puerto Peñasco as a way to motivate visitors to check out this beautiful corner of the Sea of Cortez!
Promotional one-way flights are currently just 1300 pesos (about $70 US) plus taxes, now through Dec. 12th!
We invite you to visit the site www.calafiaairlines.com for promotions and take advantage of great discounts for direct flights between Puerto Peñasco-Tijuana just before the holidays!
Flights are Mondays and Fridays, plus the Puerto Peñasco-Tijuana flight connects with several cities including Loreto, La Paz, and Culiacán without even having to get off the plane. Plus, there are connecting flights to Guadalajara and Mexico City, with a layover of about 3 hours.
Puerto Peñasco offers the most beautiful warm beaches in northwestern Mexico, desert and dunes, the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, has great hotel infrastructure, tasty cuisine, and quality service.
The Tijuana-Puerto Peñasco flight route makes it possible to set a date on the calendar to get to know Puerto Peñasco all over again, along with all the offerings in this corner of the Sea of Cortez!
November is no longer a down time for tourism in Rocky Point as it’s become a month full of events attractive to residents and visitors alike.
As we entered the month, Day of the Dead celebrations adorned Rodeo Drive with altars and catrinas, while local hotels and schools also commemorated tradition with altar contests and festivities to honor the dearly departed.
The 5th Peñascazo off-road race kicked things off over the first weekend of November, with over 230 all-terrain vehicles participating from areas of Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Arizona, Baja California, Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Jalisco, and of course Sonora. The Nov. 4th – 6th event took participants over dunes and ranges from Rocky Point to the Golfo de Santa Clara.
The weather in November is also ideal for dinner pairings, much like that held on November 5th at Hotel Peñasco del Sol where diners delighted in a 6 course meal presented by chef Marcos Marín.
Let’s not forget Chevefest (beer fest) held by El Tapeo Wine Bar, which attracted various craft brewers from across the region along with local restaurants to showcase their products. This year, the early November Chevefest once again spread across the grounds of Laos Mar hotel, where El Tapeo calls home.
That same weekend, the 6th edition of the popular Charanga (soapbox) Derby swept over the Mirador, with proceeds going to palliative care for cancer patients. With more than 22 charangas participating in this year’s event, held on Nov. 5th, thousands of onlookers cheered on the speed and grace of each jalopy racing down the hill.
Possibly the most important event in November, and a grand tradition across the region, roared its way around town from Nov. 10 – 13th. That is, of course the Rocky Point Rally now in it’s 21st edition or arguably 22nd year (despite a break in 2020). This year anticipated the arrival of over 8000 bikers along with more than 22,000 people, positioning this motorcycle rally as one of the most important in northwestern Mexico, and one which brings a tremendous economic boost to Rocky Point.
Moving through the month, from Nov. 18th – 20th Rocky Point plans to welcome a hundred or so Jeep enthusiasts to the first Rocky Point Jeep Jamboree. The sold-out event, which quickly picked up speed among Jeepsters and all-terrain aficionados, includes a fun weekend for participants with guided tours, a sunset Rocky Point cruise, competitions, games, and much more.
As the month starts to wrap up, the 2nd “Cholla Bay” bike race is planned for Nov. 26th, welcoming dozens of cyclists from across the region. As the name says, the event, organized by the Unión Ciclista Rocaportense, will guide cyclists along a specially designed route through Cholla Bay.
Let’s not forget the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 24th, which has become quite the tradition here locally for both visitors and residents. Indeed, many families from the U.S. choose to celebrate Thanksgiving on the beaches of Rocky Point, for which we are grateful. For this important date, several restaurants, chefs, and catering services offer delicious holiday meals and desserts so that families and friends can share the love.
With these Fall events in Rocky Point, it’s a great time to visit this beautiful corner of the Sea of Cortez that will always have a special place for you. Find out more about all there is to do, plus more upcoming events at: www.cometorockypoint.com
The first edition of the Great Desert Race held in Puerto Peñasco Oct. 22nd – 23rd was a resounding success! The event welcomed 285 competitors from 10 different countries, running over dunes, marshes, and sacred lands before reaching the finish located at Playa San Jorge just east of the city.
The Grand Desert of Altar, nestled into this corner of the Sea of Cortez, set the background for paths ultra-marathoners and fans crossed as they made their way through the 75, 50, 25, or 10K categories. Runners impressively faced the various ecosystems of the desert region.
Sonora Governor Alfonso Durazo, accompanied by Federal Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco Marqués, Sonora Tourism Secretary Celida López, and Puerto Peñasco Mayor Jorge Pivac, awarded top prizes to runners of this magnificent race. Given its transcendence and success, this was the first but certainly not the last of the Great Desert Race.
Competition began on Saturday, Oct. 22nd at Sierra Pinta. There, runners from across Mexico as well as from Brazil, Guatemala, Spain, the U.S. and Argentina, among other nations, had their first glimpse at this Sonoran port.
Runners set off in the early morning to begin their journey over the sacred lands of the Tohono O’odham, venturing into the heart of the Sonoran Desert, across coastal as well as mountainous routes. By night, participants enjoyed camping under the brilliant starry sky, which can only be fully appreciated in this hidden spot on the Sea of Cortez.
Among top winners, stand-outs included Molly Housman and Sofia Berwin (Brazil), Pablo Gil, José Miguel Romero, Karina Carsolio, Nelly Pineda, Javier Carvallo, Julio Cesar Félix, Hilda Martínez, María del Rosario Arcadia, Ricardo Maldonado, Renata Jaime (Puerto Peñasco), Erick Hernández and Pavel Maldonado, among dozens of runners who achieved best times upon reaching the finish line.
This magnificent race, organized by Grupo Sabino and Grupo Expansión, promoted by the Sonora Tourism Office and the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau with support of the local government, was projected nationally and internationally as one of the most impressive races of its kind given the varied landscapes and ecosystems showcased. It was so well received that participants are already looking forward to its 2nd run!
Throughout Mexico, Día de Muertos, or “Day of the Dead” is a day to remember those who have gone before us. Celebrated on November 2nd, traditions include creating altars decorated with offerings and flowers in honor of departed loved ones. Another tradition is the beautiful personification of catrinas.
For this year’s Día de Muertos, Puerto Peñasco has prepared special events, processions, nighttime vigils, and contests for everyone to enjoy the honored traditions. All of these activities aim to promote and maintain the tradition of remembering our faithfully departed in a happy and colorful way, as only Mexico knows how.
As each year, the Office of Art and Culture will once again hold an altar and catrina contest on October 28th and 29th along Rodeo Drive or “Curios Street”. Contest participants include dozens of people of all ages, donning spectacular outfits with long dresses and hats adorned with flowers and veils to characterize the figure of the Catrina.
In addition, groups of people gather to create altars dedicated to deceased relatives or endearing public figures by placing food, candles, flowers, photographs, and typical elements on the offering display. There is also a procession with event participants, while all can delight in Mexican fare as well as cultural programs with live music and theater.
Across town, Day of the Dead celebrations are already on display at the Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort. For the second year in row, Las Palomas will offer a weekend of traditional celebrations from October 27th to 30th with catrina processions, parades, traditional Mexican snacks, and live music. This year’s celebration includes exhibition of a monumental sculpture of the desert mermaid named “Alfonsina”, created by sculptor Javier Zarazúa in order to promote care for our oceans.
The Peñasco del Sol Hotel has also joined in honoring this emblematic day, starting on October 26th with exhibition of its Day of the Dead altar. On October 28th , at 6:30 p.m., the hotel will hold a “tour of the souls” from Casino Palmidas towards their Day of the Dead altar, recreating the path souls take to reach the living.
Along with these celebrations, nightclubs will host costume contests and special parties for Halloween. Despite being a holiday from our northern neighbors, across Mexico many families and businesses have adopted Halloween traditions, particularly in spots like Puerto Peñasco with close proximity to the U.S.
For Halloween, some restaurants and businesses offer candy to children for trick-or treating. As night falls, nightclubs welcome residents and visitors alike who each year select their best costumes for fun as well as the chance at a prize.
We invite you to celebrate colorful Day of the Dead traditions at the varied events across Puerto Peñasco, where distinct cultures mix in this corner on the Sea of Cortez.
Puerto Peñasco saw a boost in sports tourism this past weekend in welcoming at least 4,000 visitors, both athletes and family members, who participated in the Peñasco Baseball Cup for Minors as well as the Paulina Uribe Gymnastics Cup.
From October 14th to 16th, the children’s and youth baseball event included participation of 90 teams from the states of Baja California, Baja California, Chihuahua, and Sonora.
The Peñasco Cup, which was part of the State Baseball Championship, brought together teams of children ages 5 to 18 along with an influx of over 3,500 people, among players, trainers, and accompanying family members.
The Peñasco Cup took place across 17 local baseball fields, beginning with the inauguration on Friday, October 14th at the Francisco León García baseball stadium. It culminated on Sunday with the closing ceremony and awards to the champion teams in each category.
Participating baseball teams came from varied cities including Tijuana, Mexicali, Guerrero Negro, Santa Rosalía, Delicias Chihuahua, Loreto, Hermosillo, Nogales, Obregón and Agua Prieta and Sonoyta, to name a few.
More than 170 athletes participate in Paulina Uribe Gymnastics Cup
The Paulina Uribe Gymnastics Cup, now in its second edition, took over the Puerto Peñasco Convention Center October 15th and 16th, bringing together more than 170 gymnasts and coaches from clubs hailing from various cities such as the Escuela Cubana of Ensenada Baja California, Tecate B.C., along with several clubs from Hermosillo, Agua Prieta, Nogales, Caborca, San Luis, and Puerto Peñasco.
The Second Paulina Uribe Cup welcomed athletes who participated in categories from pre-level to level 6, with gymnasts ranging in ages from 5 to 14, all of whom demonstrated their performance in competition.
These two athletic tournaments, together with those held in recent weekends, represent an important influx of tourism and economic boost for Puerto Peñasco. It’s worth noting athletes are commonly accompanied by family members who, in addition to rooting for their favorite teams, enjoy their stay in this corner of the Sea of Cortez along with its cuisine and activities.
With just days to go, final preparations are underway for the Oct 22nd-23rd Great Desert Race in Puerto Peñasco. The race, which will journey over plateaus and through ecosystems and sacred lands of the Tohono O’odham that make up the heart of the Sonoran desert, will bring together experienced marathoners as well as race fans.
The highly anticipated race, organized by Grupo Expansión in coordination with the Sonora Secretary of Tourism, the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau, and with support of the municipal administration of Puerto Peñasco, has been promoted nationally and in the United States as one of the most impressive competitions in the world. Its grandeur stems from routes through various ecosystems that runners will follow around Sierra Pinta and Playa San Jorge in Puerto Peñasco, crossing over marshes, mountains, and dunes.
In preparation for the Great Desert Race, an advanced team has been polishing final details and logistics. Prior to the event, the team will carry out a field test to meticulously review routes while installing safety and hydration stations for participants coming in from various regions of the country and the United States.
The race includes 4 different categories so that all lovers of adventure and trail running can test their resistance according to abilities and interests.
The first category is Ultra Trail 75K, consisting of 75 kilometers over a span of two days, 50 kilometers the first and 25 kilometers the second, including a night of seaside beach camping. The other two-day option with an overnight beach stay is the Mega Desert Run 50K, consisting of 25 kilometers on day 1 and another 25 kilometers on day two. There are also the one-day race options including the 25-kilometer Beach & Desert Run, and the 10K Beach Fun Run for running or jogging with the whole family, both taking place on day 2.
Halloween 2022 is fast approaching, that highly anticipated time for designing costumes, fun outings, and of course asking for candy. Clubs across Rocky Point are already preparing special offers for nights filled with music, fun, and contests for the best and most horrifying ensembles.
In Rocky Point, several bars and clubs outdo themselves with scary decorations and characters straight from horror movies, all to liven up their Halloween parties that attract residents and visitors who choose to spend the spooky time by the beach.
Plus, the weather at the end of October in this corner of the Sea of Cortez is spectacular! So, you can enjoy warm days and cool nights for all the Halloween festivities. While not a Mexican tradition, Rocky Point has certainly adopted Halloween as yet another reason to celebrate.
If you don’t have plans yet for this Halloween, a trip to Rocky Point is an excellent choice! Here you’ll find beautiful beaches, tremendous hotel offerings, top restaurants, plenty of activities for both land and sea, night clubs, and above all the warmth of its welcoming people!
Mexico’s traditional September patriotic festivities are upon us! What better way to celebrate than a trip to Rocky Point for Mexico’s Independence Day, along with mariachi, Mexican treats, and in a truly fiesta environment!
Numerous restaurants, resorts, and bars in this treasured tourist destination are preparing special Mexican Night offerings, along with live music, fireworks, and other surprises to mark Independence Day. Don’t forget the traditional ringing of the bell and “Grito de Dolores” in front of City Hall along with burning of “the castle”, folkloric dances, and colorful fireworks. ¡Viva!
During the day, take advantage of outdoor activities such as day cruises, a trip through the dunes, visiting the Schuk Toak Museum of the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, or journey out to the oyster farms. How about a stroll along the Malecon in the Old Port as you check out the curios shops? By night you can take in Independence day festivities at a restaurant, night club, or simply by celebrating with a group of friends on a seaside terrace. There’s lots to do!
If you don’t yet have plans for this coming weekend, visiting Rocky Point is a great option to celebrate traditions with family or friends in a safe environment, and as summer temperatures start to drop.
Come to Rocky Point by land or air and celebrate Independence Day festivities as only we and our visitors know how in this corner of the Sea of Cortez! Learn more about upcoming events at: www.cometorockypoint.com and enjoy the Sea of Cortez’s greatest hidden treasure.
With trips to Tijuana and Mexico City, promotional efforts of the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCV) are stronger than ever.
August has been an eventful month for OCV Director Lizette Ibarra, OCV Marketing and Social Media administrator, Sara Lilia Cárdenas Franco, as well as OCV Promotion Manager, Camila Domínguez Monteverde, in promoting Puerto Peñasco as a solid tourist destination in northwestern Mexico.
At a recent promo blitz in Tijuana, Puerto Peñasco OCV staff had the opportunity to meet with travel agencies, press outlets, and medical representatives to showcase the beauty, virtues, hotel infrastructure, and connections routes to this corner of the Sea of Cortez.
OCV Director Lizette Ibarra took advantage of the opportunity to sign a collaborative agreement with Arturo Gutiérrez Sánchez, President of the Tijuana Tourism and Conventions Committee (COTUCO), to undertake strategic plans aimed at strengthening both regions, particularly now with an aerial connection between the two.
“It’s important for both destinations, as promoting our events, lodging, and cuisine is a mutual benefit. That is basically the crux of the agreement with COTUCO,” detailed Ibarra.
The OCV Director indicated the relationship between the cities will strengthen connections with the natural Baja California market, along with the direct flight between TJ-Puerto Peñasco, while also further attracting those from the U.S. market.
Also in the month of August, and together with Hotel Peñasco del Sol, the Puerto Peñasco OCV took part in the first POTENTUR tourism EXPO in Mexico City. The OCV booth provided information about Puerto Peñasco and its hotel offerings to hotel agencies from across central Mexico, while promoting Sonoran as a wonderful option to vacation.
Strengthening the brand presence of Puerto Peñasco nationally continues to be a priority for the local Convention and Visitors Bureau, along with working with travel agencies and associations in central and southern Mexico. These goals are important aspects of the OCV’s plan to further position our seaside destination into new markets.
Puerto Peñasco (aka Rocky Point) is set to host the Grand Desert Race, Oct. 22nd – 23rd, with participation of ultra-marathon runners from across Mexico and the U.S. The unprecedented extreme race competition will take athletes through the dunes, dry marshes, and mountain range of the Greater Altar Desert.
The extreme race will bring together runners anxious to cross the varied surfaces offered by the Sonoran Desert and the Sea of Cortez. Promoted by the Sonoran Ministry of Tourism, this is a unique opportunity in the country with four categories offered to promote participation of the entire family.
The Grand Desert Race is being promoted nationally, and across the U.S., as one of the most impressive races in the world given the routes through diverse ecosystems runners will follow along the Pinta Mountain Range and Playa San Jorge in Puerto Peñasco.
The organizing and promotional committee of the Grand Desert Race continues to work on scouting locations, as well as logistics to confirm route details. This includes planning for hydration stations, as well as camping at Playa San Jorge where participants will be staying.
The four race categories include: Ultra Trail (75 KM over 2 days), Mega Desert Run (50 KM over 2 days), the 25K Desert Run and 10K Fun Run for the whole family.
The large scale global event is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Puerto Peñasco and the spectacularly magical region of the Sonoran Desert and Sea of Cortez.
Registration already includes expert runners and fans from Sonora, Mexico City, and Spain. Promotion includes travel and stay packages, providing the chance to really experience and get to know the majestic desert scenery and our coasts.
Emmanuel Ortega of Rocky Point Sandboard Crew represented Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, and Mexico in Peru at the national Sandboarding Championship recently held in Chimbote, Peru. Ortega managed to position himself in third place in the Senior Big Air category, while also stepping away with the nickname “gallinazo” for flying the highest over the dunes in Peru, which has some of the highest dunes in the world.
The extreme athlete from Puerto Peñasco, accompanied by guide Luis Alpas Vásquez, had the opportunity to glide down some of the world’s highest sand dunes. This included Cerro Blanco in Nasca, which is considered the highest in the world with an 860 meter descent, and Toro Mata in Acarí, known as the longest dune with an over 1800 meter descent.
Emmanuel Ortega has earned experience and recognition throughout Mexico for dominating his board, principally in the Sonoran Desert surrounding Puerto Peñasco, where he serves as a guide to instruct individuals and groups with sandboarding. He’s also had the opportunity to glide down dunes in other parts of Mexico and abroad.
For Ortega, the chance to get to be at the top of the highest dune in the world and sweep down the world’s longest extension of sand has been a revitalizing experience, filling him with positive energy. This is a unique experience in being the first Mexican to glide down the most important dunes in Peru.
“Being at the top of Cerro Blanco is really incredible, it’s living life, everything goes through your mind, lots of energy moves you. It’s quite the experience as a Mexican to cross over ranges for nearly 4 hours to be able to board down. Each dune has its own story and recognition, for example yesterday we were at Acarí where the Toro Mata dune is, which is the largest; imagine being on top and seeing the clouds below, gliding down and there’s a moment when you can’t see anything, as if you were going into an abyss,” detailed the sandboarder.
Ortega, along with his guide Luis Alpas, made an offering with natural elements when atop Cerro Blanco, asking the sun gods and Mother Earth for protection and good vibes for his slide down the immense mountain, which is a tremendous and risky journey.
The sandboarder expressed appreciation for his guide and coach Luis Alpas Vásquez who has always supported him in reaching his dreams. Alpas Vásquez is also known for having developed the “Lima Sandboard” for low-income children, transforming beginners to national championships along Peru’s coasts.
“I’ve met lots of riders, new “patas” as they call friends here. They made me go viral on tiktok because of the jumps and on one descent I did a type of summersault because I fell. The people here have a good vibe and I’m very grateful,” stated Ortega who will soon make his way back to Puerto Peñasco to share his experience.
This summer season has already registered the arrival of at least one Pacific Ridley turtle, which deposited 44 eggs in an area on Playa Bonita. The eggs were then appropriately secured and placed into artificial incubation to help assure the successful hatching of baby turtles.
The protected species has made its way to Puerto Peñasco’s coasts during August and September to deposit their eggs before returning to sea. When turtle sightings are detected, sea turtle protocols are launched in an effort to ensure their protection as well as to recover the eggs for placement into incubation until hatching.
This procedure, with support of ZOFEMAT and PROFEPA staff along with marine biologists, is followed given the high temperatures of the region which hinder optimum development of the eggs through hatching. Once the baby turtles are born, they are taken back to the beach where the nest was found for release so they can make their own way toward their habitat, the sea.
This beautiful natural spectacle is also carefully monitored by environmental authorities and resort staff when releases are held in front of developments. This helps assure all the baby turtles make their way to the marine world.
Currently, Puerto Peñasco is taking steps to become a certified site for the arrival and release of turtles.
It’s important to note Puerto Peñasco has two beaches that have been certified by the Mexican Institute of Standards and Certification, and another that has received international Blue Flag recognition, as well as a Platinum Beach. These have been obtained in continuing to be clean and sustainable beaches.
As the Pacific Ridley turtles are a protected species, in case of sightings along area beaches, it is recommended one notify 911 so that authorities can take charge of monitoring and safeguarding the nests. Recommendations also include not approaching the turtles, or obstructing their pass, so they can calmly lay their eggs and thereby ensure reproduction of the species.
From September 22nd – 25th, Puerto Peñasco will welcome over 20 baseball teams from across Sonora and beyond, as host to the 2022 First Force State Baseball Championship. The event will hit it out of the park in boosting sports tourism!
Francisco León García Stadium will shine as site of the baseball fest, with participation of over 20 first rank teams from Sonora, kicking off a strong baseball season. Additional Fall tournaments in a variety of categories will bring together more than 90 baseball teams from within and outside Sonora.
The State Baseball Cup organizing committee, made up of sports promoters, is currently fine-tuning logistics and rehabilitating baseball fields through collaboration of state and municipal offices, the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau, and business organizations, to ensure the tournament’s success as it will attract thousands of baseball fans.
The annual tournament, recognized by the Sonora State Sports Commission and the Sonora State Baseball Association, will welcome teams from Hermosillo, Guaymas, Nogales, Caborca, Magdalena, and Puerto Peñasco, and more.
