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SONORA.. Where Agriculture meets the Sea of Cortez.

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 Puerto Peñasco.   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.

Grapes
Thompson Grape fields all over the drive to Caborca from Puerto Peñasco

Asparagus fields
Asparagus fields as far as you can see.

Thompson Table Grapes
You will pass acres and acres of Thompson table grapes.

Olives everywhere
Olives and Asparagus are 2 of the internationally known exports from Mexico.

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.

Figs
Luscious figs are grown in the Caborca region

Pecan Trees
Pecan tree ranches alongside the rural roads.

Pecan clusters
Pecans waiting to be harvested

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.

Shrimp Boats
These are the boats that bring in the Shrimp in Puerto Penasco. A mirror reflection.

Handful fo shrimp.
Here you will find the blues and the browns. Both are delicious. Photo from cometorockypoint.com

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.

Chicken and eggs.
Bachoco is one of the largest producer of chicken in Mexico.

Rancho el 17 in the beginning
Photo by Rancho el 17

Premium Steak by Rancho el 17
Photo by Rancho el 17

 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.

Produce
Summer Squash is just one of the delicious vegetables grown in Sonora

In this region is also where you will find Bacanora the drink of Sonora.  Please read the blog Bacanora vs. Tequila parts 1 and 2 to learn more.

Come out and join the fun while enjoying the beautiful weather in Puerto Peñasco and the stunning  Sea of Cortez views.  Remember Rocky Point is only a 4 hour drive from Phoenix or Tucson.

Don’t forget to share us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Feel free to contact me via email.

If you any questions Contact Us at Blog@Puerto-Penasco.com

RV Caravans to Puerto Penasco Part 2

In the previous blog about RV Caravans coming to Puerto Peñasco, we touched on how these groups get here and where they come from.  In part 2 we will be addressing several things to do once you are here as well as what you can and can not bring into Mexico.

After sitting down with Charlie and Geri Sing from The Rambling Suns RV Club  (Sun City Elk’s Lodge 2559 who will be the hosts for the trip in October of 2018, one comes to realize that there is a lot of planning that has to go into these caravans when you have a minimum of 20 RV”s traveling together and not just to and from Rocky Point.  These trips have to be planned far in advance in order to get the reservations at the RV parks.  As stated previously, at one time there were 9 RV parks in Puerto Peñasco and now there are 2 large ones that are on the water that can accommodate that many rigs plus all the other rigs that are already there.

El Tapeo for wine tasting

So now the 20 plus rigs from the Sun City Elk’s Lodge have arrived at Playa Bonita on Sandy Beach and have set up home for a week.  What do they do next?  Usually at the end of the day there is a social or happy hour, followed by an evening pot luck dinner with lots of conversation going on.  These groups are made up of folks of all ages so there is something for everyone.

Here is a  list of suggested things for them to see our city and everything we have to offer.

1)  Tour the Pinacate Biosphere where they will see where Apollo 11 astronauts trained for the Moon landing.

Pinacate Biosphere
View from visitor center

2)  Be adventuresome and go Zip Lining

3)  Golf? Las Palomas, Mayan Palace or Laguna Del Mar will not disappoint the beginner or avid golfer.

4)  Fishing? Go out with Capt. Adolfo Perez on his charter boats or if you want choose one of the Pangas.

5)  Sunset Cruises? Choose from Senorita Rita, Intrepid, Pirate Ships, Eco Tours or About Time are just  few of the  choices.

One of our many sunset boats
Rey Del Mar (The Pirate Ship)

6)  Tour the Oyster Farm for lunch, they also serve shrimp, clams and fish.  You can take a tour for this event.

7) City Tour join Russ Black on a great City Tour.

8)  Julio Mesa Shell Artist, he will come to Playa Bonita or go to his shop and see him at work and learn how much goes into the pieces of art.

9)  Satisfied Frog the end of the Malecon great food and right on the water.  Yes it is the Satisfied Frog from Cave Creek, AZ.

10) Cholla Bay: go out in the bay and find sand dollars or go to JJ’s and have a cold beer and enjoy the tide swings which can be huge.

11) Shopping anyone?  The shops on the Malecon, Mercedes Rusticos in the Old Port ( a must stop) and Rodeo Drive are all great choices.

12) Old Port: Check out Boo Bar, Shark Bite, Blue Marlin, Mr. Amigo’s or the Tequila Bar for lunch or a cold beverage.

Stunning views
View from the Malecon

Picture yourself here!
Puerto Peñasco Sunset

 

13) Need dental work done?  Imagen Oral, Dr. Yamamoto are just a few for you to choose from.

When you are coming to Mexico, make sure you have insured your rig and tow vehicle if you have one. This can be done from the USA either on line  from several different companies. But it is a must!!

When you are in a caravan, as you enter into Mexico, you probably will all get the green light, which means proceed slowly.  If you are traveling in groups of 3 or more, you may get the red light which means stop or they may just wave you on through.  If you travel with your fur babies be it dogs or cats, have their shot records handy (they are looking for the rabies shot).  If you are coming for more than a week and need a large bag of dog food, chicken is allowed but no beef.  An example is the 38 lb. bag of Kirkland Chicken is allowed if it is sealed.

Here is a partial  list of things that you can not bring into Mexico. The whole list is very long, so this gives you an idea.

Plants, eggs, dairy products, beef and pork products.  Depending who’s list you are looking at, these can change.  If you are coming at Thanksgiving, you are allowed  one turkey per vehicle (as they recognize this is a big American holiday).

You can bring in 6 liters of wine plus the 3 liters of alcohol, but remember you can only take 1 liter back into the USA.  Again with Sam’s Club in Rocky Point, there is no need to haul down a lot of stuff.  You can buy cases of bottled water, chicken, meat, pork, cheese, eggs  at Sam’s or Ley’s.  The town also features the best FRESH SHRIMP and FISH, a lot of great fresh produce markets and a couple of butcher shops.  Remember if you are a meat eater, some of the best beef in Mexico is raised in the State of Sonora.

If you have any questions about what you can and can not bring, please feel free to email me at nocomosi@msn.com and I will provide you with an answer.  Maps of Rocky Point are available, just send an email.

So come on down, sit and relax and enjoy what Rocky Point has to offer.  The people are friendly, no traffic congestion, great food, warm weather, beautiful clean soft sandy beaches and sunsets.

Ride the hoses on the beach
Horse back riding