A mountainous backdrop, marinas full of fishing boats, pearl farms, beaches, shrimp restaurants and a famous carnival are just some of the attractions for visitors to Guaymas. The city is located in the Gulf of California and is the main port in the state of Sonora in Mexico.
Guaymas’ location near the U.S. border means it is easy to reach by car for visitors from Arizona, vehicle ferry from Santa Rosalía in Baja California and by plane from all over the continent. The scenic town should be bustling with tourists, but drug gangs and people smugglers gave this industrial port city a bad reputation.
However, thousands flock here in February for its famous carnival, one of the oldest street parties in Mexico. Arrive on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday to witness the start of the event, which takes place with even more fervor than it did for the first time back in 1888. The excitement is contagious as you watch the colourful parades; join in and dance along. It all ends when the clock strikes midnight on Tuesday, marking the start of Lent.
Bordering Aquiles Sérdan, the main road, is La Plaza de Los Tres Presidentes. Admire its statues of three former Mexican presidents who came from Guaymas. Overlooking the square is the Municipal Palace from 1899.
Get a taxi to Plaza 13 de Julio to see its Arab-style bandstand and historical San Fernando Cathedral (Iglesia de San Fernando).
Make the most of the fact that Guaymas is one of Mexico’s major shrimp producers by enjoying a seafood lunch on the waterfront. Embark on a tour of a pearl farm in Bacochibampo Bay to see how the native rainbow lip pearl oysters are cultivated.
Head to the water’s edge to escape Guayma’s humid summer heat. A popular beach for sunbathing and watersports is Playa Miramar. You can scuba dive off San Carlos’ beach, which is part of an American expat community to the northwest.