We live in a world that is constantly changing. We change our nationality, change our identity, and we’re amazed by technology. We get caught up in fashion and new diet trends, but there’s something that has remained pure over the centuries…LOVE. That wonderful feeling that moves the world.
I am a passionate Wedding Planner, who loves working with couples as they prepare for their big day. As in every type of service, there are some clients that are more demanding than others. Yet, it’s important to be empathic at all times, because it’s THEIR WEDDING, an event that will touch the rest of their lives.
Nowadays, eager couples are even more on top of where and in what they plan to invest. Some of them have had to make several date changes, and others have even cancelled their events. Now, those who are once again planning want to make sure they are aware of every miniscule detail and carefully read all contract clauses. These are things that in the past were more of a given, yet have become a priority in clarifying “What happens if I cancel?”.
Those looking to get married want to be well informed, which is good in preventing any misunderstandings. We are all coming out of both complicated and uncertain times. We’ve had to double our efforts to make sure brides and grooms can hold their wedding without any complications or setbacks.
I see couples that are more committed than ever and eager to hold their seaside dream wedding. I have seen how guest lists have become more and more exclusive, and that couples only wish to have their nearest and dearest by their side. They are looking for more relaxed open air settings.
At Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort, we make sure your wedding day is unforgettable. We offer sea side lawns, incredible terraces, or spectacular beaches for those who prefer subtle contact with the sand hugging the Sea of Cortez. Our open spaces are enhanced by the sea breeze, allowing you to breath in the fresh air, with the confidence that we are constantly caring for your safety.
I, as a Wedding Planner, put myself in couples’ shoes and provide the level of attention I would like to receive. Often, couples aren’t certain as to what they’d like for their big day, but that is where we industry professionals come in. We must transmit both a sense of calm and have a variety of ideas prepared to share.
Because love is, and always will be, life’s most cherished feeling.
Malena Sanchez Wedding planner at Las Palomas Beach And Golf Resort.
Imagine sitting down at a restaurant in a welcoming tourist destination, filled with expectations to savor deliciousness. The dish you choose is prepared with fresh seafood recently pulled from the sea.
This is more than possible in Rocky Point, a privileged spot surrounded by the Sea of Cortez, where the fresh fare and nutrients go straight from the sea to your palate.
There are several restaurants across the city that focus their cuisine around the fresh catch of the day. These culinary spots transform fresh product into dishes cooked in rich oils, steamed, grilled, or with lime. There are even heads of restaurants who themselves go out to fish, bringing freshly caught product back to their kitchens. What an enriching experience, behind the great service, that diners should try out as a way to enjoy your food even more!
Some of the wide variety of species you can catch in this area, using some of the most traditional techniques, include spotted sand bass, grouper, flounder, mackerel, and triggerfish. You can choose to savor these through various preparations, including marinated and grilled, with toasted garlic, steamed vegetables, fish tacos, or in fresh seafood cocktails, just to mention a few.
Don’t forget to visit an oyster farm, where you can observe how the oysters are extracted from the estuaries and opened right in front of your eyes! Tasting the fresh oysters straight out of the shell is the true illustration of from the sea to your palate!
We could list endless products recently pulled from the sea. This includes shrimp from the region which, given its quality and size, is the jewel of the Sea of Cortez! Plus, don’t forget clams, scallops, tuna, octopus, and many more you can spot in your favorite dish.
To round out our recommendations, here are just a few of the restaurants that promote the use of freshly caught seafood. Much of this is acquired through local fisheries, renowned for their quality and assurance that products meet strict standards.
Pane e Vino.
This restaurant offers one of the best views over the city and, along with specialties of pastas and Italian fare, prepares fresh fish daily – and frequently even a special Fish of the Day.
Tekila Bar and BooBar.
These spots located in the malecón are known for their fresh fish, frequently caught by the establishment themselves that day and prepared to the delight of diners.
Fire Pit Meat and Grill.
This exquisite restaurant located inside Hotel Peñasco del Sol maintains strict quality control of all their seafood and steak products, which are prepared meticulously on the grill, ensuring guaranteed deliciousness in every dish.
Al Capone’s Seafood & Pizzeria.
A popular restaurant offering the utmost quality in seafood, including some of the best pizzas in the city!
This restaurant located at Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort provides a menu filled with exclusive products, including aquaculture raised totoaba for the most distinguished tastes, as well as other exquisitely prepared fresh seafood.
Be sure to check out additional restaurants that, due to their quality dishes and excellent service, are recognized on TripAdvisor and across social media, such as: Blue Marlin, Los Martínez, Mare Blue Ristorante, Friendly Dolphin, The Point, Restaurante de Ramon at Sonoran Sea, Mary´s Seafood, Casa del Capitán, Infusión del Golfo, and Cielito Lindo, among others. These spots, and many more, offer the freshest in seafood and great attention and care for your next visit to Rocky Point.
This majestic and ancestral site, located just a few miles outside Puerto Peñasco, is a must if you are planning on visiting this nook of Sonora.
El Pinacate Reserve is made up of hundreds of craters, a sea of dunes that is actually the longest extension of dunes in North America, and the Sonoran desert mountain range. It has spots you can get to thanks to special routes designed for vehicles, or you can also join a tour and other expeditions that will take you straight to the heart of Reserve where you will be able to camp and have your very own special encounter with nature.
Currently, entry into the crater area is located at kilometer 51 on the Sonoyta – San Luis highway, providing easy access on a dirt road leading to the area known as El Tecolote, El Elegante crater, and El Colorado hill.
Plus, along the way, you can stop to photograph signatures etched in stone believed to have been left by Apollo astronauts, who left their mark during training practices at the Reserve before venturing to the moon.
Though El Pinacate is a protected site, this unique, bio-diverse location, which has even been named a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is open to visitors so they may get to know one of the most sacred and historically rich places in the entire Sonoran desert.
To visit the Pinacate, there are also special tours offering services, including: Sierra Tours and Ecoturismo Caborca. These specially designed trips to El Pinacate include activities such as visiting the sand dunes, camping, and even up to week-long caravans. These companies also provide for special groups that prefer the “glamping” experience, offering cooks, tour guides, and highly trained staff.
The crater area can be visited by families, or small groups, by car (4×4’s are preferred). It is important to consider taking needed provisions, such as water, sun block, comfortable clothing and foot wear, as well as a camera for those special moments.
We highly recommend you visit El Pinacate with someone who knows and is familiar with the area. It is further recommended you visit during the day before 5 p.m., to ensure good visibility and appropriate safety.
If you are interested in obtaining more information about tours or regulations, we’ve provided below phone numbers and web links for tour companies. This includes the “Schuk Toak” visitors center, a modern geographical museum complete with interactive screens providing information on the volcanic shield that makes up El Pinacate Biosphere Reserve.
LOCAL TOUR OPERATORS
If you are already in Puerto Peñasco and want to visit El Pinacate, here are tour companies located in town:
Sierra Tours (Ruta del Oeste Reserva de la Biosfera / Gran Desierto de Altar) 638 388 7315 en Peñasco / (520) 288 95 80, en Arizona. www.sierratours.com.mx Claudia Pinacate: 637 110 25 07 Israel Nava de Ecoturismo Caborca 637 104 58 87 EcoFun Rentals: 638 388 9699 US 602 635 3736 www.ecofunrentals.com
OUTSIDE TOUR OPERATORS
Whether you live in any part of Mexico, or even outside the country, contact the following providers. They will be able to provide you with information on their tours, and even recommend the best route for you to take so you can reach our destination and experience a unique adventure.
One of the pleasures that enriches any traveler’s experience is undoubtedly the food. When picking a destination, we’ve all contemplated on our list of things to do that of tasting the best of local dishes. While we’ve shared with you some of the best culinary spots in Rocky Point, and you’re already familiar with some of our chefs, we can’t forget there are times when street food can surprisingly delight! We’d like to share some of these unbelievable options for your next visit to Rocky Point:
Piña Colada en su piña: Let’s start with something simple, a drink that is synonymous with beach and fun. Yes, Piña Coladas! If you’ve visited Rocky Point before, you’ve certainly come across this quaint Piña Colada truck whose owner is always ready with a smile for all passing along the street. The flavorful taste and quality are a product of years of experience. This is a must stop when roaming along the infamous Calle 13.
Mariscos El Barrilito seafood: Continuing along Calle 13, another can’t miss spot is Mariscos El Barrilito. Here you’ll find a heaping load of seafood flavors done up traditionally, including tostadas and cocktails, more relaxed offerings served in coconuts, or snack fries that can surely lift anyone’s spirits.
Lobsters & Smoked Ribs: How about a bit of a surprise, which you possibly didn’t even know existed in Rocky Point. That’s right, lobsters and smoked ribs! This fun spot offers an extensive menu that is sure to delight any palate. Here you can find lobster, ribs, prime cuts, wings, hamburgers, seasonal specials, and much more! Treat yourself and stop by this hidden treasure; you won’t be disappointed.
TacosEl Carrito: There’s a saying in Mexico, “Al que madruga, Dios le ayuda” (God helps the one that rises early…or rather “The early bird catches the worm”). This undoubtedly applies if you want to try out a delicious breakfast option in town. Tacos El Carrito is run by a family showcasing their delicious Jalisco flavors. You’ll find traditional tacos de guisado, tortas, weekly specials, and desserts. You’ll be warmly welcomed here, and they are sure to make you feel right at home.
Churros y Elotes Peñasco: For that small craving around midday, whether you’re in the mood for something salty or sweet, this sidewalk stand serves up everyone’s favorites. A local institution for years, here you’ll find traditional churros, elotes (corn on the cob), nachos with cheese, and much more! While these snacks may not be out of this world and already familiar to many, they are undoubtedly a must have for a pleasant evening with friends or family.
So, how about these options? Rocky Point has something for everyone!
Did you know that February 14th, Valentine’s Day, was established as a day to celebrate love and friendship in honor of Saint Valentine of Rome? This patron saint of lovers, a.k.a. “Cupid”, would risk his life in order to unite young couples in marriage!
The international day of love and friendship is right around the corner, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate. In Puerto Peñasco, we’ve got a little something for everyone’s taste. Anything you may need to celebrate such an important day with the person you love, or together with friends, can definitely be found here.
We can’t forget we are living in times of a pandemic, or the need to adapt to this new reality, so we continue to respect health measures such as keeping a safe distance whenever around others.
Even so, our SAFE POINT travel destination still has many great deals and options from which to choose so you can make this Valentine’s Day special and unforgettable! Puerto Peñasco’s restaurants, resorts, and the entire tourism sector is readying a variety of possibilities so you can delight your Valentine however you choose!
