Recognized as Puerto Peñasco, or Rocky Point, it’s a city located in the Northeast part of the Sonoran state distinguishing itself by the proximity to the ocean and closeness to the US border. You can go for a swim in the warm waters of the Sea of Cortes, and the best part is it’s only 60 miles from the United States border. In terms of cartography, it’s said that its location is at 31 degrees 19’ north latitude and in the meridian at an altitude of 7 meters above sea level.
The municipality says that it has a surface area of 9774.45km2, which is 5.3% of the entire state.
Municipality of Puerto Peñasco
As head of the municipality, Rocky Point has 27 communities that extend all the way through it’s territory, and also being home to it’s population of 57,342 inhabitants, the majority of which live in the city.
Even though the majority of the territory is flat, It is important to point out the mountain range of Sonoyta’s neighboring Municipality. Rocky Point is also made up of the recognized Altar desert and the volcanic area of El Pinacate.
Rocky Point is recognized as one of the youngest cities of the state of Sonora. It was formed in 1928, officially, but certain towns were already recognized because of the activity of the local mine and the miners who worked there. In the search for precious metals, an American official came and denominate the area as “Rocky Point” (around the early 1940s). It was declared a commissariat city and it was the main area of economic activity of the surrounding fishing region thanks to the marine life of the coasts of the Gulf of California. It is also important to mention that a large part of the development for the region can be attributed to the construction of the train that connected Baja California with Sonora and the rest of the country, until 1950 when Rocky Point converted to a municipality.
One of the legends that exists about the popular port, is the story that Rocky Point served as a place of refuge for American gangster Al Capone, in the 20s.
The Port (The City)
The oldest part of Rocky Point was inhabited by the first residents who at that time only referred to it as Rocky Point, this was around the year 1922 when residents from Arizona came to distribute the fish they caught. Rocky Point started to become founded around Whale Hill, what is known today as Puerto Viejo (Old Port)
Since it’s founding Rocky Point has been a popular place for vacationers from Arizona, Nevada, California and recently the neighboring states of Chihuahua and Baja California.
The population of the port in the year 1937 was relative to the era of fishing and it didn’t even have 100 people, but when they constructed the train the population began to grow rapidly and in 1965 there was approximately 5000 people.
As it was mentioned before Puerto Peñasco, or Rocky Point as the people from the United States call it, has become a home for thousands of families who come more than 1 time a year to enjoy the beautiful beaches and the ocean.
With the money from tourism the Port grew in the services that it offered in order to tend to the needs of the many people who were visiting. The first hotels, such as RV parks, were of crucial importance to the growth of Rocky Point from the mid 20’s all the way through the 80’s.
Rocky Point has continued to grow in areas where there are activities and attractions for the tourists. There are different beaches that are now recognized and provide for great places to go on vacation. Some of the beaches in Rocky Point are: Las Conchas, El Mirador, Playa Hermosa, Playa Encanto, La Cholla, with the most popular of them all being Sandy Beach. In the early 1990s, many development projects were started with a direct focus on tourism and real estate. The area that is now recognized as Sandy Beach had several developments constructed, one after the other, and these are now part of the several things that are offered to tourists.
Some of the most important developments that sustain the majority of the tourism in Rocky Point are: Playa Bonita Resort, Princesa de Peñasco, Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort, Sonoran Resorts, Marina Pinacate Resort, just to mention a few.
Puerto Peñasco as a city has maintained a stable growth. Actually, there are new commercial services like supermarkets from national chains who apart from the general employees it also benefits the tourism and the locals. Puerto Viejo who is home to Mercada de Mariscos, are fundamental parts of the port that provide for attraction not only for the locals but also for the visitors.
It’s Name “Puerto Peñasco” or “Rocky Point”
The port is recognized with 2 names, Rocky Point in English and Puerto Peñasco in Spanish. Roberto William Hale Hardy, a 1982 retiree from the Great Britian Marine, navigated through the port in search of precious metals and pearls and he gave it the name that we now call it in English, Rocky Point until General Lázaro Cárdenas changed it to Puerto Peñasco, or Port Rocky Point. For simple pronunciation in different languages they eliminated the word “Port”.
