Come to Rocky Point

Manny’s Beach Club in the Mirador receives official Blue Flag certification for 2021-2022

For second consecutive year, Puerto Peñasco beach receives international “Blue Flag” certification granted by the Foundation for Environmental Education in Mexico.

Manny’s Beach Club in the Mirador was the site for the raising of the “Blue Flag” again this year, accrediting the site as the only coastline in Sonora distinguished as having met the environmental and sustainable guidelines required for the international distinction.

At the presentation of the international “Blue Flag” certification of 76 meters of coastline, FEE Mexico Executive Director Joaquín Arturo Díaz Ríos expressed appreciation to the local administration, as well as the local Clean Beach Committee, the Federal Maritime Land Zone office, as well as to Manny’s owners for joint efforts to ensure this stretch continues to meet strict environmental, water quality, environmental management, safety, and service standards.

Puerto Peñasco is home to two more stretches of coastline that have been certified as clean beaches. This includes a part of Sandy Beach, stretching over 1780 linear meters from Playa Bonita Hotel to Las Palomas, as well as 2300 meters of coastline at Islas del Mar, as certified by Mexican Norm NMX AA 120 SCFI 2016.

The direct participation of local governments, hoteliers, environmental and educational associations, along with community involvement, is needed to achieve these national and international beach certifications, ensuring the safety and health of tourists and local residents alike.

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Rocky Point reinstates various Health Restrictions as of Aug. 9th

Restriction measures on capacity and hours at restaurants, bars and family events will resume in Puerto Peñasco as of August 9.

As a measure to contain COVID-19 cases during this phase of the virus spread, the Municipal Public Safety and Health Board held an extraordinary session and agreed to apply measures to restrict hours and capacity at some establishments.

City Secretary Terencio Gutiérrez explained this mainly entails limiting hours, as in the case of bars, which must close at 11:00 p.m. and only have 50% of their capacity.

Gutierrez highlighted all types of events in which minors under 15 are exposed, such as piñata birthday parties, baptisms or youth parties, as well as league sports are prohibited.

Similarly, restrictions will be applied in restaurants with only 50% capacity allowed, while only 40% will be allowed in places for social gatherings and parties.

The municipal decree states that tourist boats will also only operate at 50% of their passenger capacity, including crew, as a preventive measure.

The city secretary indicated if an increase in COVID-19 infections is registered, measures will be intensified. He called on the community to follow basic rules such as social distancing, hand washing, use of hand sanitizer and face masks to go anywhere.

He regretted that, after Puerto Peñasco’s slow economic recovery, these measures must be taken again due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in this municipality.

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Rocky Point remains open to visitors and with health measures in place

Puerto Peñasco remains open to visitors, along with its beaches, to make sure you enjoy this summer vacation season! Nevertheless, these are not times to let our guard down and we must care for each other.

The warm beaches of this paradisiacal destination, as well as its resorts and businesses, remain open to tourism and residents alike. They are able to do so as they continue operating under health and safety protocols, with necessary measures in place so they can function appropriately.

We are in the middle of the summer season, which is a time of intense heat that simply invites one to escape.  Why not seek release with a dip in the sea along our coast, or in one of the many pools at area hotels and resorts? Or, possibly take in a boat cruise to admire the spectacular sunset along with music and drinks. Visit a restaurant to sample local cuisine, take in all the outdoor activities from ATV rentals to ultralights, enjoy a simple stroll along the malecon, or sink your toes into the sand in a hidden beach nook.

You can undoubtedly enjoy all this and more to the max, while not forgetting we’re still in a period of heightened health alerts. This is why we must continue caring for our health and that of our families by practicing responsible tourism.

This is as simple as continuing to wear masks in enclosed spaces, having limited gatherings, washing hands, and maintaining a safe social distance in as much as possible.  This tourist destination has maintained a low rate of Covid-19 cases so far, due in large part to the period the city was closed down last year along with its gradual reopening under strict protocols. This has helped it remain its status as a Safe Point.

There’s been significant progress in applying Covid vaccinations across the country and regionally so we can reach necessary immunity, much as is being done in Arizona and California, which are our principal markets.

The Puerto Peñaso Convention and Visitors Bureau has strengthened our own promotional campaigns for this beautiful port in an effort to revive tourism. At the same time, we’ve participated directly in tasks such as setting up health filters, checking reservations, promoting protocols, and even assisting with cross-border vaccination clinics. We do all of these things as our main goal is to welcome you, along with your family and friends, and ensure an enjoyable stay in this corner of the Sea of Cortez while caring for your overall well-being. 

