Few experiences rival the feeling of walking on the beach while enjoying beautiful sunsets while visiting an oceanside town. Even more exciting when the destination is only a few hours drive from home.
Puerto Peñasco, known in the U.S. as Rocky Point or Arizona's beach, is a relatively new-discovered paradise for tourists to Sonora. During the early 1930's, it became known as a refuge for fishermen and people seeking adventure. Rocky Point is now home to a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf course (at Laguna del Mar) as well as the Mayan Palace Resort and Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort.
There are a variety of events for everyone in the family through out the year, from hot air balloon festival,
Every year in early November the annual Rocky Point Rally takes place. Started in 2001 with only 380 motorcycles and each year it gets larger and more popular. As the big bikes thunder through town and on the Malecon the excitement grows, and thousands of people enjoy the wonderful hospitality of Rocky Point. Many local charities benefit from this run as well as the local merchants and hospitality groups. Click here for more on Rocky Point Rally.
In addition, Rocky Point has become a popular spot for weddings on our beautiful beaches as well as other gatherings. It offers first-class resorts, wonderful restaurants as well as the unique experience of a charming small town.
Rocky Point is 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Arizona border and has the advantage of being located in the "Free Zone". This means that visitors are able to enter the Mexican state of Sonora without having to complete time-consuming paperwork and immigration procedures. No wonder tourists from Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and California claim Rocky Point as a favorite destination.
Driving is the most common means of transportation for visitors to traveling to Puerto Peñasco. A road trip to Rocky Point is an easy weekend trip for everyone in Arizona and California.
From Arizona: Cross the border at the Lukeville/Sonoyta border. Puerto Peñasco is 63 miles south on Mexican Hwy. 8. The border is open daily from 6 a.m. until midnight.
From California: Take US Hwy. 8 east from San Diego or US Hwy. 10 east from the Los Angeles area. You have the option of driving through to Arizona Hwy. 85 (Gila Bend) and heading south to the Lukeville/Sonoyta border or crossing the border at either Algodones (across from California) or San Luis Rio Colorado (across from Arizona, south of Yuma).
You can then drive Mexican Hwy. 2 east through the beautiful Desierto del Altar desert. This is also the northern entrance to the Pinacate Reserve. Although you are on a highway, there are not many stores nor gas stations between San Luis and Sonoyta, so make sure you are stocked up with supplies and water. The highway is maintained by the services of Angeles Verdes, Green Angels. The Green Angels organization provides vehicle assistance throughout the Mexican Highways and freeways, and the service is FREE. Dial 078 from any phone in Mexico if you need their assistance.
What You Need If you do drive your vehicle to Rocky Point, you must have Mexican auto insurance; it's the law. You don't need a car permit to drive to Puerto Peñasco, however, if you plan on heading further south after your visit to Rocky Point, you will need a vehicle importation permit. Only Sonora is the name of the simplified vehicle registration program for travel only within the State of Sonora. The permit is good for a period of up to 180 days. This permit sticker is only given at the Nogales Port of Entry at Kilometer 21. Make sure to get the details on the Only Sonora Program and how to get a Vehicle Importation Permit. To continue further south, you may also need a current Mexican Tourist Permit. You can get it stamped at the Migracion office next door.
The beauty of Rocky Point is definitely unique. Its solid rock formation of volcanic origin (La Choya) has become the symbol of locals. Rocky Point has an average temperature of 95°F (35° C) in the summer and 64°F (18°C) during the winter, making it the perfect spot to enjoy the sea, sun, beaches, bays, and inlets.
There is no limit to activities in Rocky Point, whether one takes a walk on its beautiful beaches, where gentle waves invite swimmers, or you take advantage of fishing, windsurfing, sailing, scuba diving or simply reclining to enjoy a beautiful view. In addition, there is ample availability of restaurants, diners, and nightlife.
After fishing, tourism is the most important economic activity for the city. Development to date includes 70 restaurants, 42 hotels and motels and 14 RV facilities.
If you decide to fish, everyone on board the boat must have a fishing license even if they are not fishing. Authorities will check for permits. However, you do not need a permit if you are fishing from the shore. Permits can be obtained M-F, 8 am - 3 pm in Rocky Point at Capitania de Puerto or at the Mexican Consulate in Phoenix.
Rocky Point offers unique landscapes for the eco-tourist. During low tide, sea level fluctuates up to 6 meters leaving exposed an assortment of sea life, seashells, starfish, and crabs.
Only 52 kilometers (32 miles) northwest of Rocky Point in the Altar Desert is "The Pinacate," which has been recognized as a biosphere reserve. This unique desert, considered one of the unique volcanic zones in the world, reveals thousand-year-old gigantic craters which are more than a kilometer in diameter and 120 meters (400 ft.) deep, which are important to our ancient history and culture. Nature lovers will discover an amazing and varied animal and plant life. Daily self-guided tours are available from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Visitors must register at the office as they enter the reserve. The reserve is located in the ejido Nayarit, halfway between Rocky Point and Sonoyta.
In addition to all of the activities found in this marvelous destination in Sonora, there are plenty of events to choose from while visiting in Rocky Point.
ATV's are not permitted on city beaches. Please follow the rules when driving ATV's in Rocky Point.
DO NOT DRIVE ATV'S IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS:
- Wear helmet
- Only 2 persons per ATV
- No riding after dark
- Driver's must be 16 years of age
- Do not race, jump, do wheelies, etc.
- Do not drink and drive
- Main Blvd. Benito Juarez,
- Blvd Fremont
- Old Port
You will be fined if riding in these areas. Fines are to be paid only at the police station.