Accidents and emergencies can present themselves at any moment, in Rocky Point you can count on the necessary services to accommodate any inconvenience. Accidents and emergencies can present themselves at any moment, in Rocky Point you can count on the necessary services to accommodate any inconvenience.
Sandy Beach Urgent Care, located on Paseo Las Dunas Edificio Acrópolis (638) 388 76 76
San Jose Urgent Care located on Blvd. Benito Juárez Y Guillermo Prieto (638) 383 51 21 / (638) 383 15 21
Mexican Red Cross located on Blvd. Fremont #94 Col. El Mirador 3832266
Santa Maria Clinic, in Niños Heroes #37 in between Simón Morúa y Aquiles Serdán (638) 383-2440
Urban Health Center (638) 388-9069
General Hospital (638) 102-0423 Rio Suchiate Col. Brisas del Golfo
Mexican Social Security Institute (638) 383-2777 Juan de la Barrera y Nicolás Bravo
In the case that the emergency would require transportation to a clinic in the United States the telephones of the air evacuation are AirEvac, Inc., 602-244-9327and transportation via ambulance is Ajo Ambulante, Inc, 520-387-5154
In Rocky Point there are tons of cab drivers available for you 24/7.
Remember that all the vehicles being used in Mexico should have Mexican insurance because American insurance is not valid.
The international Airport of the Sea of Cortes is one of the latest projects in Rocky Point that benefits the growth of the city as a potential tourist destination. With a project that started in 2005 the Mayan Group Resorts with the idea in mind to be able to receive commercial airplanes with a maximum capacity of a Boeing 757, made efforts with the Government of the Sonoran state to bring together the project that finally got started in November 2009 through president Felipe Calderon.
In Rocky Point there are a variety of activities offered for people of all ages and interests. If you come for vacation with the family, you come with friends or you are looking for a romantic escape with your spouse, you can enjoy the attractions that the city has to offer you.
Is it true that some of the greatest planners are those who don’t plan? Well if this is your case you will still have a wonderful time spending time in the beaches of Rocky Point. You will find activities such as banana boats, jet skis, kite surfing, kayaks and sailing and snorkeling. Several of the hotels offer their guests the equipment for these activities and they are free of charge.
Who doesn’t love to feel the adrenaline rush when they are on a fourwheeler? Rocky Point is well known for its enormous sand dunes and its huge expanses of dirt where you can make your ATV adventure enjoyable.
ATV’s are permitted as a form of transportation within the city as long as the laws of transportation are respected and only you use the vehicle. We recommend you go to “La Loma” located in the walk to Cholla Bay and here you can rent the 4×4 offroad vehicles and they have many different choices for the family.
There are several places where you can rent an ATV, with prices varying from $30-$50 an hour, depending on the type of vehicle that you want to use. Remember to have your drivers license, which they will request in order to do the rental.
Also take into account that the use of ATV’s is not permitted on the beaches and here are some tips so your ride is always safe and responsible:
– Always use a helmet when you are riding an ATV – The maximum is 2 people on the vehicle
– People who are younger than 16 can not drive
– Don’t drink and drive
– We recommend that you stay away from the main streets which are: Fremont Blvd., Benito Juarez Blvd., and Puerto Viejo.
Is exploring the depths of the Sea of Cortes on your list? Scuba diving is saved for the most adventurous people and in Rocky Point it is possible. There are several companies that offer safe scuba diving excursions but as in all places, you are required to be a certified diver to participate in these activities.
Either way, there is plenty of online material that can describe and present the incredible waters of the Gulf of California. You can’t miss this opportunity to see the “Aquarium of the World”, the name that the explored Jacques Costaeu gave it.
For the people who enjoy the environment, Puerto Peñasco offers unique activities to explore the area with guided tours to the Pinacate Biosphere, the Grand Altar Desert and the fauna of the Sea of Cortes. There are several companies dedicated to the tours and we recommend that you use them so that you can be more acquainted with the marvels that Rocky Point has to offer for you.