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Enhancing tourism services through training courses

In an effort to certify and professionalize tourism services, a call has been launched for interested individuals to take part in a housekeeper training course led by the Sonora State Labor Training Institute (ICATSON).

The 15-hour training is set to commence July 5th, thanks to a collaborative agreement between ICATSON, the Puerto Peñasco branch of the Sonora Association of Hotels and Motels, the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau, the local Chamber of Commerce, and the Technological University of Puerto Peñasco where the course will be held.

The invitation is for persons 18+ who wish to get into the housekeeping field, with the commitment that upon course completion they can be hired at local hotels and resorts. In addition, staff already working at area resorts and hotels are invited to attend in order to enhance their service.

Oscar Palacio Soto, Director of the Puerto Peñasco Hotel and Motels Association, explained the idea of the agreement is to provide training courses that can benefit the tourism sector by improving customer service. In turn, the courses can carry out field work within local hotel facilities.

Edmundo Campa Araiza, general director of ICATSON, emphasized as tourism is the principal economic engine in this port, the courses will strengthen training for all who tend to visitors, which is something that must be stressed.

The 15-hour training course regarding housekeeping services will be held at Hotel Playa Bonita, at a cost of 562 pesos per course hour. Training will include instruction on topics regarding health standards and procedures, customer service and communication with clients and staff, equipping and supplying of rooms, and room cleaning services. In addition, the course will incorporate basic training on sign language, English, and First Aid. 

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Anniversary of the economic reactivation!

A little over a year ago, the doors to this corner of the Sea of Cortez were reopened to visitors. This came three months after the city had shut down in an effort to limit and prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The reopening was a breath of fresh air for Puerto Peñasco, as along with it came economic revival for tourism, shops, hotels, resorts, and restaurants. Still, this measure implied yet another challenge for the entire city.

Streets remained deserted, beaches were closed, hotels without guests, and businesses barely staying open. All of this hardship was resolved by putting maximum efforts into the city’s reactivation.

Following months in lockdown, the reopening of Puerto Peñasco wasn’t just improvised or abrupt. For this to successfully happen, discussion panels met to first ensure mechanics were in place. These discussions weighed different options and initiatives while trying to minimize health risks to the community. This was truly an effort in which all city sectors came together to make the reopening as effective as possible.

Puerto Peñasco was the first site in Sonora to obtain Safe Point ranking.  Under Safe Point, area hotels, resorts, and restaurants received certification as safe spots to visit in being in compliance with strict international health, hygiene, and safety protocols.

Puerto Peñasco was also the only spot to install filters at city entry points, so that once tourism starting coming back, reservations could be checked and compared. These filters even carried out Covid tests to prevent possible spread.

All the measures taken to revive tourism and economic activity were drastic, yet necessary. Monitoring efforts were doubled on area beaches, and sanitary tunnels installed at resorts.

Health protocols were fully enforced at hotels, motels, restaurants, and shops, becoming normal daily habits for both residents and tourists in this new reality all were experiencing.

While the pandemic hasn’t fully disappeared, Puerto Peñasco has made progress in recovering its rhythm through promotion as a safe place to visit. The gradual response has been impactful as more and more families choose to visit our corner of the Sea of Cortez as they break out of their lockdown routines.

One year after its reopening, Puerto Peñasco is on the right track.  In addition to welcoming thousands of North American and national tourists every weekend, the city has maintained health and safety measures. Data on registered Covid cases in Puerto Peñasco don’t even represent 1% of those statewide.

This doesn’t mean our guard will be lowered. Rather, the tourism sector and establishments in general must continue to function in compliance with basic health and safety measures to offer greater confidence to visitors.

Puerto Peñasco is more ready than ever to welcome you with open doors, with endless places and activities to explore and discover. 

Take a break and visit the beach this summer!

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Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort awarded International Safe Travel Distinction

Puerto Peñasco finds itself on the global stage in matters of health and safety protocols in caring for tourism. To underscore this, Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort has become the first internationally recognized “Safe Travel” property in Sonora.

This recognition, which has only been awarded to 160 companies worldwide, is granted by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which reviews and certifies that standards, protocols, and commitments of distinguished companies adhere to impeccable levels of care and safety for guests.

The Safe Travel distinction has been adopted by six of the most important hotel brands in the world, and now by Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort in Puerto Peñasco. This certification is backed by agencies including the World Health Organization and many specializing in tourism and travel.

