When looking for a vacation spot, there are so many things to consider. Like time to get there, costs of flying to get there and where do you stay and what do you do when you do get there. Puerto Penasco is your best place for every aspect of a vacation. First, it is only a short 4 hour drive from Phoenix or Tucson and with no waiting in long lines at the airport. Secondly it is not expensive to get here, third is you have so many choices in where you want to stay that are reasonable and right on the Sea of Cortez and last, there is a multitude of things to do here every single day. No over crowded beaches here, just miles of pristine sand.
Crossing the US/Mexico border is very easy (just make sure you have your passport or passport card for re-entering to the US). Buy your Mexican auto insurance either online or in Ajo or perhaps from your own agent.
A short 1 hour drive south of the border and you are here. About 30 kilometers south of the border you will pass the Pinacate Biosphere. Sometime during your stay, do go back out and tour the new visitor center Shuk Toak. It is very modern with a movie telling all about the craters and the surrounding area. The guide there will answer any questions that you may have and there are inter active touch screens throughout the building. Make certain to take your camera as the views from the center are gorgeous. This crater range is the largest in north America and if you feel like going up to see them, you can (4 wheel drive) is best. You may encounter many animals along the way.
Back in Puerto Peñasco if you are a seafood lover, take the drive out to the oyster farms and get some steamed clams, fresh shucked oysters or cerviche and have a cold beer if you like. While there take a dip in the water or just watch the Blue Heron and Egrets do a fly over along with countless Pelicans.
As you pass into town you will drive along the docks in the Historic Wharf District with all the shrimp boats moored and will be able to see nests of what we call Bald Eagles, but they are actually a little different. Both mom and dad tend the nests and dive in the harbor to get food for the babies. Again, camera time, as the boats make for awesome photography as well as the pelicans perched on the pongas (little fishing boats). You will see some of the photos I have taken down there. Continue into the Malecon, were you can have your choice of food and very good service. Our 3 favorites are the Blue Marlin, Boo Bar and The Satisfied Frog. Yes, this is the same Satisfied Frog as the one in Cave Creek. Great views, food and service from all 3. After lunch or dinner do a little shopping to wear of the calories and then get a Thrifty’s ice cream cone and prepare for a beautiful sunset. While in the Old Port stop by for a cup of wonderfully fresh roasted and brewed Chiapas Coffee at Puerto Viejo. Also stroll pass and pop into the La Rocca Hotel. A lot of history here as Al Capone use to stay there in the boot legging days. As you leave the Old Port, make sure you stop into Mercedes Rusticos. Here you will find anything that you need for your home or as a gift. From the south of Mexico you will find blown glassware, Mexican table settings and weavings just to name a few things. A must breakfast or lunch place is Coffee Haus on the way into the Malecon. Just the best food and service and by all means try the Apple Streusel!
Sometime during your trip, venture out to what locals call “Rodeo Drive” and visit the many shops filled with everything from beautiful ladies apparel to upscale gifts for you home or condo. There is something there for everyone. There is a brand new restaurant that just opened called Mariachis and Tequilla. It is owned by a long time chef Ramon and his partner David who also owns an art gallery across the street. Both come from the south of Mexico and you will find them to be very cordial and gracious. A great Mexican menu awaits you as well as real margaritas. You can find furniture of all styles at Su Casa and Eddies Furniture and Gallery on the east end of the district. As you head back to your condo, you will pass our brand new convention center, which has had many large events already in just it’s year of being open.