Puerto Peñasco, otherwise known as Rocky Point, is a small beach town in northern Sonora, Mexico. Come tour with me.
There's just something to be said for being a quaint little village right on the ocean. I've been visiting Rocky Point for so many years now and I always find it just as charming as ever. The town itself is only about 100 years young, but it just has that old world charm feeling. It's a comfortable and relaxing place to be. It just gives you the warm fuzzies. Could be the beer. Pretty sure it's the town, though.
2. Off The Beaten Path
Due it's off-beat and tucked away location, it's not that touristy. It's been getting a bit busier as time goes on, but it's nowhere near the other super crowded touristy-type destinations in Mexico (yeah, I'm talking to you, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun). You can still casually stroll into a restaurant for a meal without a wait, as well as shop to your heart's content without being mobbed. In the off-seasons, you can even have the beaches all to yourself.
As a destination, it's been a long-running secret among those in the know.
So, shh... don't tell anyone I told you.
3. Drive-able from the us
Rocky Point is only about 60 miles, or one hour's drive, south of the US border. Getting there by car is an easy drive, all highways, with beautiful desert scenery along the way. It's a day drive from California, New Mexico, and Arizona (hence the nickname 'Arizona Bay').
Good to know:
1. Get Mexican car insurance online or at one of the many shops at the border and you're good to go.
2. If you're a US citizen without a passport book, you can get a (cheaper) passport card for land entry in.
With a friendly and present police force, the city itself is quite safe. Of course, crappy things happen everywhere, but overall this is definitely one of the safest places I've been. You really should know some Spanish if you're traveling in Mexico, but in Rocky Point, most of the locals speak or understand English, so there are few language barriers.
Once, I got lost looking for a restaurant to grab some brunch, and a very helpful police officer actually let me follow behind his car as he drove me all the way to the restaurant! It was at least a 15 minute drive through town (I was way off)! I could barely believe it.
It is mostly safe, but do be aware of the infamous Mexican shakedown. It happened to me. Read about my story here.
This place has some of the best beaches and they're consistently kept clean. They just are beautiful. The water is clear and fresh. Most of the year it's also an excellent temperature for swimming. Catch it around May and September when it's around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with little to no waves, and it's perfection.
6. World-Class Restaurants
The food is always great, but more frequently, I've noticed the local cuisine really stepping it up a notch. More world-renowned chefs (even several Iron Chefs!) are popping up with new restaurants. In addition to great local cuisine, you can also find excellent Italian, Thai and German food around.
I love Mexican cuisine and am always more than happy to get my traditional plate of beans, rice and vegetables arranged in various different ways. On my last trip, to my surprise, it was definitely noticeable that more waiters were familiar with vegetarian and vegan food and happy to suggest different menu options. A few chefs, not only happy to alter a dish into yummy vegan goodness, were also kind enough to come out to chat after the meal!