Discover the best top things to do in Puerto Penasco, Mexico including El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve, Playa Bonita Beach, Old Port, Cholla Bay, Isla San Jorge, Cholla Mall, Manny's Tequila Factory, Playa Encanto.
Restaurants in Puerto Penasco
5 based on 152 reviews
A UNESCO wonder. Very auster and dramatic with both desert and dormant volcano landscapes. Favorite for nature buffs and Audubon types. Several research centers, like CEDO (Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans) and Audubon run tours from time to time. There is a new and lovely Visitor Center about 20 KMs north of Rocky Point. There is also a tiny older visitors center at about the 50 km point between Rocky Point and the US border. It seems boring, but everyone we know that has visited it,, including our family, has come away amazed and so glad we took the time to learn about one of natures wonders.
4.5 based on 212 reviews
We kept on hearing about Rocky Point, Puerto Penasco. It is the closest real beach to Phoenix. It sounded like a fascinating place to relax by the ocean.
In talking some of our AZ friends who have driven there, they had to watch out for the stop signs (ALTO) as they could be on either side of the road and at a lower than normal range of vision. They also suggested bringing Mexican Pesos.
We lucked out as there was a cancellation on Sue Sinclair’s travel tour – New Year’s Eve in Puerto Penasco. Having Jerry, the driver from Aboard American, and Diane, the travel guide from Sue Sinclair made the trip very enjoyable.
We learned about the creosote bush in the Sonoran desert, saw the growth of plants along the washes, and saw the unique organ pipe cactus. Lukeville is the border town. It is just South of the Organ Pipe National Monument.
We found out that Rocky Point even had an Al Capone connection. He partnered one of the hotels and Casinos with Thomas Childs. Eventually they destroyed this because of political unrest. Some creative Mexican businessman opened Capone’s Pizza and Beer (not on site)
The present Puerto Penasco even has a Sam’s Club (Walmart) and large grocery store (Bodega Aurrera) just before you enter the main part of town.
The next morning we went to “Rodeo Drive” or “Shacks Fifth Avenue” . It is about 4 blocks long. One can enjoy negotiating with owners over purses, clothing, “lemon pots”, souvenirs, pottery, metalwork, and silver jewelry in a quieter shopping environment than the market area. USD was the currency the vendors bartered in.
Our bus then went to the Malecon Market area in the Old Port. As we had quite a few metal work purchases (Lightweight), we returned with bus the the resort.
We decided to walk west alongside the beach at low tide. A couple of shells found their way into our pockets. We walked by the RV resort. Then we stopped at the next two condos: The Sonoran Sky and Puerta Privada. The Privada’s model suite suggested we need to win the lottery as the suite was finished with class. We imagined the hardship of waking up to waves crashing the beach
In our initial research the next “condo” Las Palomas Beach Resort was recommended by Trip Advisor but we did not walk that far. To return we thought we would walk on the pavement back to the resort. With no sidewalks, it was a delight as every third vehicle seemed to be an ATV roaring past us. The distance was three times longer than if we had returned by beach.
For the last day in 2017 we cabbed it to Malecon Market. (We were told to always barter your price before going - around $2USD each was the going rate). We got off in front of Mary’s.
The Viagra at $2.99 a tablet at the Farmcia may have been a good price we were interested in the ambience of the Old Port. We strolled through the shops but nothing really attracted us along Circumvalacion y o Malecon Kino.
We stopped at a square where there was a bust of Luis Donaldo Colosio Murietta and a Penasco sign. We then walked down the stairs to see the statue of “El Camaronero”, the fisherman riding a shrimp.
We stopped to enjoy a peaceful time on the bench overlooking the Sea of Cortez. We listened to music coming from the Satisfied Frog restaurant, watched the seagulls and pelicans fly by, and observed the different types of boats on the ocean. We had heard of people getting a glimpse of dolphins swimming
Puerto Penasco is a fishing village. Therefore we decided to have seafood for lunch and we wanted to enjoy the ambience of being Oceanside. Tekila Bar and Restaurant had great food and a great view from the second floor. We had garlic shrimp and clams.
A fascinating feature of our package is that part of your luggage was to include a cooler. We stopped off at the fish market to load up with shrimp and fish. One is allowed 50 pounds of shrimp to bring cross the border.
The vendor recommended to us was Mr. Shrimp run by the Gomez family. We bought 5 pounds of shrimp at $8 USD a pound ($19 at Costco) and some flounder. The next day we savored a fresh shrimp meal.
Our guide did not know if the UETA duty free shop in Lukeville was open on January 1. So we purchased a 1 litre bottle of Kahlua at Bodega Aurrera on the outskirts of Rocky Point. One of the advantages of being on a bus tour was that we were not pestered by the gauntlet of vendors selling their wares upon exiting the border at Lukeville.
4 based on 431 reviews
Be prepared for getting hassled by store owners for everything...but then again this is Mexico. The only reason to go up here that I can see is for tourist reasons. The views are beautiful though from the cliffs and there are lists of great bars and restaurants up here.
4 based on 171 reviews
Well it is the first enclave of homes built that started Penasco, the homes are old and look run down but what's inside can wow you and surely be opposite as well. While looking for a home here we ran the gambit of looking at homes here at Sandy beach and Los Conchos. All have thier charm but Cholla bay was just to old and run down for us to enjoy it.
4.5 based on 55 reviews
Despite getting quite seasick on the way over, our 17 year old daughter thought swimming with the dolphins was one of the best adventures ever. Her laughter and cackling through her snorkel was music to our ears. We went over on one of the eco boats. Food wasn't amazing, so if you don't like soggy sandwiches...bring your own....but we met some great people and had a great time. We brought wetsuits which made swimming with the sea lions much more enjoyable...because the water was quite cold. Bring warm clothes for on your way back!!!
4.5 based on 42 reviews
The name and esthetics have greatly changed over the years but the shopping has always been amazing! Nana the shell lady to custom handmade leather sandals it's one stop shopping. PLEASE haggle! It's part of the experience.
4.5 based on 39 reviews
When life gives you lemons, break out the Tequila and salt! Purveyors of the Rocky Point & Manny's Beach Club Tequila labels, agave syrup (sugar alternative) & 9 different Tequila liquors. We also provide unique Tequila barrel furniture. Experience the Taste of Mexico at the Tequila Factory. Learn all about the process of making Tequila and sample our products.
We stopped in on a very stormy, dusty afternoon when water sports were out of the question. We've driven by this place a hundred times but never stopped. It was empty except for us. The guy was very informative and friendly and we tasted some very unique tequilas. Coffee, Vanilla, Chocolate etc. We're big fans of great Tequila. The Tequila was good...some better than others. Not amazing but pretty good. A bit on the pricey side but it's worth taking home some unique flavors. This would be a great large group activity, still we enjoyed ourselves. It's worth the stop.
4.5 based on 18 reviews
Granted we went on a Wednesday afternoon, but there was nobody else on the beach. No vendors, but no facilities either. Beautiful soft sand beach, lots of shells. Water was warm and pretty clear. Well worth the 30 min drive from town
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