San Carlos Journals

Road Trip from Tucson to San Carlos and Alamos

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A February 2005 trip to San Carlos by wanderluster

Heading south of the border Photo, San Carlos, Mexico More Photos
Quote: A secret escape on the Sea of Cortez to Sonora's best preserved colonial city, with adventures along the way to mystery ruins, Aduana's mining village, and a jaunt so far off the beaten track that locals didn't know the way to reach the blanket weavers in a remote Mayan village.

Road Trip: Tucson to San Carlos, Mexico

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Heading south of the border Photo, San Carlos, Mexico
Quote:
Studying a map, the drive south from Tucson to Hermosillo, Mexico, looks like a breeze–-a straightforward shot on Interstate 19. And interesting, with plenty of diversions along the way. Fifteen minutes south of Tucson (exit 92) is Mission San Xavier del Bac, the stunning White Dove of the Desert that Ansel Adams liked to photograph. A bit further and snowy Mt. Rightson emerges on the left, a place of Indian relics, oak forests and the Titan Missile Museum (exit 69). Nearer the Mexican border, Tubac boasts numerous art galleries in its small artist's colony, next to Father Kino's historic Spanish mission which can be visited in Tumacacari National Park (exit 29). Believing that the dr...Read More

Paradiso Resort in San Carlos

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Paradiso Resort's beach Photo, San Carlos, Mexico
Quote:
"Where the mountains touch the sea" Sinking my toes into warm soft sand, I walked along a deserted beach toward a line of vacant deck chairs. Jagged mountains from the Algodones range framed the picturesque bay that curved into the Sea of Cortez. Turquoise waters looked brilliant against the rocky bluffs and sugar white sand. Distant cries of sea gulls punctuated the sound of waves crashing to shore, gently nudging shells inland. The sun felt marvelous on my bare winter skin, and immediately relaxed me. I sank back and drew in a long breath, taking in the beauty and tranquility around me. There wasn't a single soul in sight. Such solitude. And such luck. How was it that I had this fabu...Read More

Horseback Riding at Paradiso

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Horses watering at the fountain Photo, San Carlos, Mexico
Quote:
Most people come to the Sea of Cortez to snorkel, scuba, kayak or sail. Horseback riding just doesn't compete with sugary beaches and secluded coves, especially when guests can't see the stables tucked behind the hotel on the far side of the lagoon. I wouldn't have known about riding had I not flipped through a photo album in the hotel lobby while waiting to check in. The next morning while David and Scott were scuba diving I wandered around the resort, and found the stables. A lean woman with a ponytail swishing her waist followed me into her office where a dog snoozed in the only chair. She introduced herself as Astrid, the manager of El Rancho del Des...Read More

Road trip from San Carlos to Alamos

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Mystery ruins  Photo, San Carlos, Mexico
Quote:
Leaving Paradiso's resort we passed through San Carlos, a touristy town where the guys had gone scuba diving with Gary's Dive Shop, and where we'd feasted on coconut fried fish and smoked marlin tacos at Rocky Charlie's the night before. The next thirty minutes were a bit rough between San Carlos and Guaymas as our truck ka-boomed into potholes and swerved to dodge concrete debris. Reaching Highway 15, a divided toll highway smoothly paved, we followed a straightforward route southeast across the Sonoran desert, between mountains on our distant left and the Sea of Cortez on our right. There were cactus everywhere, snake-like sonitas, cardones, saguaros and organ pipes. Th...Read More

La Puerta Roja Inn, Alamos

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La Puerta Roja Inn Photo, San Carlos, Mexico
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La Puerta Roja InnCalle Galeana #46Alamos, Sonora, Mexico011-52-647-428-0142 phone from USAAlamos is a national historic monument. It's a colonial city decorated with a Baroque cathedral, mansions and sprawling haciendas that have been lovingly restored from their original silver-booming days when 30,000 Mexicans filled the narrow cobbled streets. Today, with a population at only a third of that size, many of the residents are Americans who snatched up colonial mansions in the 1950s, when Mexicans vacated their homes ruined from silver-seeking rebels and Yaqui attacks leading up to the Mexican Revolution.Ove...Read More

Searching for Mayan Carpetes

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Mayo weavers bringing their ware Photo, San Carlos, Mexico
Quote:
If you want to purchase authentic woolen items crafted by indigenous people in a secluded Mayo village, visit Masaica. You'll need basic Spanish skills, a four-wheel drive, plenty of pesos and a sense of adventure! Located off Highway 15 halfway between Oberdon and Los Mochis, it's a bit tricky to find. We left Alamos at 10:30am, turned south on Highway 15 and looked for a small sign indicating the turn (left) soon after the toll booth at 11:45am. The dirt road immediately forks, stay right. It was so rugged with washboards and ruts that a bicyclist had blown a tire. After stopping and trying to help him fix it we followed the road three miles until it reached an unmarked paved road. Turn left, ...Read More