Let us help make your decision a little easier with our TOP 5 romantic activities to do in Puerto Peñasco. These, along with your own creativity, will surely make the day magical!
1. PICNIC: Take advantage of our spectacular natural backdrop, the Sea of Cortez! Set up a romantic picnic on the beach and surprise your favorite person with a special gift. Service providers and planners can help magically put together your favorite dishes, flowers, chocolates, and any other romantic detail you’d need for a truly unforgettable evening.
2. DINNER FOR TWO: Dining at a restaurant within a resort will lift your date to another level of elegance. Several chefs across the city are preparing special Valentine’s dinner courses that are sure to impress. Some specials even include live music. Be sure to reserve in advance so you don’t miss out!
3. SPA DATE: Visiting a Spa as a couple can be the most romantic way to escape routine and connect with your significant other. Pamper each other with relaxing massages, facials, aromatherapy, and even a glass of wine, just to mention a few services these relaxation centers offer.
4. SUNSET CRUISE: If outdoor activities are more your style, Puerto Peñasco’s famous sunset cruises are the perfect option. What could be more romantic than the ambiance of a sunset out at sea? As an added plus, we are officially in whale and dolphin sighting season!
Ask your favorite certified tour operator for the best times to appreciate sightings, which is indeed a truly unforgettable experience.
5. DREAM PROPOSAL: Ok, this option is for those who are really serious. Coming to Rocky Point with the love of your life, and not taking advantage of the surrounding natural beauty to pronounce your love, would be a lost opportunity. Whether planning something intimate, just for two, or something BIG to make your proposal of love public, our wedding organizers and specialists will help with every detail for your dream proposal.
So, how about these options?
As the Convention and Visitors Bureau, we are delighted to share all that Puerto Peñasco has to offer.
Come and feel the love, come and feel Puerto Peñasco!
Those who have just visited our port for the first time are most certainly struck by our tide phenomena, having the opportunity to see how the tides come in to cover the beaches and then retreat to a far distance. This natural marvel occurs in the Upper Gulf of California from Puerto Peñasco and San Felipe up to the Rio Colorado Delta, which possesses one of the most extreme tide ranges in the world.
The drastic tide changes in the region occur when the tide enters into the narrow strip of the Upper Gulf, causing the sea to rise to a high level. As the tide goes down, the water begins to filter out, much like the way of water rising and falling in a bathtub. This type of movement occurs where shallow bays exist, such as Bay of Fundy in Canada, and of course here along our beaches in the Upper Gulf where two high and two low tides can be registered in a single day.
Tides are the result of many factors occurring at the same time, the most important of these being the gravitational forces of the sun and moon to the earth, and the centrifugal force of the earth’s rotation. The biggest tide changes, often called “live tides” (or high tides), take place approximately every fifteen days both during a new moon and the full moon when the sun, moon and earth align. When the moon and sun are not in alignment “flat tides” exist both in the morning and evening.
The extreme tidal movement in the Upper Gulf of California guides the movement of water near the coast, and also influences the migration and feeding patterns of sea mammals, birds, and fish. It also directs activities of fishermen as the tides determine when, where, and how they can fish. In essence, the tides dictate any activity for beach visitors in the Upper Gulf, who are subject to its ebb and flow.
It is interesting to discover how in this small corner along the coast of Puerto Peñasco the tides can retreat to far distances and then return to cover the beaches. You can witness this first hand, though it’s important not to leave your sandals on the beach as the tides will not bring them back!
There are those who say that September and October in Puerto Peñasco offer the best weather of the year, as showcased by cooler evenings and crisp sunrises.
So, if you didn’t get a chance to vacation this summer, it’s the perfect time to escape and enjoy the beach in all its wonder, lit up by beautiful sunsets in maroon tones that you can only see in Puerto Peñasco.
As Fall sets in, high temperatures gradually take their leave as fresh morning and afternoon breezes create the perfect atmosphere for walking on the beach, going out on a boat, savoring your favorite dish on a patio, or simply enjoying a refreshing moment beachfront on the Sea of Cortez.
If you stayed inside this summer because high temperatures aren’t really your thing, or for health reasons, September and October are the best months to go out and enjoy a more peaceful beach destination. In Puerto Peñasco you will find resorts, hotels, rental homes, and services that prioritize hygiene and safety, ensuring your vacations are the best.
Take advantage of promotional packages offered by several resorts and hotels this season, and allow yourself to be pampered for a weekend. Or, how about during the week, especially now that the times allow for us to work and study online?
Treat yourself to that gift you deserve, and enjoy a short vacation to the calm, peaceful sea.
Relish in cooler days, yet in a town filled with warmth, welcoming you to share the Sea of Cortez, its hotels and resorts and all it has to offer, but especially its wonderful people.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this amazing natural phenomenon, along with answers as shared by biologists from the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (CEDO)
Is it possible to predict if this will happen again in coming days?
This is not a predictable phenomenon; there is no way of knowing if it will happen again, or if there is really a season for it in Puerto Peñasco. A detailed study would need to be done to know if this always occurs during winter and if there is a specific area.
Is it toxic?
No, it is not toxic.
Is this a common occurrence for Puerto Peñasco?
This occurs in places where the sea water is particularly cold, or warm and has happened before in Puerto Peñasco.
What causes this phenomenon?
The presence of bioluminescent (meaning they emit their own light) plankton microorganisms that react with the movement of the waves.
What makes the water change colors?
It’s due to the dinoflagellates – they are named this way because of the waving motion of their two flagellates – the size of dust particles that light up every time the water is agitated around them. These are the usual causes for the sparkling light that can be seen sometimes when swimming or sailing at night.
Is this the first time it has happened in Puerto Peñasco?
No, this phenomenon has occurred here before, notably in winter. However, the bioluminescence this January was particularly intense.
Is it safe to enter the water in the presence of the bioluminescent bloom?
Yes, you can go in. There are no reports of any harm caused by it.
Can it damage my skin?
There is no record of skin damage caused by this phenomenon; however, if you have sensitive skin it is recommended you consult your doctor beforehand.
From the creators of Circus Mexicus, Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers, January Jam is an 11-year-old music festival stretching over three days that brings together popular bands, friends, and fans from across Arizona, Texas, California, Illinois, Minnesota, and beyond!
For 2020, January Jam is set for MLK Weekend, January 17th – 19th!
After the initial idea for the event came out of a post-session recording concert, January Jam has become a platform for several bands particularly from the southwestern US, though its main attraction is the atmosphere of friendship and fellowship that abounds.
In recent years, the music festival weekend has also included the Mexican Moonshine Tequila Golf Classic, bringing together friends in helping to raise additional funds for local charities. While beneficiaries of the yearly donations change from year to year, they are all within the local community.
Throughout January Jam’s lifespan, more and more venues have become staples of the event, including the pioneering “JJ’s Cantina”, Banditos, Las Palomas, Wrecked at the reef, Chango’s, Capone’s, Boo Bar, Xochitl’s, Tekila Bar, and Señor Amigo. Each year also sees more and more musical acts joining in on the fun.
Early January is the perfect time for this beachside music fest, as Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers get to unwind from their busy concert schedule in a spot they consider to be like their second home.
For local Mexican nationals in Puerto Peñasco, ticket discounts are available at the door.
One of the most important days to celebrate in the United States is Thanksgiving; a date that brings together family and friends in being grateful for what one has. This year, Thanksgiving will be celebrated on Thursday, November 28th.
In Puerto Peñasco, where many US ex-pats reside, and which receives thousands of tourists, Thanksgiving time can make you feel right at home. With this in mind, several restaurants prepare traditional Thanksgiving dinners so that people from the U.S. feel welcome. Another custom families have adopted is that of booking a resort stay or rental home to celebrate by cooking their own dinner, or having a caterer prepare their food for them.
In addition, you can commemorate Thanksgiving in our beautiful port by joining your favorite people somewhere near the beach, or on a terrace where you can enjoy dinner along with an unsurpassed view.
Historically stemming from the popular retelling of Pilgrims celebrating their first harvest in the New World in 1621 with the Wampanoag Native Americans, Thanksgiving was celebrated as early as 1789 under the first U.S. President George Washington and then established as the 4th Thursday in November by President Abraham Lincoln. A U.S. Congressional resolution in 1941 confirmed Thanksgiving as the last Thursday in November.
If you’d like to celebrate Thanksgiving in Rocky Point and you still haven’t picked the right place to visit, here are some options for a traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie dinner, as well as several spots offering a full menu.
The period between the end of October and beginning of November acquires a solemn yet festive mood, filled with aromas of marigold, incense, copal, candle wax, tasty dishes, candy skulls, chocolate, and “pan de muerto” filling the air. Families visit and decorate the resting places of loved ones; colorful perforated paper and Catrinas abound, as more and more people create traditional altars.
Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) is a Mexican tradition honoring the dead. Though the celebration originates from the pre-Hispanic era, thanks to Spanish conquest aspects of Catholicism have been incorporated and it is celebrated principally on Nov. 1st and 2nd , coinciding with the Catholic “All Saints Day”. Traditionally, November 1st is when the spirits of children come to visit, while November 2nd is for the spirits of adults.
Official city events in Puerto Peñasco will begin on November 1st.
The traditional altar and catrina contests will be held on November 1st and 2nd on the popular “Rodeo Drive” curios shops road, beginning around 5 pm each day. Celebrations are to include altar displays, theater, music, film, art, a traditional procession, catrina contests, and of course lots and lots of delectable Mexican food.
Still, many people begin celebrations earlier with altar and catrina contests held at schools, bars, and in clubs.
Even though Día de Muertos is a traditional Mexican celebration, Halloween has now become part of local festivities, all you need to do is look inside any store to notice this. So, don’t forget to buy plenty of candy so you won’t get caught empty-handed by would-be trick or treaters.
We recommend you stay alert and follow social media sites of your favorite spots because there will surely be costume and catrina parties all over the city!
Even though we’re already in the ninth month of the year, there are still some American holidays left to celebrate. Many people take advantage of these long weekends to head out and celebrate in another city. Such is the case for Puerto Peñasco, which receives thousands of U.S. visitors looking to spend a fun holiday weekend with family or a group of friends at the beach.
Columbus Day (Oct. 14th in the U.S. this year), is celebrated as a day to commemorate Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America. In Mexico, this is commemorated on Oct. 12th, called “Dia de la Raza” (Day of the Race). In some parts of the U.S. this has also come to be called Indigenous Peoples Day. The three-day weekend is a great time to visit Puerto Peñasco and take in the 34th edition of the colorful “Piñata Regatta”. The hobie cat races showcase colorful sailboats from the neighboring states of Arizona and California that come to sail the Sandy Beach area and take advantage of the cooler weather. Most bars also have special deals over the weekend, making Puerto Peñasco the ideal spot to enjoy Columbus Day on the Sea of Cortez.