What does it mean for a resort to obtain this international stamp of approval?

Certification means a guarantee of safety and the application of strict health and cleaning protocols in caring for guests. In turn, clients can be fully confident when coming across this distinction on a reservation site, as in the case of Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort, the only location in Sonora to have received this award for quality and safety.

HĂ©ctor Vázquez del Mercado, General Director of Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort, explains this distinction essentially certifies all the work the resort has undertaken since last year to revive the tourism sector under Covid-19 concerns in Puerto Peñasco.  Las Palomas has been exemplary in complying with the complete and correct application of health and sanitizing measures, social distancing, development of operation manuals, ensuring health practices, maintaining follow-up logs, implementing technology to prevent contact, as well as ongoing communication and staff training.

The Safe Travel certification is not solely another star for the resort, but rather a distinction that exemplifies Las Palomas as upholding high standards of safety, particularly during these times of extreme caution, while ensuring guests can be fully confident with all of its services.

Luis Núñez, Sonora Tourism Promotion Coordinator, acknowledged the biosafety training efforts of many tourism companies, such as Las Palomas, with the goal of regenerating trust among travelers as tourism bounces back. This is important as millions of people in Sonora depend on the tourism industry. 

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Pink Gold from the Sea of Cortez

Delving into the heart of the Gulf of California in search of shrimp was one of the main activities leading to Puerto Peñasco’s origins. Shrimp has become an iconic figure due to the growth it permitted the city.

This particular region is privileged given the natural wealth and biodiversity of the Sea of Cortez, as well as proximity to natural shrimp banks. Shrimp from this area is highly sought after in international markets, and is a staple for seafood dishes whether that be aguachile, ceviche, soup, salad, breaded, sautéed in garlic, grilled, or as the centerpiece of the traditional Carlos V plate, among others.

Shrimp caught in the Gulf of California is actually a point of reference across the globe due to its quality and the sizes it can reach. Fishermen in this area catch blue, brown, and white shrimp, the latter of which has been popular for export, such as in the 1950’s to Japan, and particularly to the United States. 

There are currently close to 70 deep sea boats, and over 200 coastal (smaller) vessels that sail out each year in search of the “Pink Gold,” bringing in large yields that are then marketed across the country.

So, just in case you’ve ever wondered about the significance of the “Shrimp Fisherman” statue in the malecĂłn, the origin of Shrimp Plaza, or the large crustacean that appears as the city’s emblem, now you know! 

In addition to being a strong tourism destination, Puerto Peñasco is a privileged spot situated on the Sea of Cortez that has given so much to fishermen over the years, providing the backbone to the city’s beginnings. 

If you ever get the chance to taste our delicious shrimp, which by the way are high in protein and low in fat, you will have the honor of savoring one of the many delicacies the Sea of Cortez provides.

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Christmas is almost here! How will you celebrate?

Though this year has presented complicated moments for everyone in learning new ways of life, keeping our distance, and caring for ourselves and each other more than ever, we can’t let such an important traditional date slip us by. Christmas is still a time for gathering with loved ones, and this time with all necessary health measures in place. 

Holiday celebrations won’t mean large joyful crowds this year, but rather conserving the magic of the season, which is meaningful for adults and children alike while awaiting Santa Claus and gifts.

It is understandable that many prefer to stay home during this family time, celebrating a simple dinner with their closest loved ones. In some cases, people are looking ahead and ordering a banquet to bring home to save time on cooking.

There are also those who are considering going out with loved ones to celebrate Christmas, which is valid provided consideration of current health and safety measures. If you plan to go out, gathering in small groups with only a few people is what is most recommended.

A holiday option is to reserve a room or condominium at one of those certified as “Safe Point”, guaranteeing you a safe space that complies with all health guidelines.

Organizing an open-air campfire, complete with roasting of hotdogs and marshmallows for the kids, is also a good option for those looking for another way to celebrate.

Another good idea is going out to eat with the family at one of the restaurants staying open on Christmas Eve. Don’t forget to make a reservation!

What’s important at this time is to care for our health while not letting go of family togetherness. So, let’s pick out the best option to celebrate Christmas! 

Happy Holidays! 

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Whale watching season on the horizon

Whale watching season is nearing as these giants of the ocean approach the Pacific coast, making their way to warmer waters in the Sea of Cortez.

Early in the year is when we can observe the natural spectacle put on by these enormous cetaceans as they skirt the coasts of Puerto Peñasco. This is indeed a privileged spot as tourism companies program special whale watching trips so you can catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures.

