Beaches are a wonderful place to visit, and I don’t think I’ve ever been to a beach that I wouldn’t visit again. After all, who can dislike any beach? What we may dislike is the “crowdedness” or possibly the lack of sea shells. If this is so, Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, also known as Rocky Point, Mexico, might just be calling you. I am truly humbled Mohamad Al Karbi has invited me to tell you all about my first visit to Puerto Peñasco, a small fishing/resort city next to the Sea of Cortez.
Let me first say, I did not stay at a luxury resort, but camped at a location called Play de Oro which is situated in El Mirador Beach area of Puerto Peñasco, Sonora. It’s a recreational vehicle and tent camp site that sits adjunct to the beach, and the luxuriousness comes from the close proximity to an “almost” abandoned beach. During our nine day stay, the crowd arrived during the long holiday weekend. Other than the holiday, our beach was pretty desolate and being deserted isn’t a bad circumstance at a beach—at least in our case, we embraced the solitude!
And solitude did not mean “nothing to do”…my visiting party found plenty of adventures discovering hidden treasures and creatures in our area. We enjoyed the abundance of sea shells, pelicans who jetted for food meters away from our heads, and many, many picturesque sunsets that sent us running for our cameras. And who can forget evenings filled with “tide pooling” and searching the pools for tiny creatures abandoned by the receding ocean’s water. These tiny adventures are what made this beach stay so calming.
Other than a few vendors who stopped by to sell mangoes or jewelry, it is really a peaceful location that provides plenty of moments to become reacquainted with the ocean. But if I am being perfectly honest, I was happy to peruse through the local merchandise and try a mango sprinkled with chili powder and lime–YUM!
Puerto Peñasco also boasts quite a few yummy restaurants. If you’re visiting the area you can always review TripAdvisor for where and what to eat, or you can simply walk around the market place and a waiter will certainly invite you in for a meal. Our invite lead us to a place called Iguana Banana where we sat on the porch terrace and enjoyed a nice view of the market’s busyness.
Lunch was welcomed by my entire party, and I am so happy we stopped in as my stomach was so very thankful for the best shrimp quesadilla I have ever eaten IN MY LIFE. The cheese, the shrimp…utterly delightful and the freshest ingredients I am sure was available. Along with the icy Piña Colada, I felt slightly cooler than when I had entered the restaurant and ready to browse the market.
If you’re visiting Puerto Peñasco market, you will want to bring plenty of cash as there are so many items for purchase. From the market’s wonderfully fresh sea food to their beautiful ceramic dishes, apparel, jewelry, toys, and so much more—there really is almost something for everyone. Be ready to negotiate the price: do not pay the initial price they ask for as the vendors will expect you to respond with a lowered price. My good friend says give them half of what they ask, walk away if they disagree. They should lower the price then. Finally, I encourage you to purchase sea food if you are driving home. The shrimp was amazing and lacked the “grittiness” of fresh shrimp purchased in Florida. Trust me…you will not regret trying their shrimp. And I do realize shrimp is a much loved sea food item—so do try some of their other less purchased items as well. On this particular trip, I did not purchase any food items–it is my one regret.
Tips for visiting Rocky Point:
- We drove. As you enter the country, keep in mind that Mexico has a struggling economy. Some citizens await the arrival of Americans and their generosity. If you can give, I encourage you do…my friend says she does in hopes of a safe passage into Rocky Point. So bring lots of loose change and dollars with you. 😉
- You’ll need Mexico car insurance. My insurance company does insure into Rocky Point, but during my trip, Mexico did not honor my coverage. So always check for updates on these rules. However, you can purchase insurance before the border; many people do. I did not. I prefer dealing with my insurance company. They gave me an affiliate partner who was very helpful.
- As any foreign country you enter, check any safety advisories, passport requirements, and items you can bring into the country. You will have to clear customs and some vehicles are searched. Ours was packed and we were with kids—we we’re waived right into Mexico and clearing back into the US was pretty painless.
- Bring plenty of cash. I preferred cash on this trip. Most stores accept US dollars, but your change will most likely be in pesos.
- Bring shade for the beach; it’s very hot and if you spend all day hunting for sea shells you’ll welcome the shade.
- Bring your generosity. The vendors you see on the beach work hard. It doesn’t hurt to offer them a bottle of water and some shade while they show you their goods. If you’re not interested, a simple no thank-you is fine.
Bonus Tip: If you cannot explore distant lands then go enjoy an adventure close to your ‘neck of the woods–make it a point to see and learn something new. Cheers and happy, safe traveling!