Halloween is another U.S. holiday that has become popular in Mexico. In Puerto Peñasco, it has become a busy day with plenty of movement and kids dressed up in their most terrifying costumes who go “trick or treating” to several different businesses and neighborhoods with U.S. expat communities, as they tend to be ready with candy and are eager to hand out treats!
Many area bars and clubs throw Halloween parties, offering fun prizes for the best costumes as well as deals on food and drinks, and plenty of party and fun for all!
Another important date is November 11th, U.S. Veteran’s Day, honoring those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Thousands of people from the U.S. choose to spend the holiday in Puerto Peñasco as it also coincides with the now famous Rocky Point Rally, the largest biker fiesta in northwestern Mexico. Veteran’s Day, along with the Rocky Point Rally, turn the weekend into an extended week of patriotic celebrations and motorcycles. If you haven’t made your reservations, you still have a chance to do so and should because it fills up quick!
Thanksgiving Day is yet another very special day (Nov. 28th this year). This is when families get together to share a wonderful meal, grateful for blessings received, and to share good wishes. This celebration is always on the fourth Thursday of November, and is another extended break that many families take advantage of to visit Puerto Peñasco. On Thanksgiving you’ll be able to find the traditional turkey dinner (yes, with apple or pumpkin pie!) at most restaurants who will try their best to make you feel at home. Don’t forget to make your Thanksgiving reservation at your favorite restaurant!
Christmas is another very important day, reuniting families across the globe. The holiday spirit embraces the city with decorations and lights, Christmas trees, and Santa Claus. The winter holidays are another great time to seize the moment and enjoy a quick getaway to Puerto Peñasco with friends and family. The beaches are warm and of course the season is marked with special events, dinners, maybe even a parade, but definitely the familiar welcome that always awaits visitors.
The final holiday of the season, and of course to wrap up the year with a bang in Puerto Peñasco is, of course, New Year’s! Yet again, friends and family come together to celebrate the year that has passed and to wish each other a better upcoming year.
Close out your year by celebrating it in Puerto Peñasco! You will undoubtedly have a memorable time as restaurants, bars, and night clubs put on gala dinners, feature live music, offer New Year’s toasts, masquerades, and the traditional countdown to ring in the New Year!
Any one of these dates is a great excuse to hit the highway and travel to the beaches of Puerto Peñasco, where tourists are always received with open arms. Puerto Peñasco always has events and specials to offer. Come and fall in love with Puerto Peñasco!
Here are our recommendations on how to spend an incredible weekend along the best beaches northern Mexico has to offer!
Visit the Schuk Toak Visitors Center of the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve.
Get to know all the different species that inhabit the Greater Altar Desert, observe the majestic craters and lava trails, and explore the largest dunes in Sonora. This is really an adventure you can’t miss, and you’ll even be able to cross “visit the only volcanic area visible from space” off your bucket list. El Pinacate
Visit Bird Island
Enjoy the trip to this protected island that harbors hundreds of sea lions and different types of birds, where you will be able to kayak, paddleboard, or even swim with the sea lions.
This is a must when visiting Puerto Peñasco. Take a nice stroll down the Malecon and take in the amazing sunset, go shopping for typical Puerto Peñasco souvenirs, or grab a bite to eat with a spectacular sea view. Read more about “El malecón”
Have an off-road adventure
Explore the sand trails the largest desert in Sonora has to offer, on your choice of ATV or UTV. This is definitely an exciting experience you don’t want to miss! See more about off-road
Go on a sunset cruise
Get an actual front row seat for sunset! There are several sunset cruise options in Puerto Peñasco, where you can enjoy your favorite drinks, good music, and the variety of entertainment featured on each boat. Pick your trip of choice and enjoy the greatest sunsets the Sea of Cortez has to offer. See more about sunset cruises
This is an experience you will want to relive over and over again! Just imagine the panoramic view from the sky over the Sea of Cortez, where you can take in not only the immense sea, but also the malecón, and Puerto Peñasco’s beaches.
Another adventure in the skies you can’t miss out on is flying over the bay aboard one of these small light planes, which will make you feel endless excitement. The view is incredible and the experience is unique. You can find these in the Sandy Beach area.
Speaking of adrenaline rushes, the Zip-Line is a must! Check this one off your list after having experienced the longest zip-line in Sonora, offering a majestic view of how the desert meets the sea.
Banana rides & Jet Skis
Puerto Peñasco offers the popular, and fan-favorite, banana boat rides and jet skis. Hop on this inflatable ride and have as much fun as you can imagine, or relieve some stress and get your adrenaline pumping on a jet-ski. Don’t forget to follow instructions and use a life vest. Banana boat, Jetskis
Visit our activities section where you will be able to explore different options you can enjoy in Puerto Peñasco. Also, feel free to check out our events section and be in the know on everything that is going on in Puerto Peñasco. Don’t forget that most hotels, bars, and restaurants have something special ready for you!
Located in the heart of the port, with rooms that store many stories and legends of early 20th century gangsters, Hotel la Roca is the oldest place to stay in Puerto Peñasco.
Built in 1927 by John Stone, today the main attraction of this site is that it was presumably where American gangster Al Capone stayed in 1929, when prohibition was in effect in the U.S. The hotel had actually been built as a place for gambling and guests would arrive by plane.
The Hotel la Roca was built entirely in a mirror structure, with a large game room in front and ten rooms down a long corridor in a “shotgun” distribution to see who entered and left the hotel. According to legend, Al Capone stayed in room 10 on his visits because he had two exits he could use to flee if necessary.
In the 1930s, the hotel was visited by people from the United States for game nights and boat rides, which was a pretext for storing alcohol barrels from Guaymas that then crossed into Arizona through tunnels built in Sonoyta.
The Peñasco hotel, which was its name initially, was closed and burned down in 1933 when the so-called dry law ended. It later passed into the hands of Benjamin Bustamante who rebuilt it to continue using it as a hotel, though it also served as a post office at one time and as a small school for the city’s early residents.
It wasn’t until 1998 that Mr. Jorge Seldner took over the hotel, renovating it so it could reopen in 2000, maintaining the stone construction and the large hall that now serves as a living room.
Currently, Hotel La Roca offers sixteen rooms with comforts that retain the originality of its walls, some furniture of the time, old photographs, a display case with invaluable pieces, and above all the nostalgia and history of the location.
Guests who come looking for the place given its history and through recommendations principally come from the United States, Canada, Spain, Italy and France.
This iconic hotel, located right at the descent into the Old Port, might be a spot you’d like to visit and stay if you’re looking for a cozy space with lots of history and legends covering its walls, as well as low rates.
Along with well-deserved summer vacation, there are rest periods to take advantage of in breaking with routine while heading out to visit new destinations. These are what are known in Mexico as “puentes festivos” (holiday “bridges”, or rather, long weekends) surrounding dates that generally commemorate historical events. Luckily, one of these dates is quickly approaching as September 16th is Mexican Independence Day!
What better way to celebrate the holiday than visiting family or friends on the beaches of Puerto Peñasco? In addition to the sandy shores, magical sunsets, and delicious cuisine, a wide arrange of special events await to make sure everyone has a great time.
On the night of September 15th, celebrations begin at City Hall with the traditional “Grito de Dolores” (call to independence), echoing shouts of “Viva Mexico” “Viva Dolores” and “Viva la Independencia”! Plus, the evening is filled with Mexican music, folkloric dances, fireworks, and a traditional “castle burning”, not to mention stands selling Mexican treats.
Some resort and hotel complexes in town, such as Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort, hold special shows to celebrate the evening. On this occasion, Las Palomas will be featuring Carlos Cuevas, the king of boleros, along with mariachi music in the common areas.
Playa Bonita hotel will launch fireworks on the evening of the 15th to mark the occasion, while establishments such as La Cantina and Cielito Lindo will be offering dinner and Mexican music. Bars along Calle 13 and in the Mirador will join in festivities with live music and several promotions to attract visitors and locals alike.
Following Independence Day, the next holiday break will be that to celebrate the Mexican Revolution. Though Revolution Day is Nov. 20th, the official day off is Monday, November 18th, making the holiday weekend possible. So once again, Mexico will have a long weekend to continue celebrating.
The best way to take advantage of the mild weather at that time of year is strolling along the beaches of our paradisiacal port, boarding a boat to enjoy the cool evenings, hitting the dunes on an all-terrain vehicle, or getting ready to go out to a local bar-restaurant where you’ll surely encounter festivities commemorating the Mexican Revolution.
Another important holiday celebration of the year comes with ringing in the new one. This time is certainly of tremendous importance for family get togethers, as well as to relive memories from the past year and of course well-wishes for the one about to begin.
For this important date in Mexico, and across the globe, several hotels, restaurants, and bars in Puerto Peñasco dress to the nines with parties to welcome the New Year! These often include well-known artists, live music, midnight toasts, dinners, and of course a festive atmosphere.
Promotions are advertised months in advance to ensure all interested in ringing in the New Year in front of the grandeur of the beach, enveloped by the cool air, have time to reserve and wrap up the year with family and friends in this corner of the Sea of Cortez.
Do you already have your plans made for the upcoming Mexican holidays? Puerto Peñasco awaits!
The event that began as a gathering of a few hundred motorcyclists from Arizona and Sonora in 2001 now brings together more than 9,000 bikers principally from the U.S. Southwest and Mexico.
Considered one of the most important biker rallies in the region, the Rocky Point Rally has managed to attract motorcycle and biker club lovers from Arizona, California, Texas, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico, as well as Sonora, Baja California, Chihuahua, Jalisco, and Mexico City. It has achieved such popularity that it has also attracted dedicated bikers from distances including Canada, Germany, Alaska, and Hawaii, as well as Japan and the Philippines, to mention just some of the countries where rally goers have come from.
The Rocky Point Rally, which celebrates its 19th anniversary this year, lasts four days in early November, from Thursday to Sunday, during which time the roar of the engines can be heard throughout the city along with rock and country concerts at sponsoring bars and central fiesta points such as 13th Street and the Malecon Founders.
The long-awaited biker fiesta, initially founded and still organized by local business leader Oscar Palacio Soto, includes a Saturday bike parade down Puerto Peñasco’s main Blvd. Juarez, where participants throw out sweets to children who come out in appreciation to see them. The in-town “Charity Poker Run” and initial Rally registration help raise funds for several charitable organizations across the city including: the Red Cross, Fire Department, home for the elderly, cancer awareness and prevention group, a school for children with special needs, Children and Family services, as well as an educational fund.