Along with the championship cup, there will be an invitational tournament Sept. 10-11 for those 40+, with participation of 20 teams, as well as the 60+ invitational cup Sept. 29th – Oct. 2nd. These will attract over 20 squads from the US and Mexican states of Sonora, Sinaloa, Arizona, Michoacan, California, and New Mexico, among others. Plus, there will be a Peñasco Cup from Oct 14th – 16th for those 5-18, with over 60 teams principally from Sonora and Baja California.
Special packages and sports activities are being developed to give a warm welcome to baseball season as teams of all ages ready themselves to participate in the upcoming tourneys. These opportunities will guarantee players, guests, and visitors can all enjoy a pleasant stay at the beach and in the tourism spots in this corner of the Sea of Cortez
Puerto Peñasco (aka Rocky Point) is a privileged spot nestled in a corner of the Sea of Cortez, where sea waves blend into the dunes of the Altar desert, crowned by the majestically grand Pinacate Biosphere. It is undoubtedly a must-see destination!
Now one of the most important and frequented beach destinations in northwestern Mexico, this Sonoran port offers tremendous hotel and resort infrastructure, varied cuisine, and the most beautiful beaches around. Many of its beaches have been awarded national and international recognition as sustainable clean beaches.
Given its proximity to the United States, Rocky Point is a favorite beach destination for thousands of tourists from the U.S. and Canada, who often visit various times throughout the year. It is also appealing to tourists from Baja California, in search of warmer waters, visitors from Chihuahua as this is the closest beach to them, and of course tourists from across Sonora and other states looking for an escape to enjoy fun with family, friends, or even romance.
If you haven’t yet visited this Mexican treasure, which offers everything needed to enjoy a truly unforgettable vacation, here are more details on how to get here easily and safely by either land or air.
If coming from Southwestern U.S., including Arizona, California, New Mexico, and the like, the border crossing at Lukeville, AZ – Sonoyta, Sonora will put you at within an hour of Rocky Point. This broad-shouldered highway is very safe given the ample surface, signage, and emergency telephones along the route. These factors are bolstered as the highway is part of the Safe Corridor program. During the trip you’ll go through spectacular desert landscapes, as well as be able to see the Pinacate mountain range on the horizon.
For those traveling from Baja California, southern California, or other spots west, one of the recommended routes is the Coastal Highway connecting San Luis Rio Colorado to El Golfo de Santa Clara and Puerto Peñasco. The 2½ hour route departing El Golfo hugs the coast at times, allowing for glimpses of the sea while also passing through areas of petrified dunes and Salinas salt flats. Moderate speeds recommended along this highway due to road conditions, including accumulated sand in spots.
For those coming from other parts of Sonora, Chihuahua, or from the U.S. entering Mexico through Nogales, you can get to Rocky Point via the Caborca-Puerto Peñasco highway. Moderate speeds recommended for the two-hour drive on the two-laned state highway, due to road conditions and safety. Along the route you will spot saguaro and cactus stretching up from the desert floor. As you near the city, you’ll pass right near various oyster farms that are worth a visit.
If coming from regions in Baja California and California, and you’d like to cut down on distance so you can enjoy more time in Rocky Point, since April travelers can opt for the Tijuana-Puerto Peñasco flight offered by Calafia Airlines, which will get you here in under an hour. From the skies you’ll be able to appreciate a spectacular aerial view over the Sea of Cortez and the Great Altar Desert.
If you’d prefer not to use your own car, there are rental options to provide greater comfort, whether for individual use or groups, as various companies across the region offer rentals. You can also check for tourism packages to Rocky Point, or even catch a bus from any part of Mexico.
Whichever route you choose, we are ready to welcome you to Rocky Point. There’s still time to plan a vacation for 2022!
For more information, we’ve put together some links and contact information for tour companies, travel consultants, transportation options, rentals, and flight.
The new reality show project ¡Qué Chilo Sonora! (Sonora is so cool!) brings together talented artists and TV hosts from Televisa Sonora to compete in challenges at sites across the state, while promoting the entire region. The Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau encourages the local tourism and business sectors to take advantage of this opportunity by highlighting their services along with the beauties of this corner of the Sea of Cortez and the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve.
The reality show will feature 7 pairs of TV hosts as they visit destinations across Sonora, including tourism ports, magical towns, deserts, and historical sites while also experiencing the local cuisine and culture at each stop. The goal is that once competition starts, contestants will be able to test their physical skills and knowledge while completing various tasks through their travels.
This platform, which aims to showcase the most beautiful and emblematic places in Sonora while entertaining viewers with surprises hosts will have to face, will be used by businesses and the tourism sector to publicize products and services during the program. ¡Que Chilo Sonora! will air from September to December 2022.
Héctor Vázquez del Mercado, president of the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau, emphasized this program is a great alternative to further promote what’s best about the destination while positioning brands, products, and services offered locally.
“Hosts (contestants) will have a responsibility to feature and show the best of each destination. There are many of us who are betting a lot on this destination and want our brands and products to look good. I don’t know which hosts are coming, but we hope those who do display the most beautiful side of Peñasco” added the Puerto Peñasco OCV president.
In addition to promoting the benefits and tourism wonders of Puerto Peñasco, hosts will also visit the Pinacate Reserve to share the majesty of this ancestral place nestled in the Altar desert.
The reality show, to include social media to boost audience participation, will finish with a winning team plus a winning site once all challenges have been completed, documented with photographic evidence of each successful feat. ¡Qué Chilo! How Cool is that?
More than 33,700 tourists, primarily from the U.S., visited Rocky Point, Sonora over the 4th of July holiday weekend. The number of visitors who made their way to this beach destination to celebrate the holiday weekend translated into an 89% hotel occupancy rate, as well as 72% during the period from June 27th to July 4th, representing an estimated economic revenue of over 37 million pesos for the city’s hotel and service sectors.
Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau President Héctor Vázquez del Mercado detailed these tallies are based on lodging statistics provided by area hotels, resorts, and rental agencies.
Once again, Rocky Point’s streets, beaches, hotels, restaurants, cruise boats, and entertainment centers were bursting with visitors, primarily from neighboring states of Arizona as well as California and Texas, among others. All had come to take advantage of the long weekend while vacationing and enjoying this corner of the Sea of Cortez.
Various events took place over the extended weekend, including the Bacanora Festival on the malecón, which offered a varied artistic program and tastings of Sonora’s emblematic spirit. In addition, Beer Fest at Arenca 3C showcased craft beers while Rocky Fest featured regional Mexican bands. Plus, there were celebrations at area hotels, beach spots, and night clubs, including special dinners along with live music and traditional fireworks to commemorate the U.S. holiday.
July 4th also marks the beginning of the vacation period for Mexican tourists. A spike in visitors to the area is expected, both of those traveling by car as well as now by air via flights out of Tijuana, Baja California.
In general, the first half of 2022 has registered an average hotel occupancy rate of 42% in Rocky Point, with an estimated 918,000 visitors so far. This represents revenue of over 1.68 million pesos, based on average expenses per visitor.
These statistics show that Rocky Point maintains its position as the most frequently visited and outstanding vacation destination in northwest Mexico.
The Sea of Cortez in Puerto Peñasco will serve as background July 2nd and 3rd to promote Sonora’s emblematic beverage, along with regional products, and a musical array of invited artists.
The 2022 Bacanora Festival will take place on the Malecon in the Old Port, promoting Sonora’s traditional spirit as well as regional products from northwestern Mexico, including Puerto Peñasco and Caborca. Locals and visitors alike will be able to learn more about and sample products from across Sonora.
The festival will feature invited artists, including legendary singer Lorenzo de Monteclaro, country music of Smokes Revolver and Jesús “El Chamizo” Johnson, Los Hermanos Durán Mariachi, and showcase special guest local singer-songwriter “La Voz México” contestant Rabel Durán.
The event, done in collaboration with Sonora State Tourism, the local Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the City of Puerto Peñasco, will also include product stands offering tastings and sale of bacanora and other regional products. A bacanora mixology contest, featuring “Los Martinez” bacanora, will include the participation of local bars and restaurants. The inaugural ceremony of the 2022 Bacanora Festival, to take place July 2nd in the early afternoon, will begin with a traditional Tohono O’odham blessing ritual, presentation of local and state officials, special recognition of the Hermanos Durán Mariachi for their 42 years of music, as well as paintings of local artists presented by the Puerto Peñasco Casa de la Cultura.
The 4th of July, U.S. Independence Day, is rapidly approaching and along with it plans as to how to celebrate the important holiday.
Puerto Peñasco has become the ideal destination to celebrate the 4th because of everything it has to offer: from great hotel offerings for all tastes and needs, to top cuisine and special events at local bars and hotels to celebrate the holiday with live music and fireworks. Above all, our warm beaches are ready to welcome you to the city’s relaxed and fun atmosphere!
If you’ve already made plans to come to this corner of the Sea of Cortez, we’d like to recommend several activities to help celebrate the holiday on the beach in Rocky Point.
Now with the flight connection from Tijuana to Puerto Peñasco, you’ll be able to get here quicker from California and other spots but without paying high prices.
For those who are driving, it is important to keep in mind border hours at the Lukeville-Sonoyta port of entry will be extended to 10 p.m. on Friday, July 1st, and Monday, July 4th.
On July 2nd and 3rd, check out Bacanora Fest on the “malecon” in the Old Port where there will be tastings of different bacanora products (a drink originating in the Sonoran Mountains), as well as live music, and Mexican treats.
Visit Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort for rock tunes by the group “Element”, plus dinner, drinks and snacks, and colorful fireworks to light up the evening.
On July 2nd, enjoy tasting different craft beers at La Arena 3C’s popular Beer Fest.
Grab a group of friends or your partner and check out the bars in the “Malecon”, “el mirador”, or in the resort area, featuring guest bands from the U.S. and Mexico, tasty bites, special drinks, and a super celebratory atmosphere.
Book a spot on one of the tourist boats to appreciate the beauty of the sea at sunset while having fun listening to music, eating snacks, sharing drinks, and enjoying the company of others also here to celebrate the holiday.
Rent some ATV’s and ride through the permitted dunes and tourist area, while always remembering to use safety gear.
If you’re more drawn to water activities, you can rent a jet ski, hop on a banana boat, or parasail if you prefer a bird’s eye view of the sea.
Visit the Schuck Toak Museum and Visitors Center, located on the highway to Sonoyta at the Pinacate Reserve, where you will learn interactively about the biodiversity of this desert volcanic area.
Also a must is a trip to the “curios” on Rodeo Drive on the way to Cholla, or those found in the “malecon”. Make sure to take a souvenir of Puerto Peñasco home with you!
ver 33,000 tourists enjoyed the sun and sand of Puerto Peñasco over the recent “U.S. Memorial Day” holiday weekend.
Tourists to the area, primarily from Arizona and California, represented an overall 87% hotel occupancy rate for the city. Beaches, along with city streets and family-fun sites, were packed, providing an economic influx of nearly 38 million pesos.
Visitors from across the southwestern U.S. started arriving for the holiday weekend on Friday, May 27th. They enjoyed three days of fun and relaxation before returning home on Sunday, May 30th, as well as Monday, May 31st in taking advantage of the extended border hours at the Lukeville, AZ – Sonoyta, Sonora crossing.
U.S. Memorial Day Weekend is one of the busiest tourist periods for Puerto Peñasco, following Semana Santa, Spring Break, and the Rocky Point Rally.
Due to the Memorial Day celebration, the schedule for border crossing at the Arizona-Sonoita port of entry will be extended 2 hours on May 27 and May 30.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is extending these hours thanks to the petition made from the Puerto Peñasco Municipal Government, which asks to honor this schedule extension on American holidays in order to provide a wider margin for tourists to get home.
In this sense, the common schedule for the Lukeville-Sonoyta border crossing, which has been from 6 AM to 8 PM, will now be from 6 AM to 10 PM on Friday and Monday. In this case, due to the Memorial Day holiday. It is worth mentioning that the schedule will only be extended on agreed upon holidays. Here is a list of said holidays:
More than 40 travel agents from various central and southern Mexican states recently toured magical and emblematic sites across Puerto Peñasco, and the surrounding desert, as part of POTENTUR 2022. Promoted by the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau, in coordination with Hotel Peñasco del Sol, the goal of the event was to strengthen promotion of this vacation destination in potentially new tourism markets.
From May 4th – 6th, travel agency representatives from Guadalajara, Mexico State, Morelia, Oaxaca, Querétaro, Uruapan, San Luis Potosí, Tijuana, and Aguascalientes had the opportunity to visit some of the most iconic spots in this corner of the Sea of Cortez, try its gastronomy, as well as learn more about its beaches, hotel sector, and culture. They also took a boat cruise through the bay and toured the Sonoran desert so they could directly live the experience to then share with future tourists.
The tour began in Tijuana, Baja California, with travel agents making their way to Puerto Peñasco by land and a grand entry via the Pinacate Reserve. At this first arrival point, travel promoters were able to stand at the edge of the enigmatic Elegante maar crater and walk along the pathways of this majestic ancestral site.
The travel agency representatives were then welcomed at host site Hotel Peñasco del Sol, where they took part in a “White Party” dinner as an icebreaker for the visitors.
A fundamental part of the tour was the trade show at the Peñasco Convention Center which featured local service providers, tour operators from Puerto Peñasco and Caborca, hotels, condo operators and rental agencies, as well as car rental agencies. The trade show provided the opportunity for participants to exchange information with travel promoters, while also promoting their products at the restaurant and beverage pavilion with a variety of tastings and samples for the guests.
The agents, led by Amilcar Iván García, were met by members of the Tohono O’odham indigenous group at the productive networking session. The Tohono O’odham presented a demonstration of rituals to help harmonize the visitors’ welcome to this desert region.
Lizette Ibarra, Director of the Puerto Peñasco Convention & Visitors Bureau, expressed her thanks to the agents who had traveled from far distances to this tourism destination in order to learn more about the area and be able to promote it through their knowledge to bring in visitors.
“We need to strengthen tourism; we need to be prepared and reinforce the destination so that many people from the southern part of the country come to get to know us. That is the idea and goal of bringing together this group of travel agencies, so they can learn more about the northwestern corner of the country, Sonora, and the Sea of Cortez here in Puerto Peñasco. The Potentur group included over 40 retail and wholesale agencies, excited in finally getting to see Puerto Peñasco. We’ve been in contact since the pandemic via zoom, and now having them here has become a reality,” detailed Ibarra.
To wrap up the Potentur event, the group took part in a dinner held at Islas del Mar where they were able to spend a relaxed evening along with the Caribbean sounds of Agua de Coco. At the event, guests shared their experiences about the places and activities they were able to enjoy and expressed gratitude for the care of hosts who participated in making this trip to the Sonoran beach destination a reality.
On May 7th, the promoters started the day with breakfast at Puesta del Sol restaurant at Playa Bonita before departure.
The travel promoters, who made progress with Puerto Peñasco businesses, returned to Tijuana on the recently inaugurated Calafia flight, where they would then be able to travel back easily to their points of origin. Through the entire experience, participants had the opportunity to travel by both land and air in measuring distance, time, and frequency of flights.
Those who took part in Puerto Peñasco Potentur 2022 included representatives from the travel agencies of: Viajes Excel, Discovery Chiapas, VillaMex, Albatros Tour, Fratours Viajes, Reservar Tour, La Vaga Tours, Entorno CIT, Mexitour, VIBEFIT, Travel Ocean Morelia, Andador, Viajo México, Finix Arizona, Viajes Moscardo, Traveleros, Viajes Huitzil, Viajes Imperial, Vim Tours, Independiente, Click, Lets Go, Alma Viajera, Veros Tours, Ritchmart Travel and Potentur.
Among local and regional businesses that took part in the trade show, as well as the overall program, were:
Hotels – Playa Bonita, Islas del Mar, Kivoya, Castaways, City Express Caborca, Hotel El Camino Caborca
Car rental agencies: Sierra Tours, Naver y Bufalo
Activities: Puerto Peñasco Sandboardong, Ecofun, Reyna Pinacate, Israel Nava Turismo
The Puerto Peñasco Convention & Visitors Bureau (OCV) showcased strengths of our tourism destination at the 2022 Travel Expo held in the capital city of neighboring Chihuahua May 7th– 8th.
At the 2022 Travel Expo, OCV representatives had the opportunity to highlight the area’s most beautiful and emblematic sites, hotel infrastructure, gastronomy, golf courses, activities, and routes connecting to Puerto Peñasco.
This important tourism promotion platform, now in its 16th edition, brought together over 4,000 visitors from Chihuahua who were able to learn more about tourism spots throughout Mexico. Puerto Peñasco stood out at the Travel Expo with the presence of the Convention & Visitors Bureau, accompanied by Sierra Tours and Hotel Peñasco del Sol.
Puerto Peñasco projected digital productions within its space at the tourism pavilion, featuring images of picturesque areas in this corner of the Sea of Cortez while capturing the attention of expo participants.
“They say what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, and this has never made more sense, literally, for the tourism sector,” expressed 2022 Travel Expo General Director Adalberto Castro during his inaugural speech, “We’ve been through years of tremendous learning, and we’re ready to apply this and evolve.”
Puerto Peñasco demonstrated its strength as a tourism destination able to attract people from Chihuahua in search of both summer and winter vacation options. This was bolstered by special all-inclusive hotel packages, as well as the notable addition of the recently inaugurated Calafia flight between Puerto Peñasco – Tijuana, which in the future may extend to Juarez thereby cutting travel time down from 11 hours by car to 3 hours by plane.
Lizette Ibarra, Director of the Puerto Peñasco Convention & Visitors Bureau, stressed our port offers everything visitors wish to enjoy within a vacation package. It offers warm welcoming beaches, quality and accessible hotel infrastructure, the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, ecotourism, and recreational activities for the whole family by air, land, and sea.
“We are one of the closest beaches to Chihuahua. The goal of being at the Travel Expo is to provide information and show that Puerto Peñasco is an ideal spot to vacation; plus, it is a special location for the destination wedding of your dreams,” detailed Ibarra.
The 2022 Travel Expo in Chihuahua featured 73 stands promoting destinations across Mexico and welcomed over 4000 participants looking for vacation packages, with at least 50% of the captive audience making their vacation plans and purchases.
Ibarra underscored the importance of being present at the Expo and that of promoting Puerto Peñasco at these types of national platforms in being able to represent this corner of Sonora. She added that preparations are already underway for an upcoming blitz with hotels, travel agents, and tour operators from Puerto Peñasco and the region, as well as Tijuana, in creating attractive vacation packages to present at the Tourism Fair to be held in Acapulco, which promotes the most important tourism spots in Mexico.
In addition to Puerto Peñasco, tourism promoters on hand at the recent Travel Expo included Chihuahua, Juarez, El Paso – Texas, the Riviera Maya, Copper Canyon, Guaymas – Sonora, Cancun – Quintana Roo, and Puerto Vallarta – Jalisco, to just mention a few.
As of April 29th, flying to Rocky Point is once again a reality with launch of a Tijuana-Puerto Peñasco connection, which is expected to broaden both tourism and business markets.
Reconnecting commercial flights to the area, made possible via Calafia Airlines, cuts down on distance and travel time between Tijuana and Puerto Peñasco. In just 45 minutes, passengers can be gazing straight at this corner of the Sea of Cortez. Similarly, Puerto Peñasco is now more easily connected to Tijuana, whose international airport connects to 36 cities in Mexico, and provides the CBX crossing to San Diego for even more international travel.
Following the traditional baptism marking the plane’s arrival, the inaugural flight from Tijuana was received at the Mar de Cortés Airport by Sonora Governor Alfonso Durazo Montaño along with Puerto Peñasco mayor Jorge Pivac, and Sonora Tourism Secretary Celida López. Together, they welcomed the first passengers as they debarked. Most had come from Tijuana, San Diego, and even some traveling back to Puerto Peñasco.
“The Tijuana-Puerto Peñasco route opens up new markets; in addition, Calafia Airlines is the leading airline in northwestern Mexico,” detailed Governor Durazo.
Launch of this flight was made possible through joint efforts of governmental offices, Peñasco Connections business leaders, private initiative, as well as the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau, and is sure to attract tourism from Baja California, California, and the American southwest. Airline officials detailed the new flight already has 1000 seats sold for travelers choosing to fly to Puerto Peñasco.
The Tijuana-Peñasco flight, at just under an hour, is short and pleasant enough to be able to sit back and enjoy a drink before the coastline hugging the sands of the Sonoran desert comes into view.
The Embraer RJ 145 plane along this route offers services twice weekly, on Mondays and Fridays.
Vuelos Desde Partida A Destino Arribo Frecuencia
FlightDeparting fromDeparture timeDestinationArrival Frequency
Puerto Peñasco’s Sandy Beach, along with the beach at Islas del Mar, received the national Platinum Beach in recognition of excellence as well as standards of cleanliness and sustainability.
The Mexican Institute of Standardization and Certification (IMNC) granted the Platinum Beach awards to the two beaches in Puerto Peñasco, as well as one in Tamaulipas, due to their important background and excellence in upholding cleaning and care standards, which is an added guarantee for all who visit.
Marcia Ortega Morales, Municipal Director of Ecology and Sustainable Development, detailed the recent IMNC announcement was a welcome surprise, as this award is obtained only after having fulfilled strict measures and protocols. In the cases of both Islas del Mar and Sandy Beach, recognition was automatic and well-deserved given all the work done over the years.
Ortega explained this award represents a plus for both beaches, noting the area first obtained clean beach certification in 2017. This now includes the 2,300 meter coastline at Islas del Mar, the longest stretch of certified clean beach for recreational use in Mexico.
