Puerto Penasco in Mexico is a small resort town in the state of Sonora. Formerly a hidden gem, it is now one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the country. Popularly known as Rocky Point, the town is located on the shores of the Sea of Cortez on the northwestern side.
Puerto Penasco(Rocky Point) is famous for its beaches and adventure sports. If you are not the one to indulge in the adrenaline rush activities, you can relax on the beach and bathe under the sun. Once a sleepy town mostly known for fishing, it is now a thriving destination with luxury resorts, foreign refugees, and a booming tourism scene.
Here are the top 13 things to see and do on your trip to Puerto Penasco(Rocky Point):
Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site
UNESCO World heritage sites are always a delight to pursue. Knowing that a place has left its mark increases the curiosity to visit. Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) is home to El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve.
The significance of this site that inducted it into the World Heritage Site Hall of Fame is that it has ten craters formed by volcanic eruptions. Also, diverse plant and animal species can be found on this land, which is a desert.
Scientists conducted training for NASA astronauts at this site as the surface is believed to have similarities to the moon. So why not visit the moon on earth while in Mexico, in our very own Puerto Penasco?
Find Mexico’s most beautiful beaches
Since Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) is situated on the seashore, it is only natural that it is known for its beautiful beaches. The Playa Bonita is the closest beach from the city center. It eventually merges with Sandy beach. Try to book accommodation near one of these beaches for the authentic experience of a beach town.
While at the beach, you can experience activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, swimming, etc. Some of the other beaches that you can head to, are Playa Arenosa, Las Conchas, Playa Mirador, and Playa Hermosa.
Make sure to carry lots of sunscreen and water to stay hydrated as the beaches of Puerto Penasco can get quite warm and sunny during the day.
Stroll the Malecón
Malecon, which means the seafront is usually the highlight of every coastal town. It consists of multiple restaurants, bars, shopping stalls, etc. Spend your evening in Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) taking a stroll along the Malecon and then sitting in one of the bars, gazing at the sunset while sipping on your drink.
The sculpture of a giant man sitting on a shrimp, along the stretch of Malecon with the beautiful backdrop of the sea, makes for Instagram worthy pictures. Head here for a peaceful walk in the evening and head to one of the many restaurants before you turn in for the night. It is the perfectly romantic place to hold your bae’s hand and have a dreamy evening.
Try the Fresh Mexican Cuisine
If you are a foodie, you will love Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point). If not, you will still want to explore the mouth-watering cuisine of Mexico. Discovering the local cuisine should be the priority on your list as you would not want to miss out on the delicacies here.
The seafood here is one of the best you will ever have, the town being a fishing town. Even the simplest of the dishes in Mexican cuisine like tacos, burritos, quesadillas are full of flavor. Some of the most recommended restaurants to visit are Capones, Colin’s Cantina, Casa Del Capitan, and La Fondita.
Top Snorkeling Spots
Since Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) is full of beaches, snorkelling here is one of the best in Mexico and comes very close to the Mexican Carribean, which offers the best snorkeling in the country.
The most popular beach to go snorkel at, is the Tuscon beach near Playa Mirador and Cholla Bay. The clarity of the water makes way for swooning over the beautiful marine life under the surface. The other beaches where you can go snorkeling are the Sandy beach, Golden beach, Cholla Bay, and Isla San Jorge.
Lots of Scuba Diving Options
If snorkeling is too easy for you or if you are feeling too adventurous, you can opt for scuba diving. A lot of people obtain scuba certifications, and if you have one too, you can just rent scuba equipment from one of the companies at one of the many beaches.
If you don’t know how to scuba dive and would like to learn, you can do that at Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) as well. Don’t worry, you will be in good hands. The scuba diving personnel here are well-trained and will protect you. You can also opt for a certification course if you like.
If you fear being underwater but can muster just enough courage to be on the top of the surface, you can opt for paddleboarding. It is one of the many water sports available at Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point).
While it is a leisure activity, it works your core muscles, and you require a fair bit of muscle strength to be able to manage paddle boarding. Make sure to catch up on some workout when you are planning to visit the adventure-filled town of Puerto Penasco.
Lots of Canadian and US ex-pats
Over the years, the quiet town of Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) has experienced a boom in tourism and, with it, an inflow of Canadian and US expats. Most people prefer to live here because of its small-town feel and because the cost of living is much lower when compared to their home town.
Rocky Point is relatively safer for the foreigners and they are more at ease here. They like the friendliness and warmth of the locals. While on your trip here, you can interact with the expats and hear first-hand stories of why they moved to Puerto Penasco in the first place.
Dolphin and Whale watching
The Sea of Cortez is known for dolphin and whale watching. Naturally, as Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) is located on its shore, it makes for the perfect destination for watching some dolphins and whales. The best months for spotting dolphins and whales are from February to mid-May, but if you are lucky, you can spot them at other times during the year too. The whale usually comes near the surface during the sailing times in the afternoon and early evenings.
If you happen to take a trip to Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) in the period of October to April, you will be able to spot all the birds that either cross the town or are native to the land. Some birds that you can see are seabirds, including Blue and Brown-footed boobies, Heerman’s and Yellow-footed gulls, Frigatebird, and Elegant Tern.
It is also worthwhile to visit the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans in Puerto Penasco to learn more about bird watching.
Easy distance from the US – drive down
If you are someone who enjoys road trips, you must drive down to Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) if you are traveling from the US. It is one of the most accessible and adored beach destinations for the US nationals.
The closest cities are Tuscon, Phoenix, and Arizona, which are less than four hours away from Rocky Point and San Diego, which is also only about 5.5 hours away.
If you prefer adventures on the land over those on water, rent an ATV and try offroading. You can rent the ATVs and drive them on cemented land in Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point), as well as on the sand dunes nearby.
The best way to explore the Sonora desert is on an ATV. You can race along the sand dunes and get that adrenaline pumping. The cost of renting the ATV is between $15 to $50 on an hourly basis, depending on the rental company and type of vehicle that you choose to explore the streets of Puerto Penasco.
Stay at Mexico’s luxurious resorts
Since Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) is always flooded with tourists, the resort industry has capitalized on this and offers various luxurious stay options. There are resorts with private beaches where you can chill with a relatively fewer crowd.
Some of the most sought-after resorts are The Mayan Palace and the Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort. Puerto Penasco must be on your go-to list if you are looking for a luxury hotel experience.
No matter what kind of vacation you are looking for, Puerto Penasco offers it all. It helps you relax on its beaches, experience adventure through their various activities, and offers multiple sightseeing options for you to explore the history and culture of the town. Puerto Penasco should find a spot in your list of trips to take.