Whale watching takes place in this area from January through April. The whales make their way toward our coasts for the rich food sources, as well as to mate and give birth to their young.

Whales most frequently spotted in Puerto Peñasco waters include the fin whale, the second largest whale species in the world, as well as grey and humpback whales.  The whales migrate from the cold Alaskan coasts, where they feed during the summer, and make their way to the warmer waters of the Sea of Cortez for the winter.

Whale watching, which is a privilege in the region and a gift of nature, is also authorized by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT).  This agency establishes regulations so that whale watching can be done under measures necessary to protect the species.

Some boats that navigate in the waters off Baja Caifornia Sur have already reported whale sightings, which means they will certainly soon be visible off the coasts of Puerto Peñasco.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness a whale breaching or cresting the watery surface, plus the chance to capture the memory forever.  So, start planning your next winter trip to Puerto Peñasco and reserve a spot on a boat  that will bring you close to a visual encounter with these giants of the sea.

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Ready to make a wish?

In addition to Rocky Point’s amazing sunsets, meteor showers are another incredible spectacle you can enjoy and, if you’re lucky, capture in a photograph.

Did you know there are still meteor showers to take in before year’s end? These are among the best, including the Leonids meteor shower in November. You can catch this annual spectacle of nature from various spots around Rocky Point!

Where and when you can catch upcoming meteor showers in Rocky Point:

The recommendation is to make your way to open spaces beyond the city lights, or to a remote beach. Have your camera ready, preferably mounted on a tripod for stability, while not losing sight of the night sky.  It’s important to go to your chosen spot in advance in search of the perfect frame, and then wait for the peak time of the meteor shower.

Another fantastic recommendation is to catch a meteor shower at the Shuck Toak Visitors Center and Museum located 27 kilometers outside the city.  Shuck Toak, which will open on nights of the most prominent meteor showers, provides an astronomy guide who will share information about the celestial phenomenon. At times, people can also camp in the area in order to fully relish in the event.  As space is limited, be sure to request information in advance from the Reserva de la Biosfera del Pinacate Facebook page.

According to the astronomical calendar, The Taurid and Leonid meteor showers can be seen between November 6th – 30th, with the best visibility spanning the nights of Nov. 16th and 17th.

Yet, according to astronomers, we can enjoy the best Taurid meteor showers, or rather the so called “balls of fire”, on the nights of Nov. 11th and 12th.  The moon will be at 7% on the peak night, so we’ll surely be able to enjoy the show!

The following meteor shower, the Geminids, will take place December 4th – 17th. The peak evening will be December 14th.  For astronomers, the Geminids are the queen of meteor showers given the tremendous number of falling stars to be seen. In this constellation, one can see up to 120 falling meteors per hour!

The final meteor shower of 2020 is the Ursids, from December 17th – 26th. The best night to catch a glimpse of the Ursids meteor shower is December 21st. This meteor shower won’t be as visible as the moon will be at 53%.

With these dates in mind, you have time to prepare an outing to somewhere special away from the city lights so you can enjoy a true gift of nature.  Already know where you’ll go?  Rocky Point awaits!

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Experience Mexico!

Celebrations commemorating the anniversary of the Mexican Revolution will be diverse and more family oriented this year. 

The Mexican Revolution was a watershed moment for the country. As a nation, we cannot let this important date go unobserved, and more so this year as we commemorate its 110th Anniversary.

While conditions are quite different across the country in 2020, celebrations are warranted. This can include taking advantage of the long weekend to visit Puerto Peñasco with your family, enjoying its beaches and special sites.

Various restaurants will certainly highlight delicious Mexican cuisine and traditional decor, while taking necessary measures to care for the health and safety of visitors and residents alike.

Another way to celebrate a truly Mexican evening is with a special dinner featuring various Mexican dishes, along with mariachi music, and accompanied by loved ones at one of Puerto Peñasco’s numerous resorts or hotels.

If you choose to stay in, you can also organize a Mexican fiesta with dinner and drinks at home, or with close family, to commemorate the Mexican holiday.

Puerto Peñasco will not be holding its traditional Mexican Revolution Day parade this year due to the health emergency. However, programs on social media featuring artistic and cultural presentations will include schools from across Puerto Peñasco. You can watch the performances from the comfort of your own home, and keep the patriotic spirit alive!

There are plenty of options to celebrate this important Mexican holiday this year. Just choose which is best for you and enjoy responsibly, while taking into account necessary measures for your own health and that of your loved ones.