It is worth highlighting Puerto Peñasco is home to two INMC recognized clean beaches, for having met a series of requirements. This has involved efforts of municipal, state, educational, and environmental agencies, as well as tourist resorts, in the case of Sandy Beach. The Sandy Beach certification extends from Playa Bonita hotel to the Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort complex, while Islas del Mar was recently acknowledged as the longest stretch of certified clean beach in Mexico. In addition, Manny’s Beach in the Mirador maintains its international Blue Flag status.
The event is expected to draw 800 participants from across the Southwest and Canada
Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort will play host to the Rocky Point Triathlon, Saturday, April 30, 2022. The triathlon will feature Olympic (1000 meter swim, 24 mile bike, 6.2 mile run) and Sprint (500 meter swim, 9.4 mile bike, 3.1 mile run) categories, as well as 10k and 5k run events. Participants can register as individuals or as two- or three-person relay teams.
“The Rocky Point Triathlon is a bucket-list event for adventurers and triathletes from around the world,” said Héctor Vázquez del Mercado, general director of Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort. “The weather is perfect at this time of year. The swim along the shoreline of the Sea of Cortés is beautiful, the bike course takes you through Sandy Beach, and then you conclude with a run through The Links golf course before finishing on the beach directly in front of the resort. It is truly an amazing experience.”
Triathlete Magazine has declared the Rocky Point Triathlon the Best Triathlon Party in the World. Registration is open now and can be completed online. Las Palomas is the official host resort of the Rocky Point Triathlon. Book directly with the resort for a discount using the code TRIA22 and password TRI22 for the best rates on rooms during the event. Because the resort has condos with up to four bedrooms, you can bring the whole family or stay with fellow athletes or team members right on site.
In addition to providing high-challenge fun for triathletes, a portion of registration funds benefit the Puerto Peñasco Youth Squad Program, managed by the city’s police department. This non-profit organization promotes social and civic values, civil service, and develops character and inclusive social awareness in youth 12-17.
Event manager Gustavo Warnholtz, who collaborates with local police and civil service forces for the Rocky Point Triathlon, says it likewise attracts members of these groups to participate. “Many of the registered relay teams are formed by local police force or civil service members, a fact which we are proud of as it speaks to the caliber of the triathlon and sense of community in Puerto Penasco this event generates.”
About Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort
Located in the Sandy Beach area of Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), Sonora, Mexico, Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort offers more than 800 contemporary condominiums — ranging from one to four bedrooms — each with stunning views of the Sea of Cortés. The first AAA Four Diamond resort in Rocky Point, Las Palomas’ first-class amenities – including a full-service spa and fitness center, 18-hole golf course, lazy river, swim-up bar, and restaurants — make it the perfect getaway for families, couples, and singles seeking peace and tranquility along the shore. The resort also features a 5000-square-foot convention center and 24/7 security on gated grounds and has been named one of Tripadvisor’s 2021 Travelers’ Choice Award winners, putting it among the top 10 percent of hotels worldwide.
Funkalicious is expected to draw 300 players from the US, Canada & Latin America
Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort is hosting the 27th Pirate Booty: Rocky Point XXVII Tournament on Saturday, May 7, 2022. This four-player, coed beach volleyball tournament supports all play levels and offers six flights of play, from A to Recreational. Tournament participants register as a team; however, individuals can also purchase a Paid Player wristband for $55 dollars to enjoy 3-day unlimited beach court play without the pressure of competition.
“Las Palomas has been the official venue for Funkalicious for over 10 years,” said Héctor Vázquez del Mercado, general director of Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort. “We welcome all arriving tournament players with a reception party on Friday evening that includes a poolside barbeque and live music. What better way to relax than with views of the balmy Sea of Cortés and Sandy Beach, which provide the backdrop and ‘court’ for this amazing summer event.”
Registration for Funkalicious is now open to all online. As the host resort for the Pirate Booty: Rocky Point XXVII Tournament, Las Palomas is also offering special weekend pricing. Book directly with the resort using code FUNK22 and password FUNKY for the best rates during this three-day event. Because the resort has condos with up to four bedrooms, you can bring the whole family or stay with tourney team members right on site.
Top teams are awarded cool swag throughout a full day of competition starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m. “Our primary goal is to serve up the highest quality, positive vibed, player-centered, professionally organized and built-for-fun barefoot volleyball action in Rocky Point,” said Shawn McConnell, CEO of Funkalicious Volleyball based in Arizona.
Despite Funkalicious having a laid back and local feel, the tournament reaches beyond borders, drawing players from all over the world. Rocky Point expects to see over 300 participants from Arizona, California, and Nevada, as well as from Mexico (Tijuana, Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua), Canada and Latin America.
About Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort
Located in the Sandy Beach area of Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), Sonora, Mexico, Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort offers more than 800 contemporary condominiums — ranging from one to four bedrooms — each with stunning views of the Sea of Cortés. The first AAA Four Diamond resort in Rocky Point, Las Palomas’ first-class amenities – including a full-service spa and fitness center, 18-hole golf course, lazy river, swim-up bar, and restaurants — make it the perfect getaway for families, couples, and singles seeking peace and tranquility along the shore. The resort also features a 5000-square-foot convention center and 24/7 security on gated grounds and has been named one of Tripadvisor’s 2021 Travelers’ Choice Award winners, putting it among the top 10 percent of hotels worldwide.
Puerto Peñasco (aka Rocky Point) saw a positive influx of U.S. tourism over the recent Spring Break, welcoming over 135,000 visitors.
Area beaches, streets, and lodging facilities were bursting with thousands of students and families, particularly from Arizona and California, who chose this vacation destination in March. This clearly highlights reactivation of tourism and a boost to the economy.
Based on statistics from area hotels, condos, rental homes, and RV Parks, an estimated 135,000 tourists visited this corner of the Sea of Cortez over Spring Break to enjoy all that Rocky Point has to offer. This represents economic revenue of over 150 million pesos throughout the city.
Lizette Ibarra, Director of the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCV), detailed this positive trend in tourism has occurred given that Rocky Point, as a destination, has much to offer visitors, further noting it is a safe space.
“We are catalogued as a safepoint destination, which garners confidence among our California and Arizona visitors. Given our proximity to the U.S., more and more people are visiting and enjoying all the virtues Rocky Point has to offer, ranging from its certified and warm clean beaches to all types of beach activities, the Pinacate biosphere reserve, food, and fun. This has truly been an important aspect to the growth we’ve seen after the area’s revival, though we’re still within the pandemic and continue to keep our guard up.”
This boost to tourism can be compared to good seasons, such as that of 2019. This means a shift for Rocky Point as an emerging tourism destination with everything it has to offer visitors, including over 6500 lodging units at area hotels and resorts, quality service, and of course the natural beauty of its beaches and deserts under the most amazing sunsets.
In this sense, and as a sign that Rocky Point continues to stand out as the best beach destination in Sonora and northwestern Mexico, a projected 110,000 visitors are expected for Semana Santa. These visitors come primarily from the Mexican states of Sonora, Baja California, and Chihuahua, per reservation data from area lodging sites, in addition to those that visit over Semana Santa to stay with family and friends, or camp on the beach.
“For Semana Santa and Summer vacation, it’s important to highlight and continue to position Puerto Peñasco within the states of Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Sonora, and Baja California. Now, with reactivation of aerial connectivity on April 29th via the direct Calafia flight between Tijuana-Puerto Peñasco, it is equally important to promote Puerto Peñasco across the country so people are aware it is a destination with everything to offer; a beach destination, a safe destination with great cuisine, and the crown’s jewel being the UNESCO Heritage Pinacate Biosphere Reserve,” specified Ibarra.
Representatives of the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCV) recently conducted a working tour to important events, including the Travel & Adventure Show in Los Angeles, CA, as well as the Agrobaja Culinary and Production Fair in Mexicali, Baja California. The tour also provided the opportunity to meet with the Mexican Consul in Los Angeles, among other activities aimed at making strategic alliances to further promote Puerto Peñasco and strengthen the tourism market.
Puerto Peñasco OCV Director Lizette Ibarra, along with social media and marketing manager Sara Lilia Cárdenas Franco, and promotional administrative assistant Camila Domínguez, all took part in the intense work tour, stretching from Los Angeles, CA to Mexicali. The OCV team bolstered ties in the region while promoting the attributes, beauty, services, hotel infrastructure, and connectivity Puerto Peñasco provides as an established tourism destination.
The OCV team participated in the Travel & Adventure Show held in Los Angeles, CA March 12th and 13th. This important global travel platform made a successful comeback following a two-year hiatus. Situated within the Mexico pavilion, Puerto Peñasco joined the likes of Los Cabos, La Paz, Ensenada, Zacatecas, Guerrero, and Yucatán. Global tourism destinations present at the Show included Japan, Bali, Taiwan, China, and the United States, among others.
At the Travel & Adventure Show, the Puerto Peñasco OCV stand provided information on all the city has to offer vacationers as a top tourism destination in Mexico. The OCV representatives shared Puerto Peñasco’s attractions, natural beauty, hotel offerings, ground connectivity, and upcoming flights from Tijuana that will bring the California and U.S. market to within just an hour of this corner on the Sea of Cortez.
“At the event, people from California look for nearby highway destinations, within at least 10 hours, as well as Summer and Winter vacation packages. We were very successful and had a lot of visitors interested in getting to know Puerto Peñasco, and even more so now with the Puerto Peñasco – Tijuana flight,” detailed OCV Director Ibarra.
This travel fair brings together tourist industry providers, including airlines and publicity agencies from across the globe looking to develop relationships to help with company growth.
Prior to the LA Travel & Adventure Show, the OCV team took part in Agrobaja 2022 held in Mexicali, Baja California from March 3rd – 5th. There, accompanied by representatives from Hotel Peñasco del Sol, Islas del Mar, and El Camino hotel from Caborca, they had the opportunity to promote our destination as well as share details about the upcoming commercial flight between Puerto Peñasco-Tijuana.
While at the regional culinary and production fair, the OCV team took part in interviews with press outlets from across Baja California, including La Crónica, Izzi, and Canal 66. They also met with Baja California governor, Marina del Pila Ávila Olmeda, as well as mayors from San Luis, Arizona and Calexico, CA, among other notable figures, who expressed interest in learning about our tourism destination.
On March 14th, the OCV representatives met with Sandra Cecilia López Jiménez, Political Affairs, Tourism and Academic Promotion general consul of the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles. This was the team’s first meeting with López Jiménez in presenting Puerto Peñasco as a strong tourism destination in northwestern Mexico, while also establishing joint work alliances to promote the destination within the ample U.S. market.
Liz Ibarra explained this was principally an opportunity to meet each other, while seeking collaboration via the Mexico Consul in L.A., as a channel and location to help strengthen future promotion of Puerto Peñasco in this part of California. Similarly, the OCV team shared details on benefits for Puerto Peñasco with revival of the Tijuana, B.C. flight route, given its proximity to L.A.
In closing out the recent string of gatherings across California and Baja California, the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau met with their publicity agency in Mexicali, Baja California to detail digital offerings and strategies to further innovate promotional campaigns both in Mexico and abroad. This includes focus on design and art details, as well as managing content for this well-positioned tourism destination while sustaining promotion throughout the year.
Along with the recent work tours, the local OCV continues to participate in pre-registration and providing information on upcoming cross-border vaccination clinics, ongoing promotion of Puerto Peñasco across social media platforms, and getting the word out as to all the attributes the city has to offer visitors.
Puerto Peñasco is soon to have an aerial connection once again via the Puerto Peñasco-Tijuana route, connecting Puerto Peñasco to the California market through national and international flights.
April 29th is the launch date for Calafia Airlines to start operating the one-hour flight, which will connect Puerto Peñasco with Tijuana twice a week.
This flight has been achieved through joint efforts of the Puerto Peñasco municipal administration, the State of Sonora, as well as participation of private initiatives, the hotel sector, and the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The new route represents the reactivation of flights to the area following a 6-year hiatus. This will provide principally tourists from Tijuana and California, as well as from other spots in the U.S. and Mexico, the opportunity to get to know Puerto Peñasco and this corner of the Sea of Cortez. The binational Tijuana airport promotes connections across the globe, with more than 9 million passengers passing through it each year.
Willard Lazzarini, commercial director of SLIM-WM, announced aircraft will take off from the Mar de Cortes airport bound for Tijuana twice a week: Mondays at 11:15 a.m. and Fridays at 1:20 p.m., and from Tijuana to Peñasco on Mondays at 10:15 a.m. and Fridays at 11:45 a.m. The round-trip flight will cost approximately 3,500 pesos, which includes transfer from Puerto Peñasco to the airport, as well as luggage allowance of up to 25 kilos per person.
Lazzarini explained special pre-sale flight packages will be handled for hotel companies, and there will also be discounts from 10% to 20% for children under 12 and adults over 65.
To attract visitors from northwestern Mexico and the United States, which represents one of the strongest economies in the world, alliances have been made with tour operators and hotel companies to promote special packages for travel by air to this corner of the Sea of Cortez.
Fernando Antillon, Director of the Mar de Cortes airport in Puerto Peñasco, explained the aircraft for the new Tijuana flight is an Embraer 145, just as those previously used along this route by TAR and Aeromexico.
Reactivation of this aerial connectivity will shorten distances for new tourism and business markets wishing to take advantage of reduced travel times. This in turn will translate into longer stays in this port, which offers the most beautiful warm beaches in northwestern Mexico, the desert and its dunes, the Pinacate Reserve, significant hotel infrastructure, great cuisine, quality service, and many places to explore.
In addition, the Puerto Peñasco-Tijuana flight will connect people with cities such as Loreto and Culiacan without having to deplane, as well as with Guadalajara and Mexico City, with only a 3-hour boarding wait time.
With this new route soon to take-off, it’s more possible than ever to plan a visit to Puerto Peñasco and experience all this corner of the Sea of Cortez has to offer!
To offer security and dignified attention to tourists and residents alike, the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau is part of a coordinated effort with the municipal police of Puerto Peñasco, Sonoyta, state and federal agencies, and the local hotel sector.
The main objective is to prevent accidents while ensuring all visitors who choose Puerto Peñasco as a vacation destination enjoy a comfortable holiday season without any setbacks.
Towards this end, the Puerto Peñasco municipal police has established a systematic operational plan to include participation from the entire state force by surveilling points of highest influx such as the Malecón, Calle 13, Calle Primera, the Mirador area, the road to La Cholla, the “Loma” (competition hill) and the hotel zone.
The 2022 operation will be reinforced with participation of the State Police, the National Guard, Red Cross, Civil Protection and rescue groups, as well as the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the local hotel sector.
Puerto Peñasco Public Safety Director, Jose Tlaseca Mendez, indicated the security plan includes setting up information spots across the city to provide pamphlets with emergency numbers, speed limit and basic traffic regulations, as well as information regarding fines for non-compliance and numbers to report extortion attempts.
For its part, Public Safety in Sonoyta, which is the port of entry through which most U.S. visitors enter Puerto Peñasco to vacation, has implemented a “Zero Tolerance” program. This aims to prevent cases of extortion with locals and travelers from abroad through posting of clear traffic limit signs.
Likewise, Sonoyta Municipal Police Commander Oliver Muñoz Trujillo detailed an information module will be installed at the entrance to Sonoyta. Also, to prevent traffic jams, an alternate route will be managed along 16 de Septiembre Street (in front of the Salcido gas station), exiting on the road that leads to Puerto Peñasco. A patrol will be set up there to direct drivers taking that route.
Flyers detailing speed limits and traffic fines in Sonoyta contain the following information:
In the case of a first infraction, offenders will have the right to a verbal warning, and in case of reoccurrence, corresponding traffic fines will be drawn up.
Starting from the Welcome signs (entrance and/or exit of town), enforced speed limit is 40 miles per hour (65 kilometers per hour).
City speed limit of 25 miles per hour (40 kilometers per hour) must continue to be respected. Those who exceed this may receive a corresponding fine of $2,000.00 Mexican pesos or $110.00 dollars, as applicable.
All fines must be paid directly at the police station, located on Altar Street.
This is a first step in striving toward a better traffic culture within the community and for visitors, as well as to undertake steps aimed at making tourism feel safe when traveling through the Municipality.
It should be stressed that Puerto Peñasco maintains health protocols including use of face masks in crowded spaces and businesses, as well as at entries to hotels and condominiums. Please keep in mind, there is also restricted capacity in bars and gathering places.
The Convention & Visitors Bureau (OCV) recently met with Puerto Peñasco mayor Jorge Pivac Carrillo with the goal of strengthening bonds to bolster promotion of the city as one of the most important tourism destinations in Northwestern Mexico.
At the meeting, which was held at City Hall, OCV president Héctor Vázquez del Mercado, along with the OCV director Lizette Ibarra, and Marketing Manager Sara Lilia Contreras, reached an agreement with mayor Pivac Carrillo to ensure all are working in the same vein by joining efforts to achieve greater promotion of Puerto Peñasco both nationally and internationally.
Héctor Vázquez del Mercado highlighted the importance of teamwork between the OCV and the municipal government in working towards the common goal of presenting Puerto Peñasco’s beauty, hotel infrastructure, and services to the world.
OCV Director Lizette Ibarra expressed this type of meeting is both necessary and fruitful, as they are able to share OCV’s efforts and strategies while exploring how to work in conjunction with the city administration in further promoting this corner of the Sea of Cortez.
Mayor Pivac thanked the OCV for reaching out, assuring his administration would be working in coordination and interdepartmentally with them on topics that go hand in hand, such as promoting Puerto Peñasco in order to maintain and attract new markets. This also encompasses preparation of welcome and safety operatives for Spring Break, Semana Santa, and high vacation periods, among other matters that fall to both offices.
Through these types of discussions and meetings, the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau continues to strengthen communication channels with various offices and sectors while working to achieve greater promotion of the area both nationally and internationally.
Marathonist Daniel Almanza of the Super Human Project made his way to Puerto Peñasco as he sped through the Sonoran desert on his journey across Mexico, from Los Cabos to Quintana in 100 days.
After embarking on this trek, the athlete from Nuevo Leon has already seen some of the most beautiful corners of Baja California Sur, Baja California Norte and now Sonora. In addition to promoting the beauty of Mexico, Almanza aims to gather material for a Food Bank program, and promote athletics while documenting the entire route for a film project that could be broadcast on Netflix.
During his short jaunt through Puerto Peñasco, Daniel visited several emblematic local sites including the malecón in the Old Port, salt flats, as well as the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, which he had been eager to see. Almanza detailed preparation for the 6000 KM run across Mexico, which will take him through 21 states, has been a challenge both physically and mentally.
“I have come across contrasts in running along the coast, mountain ranges, windy and hot desert landscapes; it’s a different environment. We’ve been in magical pueblos, land grant expanses, and several impressive tourism spots, including virgin areas that are sure to becoming tourist booms. We’ve been treated wonderfully in Puerto Peñasco, and I’m really happy to be here,” remarked the Mexican marathoner.
The “Super Human” explained the project bears this name as the idea is to spread a message that each of us can be super humans while pushing our goals to the extreme, such as this run.
Daniel Almanza is also the only Mexican marathonist to run an international ultra-marathon series, the “Continental Challenge”, which included preparation in Vietnam, Bolivia, and Mozambique.
With over 15 years’ experience as a marathon runner, Almanza’s current path will take him through other cities in Sonora, and across various states as he overcomes the highs and lows over such a rugged journey. The goal is to culminate the run on day 100 at the southern tip of Mexico in Quintana Roo. The support and encouragement of the Ministry of Tourism, city officials, fellow athletes, and individuals cheering him along the way is inspiring, and above all the will and strength to successfully carry out the Super Human project.
The Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors (OCV) Bureau recently presented 16 new road signs to the neighboring city of Sonoyta. These road signs are for principal avenues throughout the city, and aim to assist with clarifying speed limits and ensuring respect for traffic laws, for tourists and residents alike.
Héctor Vázquez del Mercado, OCV President, joined Puerto Peñasco OCV Director Lizette Ibarra to present the new signs to Sonoyta mayor Enrique Valdez. The 16 speed limit signs represent an investment of 84,000 pesos.
Vázquez del Mercado detailed this collaboration with the neighboring city of Sonoyta has been undertaken for the purpose of boosting road safety, both for tourists and residents, by providing clear speed limit indications through the border town. Each sign indicates a maximum speed limit of 40 KMH (25 MPH), along with fines for speeding. It is important to note within the central urban part of Sonoyta, speed limits can reach down to 25 KMH.
Sonoyta mayor Enrique Valdés expressed appreciation for the signage presented by the OCV, mentioning this will provide more tools to control traffic with the shared goal of greater safety for all.
Preparations are set for the 5th Annual Fish Bowl Seafood Fest of the local Rotary Club. The event, to be held at Shrimp Plaza on Saturday, Feb. 12th, will bring together nearly 30 restaurants, over 20 artists, music, and plenty of fun, offering a family-friendly afternoon on the day right before the Super Bowl.
The tasty “Surf & Turf” festival, fit for bellies of all ages, will provide the opportunity to sample dishes from some of the most popular restaurants in the city. Plus, live music will take the stage throughout the day, first with Joshua Strickland of AZ based Bayou Bandits, and Mario Mariscales Trio to wrap up the day. Over 20 artists will also be on hand for the event, scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Local Rotary Club members Shandra Keesecker, Loly Monteverde, María Conchita Peralta, and Sally Downey detailed thanks to the event’s success, this year is to include more restaurants than ever before. As part of fundraising activities, each restaurant tallies up all food tickets received during the day, with 60% going to the restaurant and 40% to the Rotary Club. These funds, along with raffles and a live auction throughout the day, will go toward further supporting ongoing activities to benefit the community of Puerto Peñasco, particularly in areas of health and education.
