Mexico: Puerto Peñasco

Hola desde Mexico! Puerto Peñasco is the perfect getaway spot for Phoenicians (people of Phoenix) since it’s only a 4 hour drive! For my grandma’s 80th birthday, we decided to drive to Puerto Peñasco, also known as Rocky Point, to celebrate!

We woke up at 5am to pack the car and left about 6am to head down towards Puerto Peñasco. The drive is quite boring until you pass through the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument right before crossing the border. You will see numerous Saguaro cacti, which also produces Arizona’s state flower.

Fun Fact: The Saguaro can live up to 200 years old and grow as tall as 70 feet and 2 feet in diameter! Their shallow root system only goes 4-6 inches deep. The Saguaro flower only blooms at night and after the Saguaro is 35 years old.

The border didn’t take too long to get through, going from Arizona to Mexico (the return is a different story, taking up to 3 hours to cross sometimes). We stayed at Las Palomas Resort in Sandy Beach where a family friend let us use her condo. The resort has an infinite pool, lazy river, and swim up bar, in addition to 2 spas and a kiddie pool for infants (shallow). After arriving, we decided to get our sun tan on by laying by the pool.

Note: lounge chairs under the umbrellas on the sand, are first come first serve and usually are taken by 7 or 8am. So try to get up early and throw your stuff on a couple chairs so you get a chance to people water and enjoy the sand and bay.

Las Palomas has added a rope between the bay and the cabanas, which provides privacy for you from the vendors walking up and down the beach trying to sell their “treasures”. They will sell anything from henna tattoos, bracelets, hats and jewelry, to mangoes, breakfast burritos, or pineapple umbrella drinks. Just know you can bargain with them. I’d recommend having a price in mind before trying to bargain. It makes it easier to walk away or really barter. Make sure you start low as they will want to keep it as close to the original price as possible.

Note: Rodeo Drive (where all the vendors are selling their stuff in town) will have cheaper prices than those on the beach.

There are a lot of fun activities to do while in Puerto Peñasco such as taking a ride on a banana boat, jet skiing, parasailing, swimming, or even playing sand volleyball (Las Palmas has a small volleyball net up in front of the property). If you want to explore the town, you can go to downtown, Cholla Bay, watch the sunset with Del Mar Charters, drive ATVs along the dunes (locals rent them downtown on every corner), go bar hoping, shopping at Rodeo Drive…the list goes on. There is something for everyone.

If you want to go grab a drink, JJ’s Cantina is a fun place to explore and walk along the rocks and possibly even get in the water. Sometimes they even have some live music. Wrecked at the Reef is also a fun place, although a bit of a party scene where everyone goes to hang out. They have live music, a dance floor, and an outside patio that leads out to the water. Grab some friends and play corn hole or sit around a fire pit and enjoy the music. If you want a great view of the Shrimp Market, Downtown, Pelican Point or Sandy Beach, check out La Casa del Capitan. It’s the yellow and blue restaurant at the top of Whale Hill (photo below). Lastly, check out Banditos, a fun smaller venue, which also has live music and loft seating. Ask for a shot of Mexican Moonshine, also known as their tequila!

As for places to eat, if you want to adventure outside the resort I’d highly recommend going to Combo Taco which has the best fish tacos (no beef) in town! It’s an outdoor restaurant with shade, where they make your tacos fresh right in front of you. The fish and shrimp combo taco is amazing! If you are looking to eat while shopping on Rodeo Drive, go into Mariachis y Tequila. They make incredible homemade guacamole and salsa that are to die for! It’s a great spot to get out of the heat while shopping and grab a drink and appetizer. If you are looking for more of a meal, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. I’ve tried the enchiladas, tacos, and fajitas.

For breakfast, I recommend trying a breakfast burrito from the beach. There is a young girl who sells them along the beach (typically around 9-11am). They are delicious. The next day check out Kaffee Haus. It’s a popular breakfast place in town. We dropped by just for some coffee and pastries, unfortunately their espresso machine was not working and they only had fresh apple strudels (which were delicious). The place was packed and busy, and although I didn’t eat there I would definitely go back and try them out. It appeared to be the local spot.

I’m a foodie and love trying new places to eat. If you enjoy food as much as me, follow me on Yelp at: Kari’s Yelp Page

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