Although Semana Santa (Easter Holy Week) had a large crowd, it was not as large as previous years, judging from the photos. The bars and restaurants that were open open were pleased with the business they had. By Sunday most of our visitors had left until next year. There were food vendors on every corner selling tacos, churros and hot dogs. A great time was had by all.
At the same time the OAXACA Exhibit has come to town for a month. They bring with them apparel, leather goods and so many crafts, cosmetics and perfumes, artwork as well as regional food from the area and many flavors of home made ice cream. They open at 10 am and are located in Shrimp Park across from the Municipal Building on the corner of Benito Juarez and Blvd. Freemont. Look for the brightly colored tents.
The last Mermaid Market has been delayed from April 17th to May 29th. So if you are here for the Memorial Day weekend, please plan to stop by and spend some time visiting with the local artists. The last show is always a fun event with vendors dressed like Pirates and always some great music. Here will also find the best BBQ in town and tamales wrapped in Banana leaves that are to die for. You can also buy fresh baked breads and some of the best Marmalades anywhere. They have them all to sample so please do, you won’t be disappointed. If you want a great hamburger while you are in the park, check out the little white building next to the bandstand. Here you can get a cheeseburger, grilled onions and great french fries for $75 to $80 pesos or around $4 USD. They have a nice little seating area to enjoy your lunch and some fresh air. Stop by and visit Russ Black and enjoy one of his special Mermaid Margaritas.
Puerto Peñasco is rapidly becoming a year around wedding destination. There are several wedding planners in town to help you make you special day one to be remembered. You have several caterers to choose from and you can find some great bands for your reception. If you want a beach wedding, that can be arranged complete with canopy and chairs. Check with Olympia Watson or Shayna Sargent who are wedding planners and they can make all the arrangements. If you want to have your wedding at a hotel, check out Playa Bonita Hotel or Penasco del Sol Hotel.
There are some events coming up in April, May, June and July that you might want to mark you calendars for and get your reservations made. April 23-24 at Banditos Roger Clyne Solo Songwriters Show, May 1 at Las Palomas is the Annual Golf Tournament, June 10th Roger Clyne Circus Mexicus and July 16-18 at Manny’s Beach Club is the Manny’s Country Bash. Follow Puerto-Peñasco.com for more info on these events.
This holiday that began in the south of Mexico will begin on October 31, 2018 and end on November 3rd here in Puerto Peñasco. There are events held allover the city. Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated throughout Mexico with much tradition. The holiday dates back centuries, but it wasn’t until recent years was not celebrated in the Northern part of Mexico.
During these times, the families go to the cemeteries to clean and paint the grave sites. It is here that the families of the deceased gather to spend the night at the grave decorating and celebrating with the food and drink of their loved one. In the grocery stores you find the cute little sugar skulls and Pan Muerto ( a sweet bread) that is shared with family. You will also find Marigold Flowers and Plants at the local nurseries, that decorate the graves. At the cemetery you also find trucks full of the colorful flowers. This is a joyful way to celebrate the death of a family member.
The celebrations start on October 31st and is known as All Hallows Day, which is a day to celebrate the children who have crossed over. It culminates on November 4th at the Cholla Mall Road with the judging of the altars and the Catrinas. Catrinas are the skelton figurines that are made of paper mache or porcelain and come in all sizes and painted in bright colors. There a couple of places in Rocky Point that carry a nice selection the Catrinas and they are Latitude 31 Gift Shop and Mercedes Rusticos in the Old Port.
Here is partial schedule of the events going on. November 1: All Saints Day November 2 & 3: Set up of the Altars on the Cholla Bay Mall or “Shack’s 5th Avenue) November 3: Festival Dia De Muertos offering at the Sea of Cortez. Here decorated floats will parade in the harbor. November 4: Judging of the Altars and Catrinas
Fall is the time of festivals in Puerto Peñasco. October 18th – 21st, Rocky Point will host the 1st class XLVI Cervantino Festival. The event is held on the Malecon area of the city. Here you can enjoy music, art, food and more while over looking the Sea of Cortez. The festival is family friendly so bring everyone.
This festival features musicians from all over Mexico along with local dancers and musicians. Below is a list of when each group will be performing and the times. Come and enjoy the culture of the music and dance that is so well known all over Mexico and we are so lucky to have them entertain us.