Food/beverage tickets will be available at the Main Entrance of the event at a cost of $1 US (20 pesos) per ticket. Dishes at the local food spots will range between 1-3 tickets.
The Rotary members mentioned thanks to these types of activities, the local club has been able to carry out several projects across the community. Among these is a water plant to provide drinking water to area schools, a beach wheelchair in making the beach more accessible to residents and visitors alike, as well as donations of gear to the local Fire Department, medical supplies to public hospitals and clinics throughout the pandemic, as well as improvements to several schools and public areas, among other forms of support.
Be sure to head to Shrimp Plaza this Saturday, Feb. 12th from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., along with the whole family for a great day of tasty food, music, art, and a wonderful atmosphere! Health protocols will be in effect, including use of masks.
Members of the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCV) recently wrapped up a fruitful strategic and promotional tour through Arizona, where they met with consuls and press outlets.
The objective of the OCV meetings in Arizona, which included OCV Director Lizette Ibarra and Administrative Promotional Assistant Camila Dominguez, was to take advantage of interest and collaborative opportunities with the Mexican consulates in Phoenix and Tucson. The working visit also included meeting with press outlets in the two cities in working jointly on strategies and commitments to promote tourism to Puerto Peñasco. The Arizona tourism market is one of the most significant areas for our destination!
Ibarra highlighted one of the most important parts of this trip was meeting with Mexican Consul Rafael Barceló in Tucson, and his counterpart Jorge Mendoza Yescas in Phoenix. Both Consuls were receptive to serving as bridges to promote all of Puerto Peñasco’s virtues within the Latino and broader communities in Arizona, by offering parts of the consulate for gallery exhibitions, press conferences, and promotional events.
“We began on Wednesday in Tucson, with Consul Rafael Barceló and associate Consul Lee Wong. They graciously offered the entire consulate as a venue to promote our destination,” explained the OCV Director, “They also shared their calendar so we can explore participating in upcoming events.”
Ibarra explained, “Basically, the goal of the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau in visiting the consulates was to emphasize that ´Puerto Peñasco is nearby´, we are a beach destination offering several recreational, educational, and cultural activities for our Arizona friends, along with beaches, a variety of lodging options, restaurants, eco-tourism, and much more. We are just an hour from the U.S. border, where border crossing is simple and quick. In addition, we talked about issues of safety and health, underscoring we are a “Safe Point” destination with much to offer.”
The OCV team also met with press outlets including Travel Mexico Company, Arizona’s Family CBS 5, and COX Media Group. These meetings brought together synergies and strategies for promoting “Arizona’s beach” while maintaining Puerto Peñasco’s presence within the U.S. market via television and radio, as well as printed and digital media.
At the meeting with the Phoenix Consul, emphasized Ibarra, in addition to providing services for Mexican nationals and strengthening foreign relations, this office is home to an Economic and Tourism Department. The Department is staffed with personnel specializing in promoting sites across Mexico. The OCV will keep this in mind as they explore how to mutually work to disseminate information about Puerto Peñasco even further, such as participation in upcoming events that would provide tremendous positioning and promotion for the area.
Ibarra detailed promotional strategies for 2022 are progressing well. These approaches involve several campaigns and events, such as the Salt Route, cultural fairs in both Phoenix and Tucson, golf tournaments, a gem and mineral show, among others, further complemented by press conferences and destination showcases.
In addition to the recent promotional tour to Arizona, the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau maintains promotional campaigns in Mexico, particularly in the cities of Tijuana, Mexicali, and Cd. Juarez, and across the states of Sonora and Chihuahua. In addition, the OCV has sustained its social arm through cross-border vaccination campaigns, and multidisciplinary work with Arizona diplomats to benefit the Arizona-Sonora border region.
The U.S. Office of Customs and Border Protection at the Lukeville border crossing site has announced extended hours over U.S. federal holidays. Currently, border hours at the Lukeville/Sonoyta crossing are from 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. These hours will remain in effect, though extended over holiday weekends to 10 p.m. The goal is to provide tourists and residents in the region a broader margin of time to cross the border safely over holiday weekends.
The holiday modification to the Lukeville border crossing hours was done in response to a request of Puerto Peñasco Mayor Jorge Pivac Carrillo, made to CBP officials in December, to help prevent long lines of tourists upon their return to the U.S. following longer holiday weekends. This will also benefit residents from Sonoyta and Puerto Peñasco.
The extended holiday hours at the Lukeville/Sonoyta border crossing will be from 6 a.m – 10 p.m., encompassing the following dates:
Puerto Peñasco is a privileged spot nestled in the corner of the Sea of Cortez, where the waves from the sea meld with the Desert of Altar, crowned by the grandeur and majestic Pinacate Biosphere. This is undoubtedly a destination you must explore!
Transformed into what is now a beach destination and positioning itself as one of the most important and frequented spots in Northwestern Mexico, this Sonoran port offers great hotel infrastructure, varied cuisine, and beautiful beaches. Many of its beaches have been distinguished nationally and internationally in meeting goals of cleanliness and sustainability.
Given its proximity to the United States, Puerto Peñasco (aka Rocky Point) is a favorite beach destination for thousands of North American tourists who visit the area several times throughout the year. This destination also welcomes many visitors from Baja California in search of the warm sea, visitors from Chihuahua as this is the closest beach to them, and of course tourism from across Sonora, among other areas. All who visit are sure to find an escape for fun with family and friends, and romance.
If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to explore this Mexican treasure that offers all you need for a pleasant and unforgettable vacation, we share details on roads to get here to ensure a safe and easy trip.
If coming from Arizona, California, or other states in the American Southwest, the border crossing at Lukeville, AZ – Sonoyta, Sonora will bring you to within an hour of Puerto Peñasco. The ample road, with shoulders, is safe given the smooth surface and varied signage along the way regarding spots of interest and emergency telephone contacts, which form part of the Safe Corridor program. Along the way, you’ll be able to take in the spectacular desert landscape as well as view the Pinacate range on the horizon.
For those coming from Baja California, southern California, and other spots that direction, a suggested route is the Coastal Highway that connects San Luis Rio Colorado to the Gulf of Santa Clara, and on to Puerto Peñasco. The two- and half-hour journey hugs the coast for much of its span, allowing you to catch glimpses of the beach. This highway also runs through areas of petrified dunes and salt beds.
For those traveling to Puerto Peñasco from the southern part of Sonora, Chihuahua, or U.S. visitors who crossed into Mexico at the Nogales or Agua Prieta entries, the Caborca-Puerto Peñasco highway will take about two hours to our beach destination. It is recommended drivers travel at moderate speed along this two-lane state highway due to bumpy conditions in spots, as well as for safety precautions. You’ll spot saguaro and other splendid desert cacti from the road and, as you approach the city, you’ll come across turn-offs to oyster farms you should explore at some point.
Along with highway routes to get to Puerto Peñasco, direct flights between Tijuana and Puerto Peñasco are planned to start in April 2022. This will cut down on distance and time, providing safe and rapid travel.
If you’d prefer not to drive your own vehicle, you may opt for renting a car for greater comfort, or for larger groups. There are several companies in the region that can provide rental or shuttle services. You can also check for travel tours to Puerto Peñasco, or travel by bus from any part of Mexico.
Whichever way you choose to get to Puerto Peñasco, we’ll be ready to welcome you! Plan your vacations for 2022!
2021 was a time of renewal, both economically and for tourism in Puerto Peñasco. These factors, along with progress in vaccinations, continues to strengthen the destination as a safe city.
After the pandemic struck the local economy harshly in 2020, and particularly tourism, 2021 saw important recovery in the number of visitors to Puerto Peñasco, as occurred in other spots around the country. The application of vaccines against Covid have played a fundamental role in helping recapture momentum and greater trust in travel.
The Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCV), in addition to promoting the beauty, infrastructure, and services in this tourism port via digital campaigns in Mexico and the U.S., has focused efforts on steps to promote vaccinations within the region by directly participating in cross-border vaccine campaigns in Lukeville, AZ.
Liz Ibarra, OCV Director, detailed 2021 was a good year in tourism recovery, with thousands throughout the year who put their trust in this beach destination as a safe spot to visit. It is notable how the area maintains ongoing health protocols at hotels, condominium complexes, restaurants, and other establishments.
The OCV also showcased Puerto Peñasco at the Tourism Fair in Mérida, Yucatan, which attracts numerous promotors and travel agents from across the globe, as well as at the Tu Guía (Your Guide) event for tour operators in the state, among other events that resumed in 2021.
The Puerto Peñasco OCV also took part in formal meetings throughout 2021, including those meant to strengthen ties with Célida López Cárdenas, the Sonora Secretary of Tourism, swearing in of the Tourism Advisory Board, and gatherings with business, health, and service provider sectors.
Ibarra emphasized, within just the first quarter of 2021, the OCV had already recorded approximately 262,000 visitors to the area from the U.S and Mexico. This represents economic revenue of approximately 14 million pesos. This was followed by a period of tremendous tourism influx, spanning from March through November, encompassing Spring Break, Holy Week, and summer vacation, capping it off with the 20th Anniversary of the Rocky Point Rally.
This progress was made in conjunction with steps to provide covid vaccines to residents both in Puerto Peñasco and Sonoyta via the cross-border campaigns, as well as a growing number of U.S. visitors having received their full vaccinations, and even boosters.
In 2021, two of the area’s beaches were again ratified as the only Certified Clean Beaches in Sonora, while another area beach maintained its Blue Flag status. In addition, more inclusive spaces were made possible along with the construction of new developments.
The Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau is confident 2022 will be a good year for tourism to the area, and for the state of Sonora. This confidence stems from improved conditions for promotion, health, and economic activities. Nevertheless, stated the OCV Director, it is not time to let down our guard. Both residents and visitors alike must maintain basic health and hygiene protocols in helping to prevent health emergencies.
The 12th edition of Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers winter music festival will take place in Puerto Peñasco from January 14th to 16th, bringing together bands from across the Southwestern U.S. along with throngs of followers.
As a preamble to Circus Mexicus, “January Jam” is a three-day music festival that, in addition to allowing fans enjoy the music of Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers …plus guest bands, provides opportunities for attendees to help out the community while here.
This year, in addition to concerts to be held at Banditos, Chango’s, Manny’s and Capone’s, the Cancion/Moonshine Tequila Classic Golf tournament will take tee off once more at The Links course at Las Palomas. Golfers will play their friendly rounds, get to spend time with Roger, PH, Jim, and Nick, try a shot of Canción Tequila (aka Mexican Moonshine), win prizes, and, equally as important, contribute to help Esperanza children’s home. This year’s Canción/Mexican Moonshine Classic is already sold out!
All this and more will take place this coming weekend when, in addition to a great fiesta of rock / country / Americana y más, concert-goers can experience the fellowship that characterizes RCPM fans. These loyal peacemakers gather in Rocky Point every January for the Jam, and again for four days in June for Circus Mexicus.
January Jam 2022 line-up. Don’t miss out!
Friday, January 14
1 pm The Summer/Banditos
Will Call @ Banditos 2-4 pm
Doors open again @ Banditos at 5:30 p.m.
6 pm Jesse Dayton
7 pm RC & The Ambers
8 pm The Vandoliers
9 pm Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers
11 pm The Jons
Saturday, January 15
Canción/Mexican Moonshine Golf Classic 8:00 am – Shotgun 9:00 AM @ The Links at Las Palomas
10 am Jesse Dayton @ Capone’s
2 pm The Jons @ Chango’s
5:30 p.m. @ Banditos – Doors open
6 pm Andrew Leahey
7 pm RC & the Ambers
8 pm The Vandoliers
9 pm Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers
11 pm The Summer
Sunday, January 16
11 am The Vandoliers @ Capone’s
2 pm Jesse Dayton – Jim Dalton – Andrew Leahey In the Round @ Manny’s
The Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCV) directly participated in the 2021 cross-border vaccination campaigns held at the Lukeville, AZ – Sonoyta, Sonora crossing, which resulted in application of 8,600 doses over 18 dates.
In the binational effort focused on strengthening the health of residents along the Sonora / Arizona border, the Puerto Peñasco OCV had a direct role with the logistics, pre-registration, and transport of people from Puerto Peñasco to the border where the campaign was held.
The cross-border campaign included 18 session dates from July through December. The Puerto Peñasco OCV launched sign-ups for each session and provided follow-up for those looking to get vaccinated. The vaccination campaign represented the coordinated joint efforts of Pima County, the Mexican Consulate in Tucson, the U.S. Border Patrol and Customs Office, the Sonoran State Government, as well as the municipal administrations of Sonoyta and Puerto Peñasco.
Lizette Ibarra, Director of the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau, highlighted the importance of OCV staff throughout the cross-border vaccination campaign, which was meant to streamline vaccination efforts in the region while helping with reopening of the border for tourism and business.
“We are concerned about the community’s well-being, that of our residents, many of whom work in some activity related with tourism. We have to care for ourselves in order to care for those who visit us, we should set the example,” underscored the Director.
Vaccine shots applied throughout the binational campaign benefitted residents from Sonoyta, Puerto Peñasco, the Tohono O’odham nation, as well as numerous people from Caborca. The campaigns included application of shots from Johnson & Johnson Janssen, as well as Pfizer for those at later dates. In addition, the cross-border campaign marked the beginning of doses for youth in the region under 18.
It’s worth noting that Puerto Peñasco residents were among those who mostly benefited from the cross-border vaccination campaigns. The local OCV fielded at least 6,000 calls, texts messages, and emails, and provided follow-up to all who requested registry as well as transportation to neighboring Sonoyta for application of the vaccine shot.
In addition to sustaining strong promotional campaigns for Puerto Peñasco both in the U.S. and Mexico, fostering the creation of new events to attract tourism, the local Convention and Visitors Bureau has furthered its role by participating in ongoing health campaigns. This includes its part at the entry filter to Puerto Peñasco during the initial months of Covid-19 protocols, and now help with the logistics, registration, and transportation for the cross-border vaccination effort.
We’ve made it to a month bursting with Holiday fiestas and New Year’s celebrations! These dates are filled with family gatherings, joy, and giving thanks for all we’ve been through in 2021. The Christmas spirit can be felt in homes, and across the city, with the setting up of Christmas trees and hanging of festive lights, all in preparation for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
In Puerto Peñasco, along with celebrating the holidays as a family, the city tends to see the arrival of numerous national and U.S. tourists who choose this welcome corner on the Sea of Cortez to ring in the New Year. Many reserve a cozy space from among the ample hotel and resort options, as well as beach rentals, while restaurants prepare special dinners to ensure an unforgettable start to the new year.
There are also several restaurants, bars, and nightclubs that have planned great New Year’s Eve parties to include live music, masks, creative toasts, as well as the traditional 12 grapes at midnight.
Undoubtedly, 2021 has not been an easy year globally. Still, bit by bit we are returning to a new normal, which is great cause for celebration and being with family. What better way than to choose a spot with warm beaches and spectacular sunsets, such as Puerto Peñasco, to celebrate the Christmas holidays?
Our wish from the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau is for local and visiting families alike to celebrate wonderful moments, and a happy holiday season alongside loved ones. May the New Year result in many plans, trips, and new adventures to share!
As a beach destination, Puerto Peñasco is inviting through the warmest seasons, and welcoming for Fall and Winter so you can always enjoy the weather, service, beaches, hotel infrastructure and, of course, the people.
Rocky Point Rally organizers presented donations, raised from registration and other activities of the 20th Anniversary of the Rocky Point Rally, to eight charitable organizations in Puerto Peñasco and Sonoyta.
Lizette Ibarra, Director of the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCV), accompanied Rally organizer and founder Oscar Palacio Soto and Puerto Peñasco mayor Jorge Pivac Carrillo, as well as the mayor of Sonoyta, for presentation of the 460,640 pesos raised at this year’s event.
Having surpassed expectations, the 20th Anniversary of the Rocky Point drew in around 6,000 motorcyclists and over 20,000 tourists. This was further reflected in economic revenue of over 3 million dollars across the city, along with the donations distributed to the social organizations representing the charitable arm of the Rocky Point Rally.
Oscar Palacio Soto, head organizer of what has become one of the most important biker events in northwestern Mexico, expressed appreciation for support of this year’s rally held Nov. 11th – 14th. This comes a year after having had to suspend the rally for the first time ever, due to Covid health concerns.
“As I shared with Mayor Jorge Pivac and Liz from the OCV, this year was a success as we surpassed expectations. We had foreseen possibly 3000 motorcycles; given that last year we did not officially hold the event. This year was organized well, and we had support from the Convention and Visitors Bureau, which provides backing through resources from a percentage of housing that goes towards promotion, particularly in the U.S. We were able to surpass our goals,” explained Palacio Soto. The 20th Anniversary edition of the Rocky Point Rally, which also did not have any fatalities, attracted bikers and onlookers principally from the southwestern U.S. states of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, and Texas, as well as the northern states of Chihuahua, Baja California, and Sonora in Mexico, among others.
Puerto Peñasco celebrated 20 years of the Rocky Point Rally this year. The event, which first began as a celebration among friends, is now a tradition that brings together thousands of motorcyclists from the United States and Mexico, and beyond.
Twenty years of the Rocky Point Rally may seem simple, but this represents years of building, designing, organizing and modifying in order to continually improve. Today, despite the complex circumstances we’ve all been facing, the Rocky Point Rally has positioned itself as one of the most important motorcycle gatherings in northwestern Mexico.
Oscar Palacio Soto first gave rise to the idea of gathering friends from Mexico and the United States who all shared the same passion: motorcycles. Cutting through the air on a motorcycle out on the open road is how the first Rally came to our shores in 2001.
What began in November, precisely as it had historically been a lower tourist season, these two decades of the Rocky Point Rally have made strong strides in creating an adventure tourism market for people from the United States and abroad who consider Puerto Peñasco a place for fun and partying. Bikers will ride hundreds of miles along border highways to reach our paradise of beaches, dunes, and desert, with its increasing hotel infrastructure and new recreation places.
When Rally founder Palacio Soto first envisioned the event, he never imagined it would soon become a gathering that attracted bikers from Arizona, California and Nevada, as well as the states of Sonora, Chihuahua and Baja California as the word spread.
“We can divide this event into three phases, when we first started, in early 2000, we were supported by Harley Davidson distributors, Lyman Sherer, Rick Hatch, and Buddy Stubbs along with other volunteers. After eight years, and as the Rocky Point Rally was growing, the economic crisis of 2009 came and the matter got complicated” recalls Oscar Palacio.
After overcoming this low period, from 2014 – 2019 the Rocky Point Rally grew again to over 9,000 motorcyclists. While 85% of rally-goers have been from the U.S., there are also dozens of motorcyclists from other countries such as Canada, Korea, Australia and of course Mexico. This is how the Rally has grown, which now in its 20th anniversary comes after a year of pandemic and last year’s cancellation of the rally due to the health emergency.
Palacio, who remains the principal organizer of the Rocky Point Rally, explains having first created this event for a low tourism season has had a positive impact on the community, not only benefitting the hotel sector, but also restaurants, gas stations and city shops. He adds that even fast food spots and convenience stores along the highways leading to Puerto Peñasco get their fair share of an uptick in business.
An important aspect of this event is that each year several charities benefit from proceeds stemming from the voluntary Rally registration set up at the entrance to the city. This has been significant for organizations such as DIF Municipal, CAM La Montaña school for children with disabilities, the local chapter of the George Papanicolaou Cancer Awareness and Prevention Association, among several others, who between them have received close to $600,000 USD over a span of 17 years.
Palacio details while other motorcycle Rallies are mainly commercial, the Rocky Point Rally stands out as a party event, like a motorcycle carnival, bringing together music and good times. Attendees know they are coming to meet up with friends they have met over the years while bringing in new ones.
“We believe we’re doing things well, especially with the impact on charities, and revenue that spreads across to taxis, restaurants, bars and more businesses,” says Palacio.
After 2020, when all massive events were cancelled due to health contingencies, the Rocky Point Rally resurfaced in 2021 for its 20th Anniversary stronger than ever, managing to exceed all expectations, bringing together over 6 thousand motorcyclists mostly from the United States.
This information is very encouraging to rally organizers as it shows the market is recovering. Palacio assures this motivates rally organizers to perfect the annual event, and they are already working on the next Rally for 2022.
“We didn’t expect to have this number of motorcycles this year. We know that 3,500 came through Lukeville on Thursday, and about 1,700, on Friday; plus, there are those who rode through Caborca and the Gulf of Santa Clara. We thought 5 thousand motorcyclists was a good ceiling but we surpassed that,” says the organizer.
Oscar acknowledges the bi-national event can be improved upon, and that situations that can get out of control always arise. However, the event can be perfected in the coming years as the idea has always been to organize a rally that attracts motorcyclists who come to celebrate and have a good time, without losing sight of it being an event to be enjoyed by all.
“As organizers, we plan the registration, guided tours, the parade that people go out to see, the poker run, and bike show. Still, situations we don’t plan on and don’t agree with can come up, but we hope that won’t happen again,” he said.
Organizing the rally has been possible thanks to many hands that have selflessly supported the event, from designing the program, setting up the registration area, organizing charity groups, mapping out routes, hiring bands, coordinating with the municipal offices, and many other activities. Among these altruistic people, Oscar brings to mind initial support from Jim Luck, Lyman Sherer, Rick Hatch, Susy Diaz and Billy, as well as Warren and Ari Levenbaum of Law Tigers, and currently active volunteers, Shandra Keesecker and her parents Selena and Joe Keesecker, as well as Beverly Arrowood among others, plus the support received through the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and local businesses.