The days of the Rocky Point Rally are filled with biker parties and motorcycles of all kinds, from sports, cruise, urban and even the most exotic. The Rally welcomes people of all ages and professions donning their best leathers. It is a time full of music and camaraderie among bikers from both sides of the border.
If you haven’t witnessed the traditional motorcycle fiesta, plan for this year from November 7th – 10th. The Rocky Point Rally awaits!
Puerto Peñasco Is showing off this festive weekend with spectacular weather to celebrate the 4th of July. The highest temperature is going to be 88 F, so get your swimsuit and the sunblock ready because the beach awaits.
Here we share some ideas for you to spend an incredible weekend on our Sea of Cortez beaches.
On Friday, July 5th, you can enjoy all of the beach activities Puerto Peñasco has to offer, whether that means going out to Bird Island for the day (we recommend you go well prepared because this activity lasts all day beginning at 8:30 am.
Approach the marina and get some information), or enjoying sand and the sea playing volleyball, riding the banana boats or jet skis, or simply relax under the sun and get that perfect tan. If what you are looking for is adventure, we also have something for you! Please visit rockypointadventures.com and schedule your next adventure.
If you are looking for something a bit more fun, Puerto Peñasco’s night clubs and bars will surely be having special events for you this weekend. For example, Restaurant-Bar La Arena 3C is hosting it’s first Beer Fest with live music and great BBQ, doesn’t that sound like fun? If you’d like to know of more events happening around town please visit the events tab and find out what we have in store for you this 4th of July weekend in Puerto Peñasco. Don’t forget to keep hydrated!
Don’t stay up too late on Saturday, because there is still much to do on Sunday, July 6th, like visiting the Malecón to take a picture with the emblematic Fisherman’s Statue with the beautiful Sea of Cortez as your background, go shopping in the Malecón shops and fish market. Don’t forget to visit Rodeo Drive and take a photo with the incredible murals you can find there, please share on your social media and remember to tag us! Also remember to check out our social media so that you don’t miss out on anything.
El Pinacate is the most biodiverse desert in the world, a wonderful destination for photography and video due to its imposing flora & fauna, its brilliant daylight, orange sunsets, and spectacular nights.
The desert shines with color in the spring when the flowers regain their splendor.
A must-visit place is the “Shuck Toak” visitors center, located 24 kilometers from Puerto Peñasco and within the actual reserve, a museum where you can get to know more about the volcanic site.
Thanks to its great biodiversity, the Sonoran Desert holds more protected areas than any other desert on the planet.
In the area you can find more than 560 plant species, 41 species of mammals, 200 birds, 43 types of reptiles, as well as a variety of amphibians and freshwater fish.
El Pinacate and the Greater Altar Desert is host to a great number of archaeological artifacts that have been proven to be more than 20 thousand years old; it is a culturally important site for the Tohon O’odham nation, who considers that the origin of their creation is in Pinacate Peak, where they still hold religious ceremonies.
El Pinacate has the highest concentration of “maar” type craters in the world. Aside from that there are also over 500 ash cones, lava flows, creek beds, and granite & tuff massifs.
The Greater Altar Desert has the largest area of Dunes in North America, this particular type of star dunes only exist in certain areas around the world.
It was declared Biosphere Reserve El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar in 1993, and declared world heritage site by UNESCO in June of 2013.
In 1969, personnel from NASA visited the site, due to its surface resembling that of the moons own, to have landing tests before actually visiting the moon.
The “Shuck Toak” visitors center is the first, and largest in Mexico, self-sustaining public building. It has 132 solar panels and an wind generator that supply electric energy from autumn to spring.
The Geminid Meteor Shower is a spectacular sight that nature gifts us. One must get away from the city lights on a dark night with little or no moon. It is suggested to find a cozy location. You may also want some binoculars (they are not necessary) and/or a camera.
Meteor showers are a result of cosmic debris coming in contact with the atmosphere at very high speeds. The fragments blaze within the path and produce a shooting star. Which in mundane wording, is a beautiful white line crossing the night sky.
This shower is highly anticipated and is thought as the most important meteor showers. The Geminid shower takes place December 4 to 16, however, the nights with the most activity will be on the 13 and 14. We will be able to observe them perfectly this year because the moon will be in its first quarter.
With this in mind, did you know that Puerto Peñasco is the ideal place to enjoy this wonder of nature? There are a variety of spots to enjoy the meteor shower. The first being a beach view. Bring a towel and blankets to the beach. You can also climb the top of a hill or camp at the Pinacate Reserve.
Lay back and buddle up. Let your eyes adjust to the darkness. You will witness the intensity of a science fiction sky that will create a photo-worthy moment.
Make a wish. Make as many as your blessed heart desires.
Mexico’s Independence Day is a time to celebrate, which Mexicans happen to be very good at! On the night of September 15th, people across Mexico gather to celebrate the “Grito de Dolores” (Call to Independence), and locally thousands of Puerto Peñasco residents and visitors will enjoy the festivities outside City Hall.
Regional artists and folk dancers perform at this family-fun event held in front of City Hall, where there are also fireworks and many traditional Mexican eats & treats, along with the traditional “burning of the castle”.
Several hotels and resorts in Puerto Peñasco offer guests their very own Mexican night, complete with mariachis, special presentations, fireworks, and special promotional rental packages.
This September 15th will also feature one of the most anticipated boxing events of the year, featuring the bout between Mexican Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Kazahk Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. Numerous restaurants and bars will be welcoming boxing fans that evening.
Just imagine spending the colorful Mexican National Holiday with parties, music, and on the beach! ¡VIVA!
In addition to the natural beauty of our beaches, deserts, and dunes, along with the services Puerto Peñasco offers, how about exploring the Sea of Cortez through the lens of a scuba diver?
Named at one time by the late explorer and oceanographer Jacques Cousteau as “The World’s Aquarium”, The Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) possesses exceptional beauty, tremendous biological diversity, and is home to several endemic species. With these virtues, in 2005 the United Nations Education and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) deemed Islands in the Protected area of the Gulf of California as a Natural Heritage Site.
Scuba diving is a privilege that daring individuals and explorers can enjoy while visiting Puerto Peñasco. Various dive excursions, whether individually or in a group, are available for divers of all levels, and accompanied by certified Dive Masters. Dive instructors are also available for those looking to literally get their feet wet in the world of scuba!
In Puerto Peñasco, scuba diving offers a new way to explore the area. Yet, where are good spots to dive (depending on tides and weather)? One may choose to dive from off a boat, or walk in from a spot along the beach, some of these include: Home Port area, Tucson Beach in La Cholla as well as the southern side of Cholla, the Mirador, and Las Conchas.
A wonderful area to dive is around Isla San Jorge (Bird Island), located less than 20 kilometers southeast of Puerto Peñasco. Bird Island dive spots offer depths of about 40 feet, and good visibility allowing one to observe curious sea lions, colorful fish, starfish, and there have even been sightings of a whale shark.
For more information on dive opportunities, you may contact Rocky Point Divers at email@example.com, Del Mar Charters at 638-380-9678, or the dive and activity shop at Sonoran Sea.
I was surfing online when suddenly I came across a historic photo with the caption: Marilyn Monroe visiting Puerto Peñasco with baseball star Joe DiMaggio and the famous Mexican umpire Carlos Alberto González, in July of 1953!
Could it be?
The photo shows a young lighthearted Marilyn sitting on the bow of a boat, with a desert landscape and house in the background. One of the photos shows her with DiMaggio and González, standing along the train tracks that used to make its way to the docks.
The couple, who attracted thousands of stares wherever they went, surely in a move to step out of the limelight and tabloids, a few months before their wedding in January of 1954 took off from San Francisco for a romantic trip south. They allegedly crossed the border and made their way to Puerto Peñasco, then a very discrete and romantic fishing village, which provided them with the privacy and beach life they sought.
DiMaggio and Monroe then returned to Russian River in California, where DiMaggio’s brother lived and, according to an article by the “Voice of Broadway”, where they went for quality family time before becoming man and wife.
Yet, the photos that appeared at an auction of Profiles in History, Hollywood Auction 65 Catalog, indicate a secret romantic escape to the beaches of Puerto Peñasco!
It’ not really hard to believe DiMaggio would bring his soon to be bride to this area, considering Sonora is a baseball state at heart (Guaymas is said to be the birthplace of baseball in Mexico), and even now our beaches and the Tiburones (local baseball team) welcome several baseball stars to town every now and again.
And so, a story of baseball and glamour, in which Puerto Peñasco participated as a discrete confidant.
If you’re into extreme sports and planning a trip to Puerto Peñasco, be sure not to miss out on the zipline experience on the way to Cholla Bay, offering a high adrenaline rush above the dunes, rocks, and even the Sea of Cortez!
The Puerto Peñasco zipline is a relatively new offering in Puerto Peñasco, providing fun at soaring heights along five lines, one of which at 2000 meters and 150 feet up is one of the longest in Mexico.
After being outfitted for a harness and safety helmet, the fun for all ages begins from the moment you start toward the launch platform, as you hop on an all-terrain truck that takes you up “Loma de la Cholla” (also known as competition hill).
The Puerto Peñasco zipline has so far principally attracted visitors from the US, but also Austria and Germany, as well as from the states of Baja California and Chihuahua in Mexico.
As noted earlier, the Puerto Peñasco zipline is unique in that it offers a view over dunes, rocks, and the coasts of the Sea of Cortez in a single trip, providing a spectacular panorama to all who seek adventure!
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 638 127 2530
Imagine adrenaline-fueled defiance of speed and the desert dunes! This is sand boarding, the extreme sport that has been gaining popularity across the globe and which you can now enjoy on Puerto Peñasco’s dunes.
Here in Puerto Peñasco, sandboarding opportunities can be found on dunes near the Shuck Toak Visitor’s Center of the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, as well as on sand adjacent to local oyster farms, and along Sandy Beach.
Sandboarding can only be done in areas where nature has provided generous mounds of fine sand. In Puerto Peñasco one has the added benefit of taking in the spectacular scenery of estuaries and desert landscapes as you glide down a dune.
People of all ages can experience the adrenaline of sandboarding, as adventurers range in age from young children to older adults. It is key, however, to rent a board just in case you don’t have your own, as well as make sure not to damage any local flora or fauna. Plus, if you’re out for a day of sandboarding please remember to “trek it in, trek it out,” and help keep the dunes clean!
For more information, contact RP Sand Crew at 638 384 0216.
