Puerto Penasco/Rocky Point Information|
Below you will find specific and common information on how travel to Puerto Penasco, types of accommodations, getting around town, currency and communications. Please make sure you are familiar with what you need to enter Mexico from the Mexican Customs Office.
Driving is the most common method for visitors to Puerto Penasco.
From Arizona: Cross the border at Lukeville/Sonoyta border. Puerto Penasco is 63 miles south on Mexican Hwy. 8. The border is closed from midnight until 6am. There are also several shuttle companies between Phoenix/Tucson and Puerto Penasco (look under Activities & Tours).
From California: Take US Hwy. 8 east from San Diego or US Hwy. 10 east from Los Angeles area. You have the option of driving through to AZ Hwy. 85 (Gila Bend) and heading south to the Lukeville/Sonoyta border or crossing the border at either Algodones (across from California) or San Luis Rio Colorado (across from Arizona, soth of Yuma).
Highway between Sonoyta & Puerto Penasco
|You can then drive Mexican Hwy. 2 east through the beautiful Desierto del Altar desert. Although you are on a highway, there are not alot of stores, etc. between San Luis and Sonoyta so make sure you are stocked up on supplies and water. The highway is frequently traveled so you will be able to flag someone down if your vehicle breaks down. This is also the northern entrance to the Pinacate Reserve.
Los Angeles.....516 miles
San Diego.....360 miles
If you do drive your vehicle to Puerto Penasco, you must have Mexican auto
insurance, it's the law. Please look under the Travel &
Lodging directory for a list of companies.
You don't need a car permit to drive to Puerto Penasco, but if you are heading south after your visit, please read the following information:
Car Permit: Sonora Only is the name of the simplified vehicle registration program for travel only within the State of Sonora, good for a period of up to 180 days. This permit sticker is only given at the Nogales Port of Entry at Kilometer 21. Make sure all papers for the vehicle have the same name on them. Have two copies of all the following:
You MUST surrender the sticker as you cross into the US. You may not travel outside of Sonora with this sticker.
- proof of ownership (vehicle title)
- original of the vehicle registration
- valid driver's license for identification
- proof of citizenship
- current Mexican Tourist Permit (get it stamped at the Migraci�n office next door)
Puerto Penasco does have a small airport. Most visitors will fly into airports in Phoenix or Tucson, then rent a car or make arrangements for transportation. Those who fly to Puerto Penasco come in private planes.
Puerto Penasco's airport
The airport has a paved 5,000 ft. air strip and is about 3 miles from town. There is a small landing fee of between $5-$10 dollars, but you can leave your plane overnight free. No fuel is available in Puerto Penasco. Use Unicom 122.8 for communications and make sure you file a Border Crossing Flight Plan at your point of departure. If you have any questions regarding flying into Puerto Penasco, you may want to contact the airport at (638) 383-6097.
Puerto Penasco is, by it's very name, a port. There is a large marina with a commerical shrimp fleet and private docks. If you do sail into the port or area, please check with the Captain of the Port upon arrival.
The resort is growing rapidly. You will find a couple beach hotels, more and more beach condominiums and many beachfront RV parks. In town (and close to the beach) hotels are many and of good quality. You will also find some "budget" accommodations in Old Port, on Calle 13 and in Playa Mirador areas. Vacation Rentals are available up and down the coast.
During Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Spring Break, Easter and 4th of July, it is wise to make reservations a minimum of a month in advance. Note: Spring Break ins Puerto penasco can last weeks as different schools have their break at different times. If you are not ready for the rowdy behavior of college students letting loose, it might be smart to book Puerto Penasco another time.
Taxi's are available in Puerto Penasco, but it's simple to drive your own car around town. Pick up one of tourist publications and use their maps to navigate the town. If you are in Old Port, Calle 13 area or Playa Mirador area, you will find restaurants, bars, shops and more within walking distance. Sandy Beach, Cholla Bay and Las Conchas areas require a car. Remember all vehicles are prohibited on the beaches of Puerto Penasco.
Almost all establishments will readily accept US currency. The issue in that case will be the exchange rate that they offer; it is advisable to ask first in order to avoid any disappointments. Many businesses will not be able to make change for anything higher than a $20 U.S. dollars so it is a good idea to carry small bills with you, or pesos.
The Peso presently values between 10-11 Pesos to 1 US dollar. Banks
generally have the best exchange rates & open at 9am (M-F), make
sure you check what hours they do money exchanges. Lines may be
longer at banks, but rates are probably a little better than exchange houses.
Credit Cards are accepted by most of the hotels, with
some or no surcharge, but not all of them. ATM's are found throughout town and can be used to secure funds, although it will be in Pesos. This is one of the easier ways to travel, although there will be a small fee attached to your withdrawal. While you are planning your trip, make sure that you carry - or have access to, enough cash or traveler's checks.
Time & Pace
Puerto Penasco is in the Mountain Time Zone and does observe daylight savings
time. Businesses are open throughout the day. Since Puerto Penasco doesn't really have slow season (except in the hottest months of July-August), the traditional siesta isn't usually observed. Siesta or the mid-day break is a
tradition that reflects not only the necessity of avoiding heat-related
fatigue, but is also a traditional time to spend with family, eat the meal of the day and recharge the batteries so to speak.
Internet access is available in a few places on/off Calle 13 and some RV parks in Playa Mirador, some hotels may offer the service. You can call (direct dialing) and fax to anywhere in the world from Puerto Penasco, using the facilities at your hotel or at Larga Distancia office. You can also purchase prepaid phone cards throughout town and use them on the local phone stands on the street.