So to say 20 years of the Rocky Point Rally is to speak of a lot of hard work behind the scenes, as well as several ups and downs. However, above all, it is to highlight an event that has grown exponentially because motorcyclists know that coming to Puerto Peñasco is to take in a paradise of beautiful beaches, the spectacular desert, and a great atmosphere with people who share the same passion.
Thanksgiving is fast approaching, one of the most important dates on the U.S. calendar, and one that year after year people to choose to celebrate with family or friends in Rocky Point.
This holiday, which falls on the fourth Thursday each November, is traditionally celebrated with a feast featuring a main dish of baked turkey along with mashed potatoes, stuffing, garnishes, and pumpkin pie.
Families from the U.S., and even many Mexican families, plan in advance to cook the turkey dinner, and gather family to give thanks.
Yet, there are hundreds of others who choose the holiday weekend to visit warm destinations, like Rocky Point, and opt for reservations at a local restaurant to celebrate Thanksgiving with groups of friends, family, or as a couple.
Another good idea to celebrate the holiday is to order a full dinner from one of the restaurants offering this service, so you can enjoy the feast in the comfort of your own dining room or from your condo terrace.
For our visitors who aren’t quite fans of turkey, there are many more activities and ways to celebrate, such as going to any sports bar and watching your favorite game.
You can also take the day to just rest on the beach and enjoy the wonderful weather. Or look for a guide to go sandboarding, go on a boat tour, or simply spend time comfortably in a hotel room or condo watching TV with the family.
Rocky Point is a cozy spot that offers a wide range of options for you to have the perfect Thanksgiving day, in an ambiance of fresh warm moments to spice up your celebration.
To welcome you this Thanksgiving, dozens of restaurants are already preparing special dinners or banquets for you and yours, anxious to serve you while following all necessary health protocols.
Here are some places where you can find special Thanksgiving dinners this year:
The Puerto Peñasco Convention & Visitors Bureau (OCV) took part in the “Rebirth of Tourism Rebirth” Tourism Fair held Nov 16th – 19th, in Merida, Yucatan.
As Puerto Peñasco is an emerging destination with much to offer, the world needs to learn about the beauties of this paradise located in the corner of the Sea of Cortez. This is why the Puerto Peñasco OCV, represented by its director Lizette Ibarra, Marketing and Social Networks manager Sara Lilia Cardenas Franco, and administrative and promotional assistant Camila Domínguez, actively participated in the promotional fair, now considered one of the most important tourism events in Latin America.
The 2021 Tourism Fair, organized by the Federal Secretary of Tourism in an effort to boost the economy and promote Mexico’s destinations, is visited by more than 975 companies from 88 countries, and five continents, all dedicated to the tourism industry. This represents “a great opportunity to position Puerto Peñasco on the global scene”, said Lizette Ibarra, director of the Puerto Peñasco OCV.
Ibarra explained “Of course it is important that the state and Puerto Peñasco Convention & Visitors Bureaus take part in this tourism event because it is, as the slogan says, ‘the rebirth of tourism’ after what we have experienced due to the pandemic. It is very important to attend this event because we are an emerging destination. It is an opportunity to continue positioning the destination as a product, all its beauties, its outdoor activities, the hotels and everything else we have to offer. We have a very good agenda of tour operators from Mexico, United States and Canada who have approached us to work together”.
The booth representing Sonora was made up of representatives from each tourist destination, led by Sonora Secretary of Tourism, Celida Lopez Cardenas, and staff from “Visit Sonora”. From Puerto Peñasco, tour operator Claudia Reyna took part in the event, along with and the Puerto Peñasco OCV office. Representatives fulfilled several appointments previously scheduled with tourism agencies, representatives of travel agents from the United States, Canada and Mexico, and marketing companies, among others. This included a brief presentation of the destination, cards with QR codes featuring detailed information about the calendar of events, activities, and content on the official “Vive Puerto Peñasco” website, as well as USB devices with institutional video content, information on hotel infrastructure, and ‘must visit’ sites and contact information.
This tourism forum, classified as the most important in Latin America, consists of a commercial platform based on pre-established appointments between buyers and exhibitors, national and international, looking for new tourist destinations to promote.
Rocky Point’s traditional biker event, which brings together thousands of motorcyclists from across the U.S., Mexico, and beyond, is just about here! The greatest motorcycle fiesta just south of the border has positioned itself as one of the best biker destinations in northwestern Mexico.
This year, marking the 20th Anniversary of the Rocky Point Rally, promises to be a grand fiesta for all involved while bearing in mind certain restrictions and measures will be in place to protect the health of residents and visitors alike.
The 20th Anniversary edition of the Rocky Point Rally aims to encourage bikers to check out various parts of the city and will not be planning a mainstage on the malecón in the Old Port, but rather promoting local venues throughout town. Sponsoring bars will feature live music, spanning rock and other music styles, in open air spaces for all to enjoy.
As in years past, bikers will be welcomed at the registration spot located at Barclin’s gas station on the Sonoyta highway (just south of the bridge). The calendar includes several smaller events spread around town, as well as the traditional Saturday Bike Parade. This year, the parade will wrap up in the Mirador – much as in the early days of the event.
Oscar Palacio Soto, head organizer of the annual bike rally, detailed 85% of rally goers are 50+ and come primarily from the southwestern part of the U.S. While a large part of this population has already been vaccinated against Covid-19, he added, we should not our guard down. Rally goers, visitors, and residents alike should exercise caution by using masks and maintaining safe distances as much as possible.
The Rocky Point Rally motorcycle fiesta is about to roll into town. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to take part in the Anniversary celebration! Grab your helmet, hit the highway, and long live the Rocky Point Rally!
One hundred sixty-eight Puerto Peñasco youth between 12-17 received a first Covid vaccination shot during the most recent cross-border campaign held at the Lukeville-Sonoyta border entry. The Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCV) once again helped with pre-registration as well as transportation for the vaccination effort, opened up to the younger age group for the first time.
Through joint efforts of the Mexican Consulate in Tucson, Pima Country, and the Sonora Secretary of Health, as well as direct collaboration from the Puerto Peñasco OCV, the September 28th-29th vaccination campaign at the Lukeville-Sonoyta crossing was one of the first border regions in the country to achieve binational support. Two hundred thirty-nine Puerto Peñasco residents took part in the recent campaign, including 168 between 12-17 years old.
This was the fourth time the local OCV has taken part in pre-registration and logistical support for the cross-border vaccination campaign. The effort has directly benefitted children, youth, and adults from Puerto Peñasco, as well as from Sonoyta, with the goal of expanding vaccinations across the region.
The cross-border vaccination campaign has focused efforts on strategic areas including Puerto Peñasco, Sonoyta, and San Luis Río Colorado. The goal is to strengthen communities along the border in order to provide greater mobility for national and international tourism, as well as workers in the region.
Puerto Peñasco OCV president Héctor Vázquez del Mercado stressed the importance of being one of the first border municipalities to launch vaccination campaigns for younger age groups, while striving toward a level of herd immunity to allow for reopening of borders beyond essential travel at the U.S.-Mexico border. Most importantly, however, is to lower the spread of Covid while strengthening both regions overall.
The best weather of the year has reached the shores of Rocky Point, along with several events to help make your trip the best it can be! Some of this year’s events will be in person, taking into account health protocols, while others will take place on virtual platforms, and even others in a hybrid fashion so everyone can enjoy.
Here are some of the upcoming events for your calendar to make sure your trip to this corner of the Sea of Cortez is unforgettable.
The long-awaited concert of Los Ángeles Azules is right around the corner. This mega concert will take place October 15th on the Malecón in the Old Port, as part of the festivities surrounding the 15th Anniversary of The Links Golf Course at Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort. This is sure to be a grand fiesta both for tournament goers and the general public.
Also this Fall, for the 7th time Puerto Peñasco will be one of the extended hosts for the International Cervantino Festival, now in its 49th year. Thousands of international artists will take part in over 100 performances on majestic stages in Guanajuato, which will be broadcast through official sites of FIC Cervantino, as well as Puerto Peñasco government sites. On this occasion, there will also be performances broadcast on two giant screens in two of Puerto Peñasco’s neighborhoods so that no one misses out on the most important cultural festival in Latin America.
If you enjoy fiestas, save the date for Oct. 16th for the 5th edition of “Cheve Fest”. This celebration of craft beer has become an annual Fall tradition on the terrace at El Tapeo Wine Bar. This year, 9 craft beer houses from Sonora and Baja California will be on hand, along with live music, local restaurant offerings, and sponsor stands. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
La Oficina de Manny’s has announced a Tribute to Enanitos Verdes for Oct. 23rd. The event will include Marcelo Lucero, former member of this band originally from Argentina that is part of classic rock in Spanish. The group Butar from Hermosillo, Sonora will perform with the former Enanitos Verdes guitarist, as they go through some of the classic group’s best known songs.
Plus, several local bars are readying for special Halloween festivities, with celebrations the last weekend of the month. Follow their pages to learn more!
Also on the calendar is Mexican comedian Mike Salazar, who will be performing his hilarious stand-up at the Puerto Peñasco Convention Center on Oct. 29th. This is sure to be a night filled with laughter and relaxation!
Playa Azul Resort is planning for Fall Fest 2021, a two-day event of live music highlighting the 70s that promises to be a grand fiesta of songs to take you back and kick up your heels! The Fall Fest at Playa Azul will take place Nov. 5th– 6th at the resort.
November is also the month for the Rocky Point Rally, the most important motorcycle event in northwestern Mexico, and a whole tradition of its own. The Rocky Point Rally will take place Nov. 11th – 14th, marking its 20th Anniversary!
Celebrations to honor Mexico’s traditional Day of the Dead are planned for Oct. 30th – 31st, which will include Day of the Dead alter and Catrina contests along the walkways of Rodeo Drive. This truly Mexican fiesta recalls our ancestral and colorful cultural roots. This is a family oriented event for all.
In Fall, we can’t forget about “Thanksgiving”, when many families from our neighbor to the North choose to get together to celebrate in Rocky Point. Several restaurants are already planning special Thanksgiving dinners for Thursday, Nov. 25th, complete with turkey and all the trimmings.
As you can see, there are several ways to celebrate and a variety of events to enjoy this Fall in Rocky Point, which is just getting started. Keep in mind health protocols remain in place to ensure you have a pleasant stay in Rocky Point!
The release of seventy-three baby sea turtles making their way to the sea was an amazing spectacle to behold recently along Sandy Beach.
Following an incubation period, the baby Olive Ridley sea turtles were placed carefully on the sand in front of the Sonoran Spa complex, in the precise spot where their mother had spawned them weeks earlier. After being placed in the sand, the tiny creatures made their way to the sea with only the sun as their guide.
The first release of baby sea turtles this season was done under the careful supervision and monitoring of biologist Itzel Cárdenas, who is in charge of caring for the turtle eggs through incubation. Staff from the Federal Maritime Land Zone (ZOFEMAT) also took part in the release, along with the Municipal Office of Ecology and Sustainable Development, with support from the Tourism Auxiliary Unit, staff from the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (CEDO), and security guards from Sonoran Spa.
Procedures for release of the minute sea creatures was carried out under surveillance protocols, ensuring the baby sea turtles could make their way to sea while safely progressing into their habitat.
This was the first release of baby sea turtles in Rocky Point this season, following the spawning and careful safeguarding of 614 eggs detected in nests around the area. All eggs were placed into artificial incubation to help ensure their development.
Sea turtle spawning has become frequent during the summer, which has led to implementation of very specific protocols to help protect the precious sea life. In addition, work is underway to develop a program to promote this activity as it becomes more of a natural wonder – both to see turtles emerge from the sea to lay their eggs, and release of the baby sea turtles as they find their home at sea.
Puerto Peñasco is at the forefront in quality beaches as a tourism destination with three beaches certified under national and international protocols, one of which is the longest extension of certified clean beach in Mexico.
Puerto Peñasco achieved its first clean beach certification in 2017, stretching 1,700 lineal meters of coastline along Sandy Beach and encompassing the shore in front of Playa Bonita, Puerta Privada, Sonora Sky, and Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort.
This first certification was achieved through strict audits of water quality, safety, environmental education programs, beach cleaning, and the commitment of resort and hotel personnel, environmental associations, and the local administration, among others, to monitor and maintain the area.
With this distinction, Puerto Peñasco became the first certified beach in the state of Sonora, offering residents and tourists alike a guarantee of cleanliness and safety.
Another tremendous step was made when the city fulfilled a series of protocols and measures, meticulously reviewed by Mexican Regulations, to obtain certification of the coastline along Islas del Mar. At 2,300 lineal meters, this is now the longest stretch of certified clean beach for recreational use in the country.
This recognitions positions Puerto Peñasco as the first tourism destination in Mexico to obtain certification along a vast extension of beach, once again ensuring confidence and safety for those who visit this port and its distinguished beaches.
At the recent flag presentation to the certified clean beaches, CONAGUA Representative Omri Flores acknowledged through coordination of the government, developers, the Clean Beach Committee, and other groups, three of Puerto Peñasco’s beaches have been certified in less than 5 years.
“In my professional experience, I have seen that large developers and tourism destinations work toward certifying their beaches. Puerto Peñasco is among the few destinations with certified clean beaches for the people, providing beachgoers with extensive stretches for certification to fulfill this objective,” he specified.
If two clean beach certifications weren’t enough, in 2021 the international “Blue Flag” was once again awarded to a stretch of beach in front of Manny’s Beach Club in the Mirador. The international recognition, granted by the Environmental Education Foundation (FEE) in Mexico, encompasses 75 meters of beach and was obtained after having met at least 33 environmental criteria. This further contributes to Puerto Peñasco’s relevance as a global tourism destination.
These levels of recognition illustrate that while cities and ports are recovering from the pandemic and critical situations, strong progress has been made on environmental projects that attract tourism and investment, as well as jobs. Such is the case of Puerto Peñasco’s beach certification, in bringing together efforts to benefit residents and tourists alike.
In addition to beautiful coasts, fun, cuisine, and a wealth of activities by land or sea, Puerto Peñasco offers excellent quality beaches, which is yet another reason to visit this corner of the Sea of Cortez.
There’s only a few days left until Labor Day weekend, and Puerto Peñasco has the best places and the best weather to enjoy your days off.
Each year, this important date for the United States is a great time to visit Puerto Peñasco’s beaches, where cooler weather is already beginning to be felt and you’ll be sure to enjoy the long weekend.
In 2021 Labor Day falls on Monday, August 6, so there will be up to four days to disconnect from work and school routines and enjoy a weekend of relaxation and total fun.
Here are some activities and places to visit over the “Labor Day Weekend”:
Its spectacular beaches
The Schuk Toak Museum
Enjoy the local cuisine
Take a ride on a sunset cruise
Visit a restaurant-bar with live music
Enjoy a relaxing Spa Day
In Puerto Peñasco you can find many more activities to make the most of your stay, all depending on your taste, mood, and level of adventure.
Various hotels and resorts offer special stay packages for Labor Day Weekend, while restaurants and bars have programmed events planned for the weekend and, most importantly, safety and hygiene protocols are maintained to ensure the health of visitors and residents alike.
If you haven’t yet decided where to spend your Labor Day weekend, Puerto Peñasco is a perfect option and if you’ve already made your reservation, Puerto Peñasco will welcome you with open doors.
Enjoy your Labor Day by not working in this corner of the Sea of Cortez!
The season has come for return of Olive Ridley turtles to Rocky Point’s beaches, where they come to lay their eggs along with hope for the species’ reproduction. In recent years, Olive Ridley turtles have appeared along our coasts primarily in August and September to spawn before returning to sea.
When this natural occurrence takes place along the popular beaches of Rocky Point, SEMARNAT and ZOFEMAT launch coastal protocols to help safeguard the sea turtles. The Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources, along with the office of the Federal Maritime Land Zone, work to make sure sea turtles are not bothered when laying their eggs, as well as to see that eggs are removed to a safer spot under optimum temperatures to ensure they hatch within coming weeks.
The Olive Ridley depositing of eggs along our coasts is protected by endangered species Norm 059, particularly in the area of Sandy Beach where several yearly reports are made of turtles coming out of the sea to lay their eggs.
If someone spots a turtle coming out of the water to nest on the beach, protocol is to report this to ZOFEMAT, the municipal police, or safety personnel near where the sighting occurs (report to 911), who in turn can notify authorities in charge of cordoning off the area. It is important to avoid crowding around to reduce any stress on the sea turtles while they spawn. Safety personnel at beachside resorts and hotels also take part in protection procedures, acting as supervisors and in notifying authorities.
Given elevated temperatures along our coasts, in the majority of cases, after the eggs are deposited they are removed by a specialized biologist and put into artificial incubation. This helps with the turtles’ survival rate, and hatching process within approximately 45 to 60 days.
Once the baby turtles hatch, they are returned to the spot of the nest for release so they can make their way to the sea. This, of course, is a phenomenal natural sight to witness!
When Olive Ridley turtles spawn on more remote beaches where nests may not be spotted, the development process takes place naturally underground. If some turtles manage to hatch and survive, they make their way to the sea on their own.
If you are fortunate enough to see a turtle coming out onto the beach in search of a spot to make its nest, be sure to report this to help ensure their protection.
In addition to being a beautiful destination to rest and relax, this corner of the Sea of Cortez is privileged given a rich variety of natural occurrences, which then become spectacular sights to behold. Among these is that of sea turtles making their way onto the beach to spawn, along with the release of baby turtles and return to the sea, as well as whale watching possibilities earlier in the year.
Rocky Point offers the best in hotels, cuisine, fun, beaches, attention, and service, but is also a privileged spot given the rich ecosystems and marine species of the Sea of Cortez. This isn’t called the World’s Aquarium for nothing!
Puerto Peñasco has obtained Level II clean beach certification for a stretch along “Islas del Mar”, becoming the longest certified coastline for recreational use in the country at more than 2,300 linear meters.
This recognition, granted by the Mexican Institute for Standardization and Certification, came after an extensive audit and ruling upon a series of points inspected for compliance.
The Level II certification positions this beach in Puerto Peñasco as the most extensive recreational and sustainable coastline in Mexico, thus guaranteeing visitors’ safety, trust and cleanliness on a broad extension of beach.
The official recognition from SEMARNAT, under standard NMXAA120SCH / 2016, is the second clean and sustainable beach certification for Puerto Peñasco. The first sustainable clean beach certification in the city was granted in 2019 for more than 1700 meters along Sandy Beach, from Playa Bonita Hotel to Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort.
Luis Cesar García, Director of the Federal Maritime Land Zone, detailed participation of hundreds of people from different areas, including Islas del Mar staff, was fundamental in achieving this important certification.
The audit, which was carried out by specialists over several sessions, thoroughly inspected work on safety, cleaning, species monitoring, biodiversity studies, solid waste management and cleaning programs, surveillance in the area, presence of lifeguards, and installation of waste deposits, among other standards that were met and will remain in effect.
The spot that gave rise to a fishing community in the middle of the desert, and which is now one of the most important tourist destinations in northwestern Mexico, will celebrate its 94th anniversary on July 9th.
Nestled between the Sonoran desert and a corner of the Sea of Cortés, in 1926 and 1927 a group of fishermen discovered what is now Puerto Peñasco, venturing to live under tents and caves when they came across this virgin coast rich in marine life.
In 1929, this young coastal municipality was known as “Punta Peñasco” (Rocky Cliff Point) given its volcanic forms that plummet into the Sea of Cortez. In 1932, when the settlements expanded, the first police station was created under the jurisdiction of the neighboring municipality of Sonoyta.
History details the name of Rocky Point, as it is known in the United States, was given by retired English Lieutenant William Hale Hardy who came across the site when on an expedition searching for pearls and precious metals. It was actually called this until 1936 when then Mexican President General Lázaro Cárdenas asked for it to be named in Spanish, “Punta Puerto Peñasco”.
In its short life, Puerto Peñasco has become one of the most populated cities in Sonora, and one of the most important tourist destinations in northwestern Mexico. The city’s rapid growth in hotel infrastructure, and favorable geographical location, attracts visitors from the American southwest as well as residents from Baja California, Chihuahua and Sonora who seek to enjoy its warm beaches.
Located near the Altar desert and Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, Puerto Peñasco now has more than 70 thousand residents and a strong economy based on tourism, offering an infrastructure of thousands of rooms in large luxurious condominium complexes and hotels. Puerto Peñasco’s natural beauty is also on display along its public and certified beaches, which includes the longest certified coastline in the country.
In its 94 years, this colorful coastline has made great progress as a tourist city, attracting not only Americans and national visitors but also many from Canada and Europe. Visitors enjoy the city’s iconic spots, its people, and the prevailing fiesta atmosphere.
Puerto Peñasco is a city that has strengthened tremendously. Despite facing difficult times in its past, such as financial crises and the recent pandemic, the hotel and service community, along with the local administration and the community itself, have been able to innovate in areas of care, protocols, and security to help take care of residents and visitors alike. This is why Puerto Peñasco remains a popular tourist destination, keeping its doors open to all looking to relax and enjoy a spectacular sunset on one of its beautiful beaches.
For all these reasons, and more, Puerto Peñasco is dressing up to celebrate another anniversary since its founding. What better way to celebrate than by visiting and enjoying all this paradise on the Sea of Cortez has to offer?
Fireworks, beach, plus friends and family. What better way to celebrate 4th of July in Rocky Point? U.S. Independence Day is one of the most important holidays for our neighbors to the north, and one that many take advantage of to travel and celebrate in Rocky Point.
While 4th of July celebrations took place mostly at homes across the U.S. last year, in 2021 families now have more options to mark the festivities. One of these of course is to visit Rocky Point and enjoy the holiday weekend!
Various resorts, hotels, restaurants, and bars plan special 4th of July events in Rocky Point to treat our U.S. neighbors, making sure they feel right at home in celebrating Independence Day with special dinners, live music, and fireworks.