There you have it, if your plans include fully taking advantage of the long weekend and excellent weather, Puerto Peñasco’s beaches, sunsets, hotels and resorts, hospitality, and of course its people are a wonderful option!

Don’t forget, Rocky Point misses you!

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“Sonora” awarded two Ariels for film shot in heart of the Sonoran Desert

The film “Sonora” won two Ariels at Mexico’s most important film awards event held on Sunday, September 27th. Shot principally in the desert surrounding the Pinacate, “Sonora” brought the impressive landscape to the world on the big screen, taking home an Ariel for Best Adapted Screenplay as well as Best Original Music.

Sonoran author and Puerto Peñasco native Guillermo Munro Palacio, together with John Sayles, received the Ariel for Best Adapted Screenplay for the story originally entitled “La Ruta de los Caídos” (The Route of the Fallen), brought to the silver screen as “Sonora.”

The road movie, directed by Alejandro Springall, was filmed in the heart of the Sonoran Desert in the Pinacate mountain range, as well as spots between Puerto Peñasco – Gulf of Santa Clara and in Hermosillo’s historic downtown.  After flying over the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, Springall himself stated his fascination with the landscape and never doubted filming in the location.

The film “Sonora”, shot in 2018 and brought to the screen in September 2019, received 10 nominations for Mexico’s greatest film award. Jacobo Lieberman received an Ariel for Best Original Music while Guillermo Munro Palacio, along with John Sayles, received the film’s second Ariel of the night for Best Adapted Screenplay. This represented the first time a Sonoran author has won an Ariel.

Support from independent sources as well as the Sonora State Government, the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the National Commission for Natural Protected Areas, among others, made this film possible.

The film, which also pays homage to the strength of Tohono O’odham ethnic heritage, portrays the arrival of the Chinese in Mexico as well as deportation of Mexicans from the United States in the 1930s.

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Make plans to visit Puerto Peñasco!

You can now enjoy nearly all that Puerto Peñasco has to offer! Movement and activities in and around this tourism destination have gradually but surely come back, in accordance with established health protocols, so that you can enjoy the city while continuing to take care of yourself and others.

It’s commonplace to see movement along Puerto Peñasco’s streets and on our beaches, which are open so you can swim, take a ride on a banana, sunbathe, enjoy the sunset, or simply take a walk along the sand. There are still health filters at many of the access points to the main beaches, which also provide additional information for visitors.

If you’re in the mood to eat out at a restaurant, whether in the open air or inside, the majority of the city’s dining establishments are now providing regular service while following necessary health and social distancing measures, and of course are enthusiastic to serve you!

The city’s nightlife is also reactivating, offering opportunities to meet up with family or friends at one of the several restaurant/bars in the Mirador, along the stretch of resorts, on Calle 13, or in the Old Port where live music is beginning to flow along with a full bar selection accompanied with appetizers and special dishes. Restaurant/bars also follow strict health and hygiene regulations for the safety of all.

If your thing is enjoying the open air from an ATV or four-wheeler, jet ski, or banana ride, all of these services are once again available in our port, so you can rent a ride and cruise the dunes where permitted.

If you’d like to venture out into the Sea of Cortez, which you’ve undoubtedly missed during these months of seclusion, we gladly remind you that boat tours are indeed available. While boat capacity is reduced, the fun is not! Wouldn’t you like to escape and take in the fresh air from aboard a boat out at sea?

For the even more adventuresome, spaces and services have reopened to include the zipline, kayak excursions, sandboarding, and sports fishing. It’s just a question of contacting business owners to set up an appointment so you can fill your day with adrenalin!

We’d like to share just some of the activities that are once again available, while even more spots of interest are reopening their doors daily as they meet health guidelines to be able to receive visitors once again.

Hotels and resorts, as we’ve reported, continue operating under strict health and safety protocols in all areas in order to guarantee everyone a pleasant and secure stay.

The city’s doors are open, providing more fluid and easy access as work at the city health filters wrapped up operations on September 7th.

So, there’s no reason to put off your next trip to Puerto Peñasco, where nearly everything has come back to life in what is now the “new normal.” This doesn’t mean any less fun, though does emphasize taking care of yourself and your loved ones just as we care for those who visit.

Puerto Peñasco misses you!

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Information you should know about Puerto Peñasco’s Beach Opening as of Aug. 1st

As had been anticipated, and in accordance with Puerto Peñasco’s economic reactivation, city beaches were reopened to the public on August 1st. Everyone can now enjoy our area beaches, though under a series of protocols meant to help contain the spread of Covid-19.

