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.
Now is the time to plan to go to Puerto Peñasco for late fall and the Christmas season. Fall brings Mermaid Markets, Art in the Park in Las Conchas over Thanksgiving, stunning sunset cruises and the traditions of the Christmas season in Mexico.
Stop by Latitude 31 to see the Christmas Village and train and it is free. While you are there have a great breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Take time to do a Sunset Cruise on the Pancho Villa or the Eco Fun or any of the other boats here that will not disappoint you. Just getting out on the water is such a great way to unwind. You can view the Dolphins that will entertain your boat and you can sit back and have a Margarita or cold beer. There is something about fall and winter sunsets that are so amazing.
If you are lucky enough to be here in December, you can watch all the Posada’s or go over to City Hall and see the decorations that are set up. Plaza de Madre is where you will find the animals from the Nativity setting. Children love to see all the animals.
The Posadas start on December 16 and end on the 24th or as it is called “Noche Buena” Christmas Eve. In many parts of the world they celebrate the 12 days of Christmas but in Mexico it is 9 days. Las Posada translated means in English as “the inn or the lodging”
Neighbors and family meet and go from house to house every night reenacting the travels of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem. When they arrive at the last house, they are given passage and it is here where the party starts. Before entering the home they recite something like this. This song is called “Canto Para Pedir Posada” which means to ask for shelter. This is a shortened version.
Pilgrims, outside) “Mi nombre es José,
Mi esposa es María.
y madre va ser,
del Divino Verbo.” “My name is Joseph,
My wife is Mary.
and mother to be
of the Divine Word.” (Inn keepers, inside) “Posada os brindo,
y disculpa os pido,
no os reconocía.” “The inn I give you,
and offer an apology,
for not recognizing you.”
The people arrive carrying a statue of the Virgin Mary and little candles as they walk from place to place. Once admitted, they are treated to food and a drink called Ponche con Piquete, which is made fruits, cinnamon and Brandy or Rum or a beer called Noche Buena. This beer is only found in the Christmas season. After everyone has finished, the Pinata is hung and the children start to break it open. The families spend a lot of time talking and enjoying the sounds of glee of the children. On Christmas Eve, most families go to midnight mass.
The Christmas season extends until January 6th which is known as “Kings Day”and in traditional fashion, this is when the children receive their Christmas gifts.
If you are in Puerto Peñasco on January 6th, you may want to join in the parade to one of the poorer areas of the city and see the gifts that the American community and motorcycle riders have collected for these children.
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
Question: From Melissa. I am coming to Puerto Peñasco soon and will be bringing my son and his friend. His friend is 11 and has his passport. Is there any other documentation that I need or a consent letter?
Answer: Melissa, you should definitely have a letter of consent for the friend. In case of an emergency and you need to have medical attention, you will really want to have that. In the case of a child whose parents are divorced, you should get that letter from the parent who has custody and if the parents share custody, I would have both parents sign it and have it notarized. This would also apply to yourself. Even if you get questioned going back into the United States for some reason, you have proof that you have permission to have the children out of the country. I am sure the boys will have a great time on the beach as there is so much to look for in the tide pools.
Question: From Bill. Can you clarify at what age do children need passports and can you clarify if the what documentation is needed to travel from Mexico to the United States by auto. There seems to be a great deal of confusion about the new AZ driver’s license. Is it acceptable?
Answer: Thanks Bill, this question comes up all the time. Below is what I found out. It seems to be different depending on the source you are looking at, which is contrary to what I have been told previously. In other reports it says everyone has to have a passport or passport card. On my next trip to the USA I plan to stop and ask at the border. Regarding your question about the new drivers license that has to be done by 2020, there is nothing that I have been able to find from their site that says it can be used for border crossing from Mexico. Best bet is get a passport card.
Western Hemisphere Land and Sea
Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, children under age 16 who are U.S. or Canadian citizens do not need a passport when traveling by land or sea within the Western Hemisphere travel zone. This area includes the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the countries of the Caribbean Region. You must present your baby’s birth certificate or naturalization card.
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.
We are continuing our question and answer series regarding a variety of questions from our readers regarding traveling to Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. If you have a question you can send it to the email address below and I will try to answer it promptly.
