Located on the Gulf of California on the narrow band of land that connects the Baja Peninsula to the rest of Mexico, Puerto Penasco is Mexico’s best kept vacation secret. Puerto Penasco has long been a popular destination from Arizona and California because it is only about 3 hours drive from many major cities in those states. It is also in the free zone of Mexico meaning that visitors to this town do not need a visa to travel there. (You’ll need your passport to return to the US.) With everything you’d expect to find in a vacation resort, golf, fishing, swimming, beautiful nature, relaxation and nightlife and quality accommodation, Puerto Penasco should be your first consideration for your next seaside vacation.
Golfers are always looking to find new and challenging courses to play. Puerto Penasco is home to 3 great golf courses. With a tidal estuary on one side and the Sea of Cortez on the other, the Peninsula de Cortez at the Mayan Palace is a challenging 72 par golf course. This course was designed to blend with its natural surroundings and offers both challenging golf and breathtaking scenery. Golf got its start 600 years ago along the sandy dunes in Scotland. The Links at Las Palomas Golf Club was designed to provide an experience as close to that historic experience as possible. For the avid golfer who wants to experience what is was like to golf historic Scotland without the expense of a European vacation or the fickle Scottish weather, this course will meet that need. The Club at Laguna Del Mar is a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course. The front 9 is still under construction while the back 9 is open for golfers to play.
The Sea of Cortez is a popular place for fishing. In fact, the town began its life as shrimping fishing village. Summer months are the best time for fishing because warm waters bring numerous types of fish into the area but some types of fish like Grouper, Red Snapper and Yellow Tail can be found there in the winter months. Bring your own equipment and boats or arrange for a charter upon your arrival. Either way, enjoy the fishing. Beginning June 1, Navy Day, is a major festival of fishing, with contests, mariachi, and other celebrations.
Puerto Penasco is located in between the land and the sea on some beautiful unspoiled land. There are several ways to explore the natural beauty of the area and several natural park like places. The Pinacate Biosphere Reserve offers primitive camping and hiking experiences in the beautiful but rugged Mexican desert. Reservations and permits are required and there are no amenities on site so plan in advance. The CEDO aquarium is a small aquarium that specializes in teaching people about the local marine life. The CEDO is primarily a research aquarium run by scientists who study the sea nearby and it lacks the the commercial glitz of most large US aquariums. It hosts displays of Sea Lions, Sea Turtles and other similar wild life. There are several companies that offer tours into the Gulf of California for Dolphin and Whale watching, or to the estuaries to the north and south for birding. Walk the beaches and explore the tide pools left behind at low tide and you’ll find starfish, and lots of other small animals that are left behind waiting for the tides to return. For the more adventurous there are opportunities to rent 4 wheelers, dune buggies and other vehicles to explore the dunes around the city.
Shop and Eat
Everyone on vacation loves to shop to see all the unique things they can find that are not available at home. Puerto Penasco is a great place to shop. Take the beach walk, Malacon, and browse the many little shops of pottery, jewelry, clothing, local crafts and nik naks, there is sure to be something that will delight you and call to be taken home as souvenir or gift. The Cholla Mall is another shopping destination to explore.
When you get done wandering the shops on the Malecon, stop and rest your feet in one of the many restaurants. If you time yourself just right you can enjoy a margarita, some fabulous fresh seafood, and a glorious sunset over the Gulf of California. The cuisine is predominately local but you can find everything from Sushi to American food as well as traditional fare.
Puerta Penasco is home to a variety of clubs, several of which have been in business for many years and are standby favorites. JJ’s Cantina cantina, in business for 24 years, hosts fishing tournaments, chile cookoffs, and is the Puerto Penasco home of Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. The Pink Cadillac has been around for 15 years. It has a 50′s style diner where you can eat and several different bar areas including a dance bar with a DJ and a pool bar where you can swim up for your drink. Manny’s is a third club that has made a name for itself over the years. Manny’s features a DJ dance floor, karaoke, and drinks. If you are more into sports than dance then you want to look into JJ’s or Bryan’s Sports Bar. If its live music you want, try the Jazz at the Crow’s Nest from Wed. through Sun.
Located close to the US, Puerta Penaso is just the spot to get away for the weekend or the week. It offers all the amenities of any resort in a unique setting. Whether you want to relax on the fine sand beaches, explore the tide pools, windsurf, jet ski, swim or snorkel, fish, dance, shop, eat or all of the above, Puerto Penasco has it to do.
For more information on vacation rentals please check out Rocky Point Ventures.