Puerto Peñasco’s thrilling tidal movement is a spectacular show of nature, and a wonder to anyone lucky enough to witness it. This phenomenal change in high and low tides can be easily admired by all as the sea recedes meters at a time, or as the water returns to cover parts of the beach.
Oceanographer Roberto Escalante Ramirez explains the extraordinary change in tides in this area is due to various factors, but mainly because the ocean floor along this coastal region is stretched out. In other words, the shallow depth makes the rise and fall of tides extremely notable.
Furthermore, Puerto Peñasco is located in the Upper Gulf of California, which is itself a basin that produces a type of natural encasement of water currents, making the tidal shifts more visible.
The tidal shifts in Puerto Peñasco, while unique, can also be found at the Bay of Funday, Canada; in Santa Clara, Chile; Servern Beach Bristol, England; and La Rance, France, which all have similar conditions.
It really is amazing to see how at any given moment the sea appears to be moving away and at others you can watch as it covers the entire beach! The best time to see the change in Puerto Peñasco’s tides is around the full or new moon, with Fall moons tending to lend to the highest and lowest tides.
It can sometimes be challenging to decide what to give Dad, or how to make his Father’s Day incredible. The list of possible “details” may seem to be less than that for Mother’s Day, but ohhh nooo! There’s always something to help Pops feel special. How about inviting him to enjoy a baseball series here at home, or an afternoon of golf, possibly a beach day, or even a massage or a family trip to the movies? One thing’s for sure, Dad shouldn’t have to pay for his own gift! Here’s a list of some options in Rocky Point to help celebrate:
Tiburones baseball – Home series against Rojos de Caborca June 15th – 17th *game times around 7:30 pm
Take Dad out to one of Puerto Peñasco’s three courses – or maybe even all three, and make a weekend out of it!
It’s heating up in Rocky Point! It’s time to bring out the swimsuit, dive into pools, stroll along beaches, wade into the sea, and explore several ways to refresh yourself. There are unending summer activities in Puerto Peñasco to add to your travel list.
Thousands of people seek out the beaches of Puerto Peñasco for their warmth, as well as to enjoy the many temperature changes that can be felt in a single day! Although high temps during the day can be felt as June begins, evenings and nights are still pleasantly fresh and enjoyable. July and August tend to be a bit more sultry at the beach, as humidity increases given the monsoon season to the north.
Here are some of the top activities you can enjoy in Puerto Peñasco this summer:
– Welcome the morning with an early beach walk as the sun is making its appearance. You can contemplate the peaceful sea, sound of the waves, and the early-birds singing their morning song.
– Kayaking or SUP. Navigate a kayak, or hop on a Stand Up Paddleboard while exploring new safe waters where to row. Jetskis and banana boats are also delights cutting across the water!
-Take an ultra-light ride where you can better appreciate the sea and city scape from a bird’s eye view. This is an experience that requires bravery and guarantees an adrenaline rush.
-Treat yourself to a cruise! Enjoy a spectacular sunset as you sail aboard one of the many cruise options Puerto Peñasco has to offer. Or how about a day trip out to Isla San Jorge “Bird Island” to enjoy the company of sea lions and the thousands of birds that give this protected island its name. Snorkeling and kayaking are always on the day’s agenda when out on a trip to Bird Island!
– Sandboarding! If you’ve got a board and ready to hit the sand dunes, we highly recommend doing this activity in the early morning hours, before the sun heats the desert sand, or in the evening close to sunset.
– Go swimming in resort/hotel pools and relax that body of yours. Check the waves and tides if you prefer to swim out at sea, though everyone should make sure to use good sunscreen!
– A relatively unknown activity in the area is scuba diving! Yes! There are specialized groups that offer instruction and dive opportunities, where you will find hundreds of unimaginable sea creatures.
– How about a little bit of speed under the sun on an ATV/UTV? This yearlong option is an exciting thrill for all!! Be sure to wear a helmet and drive carefully in specially designated areas.
– A trip to CEDO. Visit the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans in Las Conchas to see the whale skeleton and learn more about the Sea of Cortes. Be sure to check their NaturArte ecotour trips, including exploration of area tidepools, kayaking, and more!
– A highly recommended must do is a visit to the Schuk Toak Visitors Center of the Pinacate and Grand Desert of Altar Pinacate Reserve. The eco-sustainable museum offers a wealth of information about the volcanic flows and mysteries of this spectacular UNESCO named Natural World Heritage Site.
– Beyond the Schuk Toak Visitors Center are the craters of the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve itself. While summer may not be the best time to hike through the desert, be sure to go in the early morning hours before temperatures rise and to take lots of water!
More than 30,000 people from Arizona and southern California, among other spots across the southwestern US, are expected to hit Peñasco’s shores for U.S. Memorial Day Weekend, making this one of the busiest vacation times of the year and marking the “unofficial” kick-off to the U.S. summer vacation season.
Several bars, restaurants, and condo resorts are planning special bands or events over the holiday weekend, plus there’s plenty of fun to be had along the beach, out at sea, on the golf course, or in exploring the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve!
Occupancy levels at Puerto Peñasco hotels and condominiums are expected to top 90% this holiday weekend. Strengthened tourist numbers over Memorial Day have been sustained over the past three years, representing economic revenue for tourism and services along the lines of 35 million pesos.
While Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s independence day, it does mark an important day in the country’s history. May 5th is the day the Mexican Army defeated France at The Battle of Puebla. The victory is important because although the French outnumbered the Mexicans 2 to 1, Mexico won the battle. While Cinco de Mayo is not a federal holiday and is not celebrated in all parts of Mexico, it is celebrated in Puebla and in many cities close to the US border, such as Rocky Point.
Nowadays, Cinco de Mayo in the United Stated has become a day to celebrate Mexican heritage and culture with festive parties, concerts and activities across the country. Mariachis and margaritas have also become a staple of the celebration. So where better to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year than in Rocky Point, Mexico- where you will find everything you could want for a fabulous celebration. Many of the local restaurants and bars will have Cinco de Mayo specials or parties and will offer live Mariachi music or live bands and DJ’s playing Latin style music that you can dance to. Margaritas are always in abundance in Rocky Point as well, from the traditional blended or on the rocks drink to specialty flavors including Mango, Strawberry and even Tamarind.
The perfect weather in May will keep the party going into the evening. Warm days will allow for time at one of the many pool parties offered at the resorts or some beach time and the evening weather usually has a light breeze with average temperatures in the 80’s. You can stroll down to Old Port and visit several restaurants or bars or take in the sunset at the recently remodeled Malecon, with benches, palm trees and beautiful views. Before you head home you can visit the shops at The Cholla Mall or relax with a beachside massage.
May brings perfect weather to Rocky Point and Cinco de Mayo is the perfect excuse to visit us! See you on Cinco! If you wish further information please visit our Packages tab where you will find Hotel and Resort that will fit your budget needs.]]>
Gone are the days when Spring Break trips were just for college students! With popular tourist destinations like Rocky Point so close to the US, more and more families are opting to take advantage of their kids’ time off of school to get in some quality family time. Not only is Rocky Point a close distance from the US, but its also safe and family friendly. Weather its pool time or water sports, Rhino rentals or a trip to El Pinacate, there are many family friendly activities in Rocky Point.
For perfect pool time, many resorts have slides or shallow areas designating a play pool or kiddie area for the little ones. To liven up your beach time try a Banana Boat rental, jet ski or kayak rental for the whole family. For a little land adventure you can rent a Rhino or a Polaris that seats four and take a ride into town where you will find many restaurants and souvenir shops in the “Old Port” or more specialty shops at the Cholla Mall.
If you are looking to do a bit more exploring you can take a trip to hike a trail at El Pinacate Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO, see more than 200 volcanic craters including the place where the NASA did the land on the moon trials. Also you can learn more about wildlife if you visit the Shuk Toak Visitor Center where you can listen to biological lectures, see photos and displays of archaeological remains and watch a documentary on the biosphere in the audio visual room. El Pinacate and Shuk Toak are about 20 minutes North of Rocky Point. If you’re looking to learn more about marine life you can visit CEDO, Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans, where you can explore the natural resources and cultures of the Sonoran Desert and Sea of Cortez with marine biologists and see marine animal fossils, including that of a full sized whale.
If camping-it is more your style and you have or rent an RV, there are 3 local RV parks that all have beach access and water and electrical supplies.
For the moms and dads who need a bit of escapism, there are massages on the beach and full service spas as well as 3 beautiful golf courses. If you are considering great vacation package deals, just keep in mind that you only need to drive approximately 3.5 hours from Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, El Centro, Calexico and all the Imperial Area locations to be in a warm beach location. With what you would spend on expensive airline tickets you can save to have a bigger budget to share and enjoy with your family.
You can also rent a boat and go sunset cruising or wake up early, prepare your fishing pole and try to catch the meal of the day in a deep sea fishing excursion that you can find at the “Old Port”. Visit Rocky Point this spring break for some family fun vacation time!
If you wish for further information please visit the Accommodations section, where you will find Hotels and Resorts that will fit your budget needs]]>
There are now several resorts on Sandy Beach, Playa Hermosa, Playa Bonita, Las Conchas, La Cholla and many other beaches available for Spring Break-ers. Most hotels and resorts have an on-site restaurant with daily happy hour specials and some have convenience stores on the property. For those who prefer to stay in town rather than on the beach, there are several hotels on 13th Street and on Benito Jaurez Blvd. If you stay on Sandy Beach, many of the resorts host daily pool parties with either live bands or hired DJs and swim up bars to get the party started.
If water sports are more your gig, Rocky Point beaches have plenty of them. You can find Banana Boat rides, Kayaking, Jet-Ski Rentals, Paddle Boarding and Light Flights over the ocean. You can even hop on a Party Cruise around the bay with drinks, snacks and live music included. The average temperature during the month of March is 77 degrees, making it the perfect time to catch some sun at a pool party, boost your adrenaline with a water activity or hop on a boat around the bay. If you prefer to stay on land, ATV´s or QUAD rentals are available in both town and the beach areas.
When you are ready to party you can hit one of the clubs along Sandy Beach, which have DJs and live bands daily during spring break. If you head over to the “Old Port”, “The Mirador” or “La Calle 13” you will find several bars adjacent to one another also offering daily drink specials, music and spring break contests. Most bars and clubs stay open until 2 am. These areas also have several restaurant options, and for a quick bite, taco stands and hot dog stands can be found on most any corner and are popular and affordable. Many areas are also lined with local vendors offering everything from souvenirs, T-shirts and beach dresses to sunglasses and purses.