Question:I will be traveling with my dog, what do I need to bring to enter Mexico and re-enter into the USA? Thanks, Ginger
Answer:Thanks for the question Ginger. What most of us have done who travel back and forth frequently is to make a copy of the shot record with a picture of your dog/cat. If stopped you can hand it to them. They are mainly concerned about making sure the rabies shot is current and the rabies vaccination must be 15 days prior to travel into Mexico . Once in awhile you are asked for a Certificate of Health. But if you have what I have suggested, you should be good. Certificates of Health are only good for 10 days in Arizona and are very costly. They can be gotten up to the day before travel. They use to be good for 6 months. One other thing to consider, if you are renting, check with the owner as most places do not allow pets. In the condo developments only owners can have their pets unless the owner gives permission. We do have a pet hotel here for boarding if needed and it is Rocky Pet Hotel and Spa. Hope this answers your concerns. If you are planning on bringing something other than a dog or cat, they are not considered pets according to Mexican regulations and there are several steps to go through for this.
Question:Do I need to buy Mexican Insurance and what do I need? Appreciate your help, Paul B.
Answer:Hi Paul, you do need to buy Mexican Insurance for either your auto or RV if you have one. By law, you are required to buy liability, but remember, that it only covers the other person’s vehicle. I would also suggest that you don’t just cover your drivers license if you are coming down with different vehicles. Here again it is a liability only policy even though it may save you some money short term. With insuring your DL you only have liability coverage and coverage is only if you are driving the vehicle or whoever is named on the policy. Buy full coverage on your vehicle and if you come down often, you may want to consider an annual policy as it will save you money in the long run. If you are planning on coming to Rocky Pointand then traveling say to Ensenada, make sure you are covered.
Question:Does 911 work in Mexico? From Jamie G.
Answer: Yes Jamie, it does work and you will be directed to an English speaking dispatcher if you are not fluent in Spanish. In the case of an accident with injuries, you may also contact the US Consulate in Nogales and they will have one of their 2 American volunteers help to assist you.
Remember there a lot of activities going on in the fall months, so plan ahead and make your reservations soon. The 18th Annual Bike Rally is Veteran’s Day weekend ( November 8 – 11) and most hotels, condos and homes are already booked. This is billed as “The greatest bike party, south of the border”.
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.
The Amador Dental Clinic has opened it’s doors in a new location. Dr. Shirley Amador Garcia and her husband Paul Amador Chong opened on Blvd. Freemont in the Plaza del Sol Center early August. As you know Dr. Shirley is a General and Cosmetic dentist and Paul is a Registered Dental Hygienist. This is the center that Chef Mickey and Mic Mickey’s is located in. The new office is on the left side of the center facing Blvd. Freemont.
You will still have the personalized service as you received before or even better as they believe in dental care with a heart. When you go here, you are treated like family. They are committed to your dental health. Every morning they have “huddles” with the staff to make certain that patient is #1. They work with and train the front desk to be accurate, so that the patient doesn’t drive to Puerto Peñasco only to find there appointment was not entered in the log. Because of their work ethics they treat the staff as equals and that way everyone is working as a team.
In their new location, with the help of a new machine, they can do total Panoramicx-rays that acts much like a MRI machine. It scans the entire mouth both top and bottom and can detect TMJ, infections, bone issues, sinuses and more. It is totally digital and non-evasive as far as radiation goes. When it is finished, it will show your whole mouth on the computer screen that is in each office. This in conjunction with conventional X-ray photos will provide a total picture of your mouth and gums. They also use a smaller camera unlike the old camera’s that had a big piece of X-ray material to get into your mouth.
The facility has a total RO (Reverse Osmosis) system that meets the highest standards thro0ughout. While you are having your dental work done, they have over head televisions watch to take your mind off of things and relax.
This husband and wife team have been together in this field for over 12 years. They met in dental school and the rest is history. They have 3 other doctors that will come and preform specialized dental procedures. They have Dr. Raymond Lopez, Endodontist who specializes in root canals, oral surgeries will bring Dr. Adrian Brau from Hermosillo and Dr. Andreas Garcia who is a Periodontist in Mexicali.
Dr. Shirley and Paul also volunteer at the Rocky Medical Clinics in the San Rafael area when they hold dental clinics as they believe in giving to others less fortunate.
Please give them a call or stop in and see the new facility and make your appointment to make that smile even more beautiful. You may reach them from the USA at 602-773-1058 or in Mexico at 638-388-7308. Their email is email@example.com
Years ago, the only time there were back ups going into Mexico at the Lukeville, Arizonacrossing would be on the major United States holidays and the return would be the same issues, long lines for hours.