The day highly anticipated by residents and visitors alike, to be able to spend an afternoon on the beach in front of the Sea of Cortez, is now a reality, though everyone must follow a series of guidelines under this new normality.  All these steps are aimed to protect every member of local families and guests. 

According to official information, the filter that has been in place for months at the entry to town will remain though with varied health measures. The sanitation tunnel is now to be installed at the sole entry to Playa Hermosa.

Each beach has its own entry protocols, given beach conditions and characteristics.

On Playa Hermosa, which is the shoreline that historically has the greatest influx of visitors, the only access point is that located at the “Bajada de los Guardados” (just before the entry to the Navy Sector palapa). A sanitation tunnel and thermal cameras have been installed at this entry, and visitors must wear a mask (nose/mouth covering) when entering beach through the filter.

Beach hours include 6 a.m. – 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. for those wishing to exercise, and from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. for general recreation.

With support from the Tourism Auxiliary Unit, visitors are designated an area where they can set up. This provides for greater distribution while preventing crowding. Once set up at your spot on the beach, you may remove your mask.

Maximum 5 people allowed per tent, and it is recommended you exercise safety health measures with staff assisting in setting up the tent.

No glass bottles allowed for alcoholic beverages or otherwise, as Covid-19 can remain on glass for up to 3 days.

There are separate trash containers for discarding of masks.

Along Sandy Beach, each resort is responsible for fulfilling social distancing provisions issued by the Federal Government as well as monitoring there is no crowding on beaches.

In Cholla Bay, the security booth at the entry will monitor access to this area. Currently, entry to the beach is next to JJ’s Restaurant/Bar, while vehicle access is not allowed for this area of the beach. This entry is only open for pedestrians, to prevent crowding.

In the Mirador, the access point is at Manny’s Beach, which includes a sanitation tunnel and thermal camera staffed by restaurant personnel.

Beach vendors are permitted to circulate. Use of masks, gloves, and antibacterial gel is required when purchasing items or interacting with vendors. 

For the beaches of Las Conchas, Miramar, San Jorge, Playa Encanto, Morua Estuary, Cierro Prieto and the oyster farm area, there will be continuous patrolling to ensure there is no agglomeration of people. Maximum group size of 10, following provisions issued by the Federal Government.

It is undoubtedly a pleasure to once again breathe in the sea air in this corner of the world, plus enjoy the blue ocean and sandy beaches after so many months of staying at home with loved ones. Yet, it’s important to always follow the new guidelines to be sure your visit to the beach is safe and enjoyable along with your friends, family, or even when alone, guaranteeing the least possible health risks.

As part of the health safety protocols at beach access points, it’s important to note random rapid tests will be applied as well as testing on persons that present symptoms, such as a high temperature. These tests will be free for anyone looking to enjoy our beautiful Sea of Cortez.

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Puerto Peñasco hosted first 2020 FAM TRIP with travel agencies from southern Mexico

On March 4th and 5th, our own little corner in the Sea of Cortez welcomed a group of prestigious Mexican travel agencies, showcasing all the qualities Puerto Peñasco has to offer visitors. These offerings include our natural wonders, hotel infrastructure, beach activities, eco-tourism, adventures, culinary delights, and tours, among other services in this tourism port.

Among the visiting agencies are: BDMX Incoming with offices in Queretaro; Encuentro T with offices in the southern part of the country and the Riviera Maya, Grupo Meca with offices in Mexico, Cancun and Italy, Juliá Travel, Mexcellence Travel, Seventours, Mexitours with offices in Mexico City, as well as SAT Mexico Corporation with offices in Mexico City, UK, Germany, and Brazil.

These agencies cover aspects of cultural and recreational travel, conferences and conventions, culinary, adventure, eco, sun, and beach tourism, among others.

Lizette Ibarra, director of the Convention & Visitors Bureau (OCV) reported this first FAM TRIP of 2020 is promoted by the Sonora State Tourism Office (COFETUR) and the Magos & Magos advertising agency of Mexico City, in coordination with the Convention & Visitors Bureaus of Sonora.

She explained that, aside from giving them a presentation of Puerto Peñasco as the most important tourist destination in Northwestern Mexico, these agencies will actually be doing diagnostics and observations on improvements we can make as a beach destination in order to make it more attractive for travel agencies and their clients.