Between the pool parties, the water sports, the bar-hopping and the shopping, Rocky Point is the perfect destination for your Spring Break Get-Away!
If you wish for further information please go to the Accommodations section, where you will find Hotels and Resorts that will fit your budget needs
Toast with your loved one to all the special moments that you have cherished together, with the moon and the sea as your witnesses.
by M.A. Velazquez
Stressed out about what to do for Valentine’s Day, the one day of the year designated to celebrate love? According to askmen.com, four of the top 10 things to do on Valentine’s are: Get Away, Get Physical, Get a Massage, Dress Up, and all of these can all be done in the relaxing beach town of Rocky Point. Getting Away on a mini vacay can be the perfect combination of relaxation and excitement. Only a 1 hour drive from the US border and 3.5 hours from Phoenix and Tucson, Rocky Point is ideal for a weekend getaway. With the Presidents Day holiday being right on the heels of Valentine’s Day, the weekend is the perfect time to take a road trip. Once you are here you will find numerous options for activities and entertainment. There’s nothing better to revitalize your romance than a trip to this beach destination.
The beach is also perfect for the next item on the list- Getting Physical, literally. Go for a morning run on Sandy Beach, Mirador Beach or Las Conchas to start off your day. Later, take in the sunset on one of our beaches or take a moonlit walk at night. What better way to unwind and enjoy nature than to get active with the one you love?!
Getting a Massage continues to be one of the most popular and enjoyable things to do on Valentine’s Day. Fortunately, in Rocky Point there is no shortage of spas to choose from. Most spas offer additional treatments for pampering such as manicures, pedicures, and facials, however, a couple’s massage is a great way to unwind and relax together, or treat your partner to one or more spa services. You can even get a massage right on the beach as the sound of the Sea of Cortez lulls you into relaxation. Spas can be found both on Sandy Beach and in town and many have a bi-lingual staff. If time in your condo is your goal, you can schedule private massage right in your beach rental. Whatever your preference, a massage will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.
Dressing Up– There is something about getting primped that makes you feel great, confident, ready for anything. Once you are decked out, you can dine with an ocean view or grab dinner in town. With an abundance of restaurants in Rocky Point, the options for dining are limitless- from Italian and Mediterranean to Classic American and traditional Mexican. After dinner burn off those calories by grooving to some live music.
Last on the list is taking a sunset cruise through the bay and toast with your loved one to all the special moments that you have cherished together, with the moon and the sea as your witnesses.
Whether you choose to celebrate this day of love with one or all of the above activities, Rocky Point is sure to exceed your needs and get you in the mood for romance. So take advantage of the long holiday weekend to spend more time with your special someone, head to Rocky Point and celebrate love!
By M.A. Velazquez
The fall season is just around the corner and that means it’s time to mark your calendars and start making your October plans to head out to Rocky Point. While some Americans will enjoy a day off work on the second Monday in October and others have kids whose fall breaks will be taking place all throughout the month, everyone can enjoy some sunshine and the cool sea breeze in Rocky Point this October. In addition to the cooler temperatures (many say this is our best weather month), there are various family-friendly activities on the beach and around town that you can enjoy.
On October you can take in the Piñata Regatta hobby race hosted by the Tucson Hobie Fleet 514. On Saturday and Sunday at the morning from Sandy Beach you can watch the colorful catamarans take off from the Playa Bonita area and race around the Sea of Cortez. There is no charge to watch the races, so enjoy the excitement as you catch some rays and sip on a cocktail.
If you are up for learning more about the desert and the ocean, on Saturday October CEDO (the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans) will be hosting Nature Talks at their location in Las Conchas. The talks are free and are in Spanish in English. This is a great way to break from the ordinary and learn about and experience nature.
Weekend´s during October are full of live music performing for free at local area restaurants and bars.
And if that’s not enough excitement, on October check out the El Golfo Run where sand rails, dune buggies, ATV’s and jeeps race from Rocky Point to El Golfo de Santa Clara, which is about 80 miles. You can watch all the 4 x 4’s right from the Sandy Beach area.
Wrapping up the month of October is the Dirty Beach Mud Run also happening on Sandy Beach.
If beach bummin’ it is more your style, there are some great hotel deals to be found during the month of October in Rocky Point and you can find your beach massages and water activities available every day of the week. Before you head home, don’t forget to check out Old Port or the Cholla Mall for your Rocky Point mementos. October is just around the corner so why not use the school fall break to bring out the family and visit us in Rocky Point!]]>
The 4th of July has been a federal US holiday since 1941 but the tradition of Independence Day dates back to 1776 when members of the 13 colonies declared their independence from Great Brittan. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th 1776 and has been considered the birth of America ever since. Typical celebrations include fireworks, parades, family gatherings and barbeques. In recent decades many have chosen to utilize the holiday to take a trip with the family. Rocky Point has long been a popular 4th of July vacation destination for its warm summertime weather, beautiful beaches, magnificent sunsets and fun filled atmosphere. It’s proximity to Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, El Centro and Imperial Valley, also add to its popularity among residents from these areas.
Visitors can certainly get their fireworks fix by purchasing them here and lighting them at the public beaches (with caution of course). The holiday weekend will also include Pool Tournaments, Dart Tournaments and Horseshoe Tournaments at the local watering holes and a Las Vegas themed Charity Night on Sandy Beach. Many of the bigger hotels/resorts and RV parks have barbeque grills available to guests for those who want to have a traditional 4th of July cook-out. Everything you need can be found at our local grocers here in Rocky Point. For those who prefer to go out, local bars and clubs will have live music and DJs all weekend. And don’t forget to visit The Old Port and The Cholla Mall (Mexican Rodeo Drive) to pick up gifts for your loved ones back home. So pack your swim suits and beach chairs and we will see you on the 4th of July!]]>
While the beach is a great place to get in some R & R, you can certainly kick things up a notch in Rocky Point. If extreme sports are more your thing, here are some options for the adventurous soul: Jet Skis
Jet Ski rentals have long been a favorite of tourists to our beaches. The smooth waters and warm temperatures create the perfect environment for jetting around the bay at top speed. You can ride solo or rent a jet ski for two and really have a blast. Rental prices are determined by time: half hour, hour, etc. Your rental place will have life jackets and be sure to have a phone or watch to keep track of the time. Jet Ski rentals can be found on all of Rocky Point’s beaches. There’s no better feeling than having the wind in your face with the water splashing against you as you explore the waters of the Sea of Cortez in a fun and exciting way! Ultra Light Flights
So what is an Ultra Light Flight? An Ultra Light-Flight (Light-Flight for short), is a lightweight aircraft that uses a slightly larger version of a hang glider wing. The speed at which the aircraft can travel may vary depending on the style of the wing. Some are built to fly as fast as 80 miles an hour, while others are slower, around 35 miles an hour. Light-Flights can provide quite the adrenalin rush, while still managing to be safe. According to Ian, a Light-Flight pilot in Rocky Point with many years of experience, pilots are trained to respect the weather conditions and use good judgment and often spend time practicing various landing maneuvers. “The Light-Flights provide an exhilarating experience and are well worth it,” according to the pilot. Group rates are also available if you have more than 2 people who want to fly. Light Flights can be found toward the end of Sandy Beach road. Banana Boat Rides
For another exciting group experience, try a Banana Boat Ride, which can be found on Sandy Beach, Miridor Beach and Las Conchas Beach. The Banana Boat is one, sometimes two, inflatable recreational tubes designed specifically for towing and usually holds between 2-10 riders. They have straps to hold on to and tubes on the sides where you can rest your feet. All of the companies in Rocky Point provide life vests for riders. If you ride as a group and prefer a slower pace or have children riding, the driver will accommodate, and if you want to ride at top speed and are secretly hoping to get thrown into the water, the drivers are happy to floor it! The Banana Boat ride is defiantly worth doing, it’s a blast! Scuba Diving
If exploring the waters is more appealing to you, the Sea of Cortez is perfect for it! You can bring your own diving equipment if you are certified and you can fill your tank at the local scuba shop, or you can rent diving or snorkel equipment. Most days the water is calm and clear making for perfect viewing of marine life and an exciting experience. ATV Rentala
If you want to keep things on land, try renting a Polaris, Rhino or Quad. ATV rentals can be found on the roads near Sandy Beach and most reach speeds between 40-50 mph. You can rent by the hour and can take your ATV right in the sand dunes. Riding around on an ATV can be a great time as long you are watchful of cars and other riders.
So weather you are seeking the rush of the water or the thrill of the land for your next adrenaline boost, Rocky Point is a great place to find some excitement!]]>
Centro Intercultural de Estudios de Desiertos y Océanos [Intercultural Center of Desert and Ocean Studies (CEDO)], a non-lucrative organization which favors the ecological education and protection of land and sea environments of the region. Its facilities (located at 9 km from the beach Las Conchas) house an interesting museum, an extensive bookstore and some exhibits. But, what a better way to get sensitive before the urgency to preserve the natural environments than living them on the flesh? That’s why; CEDO offers the visitors guided tours to the Sonora natural destinations.
These visits allow knowing the vast dunes, volcanoes, and sarahuales of the Reserve of the Biosphere of El Pinacate, lodged in the core of the Great Desert of Altar. They also get close to the “tide pools” in the costs of the Sea of Cortes, zones where the tide goes up and down several meters, twice a day. On going down a wide coastal line is discovered and ot can be seen among the holes of rocks hundreds of marine animals such as snails, sea cucumbers, pistol shrimps –which produce strong sounds similar to gunshots–, anemone, sea stars and even octopus.
Another travel goes deeper in the estuaries of the desert coast, such as the estuary Morúa, home of countless species of resident and migratory birds. At San Jorge, a rocky island located at some 40 kilometers to the southeast from Puerto Peñasco, reside pelicans, bobo birds, seagulls and bats. However, the main inhabitants of this reserve are seals; CEDO vessels get close to certain areas of the coast where tourists can swim, snorkel or sail in kayak surrounded by the friendly mammals that get close to play with them.]]>
In search of warmer destinations while dodging winter weather in the north, the affectionately called “snowbirds” tend to flock south each year and Puerto Peñasco has become one of their preferred destinations. As the temperatures drop, our sunshine, sand and beaches eagerly welcome these Winter visitors!
Hailing from numerous spots across the U.S., as well as Canada, the “snowbirds” are mostly made up of retired adults with the opportunity and ability to travel. Many drive over thousands of miles in RVs, or towing trailers, looking to leave cold nights behind in search of warmer days for the winter months.
Starting in November, hundreds of folk begin preparations to head to their winter spots. Puerto Peñasco has become one of these popular destinations as, in addition to its desert climate offering warm sunny days, everyone can enjoy our beaches and fantastic landscapes.