The weather in early July is warm and welcoming, so it’s perfect for outdoor activities such as cruising on a local tour boat, visiting Bird Island, heading out in a group to a local restaurant or bar, enjoying the beach, sunning along the coast, or simply watching the fireworks from a resort terrace or from the beach.
It’s important to keep in mind when planning your travels for this 4th of July that Rocky Point has lifted curfew restrictions due to the low incidence of Covid-19, though health and safety measures are still needed as required by international health protocols to help ensure your trip is safe and enjoyable.
There’s still time to make a reservation and celebrate U.S. Independence Day in this corner of the Sea of Cortez!
If you’ve already planned your trip to Rocky Point, there are endless activities that await. From the simple joy offered by sitting in the sand and contemplating the quiet peace of the sea to the thrill of adrenaline filled moments, there’s a lot to do and for all tastes.
From the moment you arrive as a welcome visitor, simply going through the city streets and seeing the beach, plazas, and businesses in the distance, along with people looking to have a good time, is enough to shift your mindset because you know it’s time to just enjoy.
The simple act of sitting in the sand on the beach while gazing at the blue of the Sea of Cortez is already a breath of fresh air for those looking to relax, whether traveling with friends or family.
Out at sea you can further indulge yourself by renting a jetski, hop on one of the classic banana boats, or simply swim in Rocky Point’s warm waters.
Reserving a spot and boarding one of the local tour boats is certainly an adventure you can’t miss out on this Summer. From the vantage point of a boat tour, you’ll be able to take in the immensity of the coastline and possibly even spot dolphins frolicking alongside. Trips are enhanced with music, drinks, and snacks offered throughout day or sunset tours. You’ll definitely want to capture plenty of images as keepsakes.
If speed is more your style, don’t hesitate to rent a four-wheeler or ATV for a trip through the dunes and other permitted spots. Feel the air against your face, and the rush of adrenalin when bouncing over streets and the sand. Be sure to wear your helmet and follow safety guidelines.
If you’re really interested in sailing through the air, how about a trip on an ultralight? Break through the wind from this colorful contraption, which offers one of the best views from several meters up. Ultralights, which can be rented from along Sandy Beach, will take you along the coastline so you can feel the wind in your face and the thrill of flying for a few yet intense minutes.
Another way to have fun in the sky is parasailing! Flying through the air, while pulled at full speed behind a boat, you’ll feel like you’re parachuting free fall toward the sea. Plus, you can go tandem and watch each other’s expressions filled with adrenalin and excitement. Check local companies that offer parasailing in Puerto Peñasco.
Visit the oyster farms and enjoy the offerings directly from the sea to your palate. In the estuaries you can see how the oysters are pulled out and prepared fresh so you can sample. The oyster farms are about 7 kilometers east of Puerto Peñasco, along the highway towards Caborca. Dirt roads lead the way to these spots, which are surrounded by dunes and walls of sand.
Another activity you can explore this summer, though only really early in the morning, is a trip to the dunes for sandboarding. Ask about guides dedicated to sandboarding, where the only thing you need is guts and to hop on a board so you can glide down a dune at full speed.
The Schuk Toak Museum built in the middle of the desert is also a spot you should visit. The sustainable building, located just kilometers outside Puerto Peñasco, runs off solar panels and offers interactive content about the Pinacate Reserve, its history, craters, as well as its flora and fauna. In addition, interactive trails provide a front row to the desert lava.
These are just some of the recommendations for things to do in this port destination. Your fun can be found in the peace and calm of your own hotel room or resort, spending an afternoon in a pool, or catching live music at a restaurant or bar.
What’s important for your stay in Rocky Point is that you enjoy every morning, every afternoon, and every evening in safety and comfort. Make your way to this beach destination and the city will be sure to captivate you with all it has to offer.
Reserve your dream vacation now at this link: STAY
Nestled in the middle of the Pinacate Reserve and Sonoran Desert is the Schuk Toak Museum and Visitors Center, just kilometers outside Puerto Peñasco.
A trip to this completely sustainable building is a great option if you’d like to learn more about the biodiversity of the Pinacate Reserve and Greater Desert of Altar, even if you haven’t yet had the opportunity to enter the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve.
The eco-friendly building works off solar panels and houses a museum with interactive screens so that visitors can learn about the volcanic shield of the Pinacate and the tremendous biodiversity in the Greater Desert of Altar, considered one of the largest deserts in the world.
At the site, located at kilometer 72 along the Puerto Peñasco-Sonoyta highway, you’ll also find interpretive walks. Or rather, along the trails you will come across basic brief information concerning the biology and geology found within this majestic area, as well as see some of the desert fauna.
The Schuk Toak Visitors Center also has an audiovisual hall, which projects videos focused on topics encompassing the desert, history, and the Tohono O’odham culture, among others. There are also several rooms and a souvenir shop so you can take home a memory from your visit.
Looking out from the patio of the Visitors Center, you’ll be able to take in the grandeur of the shifting desert dunes, as well as the peak of the Pinacate range surrounding part of the building. The building itself is built upon one of the most extensive lava flows in the area, dating at least 12,000 years back.
The Schuk Toak Museum is open Thursday-Sunday during Summer, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
There is a symbolic entry of 30 pesos for local visitors, and 60 pesos for national or international guests.
The Schuk Toak Museum and Visitors Center is a must when planning to come to Puerto Peñasco. Add this to your travel itinerary as one of the interesting spots to see.
To speak of Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers is to speak of many concerts full of love and benefit for Puerto Peñasco. In addition to attracting thousands of followers from the United States and beyond, the band has always sought a way to support those in need in the city with funds raised at their shows.
Roger Clyne, Arizona singer and guitarist from Tempe, continues to return to Puerto Peñasco with ever growing strength, new accompanying bands, and even more followers.
In 2021 – after a year break due to health protocols – Clyne took the stage on April 23 and 24 with a series of concerts as part of the SOB (South of the Border) Composers Festival. The festival also included national touring songwriters Wes Loper, Erica Sunshine Lee, Mark Mulligan, and Mike Nash playing across several Puerto Peñasco bars.
This was just the beginning, because “Circus Mexicus” is right around the corner! With 21 years of history in Puerto Peñasco, Circus Mexicus 2021 will take place June 10th – 14th. The five days of music and fun will include several experienced bands and enhanced organization, guaranteeing the return of Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers is top notch.
For this Circus Mexicus, Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers will headline both Friday and Saturday nights, with different set lists on the “Tequila Main Stage” at Banditos. On Friday, they’ll be joined by “RCPM Authority Zero”, which has brought intense reggae beats to stages around the world for 20 years, along with Arizona based “Black Bottom Lighters” opening the show. Cody Canada and The Departed from New Braunfels, TX, plus Jeff Crosby and The Refugees from Northern Idaho fill out Saturday night along with RCPM.
Other Circus Mexicus shows over the same weekend across Puerto Peñasco include: Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts (made up of members from Motley Crue, Poison, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts), Jason DeVore (Authority Zero), Jesse Valenzuela (Gin Blossoms), The Cole Trains, Jim Dalton, The Jons, Las Calakas, Dalton Domino, Mark Zubia, Sara Robinson Band, Darci Carlson, Drew Cooper, and many more.
Shows will take place at several bar stages in town, including Capone’s, JJ’s Cantina, Chango’s, Wrecked at The Reef, Manny’s Beach Club, Tekila Bar, Boo Bar, Moo Steakhouse and Grill, and Xochitl’s.
Purchase a bracelet for entrance to all the events, or individual tickets for your favorite shows.
Not only is Circus Mexicus one of the events that attracts the most people to Puerto Peñasco, and therefore an important boost for the tourism sector, Roger Clyne has been a charity ambassador for those in need across the city. Part of the funds raised during concerts goes to support local organizations, particularly to help children in vulnerable situations.
You can always see the support these events bring to this city that Roger Clyne and his people love dearly for having welcomed them and setting the stage for their concerts.
Their shows have included winter golf tournaments, beach soccer, and raffles for autographed articles, instruments and other objects to help raise funds to support organizations such as “Esperanza” children’s home, Puerto Peñasco Athletic Youth Foundation, as well as support for the wheelchair basketball team, the Tourism Auxiliary Unit, and the local DIF Municipal scholarship program, among other associations and causes.
For this edition of Circus Mexicus, fans are asked to bring down home and personal hygiene items to drop off at Banditos, and participate in raffles for objects signed by the band, as well as art and jewelry.
The band is also interested in having local people attend their concerts. This is why they offer discounts on tickets for Puerto Peñasco residents who show their ID.
If you want to learn more about Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers, and the great Circus Mexicus, click on the following link and read up on history, view galleries, and get information as to where to purchase tickets to these now historically traditional concerts in Puerto Peñasco.
Puerto Peñasco (aka Rocky Point) is a spot privileged with outstanding nature. Examples of this are the spectacular sunsets that embellish the sky in warm tones, which is an experience you must catch if you visit our corner of the Sea of Cortez.
It’s possible to appreciate the outstanding sunsets from wherever you may be in the city, given the brilliant colors can be spotted from just about anywhere. However, there are sites where you can get a better view and enjoy an unforgettable sunset, and of course capture images of this natural spectacle.
The most visited spot where people stop to wait for the sun’s last few minutes is the Malecón. The wide panorama allows you to observe how the sun hides under the horizon, and even seems to be submerging into the sea. Sunset viewing from the Malecón can also include spotting boats in the distance, plus there are telescopes pointing out so you can view the sunset in even greater detail.
Catching the sunset from a boat is also impressive! Just imagine being able to see head on how the sun sets in the evening, leaving a melting pot of warm orange tones accompanied by the sea breeze, some dolphins, endemic birds, and the mood on any local cruise or fishing boat. In Puerto Peñasco, various tour operators offer trips exclusively to view the wonderful sunsets. Just reserve your space, and be sure to take your camera or cell phone to capture the moment.
Now, imagine watching the sunset from the terrace of a high resort! From these heights you will be able to appreciate how the sun disappears amidst the blue waters, and how it disappears into the west as night falls. From the comfort of your own reserved space, you will have the chance to witness the difference in tones beginning from sunrise and then again as the sun paints the sky a pink color as it departs. You can also go up to restaurants on Whale Hill, such as Casa del Capitán or Pane e Vino, that offer a spectacular vantage point for sunset watching!
The beach is always a special place to view Puerto Peñasco sunsets. From your own personal front row in the sand, you will have the opportunity to take in all the details of a sunset. With the waves and sound of the birds in the background, you can say goodbye to the sun and all its colors, and of course play with your camera and the silhouettes framed against the radiance.
You can choose to go to Playa Hermosa, which is the busiest beach, Playa Encanto, Mi Playa, Las Conchas, La Cholla, or any area of Sandy Beach from where you are sure to enjoy the sun’s farewell.
The pier is another fascinating place to see how the orange sun hides between the horizon and passing boats, offering a perfect setting for the best classic fishing port photographs. This is an iconic place to visit when you come to Puerto Peñasco.
These are just some ideas on how to further enjoy the fabulous sunsets offered in this corner of the Sea of Cortez. These sunsets have been captured hundreds of times in the best photographs, and in images that have been taken to the big screen, but above all, these sunsets linger in the memories of those who visit us.
As a destination that continues to be safe, Puerto Peñasco (aka Rocky Point) is ready to welcome American visitors over the upcoming Memorial Day 2021.
This important date for our neighbors to the north, commemorating those who have died during military service, falls on the final Monday each May. It also traditionally marks the beginning of the U.S. vacation season for those opting for the beaches of Rocky Point, especially tourists from Arizona, California and New Mexico.
After 2020, when everyone was tucked away in their homes, this year the beaches, hotels, resorts and tourist services are operating with hygiene and health protocols in place for the enjoyment of visitors.
Over Memorial Day Weekend, service providers and establishments including resorts, bars, and restaurants are preparing special programs, live music, as well as fireworks that can’t be missed.
The holiday break is also when entire families and groups of friends make their way to Rocky Point to take advantage of the long weekend, while enjoying the warm climate and all the fun our corner of the Sea of Cortez has to offer!
This tourist destination, cataloged as a safe spot that maintains a low risk of COVID 19 spread, awaits you with open doors. We are once again betting on responsible tourism, those that know how to have fun while taking care of their health, and that of their families, to ensure a healthy and pleasant stay.
If you haven’t made a reservation yet, you’ve still got time to do so for a fun and safe vacation in Puerto Peñasco.
The warm summer season has arrived, and with it a longing for beach walks, the feel of sand between your toes, an escape from routine, and to enjoy the beautiful sunsets along with everything else this little corner of the Sea of Cortez has to offer.
To welcome visitors at area hotels, restaurants, and establishments across Puerto Peñasco, health protocols and measures outlined by the Secretary of Health and World Health Organization remain in effect. This is why this tourism destination continues to be a “Safe Point” to vacation!
This summer, Puerto Peñasco is ready to host visitors who are eager to enjoy the sand, sea, and a wealth of outdoor activities available, including: boat cruises, ATV rentals, ultra-lights, water sports, or a trip to the Pinacate and the sand dunes.
Visitors can also relish in all of the culinary experiences Puerto Peñasco has to offer, venture out to the oyster farms, or take in live music along with countless spots to visit, and things to do!
This summer could be the best time to escape and enjoy the beaches of Puerto Peñasco! The only requirement is to follow provided protocols to ensure the health and safety of our city and of course our guests, you, our visitors!
Puerto Peñasco has been, and continues to be, a safe place to visit! Though approximately 25,000 tourists visited the area over Spring Break, and an additional 30,000 over Semana Santa, this did not result in a significant uptick in the number of locally confirmed Covid-19 cases.
Currently, data from the Sonora Secretary of Health indicates Puerto Peñasco has registered just over 500 cases of Covid since the first reported case here in April of last year. This number represents less than 1% of the total cases recorded across the state.
Still, it’s important to not let down one’s guard and continue to exercise caution to guarantee a fun summer season, while being responsible whenever heading out to visit another city.
Plan ahead, reserve, and get to know Puerto Peñasco, a place that welcomes visitors with open arms, where you are taken care of, and a spot that is betting on responsible tourism.
Please visit the following link and find out more about the different safe spots to stay during your next trip to the beach
The coasts of Puerto Peñasco (aka Rocky Point) will be decked out in gallantry with arrival of the Mexican Navy’s Cuauhtemoc Training Vessel in mid-May.
The ship, which has traveled thousands of nautical miles, is tentatively scheduled to anchor in Puerto Peñasco for a period of two days, May 21st and 22nd. It is notable this is the only port in Sonora chosen for the commemorative voyage of the Mexican Navy’s Bicentennial.
Mexican naval cadets undergo training and studies aboard the Cuauhtémoc, encompassing naval cinematography, nautical astronomy, national and international maritime law, naval communications, and maintenance management, among other topics.
Details on the ship’s passing were presented during an initial meeting with the local business and tourism sectors, along with Puerto Peñasco city officials. The vessel will surely attract both residents and visitors alike, given the ship’s importance to the nation. Tentative plans are to anchor the ship a distance from the Malecon so it may be appreciated in all its glory.
Rear Admiral for the Secretariat of the Navy, Daniel Escobedo Escobedo of the Puerto Peñasco Naval Sector, encouraged businesses, the tourism sector, and city authorities to design activities and events that will provide the ship a dignified stay in our port, as well as opportunities for naval cadets so they may get to know the marvels of this nook in the Sea of Cortez.
The Cuauhtémoc Vessel, also known as the Caballero de los Mares (The Gentleman of the Seas), will visit 11 ports in 2021.
Generations of officials, graduates of the Heroic Naval Military School, have been developed upon the decks and under the sails of the Cuauhtémoc. The ship itself has made 36 training voyages, visited more than 209 ports in 59 countries, and has logged more than 5,522 days in the open sea, navigating 705,012 nautical miles, which is equal to 33 times around the globe.
The crew of the Cuauhtémoc Vessel is composed of eight captains, officials, and both male and female cadets studying and training naval traditions, along with the values of honor, duty, loyalty, and patriotism.
Brazilian documentarian Cristian Dimitrius and his team toured areas of Caborca and the Pinacate Reserve for over a week recently, capturing wondrous images of this desert’s tremendous ecosystem.
Filming, done both in Caborca as well as the Pinacate, will be part of a documentary on the World’s Desert Ecosystems to be aired on National Geographic and Disney +. When ready, this will be broadcast first in Latin America and then across the globe.
“The goal is to show the desert as an attraction to the world, while also continuing to attract photography safaris, or rather further positioning the idea of photographic hunting that does not impact fauna,” detailed Israel Nava, certified tourist guide for the region who collaborated with the production.
Some of the areas filmed by the production team at the Pinacate included the majestic dunes, the Elegante maar crater, Cerro Colorado, paths at the Shuck Toak Visitors Center and “El Porvenir” Ranch in Caborca.
Documentarian Cristian Dimitrius has filmed fauna and flora across the global. During his time in the region, he remarked visiting the desert of Sonora has been one of the best camping experiences of his lifetime.
The production, which is expected to air at the end of the year, has included involvement of various private companies from Hermosillo, Caborca, and Puerto Peñasco, along with support of State and municipal authorities.
Puerto Peñasco (aka Rocky Point) is working on obtaining a second clean beach certification, which would position it as having the longest stretch of certified recreational coastline in Mexico!
A beach span of 2,229 meters along the coast at Islas del Mar is currently under audit on its way to achieving sustainable clean beach recognition. Sustainable Clean Beach accreditation is granted by the Mexican Regulation and Certification Institute.
The audit and evaluation process includes review of different standards, from the quality of water through monitoring and laboratory tests, the application of comprehensive cleaning and environmental education programs, and the handling of beach and sea bottom residues.
The process also requires and oversees training of resort or development personnel that are part of caring for the beach front. In addition, it establishes bio-diversity and conservation programs for protected species, as well as infrastructure that provides life guard towers, security services, and visitor attention modules, among other measures.
Cesar Garcia, local director for the Federal Maritime Land Zone (ZOFEMAT), detailed this is a wonderful opportunity for Puerto Peñasco and Islas del Mar to expand upon the number of nationally certified clean beaches, given all of the accompanying guarantees and advantages. This would be especially great for Puerto Peñasco, as it provides a higher degree of trust among beach goers when they visit a clean and safe beach.
Currently, Puerto Peñasco has the only certified sustainable clean beach in Sonora, with 1,791 meters of certified coastline stretching from Playa Bonita Hotel all the way to Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort.
Puerto Peñasco also achieved its very first Blue Flag distinction for Manny’s Beach in the Mirador, encompassing 71 linear meters.
Beach tourism to Rocky Point bounced back this Semana Santa, with an average 75% occupancy rate, welcoming guests from other parts of Sonora, Baja California, Chihuahua, Arizona, Texas, and California.
The city’s “Safe Point” for hotels, resorts, and restaurants, which has been in place since last year, helped ensure establishments continued to operate under international health and hygiene protocols. These measures remain in place and were strengthened over Easter Break, which brought in 29 million pesos of economic revenue to the area.
Héctor Vázquez del Mercado, president of the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau, detailed the positive influx of visitors as well as compliance with Covid-19 health protocols at a majority of establishments across the city.
Nevertheless, he urged tourism and other businesses to commit to adhering to ongoing health measures, while following protocols to prevent Covid-19 outbreaks, to avoid any city or beach closures.
Similarly, he called on those with plans to visit Rocky Point to not let their guard down, and to practice responsible tourism, while following basic steps such as the use of masks, social distancing, and avoiding crowds.
Vázquez del Mercado emphasized four weeks after “Spring Break” they have not seen data concerning any considerable increase in Covid cases in the city, even though more than 20,000 people visited the area at that time.
In this sense, and with the goal of remaining a safe destination to visit, both the tourism sector and visitors are called on to practice caution in caring for their health this Summer.
With this in mind, everyone is invited to enjoy all the low health risk outdoor land, sea, and air activities that Rocky Point has in store!
The health of visitors, as well as that of its residents, continues to be Puerto Peñasco’s priority. This is why all health, hygiene, and security protocols in hotels, resorts, establishments, and beaches will remain in effect during the Holy Week holiday period.
Welcoming national and foreign tourists during this vacation period has always been a worthy task. This implies tremendous responsibility for the tourism and commercial sectors of the city, all of whom have reinforced sanitizing measures for entering hotels or resorts, as well as at all beach access points.
Puerto Peñasco has been leading the way in safety protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 throughout 2020 and into 2021. This has translated into it becoming a safe destination. This Holy Week and Easter vacation period will not be the exception, especially with the hotel sector coordinating with municipal authorities to detail new ways to ensure even better care of our visitors and residents.
One of the strategies proposed is for hotels and restaurants to offer incentives for responsible tourism, or rather to individuals that can show a negative COVID-19 test (done within 72 hours of entering city), or proof of having received the Covid vaccine.
Hector Vázquez del Mercado, president of the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau, explained that far from closing off beaches or the city during this vacation period, they are betting on responsible tourism that is venturing out as they are in good health. In addition, all will be welcomed with the city’s health and hygiene protocols in place.
“Health is the most important thing for us,” explained Vázquez del Mercado, “We will be making sure all protocols are in place, not only for employees but for everyone who comes to visit. We will also be encouraging those wanting to travel to do so if they are in good health, and preferably with test results.”
Here are some of the safety measures and protocols in place for Easter break (aka Semana Santa or Holy Week).
Hotels and Resorts will be applying the same international protocols they have been enforcing for the past year, such as: social distancing, use of facemasks in specific areas, set schedules for beach and pool areas to prevent large crowds, and extreme internal cleaning protocols.