XLVI FESTIVAL INTERNACIONAL CERVANTINO EXTENSIÓN PUERTO PEÑASCO 18 AL 21 DE OCTUBRE 2018
Get there early to the Plaza de Governors in the Old Port Thursday, October 18th
7:00 Blessing by Etnia Madre Tohono O’odham
7:10 Áfrika Duste big show
8:00 Inaguration: Entrega de reconocimientos al Escritor Guillermo Munro Palacio, Universidad de Sonora Unidad Regional Norte-Caborca por su 40 Aniversario, Hermanamiento de Ciudad Cultural con Tecuala Nayarit. Palabras de autoridades.
8:30 Presentation by Ballet Folklórico Mextil de Tecuala
9:30 Concert with María Inés Ochoa “La Rumorosa”
Friday October 19
6:00 Danza Alerta Amber by the Academy Causa y Efecto
6:10 Singer song writer Lian Fertin in concert (Argentina)
6:40 Danza de los concheros por el Ballet Folklórico Magisterial-Casa de la Cultura bajo la dirección de Adan Bautista
7:00 Concierto del Tenor Francisco J Rodríguez (Estados Unidos)
8:00 Samandar Khan Manganiar Rajashtani Folk Music & Dance Group (India)
9:15 Danzas Polinesias by Angélica Sotomayor Martínez
9:35 Banda de Marcha Municipal bajo la dirección del Maestro Rubén Barrera
10:05 Flor Amargo in concert
Callejoneadas con la Estudiantina Dr. Alfonso Ortiz Tirado (Álamos)
Saturday October 20
6:00 Orquesta de Cámara & Orfeón in concert “Unidos por la paz” (200 members)
7:00 Concert by the group 34 Puñaladas (Argentina)
8:40 Grupo Danza Folklórica “Sones de mi Tierra de Evangelina Magaña” (San Luis, R.C.)
9:00 Grupo Luceros Danza Toninho Ferragutti (Brasil)
10:00 Grupo Danza Folklórica “Sones de mi Tierra de Evangelina Magaña” (San Luis, R.C.)
10:20 Big Band Jazz de México Callejoneadas with la Estudiantina Dr. Alfonso Ortiz Tirado (Álamos)
Sunday October 21
5:00 Ensamble y Coro Musical bajo la dirección de Germán Esquer Delgado
5:50 Intérprete Rosael Hernández Hernández (Islas Canarias, España)
6:00 Coral Luis María Valencia bajo la dirección de Aracely Lozano Herrera y Martín Ramírez Domínguez
7:00 Make a Wish de Elite Dance bajo la dirección de Pablo Fabián Jáuregui
8:00 María Cristina Plata (Colombia)
9:00 Programa especial de cierre con grupos artísticos de la Universidad de Sonora URN: Grupo Contraste y Búhos Cantores bajo la dirección de Marcela Denogean Torres; Danza bajo la dirección de Marisol Ivette Izaguirre Montaño. Sunday October 21
The décor is warm and inviting with the use of brick work, comfortable tables and chairs, an open kitchen, handsome bar and lots of windows to make you feel right at home. In the hostess station area there are chairs to sit in while waiting for your table. From the front entry, you can see one of the 2 private party areas. The lighting is soft but you can read the menu with no problem. This time of year, dine on the outdoor patio and soak in the wonderful Rocky Point weather.
Garufa Argentinian Steakhouseopened their doors for a pre-grand opening party on October 5th in Puerto Peñasco to their family, friends and dignitaries. As you can see from the photos it was a huge success. They served aprox. 120 people in a professional timely organized manner. The staff was extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the food and their wines.
The meal consisted of wonderful Beef Slider appetizer .. next came Empanadas, that were divine. They feature 8 different types of Empanada’s on the menu and our table was really fond of the Blue Cheese stuffed ones. This was followed by a lovely salad to share. After enough time to let everything settle the staff came out with melt in your mouth Arrecherra Steak (which is known in the United States as a marinated Flank Streak). The meal was finished off with like little round pecan pies. The meal was served with a Sangria, a Spanish wine or beer. They make their own bread and rolls, which is a real plus as they are light and tasty.
There wine list is outstanding and it includes wines from the Valle de Guadalupe in Mexico as well as Spain and other places. The presentation of the wines is one of the most unique we have seen. They feature a full bar with a lot of very nice Tequila’s also.
A couple of days later the out door patio was finished and just in time to take advantage of the beautiful fall weather in Puerto Peñasco. They open daily at 1:00 p.m. One thing that makes this stand out beside the food is that it has ample secure parking.
Planning to come to Rocky Point for Thanksgiving, get your reservation for lodging in early. Many restaurants will be serving up Thanksgiving dinner so check out Latitude 31 as they fill up fast.