Though housing preferences have changed over the years, given there are fewer RV parks in town than in the past and more visiting seniors are opting to rent condos or homes, Puerto Peñasco anxiously anticipates the arrival of her winter visitors who can be seen in the mornings, gripping cups of coffee and donning comfortable clothing for strolls on the beach, walking dogs, and enjoying the sunrise.
In the afternoons, individuals of this migratory flock can be spotted shopping at local businesses while in the evening they are often found gathering in large groups at one of the many local restaurants or bars.
As these “snowbirds” know that adventure and fun is for all ages, the streets and dunes of Puerto Peñasco readily become part of their tour through the desert in off-road or all-terrain vehicles. Plus, there’s golf, hiking at the Pinacate, recreational fishing, day long or sunset boat cruises, and banana boats or jetskis for the most adventuresome.
The beaches and sun of Puerto Peñasco, as well as her residents, anxiously welcome the arrival of these annual winter visitors in order to continue to share the natural wealth of our sea and desert!
The winter season and its lower temperatures are no impediment for visitors to take in the magic and wonder at the Pinacate Reserve. The Reserve, which encompasses craters dotted across the desert landscape, offers one of the most biodiverse spots in the world and is located just about 30 miles north of Puerto Peñasco.
This mystical spot, which in 2013 was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers visitors an immense gamut of landscapes, from the largest crater, the “Elegante” which is the most visited along the Reserve route given its proximity to the entrance, as well as dunes, water tanks, rocky lava terrain, and infinite flora and fauna. All these wonders can be enjoyed even more fully during the cooler season.
Although temperatures in this area can reach down below zero °C, particularly in the higher parts of the Pinacate mountain range, days are generally sunny and perfect for hiking and enjoying the varied landscapes at a time when the heat is not as extreme as in other parts of the year.
During this time one can see winter foliage across the desert, and there’s the possibility to catch glimpse of white tailed deer “venado bura”, as well as birds that migrate to the region during colder months, including eagles. Reptile species take advantage of this time to hibernate and therefore do not represent risks for visitors.
According to statistics at the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, the number of international visitors from the U.S. and Canada tends to increase considerably in the winter given the temperate climate.
Staff from the National Commission on Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) at the Pinacate Reserve recommend visitors first stop by the Schuk Toak Visitors Center and Museum where one view the modern, interactive museum exhibit complete with videos and images about the Sonoran Desert. The museum specifically houses information about the volcanic shield of the Pinacate and Grand Desert of Altar, as well as cultural information in furthering the goal of nature conservation.
Winter Visitor Recommendations
CONANP provides the following recommendations for those interested in visiting the Pinacate during the winter season:
Winter visiting hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
General admission $56 pesos or $28 pesos for local residents (from Puerto Peñasco, Sonoyta, and San Luis Río Colorado). Admission fee is similar to that in all protected natural areas in Mexico and is put toward conservation efforts.
Dress appropriately and be prepared for drops in temperature due to cold fronts.
If camping, don’t sleep outdoors but rather use a tent and warm sleeping bag. Take your own wood for campfires and only use designated camping areas.
It is strictly prohibited to collect or extract plants, animals, organic remains, wood, sand, rocks, minerals, archaeological remains, or any other natural or cultural element from the area
If planning to prepare food, bring in own wood or charcoal.
Use of portable stoves that use gas, alcohol, or other fuel is permitted.
Do not destroy any forestry resource.
We recommend you leave pets at home. Pets allowed only when they remain in the car or are kept on a leash.
Large or heavy vehicles are not allowed entry, these include RVs and buses, as well as all-terrain vehicles (ATVs, etc.).
The camping area is located between the Elegante crater and Cerro Colorado, maximum capacity 40 people. This is a fascinating spot and while visitors may not plan on camping, this area may be used for picnics and hiking along the interpretive trail up to the top of Cono Mayo. From there, visitors can view a large part of the lava flows and fields covered by volcanic ash.
Bring your own tent, sleeping bag, and wood for campfires. It is important to keep in mind night temperatures can dip below 0°C.
Be sure to have sufficient water and sunscreen as well as comfortable, warm clothing. During the winter use heavier clothing to cover the whole body, as well as a cap or hat. Be sure vehicles have a full tank of gas and that tires are in good condition.
Do not use rocks as stakes for tents or coverings.
Sliding on slopes of volcanic ash is strictly prohibited.
Entry to the sand dunes is through the Schuk Toak Visitors Center uhder the following guidelines:
It is recommended not to visit the dunes during periods of higher temperatures.
Sign-in before visiting the dunes. This must be done both upon entry and departure.
Be aware of your physical condition as the trek is through the heavy sand.
The dune walk to and from is approximately 2 hours of walking. During the first 10 minute stretch, cars are allowed in up to a parking area. There, the walk continues for 40 minutes to the first dunes, and then 40 minutes back.
Biological Station (along Sonoyta – Puerto Peñasco highway): 638 383 1433
Piñatas are an essential element to December fiestas across Mexico. The piñata, traditionally made with a clay center though now commonly made out of paper maché, is put together with wire and paper cones often meant to symbolize the seven mortal sins. At the same time, the points on the piñata also reflect the star that guided the Holy Family to Bethlehem.
Piñatas can be filled with candies, as well as seasonal fruit and treats. Both young and old participate in the breaking of the piñata, with a blindfold placed over whomever is taking a turn at striking the moving object, while others sing traditional verses of encouragement.
In Puerto Peñasco, piñatas are made by local artisans and can be found along Calle 32 “Rodeo Drive”, as well as in the curios market in the malecón, at numerous candy shops, and spots along Blvd. Benito Juárez.
October has arrived, showcasing spectacular moonscapes along with the cool mornings and lovely sunsets that only Puerto Peñasco can offer.
The hottest months of the year are nearly a thing of the past, giving way to Fall and the rich coolness that beckons calm afternoon coffee breaks and strolls through town.
The arrival of Fall and its mild temperatures opens up opportunities to enjoy Puerto Peñasco on evening walks, riding over the dunes, visits to the beach to watch the sun set from open air viewpoints, or a simple stroll along the malecón in the Old Port.
Fall’s onset doesn’t slow down beach activities in town! During the day, Puerto Peñasco’s sun offers sufficient warmth, inviting all to sink into the sand while enjoying the coast hugging the Sea of Cortéz, or to take in a boat cruise, or go out and explore the dunes.
This season, our destination – being the most visited tourism spot in northwestern Mexico – offers a slew of activities! From music performances, including a concert with El Mastuerzo at the city’s very first Chevefest (Craft Beer Fest), to trop-rock Parrot Fest, rock ‘n roll with Roger Clyne, banda, and of course November’s popular Rocky Point Rally™, which all make this the perfect time of year to combine nights of fun with friends and a great climate!
This is also the time of the year when thousands of tourists from the U.S. and Canada roll into town with their RVs, some for weeks at a time and many who come to enjoy Puerto Peñasco’s beaches for the whole season, searching out warmer destinations for the winter months.
Yet another interesting option during this period of fantastic weather is to visit the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO World Heritage Site), located just 50 kilometers north of Puerto Peñasco. There, you can take in one of the most impressive desert landscapes in the region, or pay a visit to the “Schuk Toak” Visitors Center of the Pinacate, located just 30 kilometers north of town, in learning more about our area at the interactive museum that highlights all the beauty the desert has to offer.
Go on, come enjoy Fall in Puerto Peñasco, along with our lovely moon-filled nights and pleasant sunsets!
Pieces of shells transformed by local artisans, distinctive regional souvenirs, flowers made from aluminum sheet, ironwork, clay figures, paintings, sarapes, and traditional dresses are just some of the products one may come across in the area known as “Los Curios” along Calle Revolución on the old road to “La Cholla.”
There are nearly fifty shops lining the street, showcasing thousands of products made across Mexico and by local artists. Among the many items created by the artisans, figures made with shells from Puerto Peñasco’s beaches stand out. Acquiring one of these pieces is like taking a small part of the Sea of Cortez home.
The figures themselves are made with shells local fishermen pull up in their nets. The shells are then washed and disinfected before being transformed into necklaces, picture frames, or small ornaments.
Hundreds of tourists from Mexico, the U.S., and abroad visit the “Los Curios” (often affectionately called “Rodeo Drive”) particularly on weekends, searching for souvenirs to take back to families and friends.
Among the most sought after items are the flowers made from aluminum sheets, colorfully painted saguaros, necklaces made from shells, as well as shell sculptures, sombreros, and key chains with histories of Puerto Peñasco.
One can observe the white facades on various shops on the once well-traveled road to La Choya, which create a community feel to Los Curios. Ample sidewalks permit one to browse from shop to shop while looking for items made by the hands of artisans, whether they be local or from other parts of the country.
Los Curios is located along Calle Revolución (Calle 32), which connects with Blvd. Benito Juarez and leads toward the new Convention Center.
Peñasco’s origins stem from fishing, positioning it as one of the most important spots in northwestern Mexico. Today, the port’s fishing industry remains parallel in importance to tourism.
Shrimp fishing continues to be one of the main economic activities in the city and a source of employment for hundreds of people who each year launch their adventure in search of “pink gold.”
The fishing industry drew the first settlers to Puerto Peñasco in 1926. At that time dozens of people fished for the much sought after totoaba, whose capture is now prohibited. In the early twenties there was not a high demand for shrimp until the Japanese recognized its nutritional and commercial value.
Presently, approximately 100 boats in the shrimp fleet are preparing to head out to sea on September 14th at 6 a.m. once the season opens in the Upper Gulf of California. The season for coastal boats and smaller vessels opens on September 20th. Each season brings in nearly 1500 tons of shrimp, which are then exported principally to the U.S., as well as for national distribution.
Blue shrimp can be found in the region of Puerto Peñasco and the Upper Gulf, which given its size is highly desired for the preparation of shrimp based dishes. Medium-sized brown shrimp are also predominant in the area.
This is why shrimp, and the image of shrimp fishermen, are iconic symbols in Puerto Peñasco. These icons can be seen displayed both in the Plaza del Camarón as well as in the Malecón.
th, festivities extend throughout the month, enjoying time with friends and family, and reaffirming Mexican identity.
In Puerto Peñasco, preparations begin in August with decorations going up in some parts of the city along with traditional banners hung along main streets, and colors of the flag adorning City Hall and a number of parks. Of course there’s also vendors of flags and colorful pinwheels roaming throughout the city with their carts.
As part of the festivities surrounding Mexican Independence Day, and to welcome visitors who choose to celebrate the patriotic holiday here in Puerto Peñasco, a number of area hotels are offering special packages and fiestas.