The FAM TRIP included a session where tour operators and tourism companies converge to establish business connections, and an itinerary that included visits to emblematic sites such as the Shuck Toak Museum at the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, and a boat cruise around the bay.

After this first encounter with the travel agencies, the FAM TRIP will continue with visits to other destinations across Sonora as the agents learn more about the state’s beauty and tourism offerings.

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Puerto Peñasco is ready to receive 2020 Spring Break vacation crowds

Perfect weather, warm beaches, vast hotel infrastructure, and excellent services await thousands of American tourists who have chosen Puerto Peñasco as their destination for this year’s Spring Break!

We are expecting visitors to number between 110,000 to 120,000 over the Spring vacation season, particularly to include young adults and families from Arizona and southern California.

Héctor Vázquez del Mercado, president of the Puerto Peñasco Visitors & Convention Bureau (OCV), detailed they are estimating hotel and condo rentals to peak at 90 – 95% occupation on weekends and 60% on weekdays. This would represent over 125 million pesos in revenue for the city.

Vázquez del Mercado added, in order to increase safety on highways, they have requested from corresponding authorities that improvements be made on highways that lead to Puerto Peñasco, specifically from El Golfo and Caborca. 

In addition, the Safety Corridor that runs from the border crossing at Lukeville, AZ/Sonoyta to Puerto Peñasco will see an increase in surveillance, cleanliness, and maintenance, offering travelers peace and security during their travels.

This vacation season marks the beginning of the influx of tourism, both national and international, who prefer to spend weekends on our beaches as one of their favorite places to visit while enjoying the warm weather that marks the beginning of Spring.

Spring Break is one of the most important seasons for Puerto Peñasco as a vacation destination given the number of visitors to our beaches, which continue to be a preferred spot on the southern California, Arizona, and northern Mexican markets.

The OCV noted while there have already been a high number of reservations, there is still availability for Spring Break at some area hotels and resorts.

We invite you to explore our official website  www.cometorockypoint.com to view different options from lodging to activities and events happening around town this vacation season.

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You deserve the best service!

As we want to ensure the highest quality in tour operator services in Puerto Peñasco, local tourism service providers will now have to take a training course to certify themselves as Nautical Tourism Hosts.

You’ve probably already heard about the “Sonora con Actitur” program promoted by the Sonora Tourism Promotion Commission (COFETUR).  As part of the overall program, on this occasion dozens of tour operators, captains, and boat crews operating tourist boats will take part in training courses to address topics such as tourism culture, quality in service, good practices, first aid, seaman’s book, and environmental care. These courses help strengthen authorization given to Puerto Peñasco by the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) as the only Whale Watching port in Sonora.

These measures share the same goal of being able to count on duly trained and certified tourism service providers.

Luis Nuñez Noriega, Coordinator of Tourism Promotion for the State of Sonora, together with Julio Cesar Rascón of the Sonoran Tour Operators Association and representatives of tourist vessels, underscored the importance of having well-trained staff to welcome visitors. This is particularly true for a beach destination that is a launching point for Northwestern Mexico.

Nuñez Noriega detailed, “This is about training nautical guides; so that tourists may be able to easily identify their hosts, and above all as the first point of contacts with visitors. There are no complaints about Puerto Peñasco or observations in that sense, however it is time to improve in order to properly serve both national and foreign tourists, as this is one of the main national and international tourist sites in the state.”

Julio Cesar Rascón, of the National Tour Operators Association for the State of Sonora, expressed they will be working jointly with the Harbormaster’s Office and the Convention & Visitors Bureau, supported by the Tourism Promotion Commission (COFETUR), to create an inventory of service providers recognized as Nautical Tourism Hosts in order to elevate the quality of services while attracting events of a higher national and international standard to Sonora.

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Astoria cruise ship put Puerto Peñasco and Sea of Cortez on the map

The Astoria cruise ship of Cruise & Maritime Voyages represented a watershed moment for tourism in Sonora and across the region, putting Puerto Peñasco and the Sea of Cortez on the international map.

The “Treasures of the Sea of Cortez” cruise on the MV Astoria, a dream transformed into reality, wrapped up its three-cruise season after offering over 1200 passengers the opportunity to discover wonders guarded by the Sea of ​​Cortez along eight ports of Sonora, Sinaloa and Baja California Sur.

This journey across the Sea of ​​Cortez was a clear example of the strength Puerto Peñasco has as a departure and return port, representing a tremendous opportunity to show the world the natural beauty and varied locations to explore the riches of the Sea of Cortez.