Fast forward to 2018 and you will find long lines on nearly every weekend coming and going. Tourists use to leave Sunday morning to cross back to the US, but then they found long lines, so they would leave later on Sunday. That worked for a little while, but longer lines. Then they started going back on Monday morning early and that also worked for awhile. Last week there was still a back up on Tuesday morning. We are a popular destination.
My suggestion to avoid long weekend lines is to come either mid week or Thursday afternoon and leave on Monday morning at 6 – 7 am or after 5 p.m. Another good reason to come mid week if possible is the hotels and condos are usually a little cheaper. If at all possible, I would avoid traveling the week of Easter weekend and Memorial Day weekend as these seem to be the busiest of all the holidays. There is no guarantee as to the travel times, however this is a good estimate. If you are here and have internet, go to www.USBorderWaitTimes and it will give you some idea on the day you are leaving. As for lines coming in there really is no way to tell. I did notice on the U.S. side, they have put out signs that say there may be slow traffic ahead. Please remember not to speed through Organ Pipe National Park as the Park Rangers can and do ticket people and please don’t put other people’s lives in danger by passing in no passing zones on both sides of the border.
There are many factors that come into play with long lines. There has been a strong military presence at the border on the Mexican side to help look for drugs or other contraband headed north. As of late, however, both coming and going, they mainly just wave you on through. This compounded with so many tourists and not all 5 lanes are open on the United States side creates a real log jam. On busy weekends for those of you coming to Puerto Peñasco, be patient.. the Sea of Cortez will be waiting for you, so no need to speed or pass in no passing zones. Remember all the nice people you may have met in line on the way in will probably be traveling with on the way home. Smile and hang in there.
One of the hold ups are that many tourists feel they don’t need a passport or a passport card. YES YOU DO… It is the law! Fortunately for these people it is also the law that if you are a US Citizen, they have to admit your back into your country. However, the border people can make your life very difficult and make you go through the secondary check point, causing you both a delay and creating a hold up of law abiding folks behind you. The law is everyone no matter what age must have a PASSPORT or PASSPORT CARD.
It is a very simple process. 1)If you are an adult, fill out the form DS11, 2) Get supporting documents (citizen evidence such as birth certificate), 3) Provide photo 4) calculate fees and submit. The cost for the PASSPORT is $110 for the Application and $35 for Acceptance Fee. The cost for the card is $30.00 for the Application and $35 for the Acceptance Fee. If you want both the book and the card the fee is $140 for the Application and $35. for the Acceptance fee. Bear in mind these are non-refundable fees if for some reason you are denied. Remember the adult Passport is good for 10 years.
If you are renewing your passport or passport card you will need form #DS82. Follow the steps on the form and mail in payment. The renewal fee for the Passport is $110.00, Passport Card is $30.00 and the combo is $140.00. You have already been accepted so you do not have to pay the additional $35.00. For renewals you will need 1) Fill out form, 2) Submit most recent passport (make a copy of it in case it gets lost in the mail, 3) Include name changes if applicable, 4) Provide photo 5) Calculate fees, 6) Mail forms.
If you have children under 16 they also need a Passport or Passport Card. The charges are as follows: $80.00 for the Application and $35 .00 for Acceptance Fee, Passport Card Application is $15.00 for the Passport Card and $35.00 for the Acceptance Fee or if you want both it will be $95.00 for the Application and again the $35.00 for the Acceptance Fee. The children must appear in person and their Passports or Passport Cards are only valid for 5 years. For the children you will also use form #DS11. 1) Fill out form, 2) Provide US Citizen evidence, 3)take a copy of the US Citizen evidence 4) Show parental relationship, 5) Present parental/guardian evidence, 6) Bring photocopy of ID, 7) Show parental consent in case of divorce bring a copy of the decree, 8) Provide photo, 9) Present fees and finish the application.
If you have additional questions or need more detailed information please go to https://travel.state.gov Remember the wait time to get your 1st passport or renewal back will take 4 – 6 weeks. You can expedite it with additional fees.
There are so many events going on currently with benefits for getting the necessary items for a child to go back to school, to new restaurant openings, fishing, golfing or just sit back and relax. Come fall the Mermaid Markets will start up again. Don’t forget about Bike Festival by the Sea of CORTEZ is coming up the weekend of November 8th – the 12th. If you haven’t gotten your room reservation by now, you had better do it as many places are already full.