In continuation We leave you with a list of activities that you cannot miss. The majority of the tours operate from the CEDO (Centro de Estudios de Desiertos y Oceanos):
Discovering the Pools: Informative tour that takes you through the northern part of the Gulf of California where you explore the reefs and the rocks.
Kayak in Estero Morua: With a simple trip in the Kayak, you can access places that cannot be accessed in any other way.
Trip to the Island of San Jorge: In the trip to the island you see a colony of sea lions, dolphins and other species of marine animals such as native birds to the region. You can also do scuba diving, snorkeling, and bird watching.
Sckuk Toak (Sacred Mountain): It’s a touristic location that opened its doors in 2009, and offers information on how the Pinacate Biosphere is managed. You can also visit the crater “El Elegante”, thru the Visit Center Access, at El Pinacate Biosphere Reserve you can practice activities such as camping, hiking, mountain biking and others.
Who has not dreamed about flying? Rocky Point can make your dreams a reality by allowing you to enjoy the city from another point of view by going on a motorized glider. You can fly over the beaches of Sandy Beach and make your own memories with unique photographs and video. These services are found in the area that is known as “The Reef.”
The vacations are so you don’t have to worry and have some time relaxing, but it is also important to take into account the advice we give on activities safety. If you need more information over a certain activity, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Hotel Occupancy: Thanks to the boom of tourism in this region and the large increase in promotions that have been offered by service providers worldwide, such as the Resorts and Hotels here in Puerto Peñasco, the flow of tourists has benefited this year with an increase of 12% over the previous year. According to reports provided by the Convention and Visitors Center, Puerto Peñasco has attracted a total of 1,602,750 between national and international tourists.
In Rocky Point you can have a good time all year due to the incredible climate all year long. However, the tourism in Rocky Point is seasonal.
Winter Season: For the first season of the year Rocky Point has several visitors from the Northern United States and Canada, the well known “Snow Birds”, come down to visit and enjoy the winter in Rocky Point in their RV’s, which is the most common. The activities at this time of the year are more focused in activities such as Golf, hiking and enjoying the wonderful sunsets that can always be appreciated in the Sea of Cortes.
Spring Season: Just as the rays of the sun begin to heat up the waters of Rocky Point, you can feel the anticipation and excitement for the Spring season to come. The Spring season in Rocky Point is enjoyed in 2 ways, Spring Break and “Semana Santa (Holy Week).” Spring Break attracts many families and students during their children or school vacation to enjoy the beaches and pools of the most popular Resorts in the area.
Semana Santa (Easter) is a very important national holiday in Mexico and many people from all over Mexico come to visit Rocky Point. It is a holiday to enjoy with family and friends.
Summer Season: This is the longest season in terms of good climate and booming tourism. Rocky Point has visitors as early as the first few weeks of June and it extends all the way until classes resume for most schools in August. The most popular activities in this season are, jet skiis, ATVs, fishing, and exploration in general.
Fall Season: Just as the Spring, the fall in Rocky Point is enjoyed in a similar fashion. The weather is incredible during this time of the year and many people enjoy coming to Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) to get away for a few days and enjoy the magnificent breeze of the ocean and take long walks by the beach.
Dining is also a very popular activity during this time of the year as many people venture to the old port for fresh seafood. During October and November is when you can enjoy the last of the fresh climate and exploration activities.
Rocky Point has a semi warm climate that is perfect for outdoor activities for the majority of the year, and thanks to its geographic location you can enjoy sunny days and full moon nights with a cool breeze.
The normal temperature is 28.7 degrees C (83 F), during the summer months and unless they record the rainfall season, it’s very low. During the winter months the temperature drops to around 20.1 degrees C (68F). In the spring, between the months of January of May the temperature is between 15.5 -26.6 ºC (60 – 80 ºF). The temperature goes from May to August has temperatures that range from 26.6 – 40.5 ºC (80-105 ºF). From September to December, it is recognized as fall/winter of Rocky Point and the temperatures are between 15.5 and 23.8 ºC (60-75 ºF).