Puerto Peñasco – Rocky Point
Puerto Peñasco – Rocky Point
Story by Jim Foreman
Often overlooked by travelers heading to Baja California or Mainland Mexico, Puerto Peñasco serves an important role. Arizona drivers including people from Yuma, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson all know Puerto Peñasco or Rocky Point, in English, as their closest beach city. Being located on the northern most point of the Sea of Cortez in northwestern Sonora, it’s easy to see why.
Curiously, the name Rocky Point predated the name Puerto Peñasco. On older mariner maps, the location known as Rocky Point was simply labeled a ‘Rocky Point’. The designation is due to the lava outcroppings that presented hazards to early mariners.
Today Rocky Point serves as a warm seaside resort town that has a little something for everyone.
Rocky Point has many locals who will gladly take you out on pangas (unsinkable open fishing boats) for a day of fishing or whale watching, when in season. There are also many opportunities to wear your favorite bikini or swim trunks and swim in the warm sea, paddleboard, or achieve a perfect golden tan.
If playing in the dirt is more your style, the surrounding Altar Desert is ideal for running off-highway vehicles along endless dunes and trails.
Known for it’s excellent seafood, Rocky Point has dozens of dining options. Many of the offerings cater to Norte Americanos but in the actual town one can also find more authentic Mexican food at more authentic Mexican prices.
Besides hosting weekend beach goers for Arizona residents, Rocky Point is known for several huge motorcycle rallies where the entire town takes on a festive atmosphere. Rocky Point is also a great Spring Break destination for sun and fun.
Rocky Point is simultaneously something for nearly everyone. There are family friendly beachside resorts along with more lively and spirited offerings for those looking for a party atmosphere.
Rocky Point is accessible via air with scheduled flights from LAX and Las Vegas. A cruise terminal is under construction, while negotiations are underway for a cruise line to make Rocky Point a port of call.
Getting to Rocky Point by car is probably best and is very easy. Simply take Interstate 8 to the 85 South to Lukeville/Sonoyta and then follow Mex 8 south for about one hour. Alternatively one can reach Rocky Point from Mexicali or Yuma by taking Mex 2 to Sonoyta and dropping down Mex 8. From the Sonora side, Mex 2 is in rougher shape and not recommended. It’s better to travel within the US along Route 86 and then dropping down the 85 into Lukeville. One only needs to have their passports or passcards and Mexican Insurance for Rocky Point for vehicles traveling into Mexico.
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