Puerto Peñasco (or Rocky Point as English speakers call it), is a beachy weekend destination located on the shores of the Gulf of California, just a few hours south of Pheonix, Arizona. Whether you’re an eager spring breaker, an avid water sports enthusiast, or someone just looking to relax and eat tacos for a weekend, Puerto Peñasco has to be on your radar. Here are the 12 best things to see and do in Rocky Point, Mexico.
Savor the Fresh Mexican Cuisine
If for no other reason — truly, if you spend your entire time doing one thing in Rocky Point — it should be eating. Known for its history as a shrimp fishing hub, Rocky Point’s south-of-the-border seafood cuisine is second to none. Even down to the most simple tacos al pastor and quesadillas, you won’t be hard-pressed to find delicious food here. Restaurants we recommend include Capones, Casa del Capitan, Colin’s Cantina, and La Fondita. If you can’t make it down south, check out our rundown on the Best Mexican Food (Outside of Mexico).
Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site
While Rocky Point may be mostly known for its turquoise waters and relaxing beach vibes on the Sea of Cortez, it’s also home to an impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site. The El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve is a vast stretch of sand dunes, dormant black and red lava flows, and patches of water with diverse plant and wildlife species. You can book a scenic drive to tour the park, visit the massive maar craters, and get a real taste for the Mexican desert with family and friends.
Walk the Malecón
Back in town, make sure to set aside some time to stroll the area known as the Malecon, the main street and pier in Puerto Peñasco complete with beachfront hotels, restaurants, and great little tiendas for trinket shopping. This vibrant part of town is known as the “Old Port,” and is a great place to wander, people watch, and take photos of the giant famous statue of a man sitting on a shrimp.
Dive into Water Sports
When you visit Rocky Point, there is tons more to do than just lounging at your sandy beach resort. You’re going to get out in the water, but with what kind of equipment? Snorkeling, paddleboarding, surfing, kayaking, kite surfing, banana boat rides, jet ski rentals, and sports fishing are all on the menu. We highly recommend trying out a new activity under the Sonoran sun.
Chill on the Beach
If you’re more inclined to stay dry on the sand, Rocky Point has more than a few options, and the Puerto Peñasco weather is more than ideal. Some of the most popular beaches here include Playa Arenosa (which is often dubbed ‘Arizona Beach,’ as it’s the closest beach to the U.S. state of Arizona), Las Conchas, and Sandy Beach. Rocky beaches are famous for having intense sun and minimal shade, so be prepared with sunscreen and umbrellas. Other beaches to consider are Playa Hermosa, which is good for water sports, and Playa Mirador.
Play a Round of Golf
If you’re a golf enthusiast visiting Puerto Peñasco, you’re in luck! There are three great courses in the surrounding area: the Club at Laguna del Mar, the Links at Las Palomas, and Vidanta Peninsula de Cortez Golf Club are all open to the public. If you have money to spend, the Jack Nicklaus-designed course at the Mayan Palace is a definite bucket list gem. If you’re really looking to fuse the concepts of a carefree vacation and golf, check out Get Swinging: Where to Play Naked Golf.
See a Mexican Baseball Game
¡Viva los Tiburones! Unlike most destinations in Mexico, when you visit Rocky Point, the sport of choice is baseball, and the local team is the Tiburones. The team plays at the Francisco Leon Garia Stadium right next to Plaza la Madre. Tickets to games are under $5 USD, and once you enter, the food and beer are much more reasonably priced than they are in the states. If you’re visiting during the spring between April and July, definitely consider heading to a Tiburones game.
Visit CEDO: the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans
CEDO is Rocky Point’s best resource for booking any kind of tours or experiences around the Puerto Peñasco area. They offer eco-tours, summer camp programs, and educational seminars that are all bilingual. If you’re looking to learn more about the area’s ecological history, head over to CEDO.
Rent an ATV
In Rocky Point, it’s not uncommon to see ATV’s zooming through town instead of cars. We recommend doing as the locals do, and renting an ATV of your own. Use your four-wheeled buggy to hop around from beaches to restaurants, but also make sure to take it out on the dunes and along the long stretches of sandy beaches. Depending on the deal you lock down, your price can be anywhere from $15 to $50 per hour. In nearby Phoenix, this 2-Hour Arizona Desert Tour has us blown away.
Take a Day Trip to an Oyster Farm
When was the last time you went to an oyster farm? Exactly. La Ostionera de Puerto Peñasco is an absolute must for seafood enthusiasts, and anyone looking for a spontaneous thing to do. Watch as the oysters are plucked from the reefs, shucked before your eyes, and served with a dollop of hot sauce and a squeeze of lime. It doesn’t get fresher than this.
Sip Mexican-Made Tequila
The Mexican State of Sonora isn’t one of the five states that can legally call their agave alcohol tequila, but there’s plenty of small-batch tequila made from 100% blue agave. Head to one of the tasting bars where you can try blanco, reposado, anejo, triple distilled, antiguo, and gold.
Where to Stay
This newly furnished three-bedroom townhouse is located nearby golf courses, quad riding, horseback riding, and more.Book Now
This beautiful two bedroom, two bathroom hotel suite is located on the fourth floor of the Marina Pinacate Resort, just up the road from Sandy Beach and is one of the best Rocky Point Resorts.Book Now
This warm and charming villa comes with a pool and tons of amenities, and is located just minutes from the beach. Chill here during spring break, and make use of their Sonoran spa. Mexico beach rentals don’t get better than this.Book Now
As one of the best Puerto Peñasco resorts, Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort has its own oceanfront on the Sonoran sea, and offers a few great honeymoon and romance packages.Book Now