Can you imagine a summer vacation without the beach?
Rocky Point, Mexico, began as a small fishing village along the Sea of Cortez, but its beautiful sandy beaches and warm weather have made it a popular vacation destination. People from all over the world flock here for a unique beach experience, however Rocky Point vacations are especially popular with people from Arizona who don’t get to enjoy beaches back home. No matter where you are from, there’s nothing better than summertime in Rocky Point!
Wondering how you should spend your days in Puerto Peñasco? Once you see these unforgettable places, you’ll know what makes Rocky Point, Mexico, such a special and unique vacation destination—compared to other beach towns around the world.
El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve
El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve is in the Sonoran Desert, which is one of four great North American deserts along with the Mojave, Great Basin, and Chihuahuan deserts. The 770-square-mile UNESCO Biosphere Reserve represents one of the most unique landscapes on the planet. To the east, you’ll see a dormant volcanic shield of black and red lava flows and desert pavement. The 10 enormous, deep, circular craters formed by volcanic eruptions and collapses have been likened to the surface of the moon. To the west, you’ll see the active sand dunes of the Gran Altar Desert, which can reach over 600 feet high. The subtropical desert ecosystem houses more than 540 species of plants, 44 mammals, 200+ birds, 40 reptiles, and several endemic species, including the Sonoran Pronghorn antelope and the gila monster.
Historic Old Port whisks travelers away to simpler times when this part of Mexico was dotted with sleepy fishing villages. Admire the local fresh fish markets selling mouth-watering seafood caught that day, perfect for cooking at your condo or beach house. You’ll also find some of the best seafood restaurants in Puerto Peñasco in Old Port. Blue Marlin, Mr. Amigo, and The Point Restaurant are great places to start. If you’re in the mood for Italian, check out Blue Mare. For dessert, stop by Thrifty Ice Cream for unique flavors like mango, “limon,” and “tamarindo.” Spend some time shopping the one-of-a-kind souvenirs, handmade goods, and artifacts in the local “curio” shops. In the evening, you can find reasonably priced drinks at popular Old Port bars like Shark Bite and the Boo Bar.
Playa Bonita Beach
Playa Bonita is one of the closest public beaches to the Puerto Peñasco town center. The beach is big, beautiful, and clean, with soft sand and warm waters. The tremendous tide always impresses visitors. The waves dramatically rise and swell, dropping behind a pool of crabs, fish, jellyfish, and other sea animals, in addition to shells, coral, seaweed, and collectible rocks. Parents love to arm their children with shovels and buckets, and walk the beach, exploring. Other activities at Playa Bonita include jet-skiing, banana boat rides, horseback riding, and private fishing charters. The Sonoran Spa Resort offers a full suite of spa services, and the waterside restaurants offer quality, affordable food. On a hot day, nothing beats the $3 spice-filled mango treats offered by peddlers.
If you want to get away to a quieter beach full of hidden treasures, Cholla Bay is a good bet. You’ll find a small beach and village at the end of a long dirt road Unlike Playa Bonita, you won’t find any vendors here. It’s a great place to rent a quad and ride around the dusty terrain, camp out on the beach, fish, sail, or watch the sunset. Like Playa Bonita, the enormous tides bring in a collection of large conch shells, sand dollars, and marine animals to examine. You can find excellent Mexican cuisine at Xochitl’s, or Chunga’s. The Oyster Bar has tasty, fresh seafood and is a favorite among locals. Many visitors say JJ’s Cantina is the perfect hangout for simple, delicious Mexican fare, cheap margaritas, and good company.
Isla San Jorge
Isla San Jorge, also known as “Bird Island,” is a group of protected, rocky islands 27 miles southeast of Puerto Peñasco. Mexico’s largest colony of sea lions lives here, with more than 2,500 of them barking and sunbathing on the rocks. Dolphins often escort the boats leading to the island. With the nickname “Bird Island,” you can be sure that you’ll get a glimpse of an exotic, feathered friend – be it a penguin, brown pelicans, cormorants, blue-footed booby, marine swallows, or others. Most people come to the island for a stroll, but sightseers can also find kayaking, snorkeling, and diving trips through Eco Fun Rentals, Del Mar Charters, Rocky Point Divers, and NaturArte ecotours.
Here at RE/MAX Costa del Mar we can help you find your new vacation home in Rocky Point, so you can stay close to all the best places this beach paradise has for you and your family.