On the evening of September 15th, the traditional celebration will take place outside City Hall. There, one can stroll through dozens of food stands offering Mexican delights and drinks and then enjoy a reenacted “torch” march along Blvd. Juárez, and recreation of the Insurgents Movement of 1810. The insurgents’ trail winds its way to the balcony of City Hall, where below scores of people gather to hear the traditional “Grito de Dolores”, and the night culminates with fireworks and “Castle Burning.” ¡VIVA! Puerto Peñasco is an ideal spot to celebrate Mexican Independence Day given the variety of activities it offers. Take advantage of the warmth of the city’s beaches, area attractions, and traditional fiestas! ]]>
One of the most interesting and fun things to do while in Rocky Point!
By Plinio Rivero.
One of the main natural attractions awaiting discovery when in search of adventure upon visiting Puerto Peñasco is a trip to Isla San Jorge, also known as “Bird Island”. Be sure to spend an incredible day getting to know this beautiful corner in the Sea of Cortez! Decreed a federal reserve in 1978, this small group of rock formations is home to birds characteristic to the Upper Gulf of California, as well as migratory species, and also exhibits one of the most important populations of seals and sea lions in the country!
The trip begins early in the morning by boarding a boat at the marina in Puerto Peñasco for the approximate 1½ hour trip to the island. This time allows you to take in the beautiful early morning and enjoy the coast extending southeast of town. If you’re lucky, along the way you may come across groups of dolphins accompanying the boat, entertaining everyone with their acrobatic maneuvers. If your trip is in the winter, we recommend you bring along binoculars and stay alert for possible whale sightings.
In nearing the island, you can readily appreciate various birds that fly alongside the boat on its journey. You’ll also be sure to note the characteristic smell given that the island is inhabited by thousands of birds, evidence of which is plain to see.
After arriving at the island generally from the North, which is protected from currents and winds from the south, the most exciting part of the trip begins. Take in this paradise in the company of hundreds of seals and sea lions who, curious to your presence, jump into the water to investigate and play around visitors. This is also when you can enjoy a variety of activities from merely observing and photographing the area to hopping aboard a paddleboard or kayak, or swimming in the sea. Though landing on the island is not allowed, kayaks can get pretty close for observing the majestic sea lions. Or you may choose to swim, surrounded by curious and playful seals. In normal conditions, water visibility also makes this an ideal spot for snorkeling or diving.
After enjoying the Sea of Cortez, Bird Island, and its hosts, take pleasure in the return to Puerto Peñasco, resting and refreshing in the sea breeze while preparing to relish in a beautiful sunset as you top off a grand day of adventure!
1. During his expeditions through the Pinacate in the early 1700s, from atop the Santa Clara peak Jesuit Priest Francisco Eusebio Kino (“Padre Kino”) determined that Baja California was a peninsula rather than an island, as was believed at that time.
2. Given the similarity between the Pinacate and the moon’s surface, in 1969 NASA astronauts carried out tests in this area prior to the first trip to the moon.
3. Although the area surrounding the Pinacate and the Desert of Altar seems inhospitable, there are more than 500 plant species, 40 mammal species, 200 bird species and 40 reptile species to be found here.
4. For the Tohono O’odham culture, the Pinacate is sacred ground. According to their beliefs, this is where the universe was created as well as the roots of the four elements: water, land, air, and fire.
5. The largest sand dunes in North America can be found in the Pinacate. The dunes are in the form of a star and the “Queen Dune” reaches up to nearly 985 feet.
6. The bio-diverse area of the Pinacate is home to animals at risk of extinction including the Sonoran pronghorn, Gila monster, bighorn sheep, the desert tortoise, and chameleons.
7. For cyclists, there is a 15 kilometer bike route through the Pinacate. This begins at the biology station and winds along the “Batamote” range, offering a ride through diverse landscapes while being in contact with nature.
8. Given its natural beauty and tremendous biodiversity, on June 21, 2013 the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve and Grand Desert of Altar was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) during its gathering in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
9. The “Schuk Toak” Visitors Center contains an interactive museography about the Sonoran desert and the Pinacate. To date it is the largest self-sustaining public building in Latin America that runs on solar power. The Visitors Center is located at kilometer 72 along the Puerto Peñasco – Sonoyta highway.
10. The sight is known as the Pinacate based on the brilliant black color that distinguishes beetles of the same name, as well as the manner in which these insects raise their hindquarters thereby lending the name to the tallest volcano in the region (Volcán Pinacate), with an altitude of 3937 feet.
11. The Grand Desert of Altar is the most biologically diverse desert in the world.
12. The volcanic zone and dark lava flows found in the Pinacate are the result of volcanic eruptions dating back 4 million years!
Puerto Peñasco’s main attraction is undoubtedly its beaches, the horizontal strip where the sea merges with the rocky and sandy shores.
In addition to the coastline for those staying at beachfront hotels and condo complexes along Sandy Beach, there are various spots in Puerto Peñasco where one can enjoy a warm corner of the Sea of Cortez.
One of the most popular beaches is “Playa Hermosa,” which extends from in front of area hotels and toward the condo complexes of Sandy Beach. This stretch of beach traditionally receives the greatest number of tourists, given there are no marked drop-offs or pronounced rocks.
To facilitate access to Playa Hermosa, steps have been built at the spot known as “Los Palacio” next to the first condominium complex of the hotel zone, as well as at the area referred to as “Los Guardados,” the two principal access points. Another entry is along a walkway located between Hotel Peñasco del Sol and Gamma seafood restaurant. Sun shade rental is available along Playa Hermosa.
The area of the Mirador is another coastline offering various access points to the beach. The Mirador also offers a number of hotels and smaller condo complexes, along with RV parks, for visitors. Dozens of families make their way to this rockier shore to enjoy the sea. Here the drop-offs can be more pronounced during low tides and swimming is recommended only when the water is calm. Beach access spots are located along the Mirador and primarily toward the end of the Mirador intersecting with Ave. Sinaloa.
The area known as La Cholla, primarily consisting of U.S. residents, offers a coast frequented by both Mexicans and people from the U.S. given its much calmer waters. Although Cholla Bay is about 6 miles from the urban spread of Puerto Peñasco, a visit to the warm beach stretching from Pelican Point to the boat launch is well worth it. Hidden between the beach homes on the west side of Cholla Bay, one can also make their way down to the rocky landscape of Tucson Beach where families of sea lions often make their ways onto the rocks to relax.
Dirt roads from off one of the city’s main boulevard lead directly to Mi Playa. This area offers parking and a number of palapas for a fun family afternoon. However, it is recommended children not swim in this spot given stronger currents that can occur in this area. To get to Mi Playa, take the dirt road off Blvd. Fremont and follow the signs. Entrance and exit routes are separate leading in and out of Mi Playa.
To help guide travels, TripAdvisor is a popular tool and its familiar green owl can be seen across Puerto Peñasco, providing a sense of well-being to all.
TripAdvisor gives out two types of awards that distinguish spots best evaluated through client opinion: Certificate of Excellence and Travelers’ Choice, based off millions of opinions and comments from travelers around the globe.
The TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a way of recognizing certain establishments, attractions, and restaurants that demonstrate a constant commitment to excellence in hospitality and services.
To be eligible, a business must have a certain number of remarks from travelers that provide reviews on the TripAdvisor site and maintain a general rank of four (with a maximum of five).
In Puerto Peñasco, there are a number of hotels that have been given Certificates of Excellence, and others that are ranking well though possible have not yet received the required amount of client remarks for the year. Nevertheless, in planning one’s travel, every opinion counts.
Hotels in Puerto Peñasco that received Certificate of Excellence for 2014 include: Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort and Sonoran Sky Resort.
Here are the top 10 hotels in Puerto Peñasco, as ranked by opinions on TripAdvisor:
1. Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort
2. Sonoran Sky Resort
3. Mayan Palace Puerto Peñasco
4.Sonoran Sun Resort
5. Peñasco del Sol Hotel
6. El Mirador Village Hotel
7. Casa Blanca Golf Villas
8. Las Palmas
9. Playa Bonita Hotel
10. Hotel Paraíso del Desierto
Have you stayed at a local hotel that you’d like to recommend? Vote! Your opinion always counts!]]>
Just a few miles outside of Puerto Peñasco, the Pinacate and Grand Desert of Altar Biosphere Reserve is a special space and one of a kind in the world given the richness of its landscape, history, geology, as well as its flora and fauna.
The Pinacate Reserve, recognized in 2013 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, offers visitors the opportunity to visually attest to its majestic natural beauty, diverse geology, lava
fields, maar craters, moving dunes, and granite mountains. These elements have attracted researchers from across the globe to the area, including even NASA at one time prior to the
first trip to the moon.
The biology station at the Pinacate Reserve, located about 50 kilometers from Puerto Peñasco, is open to visitors 365 days a year from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Staff from the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (CONANP) are there to register guests and suggest routes.
During the summer,
meteorological stations within the Pinacate register extremely high temperatures, therefore visitors are recommended to wear comfortable clothing covering all skin surfaces, walking shoes for all types of
terrain, as well as a cap or hat to help protect against the sun’s rays.
Héctor Munro Colosio, CONANP Director of Communications, Image, and International Relations at the Pinacate Reserve, explains during the summer one can enjoy the flowers and fruits of cactus from saguaro, pitahaya, nopales, and la biznaga. These are pollinated principally by bats and flower generally at night.
In addition to thousands of bats, Munro indicates, fauna during this season include guanas, wild hares, quail, prairie dogs, and roadrunners among other species that transit the area due to the few predators. In the afternoons or very early in the morning there are also coyote, fox, deer, mountain goats, wild boars, kangaroo rats, and rattlesnakes, among other species.
The Communications Director explains the Pinacate Reserve receives up to 17,000 visitors yearly, a number which has increased significantly after the area was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Even so, he adds, it continues to be one of the cleanest natural protected areas in Mexico, and they are confident that visitors possess this awareness.
“Schuk Toak” Visitors Center
The “Schuck Toak” Visitors Center located about 30 kilometers from Puerto Peñasco is another option for those who wish to learn more about the Pinacate
Biosphere Reserve without necessarily journeying out on routes through the Sonoran desert.
The self-sustaining ecological building, which operates off more than 200 solar panels, houses an interactive museum covering top pics of geology, biology, culture, and history. It also provides informational stations along walking paths in the area, a well-equipped audiovisual hall with videos about the Pinacate, and a spacious terrace from where visitors can take in the natural landscapes and, on special occasions, spectacular views of night skies and meteor showers.