This first season of Cruise & Maritime Voyages in the Sea of Cortez aboard the Astoria offered three, eleven-day journeys on a route that visited Puerto Peñasco, Topolobampo, Mazatlán, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Loreto, Santa Rosalía, and Guaymas, allowing Puerto Peñasco to carve its name in the Cruise History Book as the first Mexican port to be the origin and end destination for this type of journey.

The “Treasures of the Sea of Cortez” cruise attracted several travelers from various states of the US, as well as many from Canada, Australia, England, and Mexico. It brought a significant amount of revenue to the area, representing over 190 million pesos for the region as a whole and the promotion of Puerto Peñasco across the globe!

According to information shared by John Dennis, Vice President of Cruise & Maritime Voyages, this great step forward in cruise ship tourism for the region brought with it negotiations to bring in an even larger ship, with a higher passenger capacity, and even different routes.

The president of the Puerto Peñasco Convention & Visitors Bureau, Héctor Vázquez del Mercado, highlighted this first voyage along Mexican coasts of the Sea of Cortez shows the federal government the importance of strengthening this tourism zone through investment and continuance of the Home Port project, along with establishing flights to and from our city. These projects would not only benefit Puerto Peñasco, but rather the entire region as a whole.

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Valentine’s Day

February 14th is right around the corner, that special day to spend with your partner or friends. Still don’t know what to do? Here are some ideas.

If you are visiting Puerto Peñasco, or even live here, you should know there are endless activities and places to visit. It is only a matter of taste, budget, and your desire to spend a pleasant time with that special someone or your favorite group of friends.

With a wide variety of restaurants, all backed by renowned chefs, you can go out for a classic romantic evening and enjoy dishes that have been specially made for this day. Accompany this with amazing drinks and live music, and it is sure to be an evening you won’t soon forget. 

If your plans are for more than just two people there are also Mexican, Japanese, Italian food restaurants and of course taco stands, which are a favorite for many and ready to cater to your group.

If you’d like something a little more special for your significant other, how about a romantic and exclusive dinner organized by a private event planner?

If it’s a party you’re after, you can choose to visit bars near the beach as there will definitely be celebrations going on in the Mirador, Malecon, and Resort area. Plus, don’t forget about establishments within the city offering the best drink and snack service, along with live music to get everybody in the right mood to dance or simply to enjoy their patio or terrace.

If you prefer to explore the outdoors with a romantic touch, reserve a spot on a sunset cruise and, with luck, see the fun-loving dolphins or even maybe a huge whale during this whale season in the Sea of Cortez.

These cruises offer unmatched views, great ambiance, snacks, and an open bar.

If you and your partner like adrenaline you can always go for an Ultra-Light ride and see the view of the Sea from a totally different perspective and make your Valentine’s Day surely one to remember.

Another interesting option is a walk down the Malecon to treat your loved one to some handicraft or silver jewelry.  “Rodeo Drive” is another place where you can find endless “curios” shops for that special craft that would make for a unique gift.

Reserving a night at a resort and preparing a nice meal for dinner can also be a unique experience. Or, simply calling for delivery can also be a fun alternative.

You can find all of this and more in our cozy little town, which offers the most beautiful sunsets and great weather to make your Valentine’s Day a romantic experience!

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Fish Bowl Seafood Fest highlights local dishes and the Arts

The 3rd Annual “Fish Bowl” Seafood Fest on Saturday, February 1st, offers a culinary festival along with art and fun in leading up to the Super Bowl.

Shrimp Plaza will be the setting for several restaurants from across Puerto Peñasco offering delectable seafood dishes throughout the day. Art stands, live music, folkloric dances, and raffle prizes are additional activities the whole family can enjoy during this beautiful day in the park!

The 3rd Annual “Fish Bowl”, organized by the local Rotary Club and the Mermaid’s Market, is a yearly fundraiser with proceeds going to projects to benefit various parts of the community. The event aims to promote culinary arts in Puerto Peñasco through the participation of over 20 restaurants, including the Gastro 638 chef collective. Along with the talent of artisans from the Mermaid’s Arts Market precisely on the day before the Super Bowl, the “Fish Bowl” takes advantage of hundreds of tourists who revel in football euphoria throughout the weekend.

Food tickets available at the event are $1 US (20 pesos), which are used to “pay” for dishes at the food stands – ranging from 1 to approximately 5 tickets – so that all can sample the varied seafood plates.

Enjoy the Fish Bowl Seafood Fest in the park, and get ready for the Super Bowl!

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