We continue to receive questions on Puerto Peñascoso here is another one from one of our readers.
QUESTION: Kim Bock asks:
My husband grew up going to Choya Bay and his parents owned a home there when we were young. They sold their home about 18 years ago and we hadn’t gone back in many years. About a year ago my cousin got married there and we’ve been going back ever since. So much has changed it’s unbelievable, so each time we go back its a little adventure to see all that’s new, as well as what has become unrecognizable. I started going down there with my husband in 1989. What a shock it was to see what Sandy Beach had become! Since so much has changed I’d like to ask you a few questions. I am excited to say we will be in Puerto Penasco November 1-4 and again over Thanksgiving. I have been reading about Rodeo Drive and I was wondering if you could confirm if that is the same as what everyone calls Malecon now, or if there is a different shopping strip that we are unaware of. Also is there a particular restaurant that you would recommend eating at and a Pharmacy that you trust and have had good luck with. We plan to visit the cemetery on the 1st and go downtown (to Malecon) in the evening for dinner and to see the festival. (We will be preparing our own little ofrenda for my dad who has passed.) Could you tell me how to get to cemetery. We cannot check into our hotel until 4 pm and might go straight to cemetery upon arrival into Peñasco or may be coming from Sandy Beach. Any tidbits or suggestions you have would be much appreciated. This trip I would like to explore a little farther out and am thinking of taking a drive to Encanto Beach. I always see homes for rent there and would like to see what it’s like and how far it actually is from Rocky Point.
Thanks for reading my email and for any information you might have for us.
ANSWER:Yes Kimberly, things have really changed since 1989. In response to you first question, Rodeo Drive is a different area from the Malecon. Some people have also called it Shacks 5th Avenue. Years ago it was a dirt road and on Thanksgiving weekends if it rained everyone got stuck in the soft sand and that was part of the charm. A few years ago, it was remolded with a cement street and lighting. There are a lot of very nice store there as well as you touristy brick a brack stores. There is wonderful ladies store called Fabiola’s and she carries mainly gauze apparel as well as jewelry and hand bags. She also has some great men’s shirts. Right next door is the upscale Su Casa which is filled with great home décor and gifts from the south of Mexico. Getting tired and thirsty, there is a nice Mexican Restaurant across the street called Mariachis and Tequila. Eddy Wharez is located to the east of these stores and has a lot of home décor and gift ideas. There is also a lot of Talavera dishes and Silver jewelry available in this area. Depending on where you are staying while here I will give you this direction. If coming from town you will pass the Sonoran SKY, Puerta Privada and Las Palomas. The road will end and you will make a right heading north and then make your 1st right turn (it will say to Convention Center). That road will take you right to the mall. You can also find many of the same things on the Malecon but you won’t have issues with finding a place to park.
If you would like to have a very nice dinner, recommend GARUFA and Argentinian Steak House. They are located on the Sandy Beach Road. You will turn of the main road and you will see it as you get close. The steaks are to die for and done to perfection. They have a 14 oz Prime Filet and although it doesn’t come with a sauce, it is a piece of meat that you can enjoy the taste of the meat. They also have another 7 oz. filet that is finished in a red whine reduction. Both are under $400 pesos. Great wines from the Valle de Guadalupe over near Ensenada. I would recommend the Balero blend.
So happy that you will be here for Dia de Muertos. Do you know which cemetery your dad is buried at as we now have 3. Let me know and I can get you directions. Do you have the schedule of events for that holiday? They also have a lot of things going on at Rodeo Drive. One night is the night of the Catrina’s, which people dress up like skeletons called Catrina’s.
If you are in the Malecon for dinner, I would recommend the Blue Marlin for seafood. He has a fantastic coconut shrimp served in a coconut shell. He has been in business since I believe 1995, we were some of his first customers. For breakfast, Boulevard 301, which is located on Benito Juarez (the main street through town) next to Pollo Lucas, Kaffee Haus is as you are heading into the Old Port and Latitude 31 offers a nice breakfast as well. We are getting more new places seems like every month. Latitude also does a great Thanksgiving dinner but you will need reservations. Boo Bar is a fun place to go and also serves food and is right on the water. Manny’s Beach Clubhas been completely gutted and rebuilt complete with a pool and is in the same location in the Mirador area.
You will find pharmacies on every corner now days. We use Santiago’s which is located on Benito Juarez about 3 blocks south of Burger King and right across from San Jose Clinic in the same side as Burger King. Rudy speak English and they have very good prices and if they don’t have it, they generally can get it with in few hours.
Much of Cholla Bay received a lot of road damage as a result of remnants Hurricane Sergio. As of this writing the road to Playa Encanto is not opern as a result of the rains we had from the 2 hurricane remnants, so count that one out. it is a mess out there. The turn off to Playa Encanto is about 10 miles from town and when the road is good another 8 miles to the beach and homes.
If you are dog lovers, you may want to check out Barb’s Dog Rescue on the outskirts of town. She has some cuties that are up for adoption and there is no charge, all she asks is dog food or a donation to buy food.
You may not know that Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a huge celebration in Mexico, Central and South America. These traditions are said to go back 3,000 years. In Puerto Peñasco it is a wonderful time of the year. The days and nights are cooling down so you feel that you want to be a part of these celebrations.
This is a very colorful celebration with altars decorated in family homes or businesses with lots of flowers mainly Wild Marigolds (Cempasúchil) and bright purplish red Cock’s Comb. The altars also contain things that the deceased loved such as Day of the Dead Bread, alcohol, cigarettes, candy or any other thing that that person liked.
The holiday is celebrated in the cemeteries around Rocky Pointon November 1st and 2nd. They coincide with All Soul’s Day and All Saints Day. On October 31st the graves of the children are prepared and cleaned. Tradition has it that in November 1 the spirits of the children (Angelitos) will come back to visit. On November 2nd the soul’s of the adults come back to earth for the night. During this time the tombs and graves are cleaned and the families and friends gather to sit and reminisce about the loved one and they will have music, food and drinks while they pass the night away. The altars are also decorated with candles and figurines.
In Puerto Peñasco, there is also a celebration in Rodeo Drive or also known as the Cholla Bay Mall. The store owners do a competition of building altars and you can see from the pictures, a great deal of care and thought go into these. Here you will also see Catrinas and you see people dressed in costume and many of the ladies dress as the Day of the Dead figurines. The event is October 28th and November 2nd. Here you will find music, dancing, food and drink. Go to Marachi’s and Tequila for a late lunch or dinner and take in all the activities. Just come down and enjoy yourself and take in all the culture we offer.
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