Security and monitoring will be maintained in beach front areas of hotels and resorts to prevent massive crowds.
Sanitizing tunnel in place for access to public beaches, which includes application of hand gel and enforcement of mandatory facemasks
No musical groups will be allowed on any public area or in the Malecon.
City wide curfew will be in place from 12 am to 6 am, Monday through Thursday, and from 1 am to 6 am Friday to Sunday.
This is the longest coastline in Mexico to maintain Clean Beach distinction
The Mexican Standards and Certification Institute has once again granted Level II certification to Sandy Beach in Rocky Point. The certified clean beach extends 1700 meters, stretching from Hotel Playa Bonita to Phase III of Las Palomas Resort, encompassing Playa Bonita RV Park, Sonoran Sky, Puerta Privada, and Las Palomas Phases I and II.
This strip of beach first achieved certification as a Clean and Sustainable Beach in 2017, maintaining its value to date upon having complied with several criteria. These criteria include water quality, clean-up services, monitoring of species, biodiversity studies and solid waste management, among other aspects that directly involved hotels and resorts located along this stretch.
This distinction guarantees local and visiting beach goers that this beach is safe and clean due to all the clean-up work, care, and preservation programs undertaken in this very popular area.
“This confirms and guarantees both for local beach goers and tourists that Sandy Beach is a safe, clean, and inclusive beach,” detailed Cesar Garcia of the Federal Maritime Land Zone in Puerto Peñasco, “with excellent sea water quality, a permanent environmental education campaign, and monitoring and environmental care programs to make it worthy of maintaining a Level 2 certification for a fourth consecutive year.”
For tourist resorts, this certification, which at one point was a challenge, has become a source of pride as it encompasses ongoing clean-up work, access spots, infrastructure, and other actions that encourage an environmental culture. This has become part of the daily routine and habits among hotel establishments, indicated Héctor Vázquez del Mercado, Director of Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort.
“It has become a way of doing things, it is part of our daily activities; we no longer see it as work. Hopefully, more resorts along the beach will be inspired and begin to instill an environmental culture, as this will not only attract more tourism rather we will create cultural awareness about the environment and our main activity as a destination, which is our beautiful Sea of Cortez,” detailed Vázquez del Mercado.
Rocky Point welcomes visitors with open doors, and health protocols in place to make sure we all care for each other. Not to worry, to reduce the feeling of confinement, we’ve got plenty of outdoor activities for you to enjoy!
Just being in front of the sea, while soaking up the sun and sea breeze, is enough to wipe away daily routines and bask in your vacation by taking advantage of all the low-risk outdoor activities during this ongoing pandemic.
Rocky Point offers a variety of spots to visit. One option for adventurers and those who love nature is camping in certain areas. You can relax with friends or family under the serene night sky, away from the city’s hustle and bustle. Take advantage of our location and plan a road trip along the Safety Corridor. Gather up your camping gear as adventure awaits!
You may choose to stay in a tent at the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve where you can hike along specific routes, such as those at the Schuk Toak museum, or take in the variety of majestic craters. By night, take a front row to observe the spectacular constellations and millions of stars!
If an RV rather than a tent is more your style, there are several RV parks across the city to ensure a pleasant and fun-filled stay. Some of these are beach front, allowing the sound of the waves and seagulls to be the first thing you hear each morning. This option will provide you a connection to nature along with proximity to the port. You’ll be just minutes away from restaurants, bars, and of course the Malecon.
To top-off your trip, you can venture out with local experts to the highest dunes to experience the extreme thrill of sandboarding. Or how about hopping over to the zipline located on the road to Cholla Bay? This is an experience you surely won’t forget, as from up high you can see how the desert merges with the sea. You’ll take home treasured memories of the surrounding landscape.
You can also bring your own bike if you wish. Ask about the best mountain biking trails, as well as for already established cycling groups. Or, take advantage of biking around town to explore quaint spots, discover new restaurants, and of course stop for souvenirs.
The best land, air, and sea activities are in Rocky Point! Come and feel nature, come and feel Rocky Point!
In recognizing women’s perspectives in developing strategies, agreements, and decision making for tourism promotion, the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCV) is made up primarily of women.
The operational team of the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau is fittingly composed of Director Lizeth Ibarra, Marketing and Social Media Manager Sara Lilia Cárdenas Franco, and Dannahi Barrios as Office and Promotional Assistant. This makes up the strength that has stood out on a state level, given the continual campaign strategies undertaken to promote and position Puerto Peñasco as the best tourism destination in the northwestern part of the country.
It’s not simply fortuitous the OCV team is made up principally of women. In developing strategies and decision making processes, women’s perspectives are as important as their male counterparts, deems OCV President Héctor Vázquez del Mercado. The OCV President assures he is convinced that women’s perspectives must always be heard, valued, and applied in all areas.
“I am convinced women’s perspectives are always more interesting, and their opinions must be heard and applied in order to achieve balance,” describes Vázquez del Mercado.
Along with planning promotional strategies, representing Puerto Peñasco at exhibits, shows, and tourism fairs, “Las Ocevecitas”, as they are affectionately called within the local tourism field given their particular way of operating, participate in the decision making process of the Advisory Board and have revamped new ways of promoting Puerto Peñasco during the pandemic. This has included participating directly in strategies to enforce health and hygiene protocols within the hotel and service sectors, as well as working the front-line when the city reopened to tourism.
The Puerto Peñasco OCV team, and results of their work, exemplifies the importance of inclusion of women and their perspectives, as well as empowerment in achieving balance and important decision making.
“60% of the country’s work force in the tourism industry is made up of women”
Dozens of tourists traveling from Nevada, California, Arizona, and other spots across the United States, recently made their way by land in RVs to enjoy the attractions and climate of Puerto Peñasco. Approximately 21 RVs arrived in town on March 2nd, 2021, just prior to Spring.
These visitors, who set up in RV or Trailer parks for up to a week or so, have an itinerary in place and guided tours planned out that allow them to explore some of Puerto Peñasco’s most emblematic spots. They also get to enjoy boat cruises, spectacular sunsets, fishing trips, and golf outings, among other areas to explore.
The majority of RV travelers are older adults who, in addition to getting to visit new spots in small groups, can also explore during their free time or simply enjoy their stay in front of the immense Sea of Cortez while basking in the great weather.
In Rocky Point, companies such as Peñasco Recreation lead special tours for those traveling in RV caravans. Each adventure includes an itinerary designed specifically so RVers can enjoy each and every day of their stay, and above all feel comfortable within a Safe Point such as Rocky Point. The city itself has been praised for its timely compliance with social distancing protocols, as well as health and safety measures required during Covid-19.
If you’d like more information about these tours so you can become more familiar with some of the best sites in Rocky Point, visit the link: RV Parks
A large offering of hotels that meet international health and safety protocols are eager to welcome 2021 Spring Break and Easter vacationers
The certainty that visitors to Rocky Point will be met with necessary health and safety measures, along with appropriate social distancing, has distinguished this spot as a Safe Point. This port continues to be the best vacation destination in northwestern Mexico for Spring Break and Easter visitors.
After a trying year full of readjustments and restructuring of strict protocols among hotels, as well as tourism and services providers, all are eager to invite you to visit this corner of the Sea of Cortez and enjoy the many activities to be found this season.
Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau President, Héctor Vázquez del Mercado, confirmed there’s certainly a better forecast for tourism this year! This will undoubtedly attract tourism that is very conscientious in implementing protocols to care for both themselves and local residents.
“We see an encouraging landscape; there are always opportunities in any crisis as these force you to become more cautious,” remarked the OCV President, “We are more than ready to welcome tourists and the majority of establishments are complying with strict protocols.”
In addition to the security, comfort, and fun to be had at hotels, resorts, and villas in Rocky Point, there are endless activities to discover whether by land or sea. This is particularly true for outdoor activities and ecotourism, which are a rising trend during this time of social distancing.
In this family-friendly destination, you can enjoy the excellent weather, our beaches, and of course aquatic activities. By land, catch thrills with ATV rides over the dunes, or visit spots such as the Pinacate Shuck Toak Visitors Center, the oyster farms, or take in a sunset from a perch on the malecon.
As a responsible tourism site, the majority of hotels are providing 5% discounts to guests who can provide proof of a negative Covid test (done up to 72 hours prior to arrival).
If you’re ready to vacation, Rocky Point is more than ready to welcome you!
Rocky Point has had a spotlight shining on it with an upsurge in the realm of food and beverage. This has included important culinary events, the opening of new restaurants, mixology, and the already very popular pairing dinners.
After a suspension of many culinary activities in Rocky Point in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, this year pairing dinners are making a triumphant return.
On this occasion, Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort magnificently debuted what has become fashionable in Rocky Point – pairing dinners. The dynamics of chef, sommelier, and mixologist were the resounding success behind the recent dinner.
Chef Francisco Torres of “Citron” at Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort hosted an intimate group of diners, who took part in the excellent 5 course pairing. Emiliana boutique wines from the Guadalupe Valley in Baja California was the perfect match.
The unique dinner began with a rosé named BlaBla, a mixture of two varieties of 3 grapes, which was the star of the night. The smooth and easy to drink wine was served alongside a delicious Takati tuna marinated in ponzu, with Dijon mustard and honey vinaigrette
The second course, consisting of Chione clams in white wine with mushrooms and bacon, accompanied with a fruity white Chardonnay, made an ideal pair for the evening.
A rich Nebbiolo was of course on hand, at 13.5% alcohol, to mark the midpoint of the exquisite dinner. What quickly became the favorite of many, the “Syrah” paired splendidly with an escolar fish with orange vinaigrette, chives, and beef machaca. You can’t imagine how magnificent this pairing was!
Red wine made an appearance again for the fourth course, though on this occasion as the “Primo Nebbiolo”, served alongside an exquisite octopus in grilled chile adobo garnished with potato cubes, peas, and asparagus confit. Simply delicious!
To top off the evening, a Carbernet Sauvignon was paired with an intense and delicious rib-eye, to the surprise and delight of all.
The inauguration of pairing dinners at Citron of Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort definitely is the beginning of many wonderful experiences to come. For wine lovers, this is great news when combining the best with the best.
Hitting pause on the daily routine to recharge one’s energy is something that should be on everyone’s self-care list. If there’s a “must do” way of recharging, that’s getting close to nature!
The privilege of standing in front of the immense sea, feeling the sand between your toes, and taking in the wonderful sunsets as cool breezes caress your face, are just some of the tiny luxuries that will help you experience Rocky Point to the fullest.
As Spring nears, so does vacation season! We recommend you plan a break to our beaches and take advantage of all our city has to offer. You’ll find plenty to do in Rocky Point!
Start off by choosing a hotel or resort, wherever you feel most comfortable, while making sure you get the best customer service and that all COVID-19 safety measures are being followed. You can review our list of certified properties at the “Where to stay page”.
From this list you can select from a single hotel room to a complete rental home, and even a spot at a spacious resort. Or, if you prefer, why not plan a camping trip? In Rocky Point the choices are endless for all tastes, preferences, and budgets, whether visiting with your partner, family, group of friend, or even by yourself!
What’s there to do in Rocky Point this Spring?
Our little paradise offers endless activities to explore! From fun in the air to thrills at sea, adventure across the dunes of the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve to traditional popular sites in town, welcoming hotels to fine dining, it all depends on your personal preference.
If you are traveling with friends, there are some “must dos”, such as visiting the open air bars in the Malecon, booking a sunset cruise, renting ATV’s and hitting the dunes, a trip to the oyster farms, sandboarding, ziplining, or even flying over the beach on an Ultralight!
If traveling with the entire family, you can hit the outdoors and plan a weekend of building sandcastles or flying kites on the beach. Go whale watching, visit the Shuck Toak museum, take a stroll down “Rodeo Drive”, or savor in the culinary offerings in our port and treat yourself to a rich dessert.
Rocky Point continues to offer more and more activities and services to ensure you have a great stay! Though times are different, taking a moment for vacation shouldn’t be risky. Just design a plan and look for the safest and most thrilling forms of fun for you, your family, and friends.
Let yourself really feel Rocky Point. Disconnect from routine. Recharge your energy along our beaches and make unforgettable vacation memories. You don’t need much, just imagine, inquire, plan, and book now. Rocky Point awaits!
Planning a trip to Rocky Point conjures up the beach, sea, sand, and all the fun to be had in the water! Along with the tremendous biodiversity of sea life, you’ll find plenty of options to ensure a deluxe vacation in this heavenly corner of the Sea of Cortez.
We’d like to share some of the top aquatic activities you’ll come across in Rocky Point. Any of these adventures will transform your day into an unequaled experience, which only our port’s nature can offer.
Let’s start with boat tours so you can cruise and possibly come across giant whales or playful dolphins. You can also sail out to Isla San Jorge, popularly known as Bird Island, for a close encounter with one of the largest populations of sea lions in Mexico, along with migratory birds. Or, perhaps take advantage of an evening cruise to relish a spectacular sunset.
For those who like to feel the sea up close, there are banana boats or jetskis, services which can be found along public beaches or near area resorts. Whether solo, tandem, or in a group, we recommend you look for these rides from beaches offering guaranteed service and care. They’ll be sure to fit you with a life jacket and help you up on the jetski or banana so you can enjoy the adrenaline that only the combination of sea and speed can provide.
If you’re more into calm, taking in the ebb and flow of the tides at your own rhythm, then maybe kayaks or paddleboards are more up your alley. Enjoy a leisurely float across the water, alone or with a partner, guided by your paddles. Just check for services offered at several resorts, and in town. Some may also have water-bikes available so you can get your exercise in as you skirt across the sea.
Are you into adrenaline and exploring the depths? In Rocky Point you’ll find companies that offer both snorkeling and scuba diving, along with highly trained staff. If you’re already an expert, you’re sure to be familiar with safety protocols. Yet, if you’re interested in learning, classes are also available.
Want to go fishing? Rocky Point is outstanding as there are various companies dedicated to organizing trips for fishing aficionados. Organized for small groups, these fishing trips offer the chance to test your skills to reel in one of the many species found in the Sea of Cortez. If you’re lucky enough for a big catch, the boat crew can help prepare it and cook it right there or you can take it home to share with others.
In addition to all these options in our sea port, which is continually making strides to strengthen inclusion, certain beaches now offer special amphibious wheelchairs to provide safe access to the sea for all. Plus, one of the prestigious resorts in town has special pathways to facilitate additional accessibility to the sea for those in wheelchairs. This same resort also has a special chair to assist pool entry for people with disabilities.
There’s unlimited fun to be found on Rocky Point’s beaches! You’ll be catered to by trained staff and tour operators that have been certified by experts of the Ministry of Tourism and specialized instructors.
Come and feel the adrenaline of the sea! Come and feel Rocky Point!
Witnessing the surfacing and acrobatics of these giants of the sea is an exciting energetic experience! This gift from nature and the Sea of Cortez can be shared by all who have the opportunity to visit Rocky Point during winter, which is precisely when whales visit our warmer coasts.
These magnificent marine species, the largest on the planet, make their way to our shores in search of warm waters to bear their calves, mate, and to feed on the abundance provided by the Gulf of California.
Whale sightings are such a unique and unforgettable experience, that each year tourists make a special trip to Rocky Point just for the chance to come across one of these magnificent species. The whales in turn seem to show off at times with their dives and breaching.
Thanks to this wonder of nature, spotted over consecutive years in Rocky Point, we are the only spot in Sonora authorized by the federal SEMARNAT (Ministry of the Environment and Natural resources) for whale watching activities. This has made it mandatory for all tourist boats to undergo training and certification to ensure the protection and care of the whales. Or rather, in addition to being an amazing natural spectacle, this is a conscientious, controlled, and regulated activity.
Fin whales, currently one of the largest marine species on the planet, are among those most commonly seen in this corner of the Sea of Cortez. Humpback and grey whales also frequently make an appearance, all of which make their way to our waters after departing the Alaskan coasts.
Seize the opportunity to hop aboard a whale watching excursion! The experience is filled with adrenaline as you await a sighting of the majestic creatures, which can appear from any side of the boat. So, be sure to keep your camera or cell-phone ready to capture the moment!
Whales can be spotted from a distance when they first surface and let out a huge burst of air. This allows boats to gauge what direction to head, while approaching from a safe distance and eventually turning off their engines as they near.
The moment when a whale, and sometimes its offspring, is spotted is so moving that no one can help but express their joy through shouts and a variety of exclamations! While some prefer to try and capture the moment with their cameras, others would rather not miss a single detail by taking it all in with their own eyes.
Whale watching season in Rocky Point is from January to April, with cruises going out daily in search of a “close encounter”, while adhering to safety and sanitary protocols.
Don’t miss out on this unique experience! Be sure to reserve a spot on one of the many special tours, offering prices for both children and adults.
If you are interested in getting more information, don’t hesitate in contacting our CERTIFIED TOUR OPERATORS
“SAFE POINT” is Puerto Peñasco’s guarantee that you will always find a healthy & safe place to stay.
As the main developing tourist destination in Northwestern Mexico, far from dropping its guard, Puerto Peñasco acted quickly in response to these complicated times caused by the global pandemic. This helped ensure the entire tourism sector could continue working under strict health and safety guidelines, and guarantees you are able to travel and relax in a safe destination, a SAFE POINT.
What does this mean?
This means that for Puerto Peñasco to reopen to visitors, hotels, restaurants, and other tourism service providers made a strong commitment to meet the needs and conditions of those vacationing here. This helped minimize any risk of Covid-19 spread among them, their employees, and the community.
This translated into extraordinary efforts from all hotel, motel, resort, and restaurant personnel, who prepared accordingly to obtain “SAFE POINT” certification.
Certification means that businesses had to establish strict cleaning protocols, including: cleaning and disinfecting of rooms and pools, and any surface with frequent human contact, social distancing measures within their facilities, reminders as to ongoing use of antibacterial gel, politely reminding guests to wear face masks, use of thermal cameras, and even taking the temperature of every employee and visitor.
Living during times of a pandemic does not mean moving around carelessly, but rather implies we need to be responsible in caring for our health and that of our families, and exercising the utmost caution in where we visit. Here in Puerto Peñasco, we make sure to comply with everything you need to feel safe.
Our tourist destination is a privileged spot for activities such as camping, ATVs, jet-skiing, sports fishing, zip lining, and ecotourism, just to mention a few of the outdoor activities you can take in without being in a crowd.
Another point in our favor is the “Safety Corridor”, allowing you to take advantage of this road-trip destination, as you can easily get here in just a few hours from the comfort of your own car.
Established in March 2018, the “Safety Corridor” covers the highway from the border at Lukeville, Arizona, all the way to Puerto Peñasco, ensuring that travelers enjoy a safe trip. Telephones along the route can be used for assistance in case of emergency, and highway signage provides information as to places to visit and activities to enjoy during your stay in Puerto Peñasco.
Being a “SAFE POINT” destination means adapting to the needs of the current pandemic. 2021 will see ongoing implementation of strict health and safety measures, as well as restricted hours on general movement, both across the city as well as area beaches. Get to know all of the city’s protocols and view the list of places that have obtained their “Safe Point” certification HERE
Just as tourism spots across the state, country, and the world, the global coronavirus pandemic took its toll on Puerto Peñasco in 2020 with beach closures, restricted hours and limits on travel at the border, and limited visits to popular sites.
Nevertheless, the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau, in conjunction with local and state levels of government, the Hotel & Motel Association, and many others from the tourism industry, developed serious strategies with priority placed on the health and well-being of visitors and residents alike.
This tourism center, which welcomes over 40% of visitors to Sonora and has positioned itself as the most important vacation destination in the northwestern part of the country, was closed down to tourism for over three months in a stringent measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
According to data of the Sonora Secretary of Health, to date there have been just over 400 officially reported cases of coronavirus in Puerto Peñasco since March 2020.
Puerto Peñasco generally attracts over 2.5 million tourists a year. The premise of closing the town last Spring was, in as much as possible, to prevent the pandemic from impacting residents and visitors to Puerto Peñasco.
Once tourism activities resumed as we headed into Summer, SAFE POINT protocols were put in place. This consisted in making sure hotels, resorts, rental homes, and restaurants followed rigorous health measures and complied with certain requirements to obtain Safe Point certification. Puerto Peñasco was the pioneer in implementing this strategy, further guaranteeing visitors a safe and healthy stay.
As the town welcomed back tourism, a second safety measure was a health filter set up at the entrance to the city to check that incoming tourists had an existing reservation at one of the Safe Point certified locations. Still, beaches remained closed for another three months until a national decree allowed for them to reopen.
In 2021, the tourism proposal for Puerto Peñasco is to keep Safe Point protocols in place, as well as reduced hours for general movement about town of residents and visitors. Yet, above all, focus remains on emphasizing care, prevention, and responsibility among everyone as to the use of masks, constant hand-washing, taking of temperatures, and social distancing.
With this in mind, the 2021 “Feeling Rocky Point” campaign of the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau focuses mainly on promoting the safety offered in this tourism spot, along with all health protocols. Focus is primarily on promoting outdoor activities and being in touch with nature, which provides reduced risk of infection and is something the entire family can enjoy!
Plus, the Safety Corridor from Lukeville, AZ to Puerto Peñasco remains in place. This consists of safety measures for travelers, as well as emergency assistance numbers.
Optimistically, Puerto Peñasco anticipates 15% growth in both international and national tourism over 2020. The city welcomes visitors with the guarantee of offering safe spots where all can enjoy a healthy and pleasant stay.
The production team of “Orgullo Sonorense” (Sonoran Pride), which airs on Telemex every Saturday at noon and Thursdays at 7 p.m., recently paid a visit to Rocky Point. Through interviews and on-site visits during their stay, the production team documented various trades and individuals that enhance the identity and roots of this port city.