My thanks to Eric Brown for allowing me to share his photos as my camera has a glitch.
The long awaited opening of the newest restaurant in Puerto Peñasco is nearly here. Be prepared to have your taste buds get really happy. GARUFA will formally open their doors in PUERTOPENASCO on October 5th. This upscale chain restaurant is one of 19 GARAFU restaurants thro0ught Mexico. However, this is the 1st one to be built in northern Mexico and the 1st one in a tourist/beach town.
Their menu is fantastic and includes some of the best cuts of steak around, fresh seafood and the ever popular Argentinian Empanada. There is something for everyone! They will feature wines from the Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico as well as from other areas including California. Besides being known for outstanding beef, their deserts are to die for.
GARUFA will be open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Their hours are Sunday – Thursday, 1:00 pm to 10:00 pm and Friday and Saturday from 1:00 pm to 11:pm. The bar will be open until midnight.
The summer traffic is finally winding down and the schools are back in session, so that means that fall should be following by shortly. With fall comes a lot of events for everyone.
If you have never been here on September 15th for the call to El Grito or the “Call for Independence” it is quite a production. This tradition dates back to 1810 when Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla gave the call in Dolores, Guanajuato to gather all the people to revolt against the Spanish colonizers. It is on this evening that all eyes are on City Hall at the intersection of Benito Juarez and Blvd. Freemont. City Hall and the surrounding streets are all decorated with Mexican Flags and red, white and green streamers. Normally they attach fireworks to the light posts. This is the night where the previous Mayor passes the guard to the new Mayor. In this case Mayor Kiko Munro will be Mayor for a second term. It is here he is surrounded by his family and friends and makes a speech starting at 11:00 p.m. The crowds are huge so if you want to see the festivities, make sure to get there early to find a place to park. Throughout the city there will celebrations in the streets with bands, food vendors and vendors selling Mexican Flags and apparel. At the end of the ceremony, the crowd will sing the Mexican National Anthem and then the party begins.
The long awaited Grand Openingof Garufa is scheduled for September 28. This restaurant chain from Zacatecas has been around for many years, but this is the 1st one opening in a tourist beach city. While you are visiting Rocky Pointmake sure you add this to your place to have a great steak or seafood. It is located next to Chango’s between the Sonoran SPA and the Sonoran SEA.
Planning ahead for a visit to Rocky Point in October mark your calendar for the Dirty Beach Run. The event takes place October 20th and will consist of an obstacle course and a 5K run.
Check out these events for October. On the 6th is the One Club Open, on the 13th you will have the Rocky Point Beach Vollyball Tournament,also on the 13th you can view the Regattafrom Sandy Beach. One of the great cultural events will be held October 18 – 20th in the Old Port and it is the Cervantino Festival . The last event which is held in Cholla Bay is the Cornhole Tournament. This event draws huge crowds so get there early for a good parking spot. We will give you more information on each event later in September.
We are continuing our Q & A forum from our readers. If you have any questions, please send them to us. Question:Hi there!!!!
It’s me again! How are you? I hope all is well! I’m just writing to ask you if you would recommend Puerto Peñasco in the month of October? My family and I are thinking of visiting this year again in the month of October. What do you think? Also, how has Puerto Peñasco been lately (safety and security wise)? Thanks so much for all of your help! Looking forward to your response soon! Take care and have a great day!!!!
Answer: Hi Susana,
October is a great month especially mid October. The humidity should be almost gone. There aren’t any major holidays as far as traffic goes. There have been no safety issues or security from the time you enter Mexico until the time you head back. The water will still be nice and morning walks on the beach are a must. How long are you planning on being here? Are you coming with small children? If so, they can enjoy the tide pools looking for little creatures. A visit to CEDO in Las Conchas is a must as they will get to see a full size skeleton of a whale and it is a great learning center for them. They have a gift shop with books about the area and it is really nice. Most restaurants will be open everyday if you want to eat out.
Any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
Question: This will be the first time visit to Puerto Peñasco and we are wondering what there is to do and is it safe. Answer: Thanks for asking. Not sure what time of the year you are planning to be here, but pretty soon, the weather will be changing, so you can enjoy walking or running on the beach. If you are a golfer, we offer 3 golf courses for your enjoyment. Fishing your thing, there are several fishing charters to choose from. After a relaxing day on the beach, take a sunset cruise on one or our many sunset cruises. You can also to ride horse back on the beach which is really fun. We have several really great restaurants to choose from and a few with Sea of Cortez view. This places also offer a great sunset view.
