Rocky Point/Arizona’s Beach – Puerto Peñasco, Mexico

Travel Recommendations: Puerto Peñasco, Mexico (Rocky Point, Mexico)

Length of Stay

We stayed three nights and it felt like the perfect length of stay. Just enough time to really relax

Transportation

You can pretty much drive your car wherever you want to go but it can get confusing not knowing the area and the random stop signs. Cabs are readily available to take you where you need to go. It pretty much costs $20 to get from your resort to anywhere.

Lodging

Stay at a vacation rental as there really are not any hotels. VRBO seems to be more popular than AirBnB.

Clothing

The weather is similar to Phoenix. Hot in the summer so bring clothes for 100 degrees and sunblock. The winter was pretty cold in the mornings and night but during the day it was comfortable in shorts or jeans.

Local Cuisine

You’re in Mexico. On the coast. So you have to have tacos and seafood.

Tipping Protocol

Tip between 10 to 20 percent at restaurants.

Lessons Learned

  • Bring a little extra cash just in case, everyone takes U.S. Dollars
  • If you don’t like Mexican lagers, bring your own beer and more than you think you will drink
  • Go to the grocer when you arrive to pick up food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Should have traveled to Rocky Point sooner than later in my life, it’s amazing

Such a short drive

We decided to ring in the New Year (2018) in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico (aka Rocky Point or Arizona’s Beach). Just a short three and half hour drive from Phoenix, Arizona, it’s no wonder it’s nicknamed Arizona’s Beach!

We were quite surprised how easy it was to get there, we hopped on the 85-S through Gila Bend and continued through Lukeville, the U.S. side of the border. If you are hungry by the time you get to Gila Bend, I would eat there as there isn’t much in Ajo, Why, or Lukeville. You might as well top off your gas tank just to be on the safe side. Getting into Sonoyta, Mexico was no problem at all but could back up as it’s pretty small with only two lanes for cars to pass through. Be sure to leave with plenty of time to get through the border, it closes at 12am (midnight). Be sure before you go to Mexico to get Mexican Car Insurance, IT’S THE LAW. Really easy for Arizona citizens, we went through AAA.

Look out for the STOP signs

When driving through Sonoyta, watch out for the STOP signs (ALTO in Spanish) which some appear to be homemade. Some are on the right, left, or middle of the road. Keep your head on a swivel and be sure to stop at all of them even if they look homemade. The police might pull you over for not stopping. Also, keep a few bucks in your front pocket, just in case you do get stopped by the cops.

Don’t turn at El PTO Peñasco

Once you get out of Sonoyta, it’s pretty much smooth sailing. At first we were driving within the speed limits, which is very, very slow. After one, two, nine cars passed us, we decided to drive a little faster. Now, I am not saying you should speed but pretty much everyone else does so drive within your comfort level. Shortly outside of Sonoyta, you will see a sign for “El PTO Peñasco.” DO NOT turn at this sign; it’s in the middle of the desert. Continue through until you see the sign for your resort.

We made it, time to relax

Friday

We arrived safe and sound to our resort, Bella Sirena, and checked into our VRBO. The unit was very nice with a huge patio, bed room, and bathroom. We called our friends and headed to get some dinner in town. This time we drove as we went to the grocery store afterwards. Just park wherever you see an open spot in the area. We got there just at sunset and were able to get some cool shots of the Gulf of California. We ended up at Sr. Amigo Restaurant Bar (Circunvalación 37, El Puerto, 83554 Puerto Peñasco, Son., Mexico). The food was really good and I would definitely go back. If going to the grocer, definitely pick up water, food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner because the resorts are limited. Not all of them have restaurants so you will want something. Then later that night, we went to Banditos which was a short walk from Bella Sirena. They had live music and good drinks and lucky for us, there was a taco stand outside the bar. We definitely had a few after we closed the bar down.

Looking off to the Gulf of Mexico
Moon and statue

Saturday

The next morning we woke up, made some coffee, and headed to the beach. It was cold and the sand was freezing between my toes but it was so beautiful to wake up and take in the fresh air. That day we hung out by the pool, watched a few bowl games, and the headed into town to watch the ASU vs. University of Arizona basketball game at Latitude 31. Apparently it was the spot to watch the game as we were asked if we had reservations when we arrived and when the rest of our friends showed up, the restaurant actually locked the doors and couldn’t get into the building. We eventually met them at the Elixir Bar and Lounge which was completely empty at 9pm. I was pretty exhausted so we didn’t stay long and went back to the resort to go to bed.

Sandy Beach

New Year’s Eve

My husband went golfing with the boys while I slept in and made breakfast. I then headed to the beach and just walked along the shore taking it all in. It was so peaceful.

After Eli got back from golfing we decided to head to Cholla Bay to check out JJ’s Cantina for lunch. I also used to work at a bar named JJ’s Sports Cantina so wanted to see what it was all about as I am sure it was a spinoff of the real deal in Mexico. Walking along the beach new JJ’s we bought some fresh oysters which were really good and I was praying I didn’t get sick from them but the locals were eating them so we figured, what the hell, why not try them. We then stopped at Wrecked at the Reef.

JJ’s Cantina

Before heading to the bar we were going to ring in the New Year, we had some dinner and listened to a Banda, a Mexican bad with a tuba player. Then we headed to Tikal Bar which had live bad that was excellent.

Back in the U.S. of A

Getting out of Mexico was not bad at all but the U.S. border security checked us our a lot closer than the Mexican border security. They checked our passports, had me roll down the back windows, and open the trunk. We passed! Yay, back in the U.S. of A! Watch your speed after the border. If you’re wondering if Border Patrol can pull you over for speeding, the answer is YES. I was pulled over and luckily was not ticketed. So, be careful and watch your speed.

We Came, We Saw, We Selfied

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