Puerto Penasco Journals

Family Beach Holiday in Rocky Point, Mexico

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An October 2005 trip to Puerto Penasco by wanderluster

Three girls impressed with Mexico Photo, Puerto Penasco, Mexico More Photos
Quote: Endless beaches, great tidepooling, shelling, and snorkeling abound in this Mexican resort town of Rocky Point. There's even a volcanic biosphere reserve with giant lunar-like craters to explore en route from Tucson or Phoenix. In mid-October, we joined another family and headed south of the border to friendly Mexico.

Family Beach Holiday in Rocky Point, Mexico

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Overview

Three girls impressed with Mexico Photo, Puerto Penasco, Mexico
Quote:
Overview:Southern Arizona residents love to escape their desert heat by fleeing to the beach. The small fishing community of Puerto Pensasco, or Rocky Point, is popular for those in both Phoenix and Tucson as the easy drive to the Sonoran coast takes just four to five hours by car. Drawn to the remote sandy beaches or the variety of fun-filled sports activities, so many Americans frequent the area that tourism is generating more revenue than shrimping. English is widely spoken by locals in shops, restaurants, hotels, guided tours and rental agencies in town. Further out, gated expat communities are sprouting up all over the coast. Many offer their beach homes for reasonable rent. The beaches ...Read More

Lobo Del Mar

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Attraction | "Beach Activities"

Lobo Del Mar Photo, Puerto Penasco, Mexico
Quote:
Postcard-perfect beaches stretching north and southeast of town deservedly draw both American and Mexican tourists. And activities abound--surfing, snorkeling, windsurfing, scuba diving, kayaking, sailing, fishing, jetskiing, and even parasailing. Lobo Del Mar and other operators offer four hour excursions to Bird Island, a protected habitat 22 miles south of town. Participants can scuba dive ($95) or snorkel ($65) around 20 species of birds (including terns, pelicans and elusive blue-footed boobies common only in the Galapagos) and 20,000 sea lions. Another popular activity is a sunset cruise. Lobo Del Mar ($25) attracts adults with free margaritas and belly dancer...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 23, 2005

Lobo Del Mar
Rocky Point
Puerto Penasco, Mexico

Tidepooling

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Attraction

Tidepooling Photo, Puerto Penasco, Mexico
Quote:
What makes tidepooling so much fun in Rocky Point is the variety of marine life you can find with little effort. When the tide goes out, miles and miles of rocky shoreline are suddenly exposed. Tides cause water levels to vary up to 23 feet along this stretch of the Sea of Cortez. The community of Las Conchas, where we happened to be staying, boasts some of the best tidepooling in the region. Lucky for us. Before breakfast each morning we simply stepped outside our rented beach home to reach the intertidal zone. Clad in aqua shoes, the girls ran ahead with their little green butterfly nets and miniature aquariums eager to scoop up goby fish, sponges, starfish, and creepy spindly brittlefish....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 23, 2005

Tidepooling
Los Conchas Beach
Puerto Penasco, Mexico

Cet Mar Aquarium

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Attraction | "Rocky Point Aquarium"

Cet Mar Aquarium Photo, Puerto Penasco, Mexico
Quote:
The Acuario Cet-Mar is Rocky Point's aquarium. Just don't come expecting Sea World or flashy aquariums like those in Chattanooga or Duluth. Here, in a small concrete building located in the expat community of Las Conchas, simple unadorned sink-sized aquariums line the walls and house a single fish in each. Golden dogfish, eels, trigger fish, tilapia, stingrays, eels, and other regional fish swim behind glass, while larger species of assorted marine life and invertebrates swim around in open circular tanks. Visitors have unobstructed views of lobster, shrimp, and a dangerous fish species "that attacked a wild dog." Three sea turtles swim in the center of the room, straining their heads over the conc...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 23, 2005

Cet Mar Aquarium
Las Conchas Community
Puerto Penasco, Mexico
480/994-4475

Dining in Rocky Point

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Story/Tip

Lily's Restaurant Photo, Puerto Penasco, Mexico
Quote:
Dining options in this seaside resort feature seafood, of course. Shrimp boats flocking the harbor allude to the regional specialty. Restaurants wedged between souvenir shops lining the malecon all offer shrimp prepared this way and that: foil-wrapped, boiled, breaded, coconut fried, Hawaiian-styled, steamed in fruit juice, brandied, and on and on. And if you like shrimp, then great for you. You'll be in gastronomic heaven during your stay. The shrimp is reportedly fresh and delicious. Even the shrimp cocktail, served in a sundae dish with fresh tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, and onions, is to-die-for! If, however, you don't care for shrimp or happen to be allergic to shellfish, like me, then your cho...Read More

Pinacate's Volcanic Biosphere Reserve

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Story/Tip

Half-dead chollas look rather creepy Photo, Puerto Penasco, Mexico
Quote:
Halfway between Rocky Point and the Arizona border lies a vast volcanic field of over 400 cinder cones created from fiery eruptions 2,000 to 1,000,000 years ago. Magma still roils deep below dormant volcanoes and cooled lava slopes in this moon-like landscape of sunken craters, jagged rocks, spatter cones and lava tubes. Gnarly half-dead desert plants add an eerie, otherworldly feel to the surroundings. Across the 600 square mile Picante, vegetation changes as plants thrive or die depending on the moisture content of composite soils. Few species survive the sandy plains at low elevations like creosotebush does. Driving across the arid core of the Sonoran desert we couldn't help but notice the low-l...Read More