I have lived here full time since 2008 and have never had a safety issue. My children and grandchildren have also been coming here for many years with no issues. I tell people, if you are looking for trou0ble I am sure you can find it, but otherwise you will have a wonderful stay. Don’t forget to get Mexican auto insurance full coverage. It may be a little more expensive for full coverage, but it will protect your vehicle. Let me know when you plan to come and I will try to update you with events. The main thing we have upcoming will be the Rocky Point Rally, Veteran’s Day weekend. The town is probably already sold out.
If you are planning to buy or adopt a dog, check out Barb’s Dog Rescue. Choose from puppies or senior dogs, you won’t be disappointed.
Welcome to Puerto Peñasco. We know it is hot and muggy but let’s check out a couple of places you must go to when you are here. You need to treat yourself to a Piña Colada or try some of the best Sonoran Hot Dogs anywhere.
Our first stop will be to Chon’s Sonoran Style Hot Dogs on Constitution, across from the ABC Bus Line. He has been serving up these dogs for as long as I can remember. When I arrived today his son was working the stand and I asked if his papa was OK and he said “Day Off”. There were several people eating the dogs there as well as people waiting in line for dogs to go. When I spoke with the papa one day, I asked him how many dogs he sold a day and said it was somewhere between 200 and 300. WOW. He has a simple cart that he tows everyday and this is where he cooks the dogs on a flat top after they have been wrapped in thin bacon. How could this not be good? Bacon on anything is good. Then he grills onions and whole jalapenos for your enjoyment. The cart has a warming bin for the tender buns. Now he prepares your order by putting the crispy dog on the bun and starts to build from there with either the grilled onions or chopped raw ones, pickles, peppers and more. There are several things to add next such as mayo, ketchup, mustard, a thin avocado sauce and you are good to go. If you want , just ask for the Jalapeno on the side. When my husband and I go, we have 2 dogs each and a small Coke Cola. Nothing better than a REAL Mexican Coke Cola to top of your lunch and all of this will not break your wallet.
Next stop is on the corner of Calle 13 and Plutarco Elias Calle. Here you will find Lupe Castro making those yummy Piña Coladas served in a fresh Pineapple, complete with slices of fresh Pineapple on the side, a little umbrella and a cherry. This goes on the top of the fresh mixture of cream of coconut milk and pineapple juice which has been blended. Lupe has been on this corner for over 10 years come spring, summer, winter or fall. He says he sells on average of 25-30 of these delightfully refreshing drinks a day. He blends everything up in front of you and when he made ours he also had enough to gives us 2 10 oz. cups in addition. Lupe has a great smile and every time we pass him he always waves and smiles, so how could we not stop. Two drinks were only 180 pesos and well worth it. This corner is very busy this time of the year, as everyone is wanting to rent those quads and rhinos. Perhaps this would be a great stop after you have been out on the quads and rhinos in the heat to cool off. Lupe is also available for private parties.
I hope you will support these 2 gentleman as they are so hard working and I know they appreciate our business.
Sonora happens to be the 2nd largest states in Mexico. Because of it’s size and terrain it is a very diverse state. It has in some area the feel of the old west whereas in others it is filled with modern development and condos such as PuertoPeñasco. The best description of the region would be to compare it to the bread basket of Central California from Bakersfield to Mendocino and every place in between. With regards to the meats and foul grown it is much like parts of Texas and Arizona. Here, as you drive through Sonora, you will see cowboy’s working the cattle ranches while other workers are picking crops.
Let’s start with the region of Caborca which is located only 90 miles from Puerto Peñasco. It is probably best known for it asparagus and olives which are internationally shipped. Here in Rocky Point in winter and spring we get an abundance of asparagus that is sold on the street corners and in the fish market and it is wonderful. A kilo will cost you about $1.50 USD. This area is known for its grapes, snow peas, oranges, fig, dates, pecans (10% of over 76.000 tons in Mexico) and other nuts as well as hay. If you do a day trip to Caborca in the winter months, you can find the oranges being sold everywhere and that holds true in Puerto Peñasco. You will also find vendors selling pecans and peanuts all over. At Christmas time you will find truck loads of corn which come from the Obregon area and these are used in the making of Tamales. Do not confuse it with sweet corn as it is not.
Years ago as you drove to Caborca and Pitiquito, there were several distilleries on the highway. They are now long gone sadly. The grapes are shipped to the Mexico City for distilling into brandy and the Thompson seedless grapes are either dried for raisins or packaged as grapes for eating. In the Caborca region there are DOLE processing plants for the asparagus and raisins and it that is fun to stop and visit them. If you do go to Pitiquito, please stop in and visit the leather factory to find some stunning hand made leather purses, jackets and vests.