In addition, as the goal of the program is to highlight Sonoran pride, and in this case Puerto Peñasco, special acknowledgments were presented to several civil groups who rose up at the beginning of the pandemic to provide food and basic supplies to vulnerable families, or those left without a job.
Alejandro Corrales Félix, host of “Orgullo Sonorense”, presented the acknowledgments to representatives from several associations chosen as a source of local pride for their work, many of whom continue to provide support to those in need.
“We present these recognitions to those who have made an impact, and hopefully these (actions) can be replicated within Sonoran society. We ask for leadership, and generally tend to highlight an individual; however, this case was different as several groups were recognized for what they did for Puerto Peñasco. In no other area did we see people from different walks of life and sectors doing this; it’s the most supportive and loving act we’ve seen,” explained the host.
Among those who received recognition were people who lead groups providing hot meals, food baskets, and water, including: Peñasco Unido, Puros Compas, AIM Peñasco, Peñasco strong, Todos somos Peñasco, Peñasco nos Necesita, Families Helping Families, Chef Engelbert Rios and Juan Lucero, and the Puerto Peñasco Rotary Club (CR Mar de Peñasco).
Additional recognitions were presented to Sara Lilia Cárdenas Franco and Karen Tanori for their support as local co-hosts for the program, particularly for their valuable knowledge about the city as well as in livening up interviews.
The “Orgullo Sonorense” program aims to promote and highlight cultural values, local products, and everything that brings a sense of pride and joy to local residents. Those interviewed during the show’s recent visit to Puerto Peñasco included Lizette Ibarra, Director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, women from a local oyster cooperative, “la Guerrera Pápaga” of the Tohono O’odham community, seafood producers, chefs cooking with regional products and fresh seafood from the Sea of Cortez, as well as dune exploration guides, local artists, and artisans, among others.
Program host Alejandro Corrales stated he was surprised at the confluence of cultures and people living in Puerto Peñasco, which made it a challenge to pinpoint just one source of pride in the port.
“Peñasco is a mix of Baja California, Arizona, and Sonora; we can’t pinpoint just one source of pride locally, which could be fishing, the hotel sector, its people,” he reflected.
One thing that certainly drew a lot of attention while working on documenting the area, added Corrales, was how people use products from the land and the Sea of Cortez to delight the palates of all who visit Puerto Peñasco. In addition to sowing the land, here people also plant seeds at sea.
Winter is almost here, with its warm days and chilly nights, that can be advantageous for many activities around the city or on the beach.
Thinking the sand and beach are only for summer visits would be a mistake, as there are several activities you can do during the winter season. There are even air, land, and sea activities that are best done when it’s a little bit cooler!
We would like to share some of the things you can do, and places you can visit, during the season so you can enjoy all that Puerto Peñasco has to offer during this pleasant weather.
Sand Boarding down the sand dunes
Our tourist destination situated in the middle of the desert is surrounded by spectacular dunes! You can glide down many of these, especially when the weather is cool, while getting the adrenaline rush this extreme sport offers. Check out the experts, such as the Puerto Peñasco Sandboarding crew, who rent out boards and can instruct you on proper use.
Enjoy the sea on a boat ride
Boat rides are your direct ticket to enjoying the Sea of Cortez, its sunsets, and bright sunrises. What’s even better is this can be done at any time of the year! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to board a tourist boat and enjoy an unforgettable morning or afternoon. Just don’t forget to take a good jacket and a camera. You never know what the sea has in store for you.
Visit the Shuck Toak museum
If you prefer a more relaxed family activity, but not less interesting, you can always plan a trip out to the Schuk Toak Museum & Visitors Center located just 24 kilometers north of Puerto Peñasco, on the Peñasco-Sonoyta highway. There you will encounter an impressive museum with interactive screens and interpretive trails. The main building, which is completely solar powered, is built in the middle of the desert atop a large fossilized lava flow.
ATVs and RZRs
Experiment the adrenaline of riding over the dunes on ATVs or RZRs. There are many places where you can easily rent these vehicles hourly, which can be used on sandy roads, dunes, and even some parts of the city. This is guaranteed fun at any time of the year! You can ride alone or with someone else, just remember to always wear a helmet!
Visit the oyster farms
Take advantage of the great weather to get away from the city to enjoy some delicious freshly sea harvested oysters, while taking in the amazing view of the estuaries and dunes. One of the popular oyster farms is “El Barco” (The Boat), serving the freshest seafood and of course their main dish: the oyster. And remember, all you need to go on your oyster is a little bit of lime and hot sauce.
Take a whale watching tour
Getting to see these giants of the Sea of Cortez is one of the most beautiful shows of nature this weather gives us. Whale watching season is from January through April, which is when whales coming from the Arctic visit our sea in search of warmer waters to mate or to give birth. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity of getting to see them with your own eyes, and the chance to capture the experience forever in a picture or video. Ask for more information about the different tourist boats offering seasonal whale watching trips.
Pamper yourself at a Spa
Why not take advantage of your stay in Peñasco and give yourself a little “me” time? When visiting a spa, you will be pampered with a relaxing massage done with essential oils and soft music in the background. Plus, if the day is sunny, you can even ask to receive your massage along some areas of the beach in the open air.
Take a ride down the Zip line
This extreme sport is for the brave who actually enjoy heights. This is fun from the get go as you are taken up Cholla Bay’s “Competition Hill” on an all-terrain vehicle until you reach the first platform. This particular zip line is one of the longest in Sonora, with 5 lines that allow you to take in the majestic scenery. The sea, rocks, and sand come together to frame a fantastic view of the city in the background. The zip line is located on the road to Cholla Bay, in the Sandy Beach area.
What better activity to enjoy these cool mornings than going for a bike ride? Picture yourself pedaling your way around while getting to know the city, or even some specific routes found around nearby mountains or stretches with little traffic. Be sure to use your protective gear.
Go camping so you can catch a meteor shower
Camping is fun for the whole family and great at breaking up routine. Plus, winter is a great time of year to go camping close to Puerto Peñasco. Ask at the Schuk Toak museum about any permitted days, as well as about upcoming meteor showers so you can organize a night outing and witness this amazing spectacle well away from the city lights.
Fly over the desert and the Sea of Cortez on an Ultralight
For those who love heights, this winter you can enjoy flying over the beach area or dunes on an Ultralight. You can find this service at the end of Sandy Beach, where an expert pilot will accompany you as you take in the best view of Puerto Peñasco.
If what you’re after is peace and quiet and enjoying what nature has to offer, all you need is to take a walk down the beach or along dune trails. Venture out on your own, or with a friend, or even your beloved pet. Early morning walks along the beach, with the sound of waves softly breaking and birds chirping, will surely recharge you with vitality. If you prefer taking dune trails, these will lead you toward spectacular landscapes.
Play golf at one of our 3 magnificent courses
Puerto Peñasco has three golf courses that are true treasures for golfers. Our courses, two of which are Jack Nicklaus signature courses, have received national and international recognition. You really don’t want to miss out on the amazing scenery as you enjoy a round with your friends on a course cutting right through the Desert of Altar. Plus, playing on one of our greens will allow you to say you have played on one of the top 20 best courses in the world.
Enjoy the outdoor experience at “El Rancho de los Pavorreales” or Peacock Ranch
This weather is great for spending a day on one of the ranch’s hammocks, having a traditional cup of coffee, or enjoying one of the restaurant’s delicious regional dishes. Interacting with animals at the ranch, going horseback riding, feeding the rabbits and birds, and being impressed by the stunning peacocks are just some of the activities you can enjoy during your visit.
Visit La Salina
La Salina is located 97 kilometers up the Coastal highway between Puerto Peñasco and El Golfo. With the wetlands of Adair Bay on one side and sand banks on the other, just to the south is the highest point of the Gulf of California. This land is also considered sacred by the Tohono O’odham Nation, who have traced “La Ruta de la Sal” (the salt route), an ancestral custom of walking across the area in what they called the salt walk.
Experience one of CEDO’s tours
The Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans offers tours through natural areas we should all experience. Their guided tours to Bird Island, the Morua estuary, and walks through the dunes and tide pools will leave you with unforgettable memories.
Enjoy the high seas with a day of fishing
An interesting activity to explore is fishing, which is indeed what gave origin to Puerto Peñasco‘s first settlement. In this case, sports fishing is a more comfortable and pleasurable way of fishing.
So, don’t forget to bring a warm coat, blankets, camera, and lots of energy so you can explore and have fun with all the winter activities across Puerto Peñasco! Remember to always care for your health and that of your loved ones.
Dozens of olive ridley sea turtles arrive along Puerto Peñasco’s warm beaches yearly to nest and lay their eggs before returning to sea.
The olive ridley turtles perform somewhat of a ritual, as the story describes that turtles return to where they were born to lay their eggs. Whether or not this is true, the fact that sea turtles make their nests along Puerto Peñasco’s beaches is a sign of hope for the species, particularly as it is at risk of extinction.
From September to October this year, at least 350 sea turtle eggs were placed into incubation. The eggs had been deposited in nests by four olive ridley turtles, three along Sandy Beach and another in Playa Encanto. The eggs were then carefully removed and taken to a safeguarded area at Mayan Palace, under the care of biologist Itzel Cárdenas.
Hatching generally occurs 46 days later. The baby turtles born successfully are then transported in styrofoam chests to the beach where their mother first made her nest. They are released into the sea from the original nesting spot.
This amazing natural sight can be experienced only along a few coastlines, such as in Puerto Peñasco. It is a wonder to see how the small sea turtles, guided by the sun, make their way through the sand to then submerge into their watery habitat.
Turtle nest sightings in Puerto Peñasco have only been registered during the past four years. Fortunately, in most cases, those who spot a sea turtle emerging onto the beach have reported the event to help ensure the turtle is protected and the eggs then removed to incubation. Placing the eggs in incubation prevents further risk due to severe weather, flooding from tides, or pedestrian traffic near the nests.
Have you ever thought of stepping out of convention to hold a destination wedding? If you don’t already know, Puerto Peñasco (aka Rocky Point) has become a premiere dream wedding destination for couples from across northwestern Mexico as well as the southwestern part of the U.S.
Saying “I do” is one of the most important steps of your life. Lifelong decisions begin from that moment on. If you’re not sure how to plan for that special day, don’t worry, we’ve got top spots and wedding planners to help you make your wedding one of the most amazing experiences of your life!
One of the options most recommended by our event planners is to hold your gathering at one of the outstanding resorts in Rocky Point. All of these venues provide spectacular views of the Sea of Cortez, and their imposing structures showcase the contrast, providing a frame for wonderful wedding photos. In addition, some of these resorts provide the option of holding your event outdoors in addition to ballrooms. A plus to choosing a resort is the comfort for your guests in having the event right where they’ll be staying. This way you can toast the night away without a care in the world.
Rocky Point is also home to prestigious internationally renowned golf courses, some of which have opened their amenities to ceremonies or receptions. The combination of the beach and lakes, greens and the desert, will surely make your event unique. Your guests will be fascinated!
This port also offers several event options across the city. One of these, which is known for its spaciousness and variety of decor options is the Convention Center. This is an excellent choice, and a blank slate that lets you play around in a thousand ways. This venue is recommended for events with a large number of guests.
Among the most popular spots, which has launched Rocky Point both nationally and internationally in the realm of romance, is of course the beach! Our beaches showcase stunning sunsets and are always the perfect spot for weddings, from the simplest to the most elegant. The possibilities are endless! The sea breeze, lull of the waves, an inspirational sun, and even the ice cream vendor will bear witness to your special day.
If you’d like to hold your wedding on the beach, yet from the comfort of a private sea side home, Las Conchas is the ideal pick! This beach is more secluded, due to the tides, and offers an extensive option of homes to choose from for your exclusive event. You and your guests will feel right at home.
Are you a traditional bride? For Catholic ceremonies, the beautiful Sagrado Corazón de Jesús church is a wonderful recommendation. Known as the “Old Port church”, as it is located in the malecón, this is one of Rocky Point’s iconic churches, welcoming thousands of weddings over the decades. Its spectacular structure and temple, filled with antique decoration, will make you fall in love all over again.
One of the most exclusive beaches in Rocky Point is Playa Encanto. The area’s desert dunes will make you feel like you’re in the Sahara, yet with a spectacular view of the sea.
Couples are looking more and more for exotic and original locations. Such is the case for weddings in the desert, with the moon and stars adorning the evening along with soft lights that envelope the entire romantic bohemian setting. If this is the wedding you dream of, Rocky Point offers endless nooks to make your dream a reality.
Another spot that broadens romance options is the Schuk Toak Visitors Center and Museum. This is an ideal location for adventurous couples wishing to hold their ceremony with the backdrop of lava pathways, desert flora, and an incredible surrounding landscape. Many wedding planners dream about holding a ceremony at this spot. Would you dare to be the first bride to do so?
Finally, yet equally important, how about an intimate outdoor wedding with the dune pathway setting a spectacular stage? Located at the Schuk Toak Visitors Center museum at the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, this is an incredible spot that will certainly impress both you and your guests. We can’t think of a more incredible setting for a “boho” style wedding!
Desert, beaches, simplicity and luxury. You can find it all in Rocky Point!
Thanksgiving is one of the most important U.S. traditions, and one that continues to be adopted in Mexico. It is customary for friends and family to come together to give thanks over dinner for all they have received throughout the year.
Though we’re living through a complicated time for gatherings, 2020 is no exception in honoring Thanksgiving traditions. Whether at home or a resort, restaurant or even ordering in, it is still a time to share a special dinner with loved ones, as long as we all continue to follow necessary health measures.
As in other years, Puerto Peñasco continues to be a top choice for many as they plan Thanksgiving celebrations. Both traditional restaurants and relatively new ones in town have already designed special menus for Thanksgiving Day, which include the traditional turkey dinner with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. There are even several course meals planned to please all tastes and budgets.
This time of year provides cozy weather, perfect for moving your dinner out to the patio. If temperatures start to drop at night, you can always move back inside to share the special moment with friends and family.
Thanksgiving falls on November 26th this year. If you don’t yet have plans, a trip to Puerto Peñasco to enjoy all the holiday preparations is always an excellent option.
There’s an extensive list of restaurants, as well as buffet and catering services, that will be offering traditional turkey feasts. Here are a few options for you to consider. Reservations recommended.
We hope you have an unforgettable celebration! Happy Thanksgiving!
The season has come when sea turtles make their way to Puerto Peñasco’s shores to lay eggs before returning to sea. This provides a beautiful spectacle of nature for all who have the opportunity to witness it, as described by CEDO Executive Director Nélida Barajas who took part in a turtle rescue.
We’d like to share the story as to how our friends from the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (CEDO) not only perform research but also work tirelessly for and on behalf of animals from the sea and desert surrounding Puerto Peñasco.
“It was a cool October morning when we received the call from the local ZOFEMAT office (Federal Maritime Land Zone),” described Bajaras on the CEDO blog. “An Olive Ridley turtle was found at Playa Hermosa. She had gone out at night to lay her eggs and looked tired and had some wounds on her fins. This turtle was probably born here and came back so that her babies would also be from Rocky Point. She was so tired that she was unable to return to sea. Neighbors and visitors informed authorities, who initiated the rescue by calling CEDO Intercultural.”
Bajaras goes on, “We went to examine the turtle, who was exhausted and had minor injuries and who, undoubtedly, needed to rest in a protected place before returning to sea. The team moved her to our Agustin Cortés Building at the CEDO campus where she was kept for hours under observation before being released. CEDO’s team and our family accompanied the turtle back to the sea. It was an awesome experience for us and our children!”
Bajaras expressed gratitude to the CEDO Intercultural team for their passion and dedication, as well as to all who have contributed through donations to help support CEDO’s efforts, expressing “Your donations write our history!”
Those who participated in the recent turtle rescue and release included: Abelardo Castillo: Veterinary and Geographer, Associate Specialist at CEDO; Paloma Valdivia, biologist specializing in turtle physiology and ecology and currently CEDO Education and Communications Manager; Aldemaro García, Infrastructure Manager at CEDO and originally from Rocky Point; Humberto González Veliz, Marine Biologist, ZOFEMAT Supervisor; and children related to CEDO staff, Gala Solis, Joan Loreto Castillo, Luis Enrique Gaxiola, Marina Gaxiola, and Noah Solis.
Congratulations to the whole CEDO team on your honorable work, as well as to those who took part in the turtle rescue and release!
Puerto Peñasco is a safe destination for tourism. Most importantly is that residents and visitors continue adhering to current health protocols.
For decades Puerto Peñasco has been a choice vacation spot for tourists from across Mexico and abroad. Currently, the city continues to adjust to health protocols due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Beyond general protocols, the city also closed down for three months in early Spring in an extreme measure to prevent spread of the virus.
Still, the tourist destination regained its rhythm and little by little revived local movement and the economy. When it was appropriate, the city reopened its doors to visitors in a controlled manner and under a series of health protocols at area hotels, resorts, restaurants, and businesses. Not without reason the city was able to keep coronavirus cases low.
Far from closing its doors again, as a good host Puerto Peñasco is betting on responsible tourism and visitors who know how to care for themselves and for others while relaxing in a friendly and safe environment.
As a responsible city, residents and visitors will continue to follow international health protocols as well as necessary steps to ensure the good health of all.
Some of the new health measures currently implemented include:
Restaurants and bars must close by 10 p.m.
Use of masks is mandatory in all public spaces.
Restaurants, hotels, resorts, and businesses will step up monitoring efforts to ensure compliance with basic health and safety rules.
Altar and Catrina contests will indeed be part of traditional Day of the Dead celebrations in Puerto Peñasco this year, though with a limited public and broadcast live over social media.
With the goal of preserving Mexican traditions while also complying with health protocols, Day of the Dead altars will be set up at Casá Juarez this year. This will allow for controlled public access in limited numbers. The traditional Catrina and Catrin contest will be held without an audience though broadcast on social media so that people can watch from the comfort of their own homes.
City cemeteries will also be closed to the public on Nov. 1st and 2nd, to prevent large gatherings and health risks. Still, social media pages encourage the community to create altars for Day of the Dead in their own homes or patios.
It’s worth noting the altar and catrina contests held along the “Rodeo Drive” curios mall in recent years had positioned itself as a traditional event, drawing thousands of local residents and tourist to take part in our colorful customs, as well as delight in Mexican treats and artistic presentations
However, this year celebrations have been altered with the goal of ensuring people remain healthy and safe.
Day of the Dead Altar and Catrina Contest Program
Saturday, October 31st
Starting at 4 p.m. – Exhibition of participating altars – inside Casa Juárez and with controlled access
Altar dedicated to don Beto Molina at the Public Library, and traditional altar in the offices of the Tohono O’odham
6 p.m. Judges will evaluate participating altars (to be aired live from Facebook page of Gobierno de Puerto Peñasco)
8 p.m. Altar award ceremony (Casa Juárez)9 p.m. Catrina contest and awards at the Municipal Civic Auditorium, without an audience. To be broadcast on the Facebook page of Gobierno de Puerto Peñasco following the altar awards.
We’ve got great news for jazz lovers! Puerto Peñasco will be host to the 1st Desert Jazz Festival, to take place November 13th, featuring performances by four jazz groups. Read on for more details!
El Tapeo Wine Bar will be the setting for jazz performances by the Caro Quinteto and HMO Jazz Combo from Hermosillo, as well as Los Vatos Jazz and Levito Swing Trio of Puerto Peñasco. The gala evening will include interpretations of original pieces, jazz fusion, and classic covers to delight all in attendance.
This first Desert Jazz Festival aims mainly to rekindle the jazz culture in Puerto Peñasco, while introducing the genre to those who have yet to appreciate it.
Oscar Acosta, principal event organizer, explained the idea is to promote musical tourism given that Puerto Peñasco welcomes a wide range of tastes. In addition, this creates an event for local residents who enjoy jazz, and above all positions the festival as an international draw to attract new bands in coming years.
For safety and security concerns, in following health protocols during this time of Covid-19, there will be limited capacity and advance reservations are required. We encourage you to follow the event on social media so you don’t miss out on any important details.It’s worth recalling for over twenty years Puerto Peñasco was home to a jazz festival, bringing together the best of the genre from Northwestern Mexico and southwestern U.S.
Puerto Peñasco will be home to the tallest condominium towers in Sonora and northwestern Mexico, offering the most spectacular ocean and city views.
The Encántame Towers complex, consisting of the Velero, Verano, and Viento buildings, will provide 300 metropolis style luxury condominiums in front of the Sea of Cortez. At 25 stories, these will be the tallest buildings in Sonora! The resort will also feature rooftop swimming pools and jacuzzis, as well as a bowling alley, driving range, and pet friendly area, among numerous other amenities.
The Encántame Towers project, built along the shores of Playa Encanto, is considered to be an innovative model for the region. Developer Miguel Guevara Aznar explained, “It is a project the tourism to Puerto Peñasco deserves, with the first deliveries in mid 2021.”
“We want to do something spectacular and pave the way toward something grander in upcoming projects,” Guevara stressed, “We have the Arizona market, which is one of the fastest growing economies in the United States; the market allows undertaking important things. During the pandemic nobody wants to fly, but they do want to drive, and now people are coming from further away such as Texas and New Mexico.”
An important note on this complex is the first building has already been sold, as well as a large part of the second. This shows that despite seemingly adverse times, this is a good moment for investment in Puerto Peñasco and tourism.
The Encántame Towers resort, which represents a 1.2 billion peso investment, will feature five swimming pools and lazy rivers for the entire family, commercial center, restaurants and entertainment facilities, as well as a convention center for meetings and social events, among others.