Although a lot of this has been covered not only here but in other medias, I think it is important to remind people of what you can and can’t do.
For some reason, people coming from California still drive all the way to Gila Bend rather than the Coastal Highway. Other than the $95MN or aprx $7 USD toll, going that way adds time to your trip. You can cut down from Interstate 8 at either Tecate, Calexico/ El Centro, Algodones or Yuma ( then go south to San Luis). Once in Mexico you will go east through San Luis and pick up the Coastal Highway and just stay on it all the way to El Golfo and then follow the scenic drive to Puerto Peñasco. If you choose you can also take the scenic drive south of San Luis passing through a lot of farm fields. This may take time if they are harvesting produce so be prepared to go slow. The Coastal Highway Mexico 3 is a nice 2 lane road with very little to see until you reach El Golfo. In El Golfo you can fuel up or go to a couple of the little restaurants and have a fresh seafood lunch.
Coming from Phoenix, it is an easy drive. Take Interstate 10 to Buckeye and pick up AZ 85 to Gila Bend and then stay on AZ 85 all the way to the Mexico-US Border. If you are hungry, there are several places in Gila Bend to eat. Burger King (just remodeled and great fast food and service), McDonald’s and Carl’s Jr. There is a Mexican Restaurant that is always packed called Sophies and it is very good. Also try the Little Italy it is very good as well. Although not a culinary destination, you won’t be disappointed.
If you do not already have your mandatory Mexican Auto Insurance, you can get it at Ajo Insurance or the Texaco Station next door. There are many places to buy insurance, but I have done business with these folks for many years and they make it easy. Call ahead of time and pre-pay if you are passing after they are closed, they have a drop box for your policy. Also watch your SPEED limit here as well!
Another 40 minutes and you will be at the border. A note of caution, when you come through the Organ Pipe National Park, obey your speed signs as the park rangers can ticket you. Near the visitor center entrance it drops down to 55mpr for a short distance. They also have clean rest rooms there and a really nice visitor center which I think everyone should go to.
When you get to the border you will pass over some speed strips that rattle your teeth and wake up your sleeping pets. You will then you will get either a red or green light. If you have your dogs or cats (2 per vehicle only) you will be asked for their shot records and they will take pictures of you pets. Save yourself some time and make a copy of their shot record on one side of a piece of paper and on the other side a picture of your pet and your drivers license. They may keep it or just look at it, but it saves time. The main thing they are looking for is that the rabies shot is current. They are very polite at this stop. You can get a certificate of health from your vet, but it is now only valid for like 7 days and are costly. The other method works just fine. You are allowed to bring enough dog food for the length of your pet for your stay. However it can only be chicken based and must be in the original bag. If your pet requires a special food like Royal Canine, that can be purchased here at Servicios Medicos Veterinarios. If you will be here for awhile you can call them at 383-3344 or email me and I will send you their email address so that you can contact them and they can have food in stock for you. Again if you need an outstanding vet while you are in Puerto Peñasco, this is the one to go to.
When driving through Sonoyta OBEY the speed signs!!!! 40km is about 25mph. I set my cruise at just a tad under 25mph.
They are strict on the Mexican side about what you can bring in just as when you return to the US. No beef, poultry, pork or dairy products. You really don’t need to bring anything down these days as with Sam’s and the newly remodeled Ley’s store and a real old fashioned meat market we have pretty much anything you could want. Remember Puerto Peñasco is known for our shrimp and fish. There are plenty of fresh produce markets or stop and buy grapes or a watermelon on a street corner. If you are lucky enough to be here when the Mennonite Farmers come with their fresh cheese, do yourself a favor and buy some and I guaranty you will not be disappointed.
Finally, we have a great little apparel shop called Fabiola’s in the Cholla Bay Rd shopping area. You can get some really neat beach attire for you and the man or woman in your life for a fraction of what you would pay elsewhere. Remember, we are still a laid back beach town and not very formal. There are a lot of curios shops and art galleries out there as well for doing you Christmas shopping.
So after all this being said, you have arrived at your condo or home on the beach. Break out the cerveza or make a mouth watering margarita and relax. Take time to enjoy every minute of what Puerto Peñasco has to offer and enjoy the stunning sunsets. Enjoy one of water front bars or restaurants and shop until you drop. Want to take a sunset cruise, we have several boats that will take you out. Take the Eco Tour to Bird island to see where the Sea Lions and Dolphins are and swim with them if you choose or Kayak around with them. Golfer? Bring your clubs and play on one of our 3 beautiful courses or hire a guide to take you fishing for a ½ day or full day adventure.
Once you have spent some time here I can guaranty you will be hooked and will be back time after time. Please, if you have any questions about Puerto Peñasco, don’t hesitate to email me or Call Us at: 1-800-997-9431
And Like Us on Facebook.com/PuertoPenascoMex