In Puerto Peñasco, we are of course known for our shrimp, manta ray, squid, crab, snapper and other fish. Much of our shrimp and crab are exported as well. Generally speaking Mexico does a huge exportation business with the United States, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Russia, Korea, Canada, Singapore, New Zealand and China.
In Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora you will find that they are know for the beef, pork and Chicken. Bachoco is the largest grower of chicken in Mexico and it exports a lot of it to Tyson Foods in the United States. Bachoco also grows Turkeys here and in this area is where you will find the egg farms. In Mexico you will find many stores do not refrigerate the eggs and one of the reasons is that they sell them so fast. Remember that once they are refrigerated you can not let them sit out. Sonoran Beef is without a doubt some of the best beef anywhere. It is not injected with a lot of hormones thus you don’t always have a lot of marbling in it. It is however, full of flavor and tender. We have a meat market here in in Rocky Point called JC’s and here you will find briskets, beautiful choice or select steaks, roasts and they will grind your hamburger your way. They will also cut steaks to your size except for the filet (which you need to buy the whole filet) and then if you want they will cut it. One of the largest and most popular beef producers is a company called Rancho El 17. The company started in 1991 and are based out of Hermosillo. In 2004 they started exporting their choice, prime and natural beef to Asian countries. They are known for their well marbled tender steaks and you can actually order online and have them shipped to Rocky Point. They offer everything from New York, Filet, Rib Eye, Prime rib, Hamburger, Carne Asada, Arrachera and even dried Machaca and Carne Asada.
The next largest growing region would be Obregon which is located approximately 3 hours from Hermosillo. This is the heart of the growing region in Sonora. Here you will find Broccoli, Squash, Pumpkin, Scallions, Chilis, Cauliflower, Watermelon, Cucumber, Radish, Cabbage, Tomatoes, Cantaloupe, Honey Dew along with Wheat, Cotton and Corn. As you take some of the back roads you will see the fields growing full of crops.
The long awaited GRAND OPENINGof GARUFA will be October 5th. Mark your calendar.Prepare to have your taste buds be happy. The menu offer something for everyone and you won’t be disappointed.
I recently sat down with Jorge Valdes along with his partner Aurelio Arguelles to learn about their new venture and about GARUFA and what it will mean to Rocky Point. Jorge said they had been thinking about this for many years and were nearly ready to start when the economy collapsed a few years ago. But they see a future here with the still on the drawing boards Home Port project as well as more development coming in along with a strong real estate market.
With the opening of GARUFA, an authentic Argentinian Steak House, it will be a first for this chain of 19 restaurants across Mexico to be locating in a not only a tourist area but a beach city in Northern Mexico. It will also be a first for Puerto Peñascoto have a first class chain restaurant. The planned opening is late August of 2018 so watch for it.
Garufa was founded in 1995 by Marcelo Windler in Zacatecas, Mexico. Since then it has grown to 17 store open with 2 more set to open soon. Up until now the restaurants have been in the south of Mexico and in large metropolitan cities. They are know for the prime imported beef as well as the fantastic beef from Sonora. They are located in Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Ciudad Juarez, El Paso Texas (the only one outside of Mexico), Torreon, Saltio, Monterrey, Irapuato, San Miguel de Allende. Some of these cities have multiple locations. Coming soon will be Puerto Peñasco, Ajijic Lake Chapala and Leon Gto.
GARUFA in Rocky Point will have pretty much the same menu as all of the other locations, with the exceptions of adding fresh fish, shrimp, Octopus which are our regional specialties as well as Salmon and Tuna. Also on the menu will be the famed Empanadas. GARUFA will be serving USDA Prime and Sonoran beef will be a mix of high select and prime. The menu will consist of Prime Rib, Filet, Rib Eye, aged Short ribs and Sirloin. The Argentinian menu is influenced by Italian cuisine.The restaurant will have seating for 120 people including the patio. It will also feature a banquet area that will seat 60 and a VIP room that will seat 10. They will be open 7 days a week and open at 1:00 p.m. The menu will be the same for a late lunch or dinner.
Besides all the wonderful entrees, they will have a very large wine selection for Baja (Valle de Guadalupe), California, Coahuila, Chile, Argentina and some French wines and possible a couple more from some of the smaller wine regions that have been gaining in popularity in the South of Mexico. This is especially good news for those of us wine drinkers. Lastly, from what I have been told, the desserts are to die for.