Puerto Peñasco is major beach resort at the northern tip of Mexico’s Gulf of California (aka Sea of Cortez). The resort attracts visitors with an offer of attractive beaches, enticing water, sporting activities and nightlife. Puerto Peñasco started as a quiet fishing community and grew in popularity during the prohibition years of the 1920s and 1930s. Today, the close proximity to the Mexico-USA border makes it a favored destination of U.S. vacationers.
Start at the resort’s historic quarter, the Old Port. Stroll along the waterfront Malecón Kino, home to handicraft shops, pottery workshops, ice cream parlors and restaurants. Experience the vibrant activity of the Fish Market. Check out Posada la Roca, a hotel where Al Capone once stayed. Legend states that Capone used the city as a base for smuggling liquor across the border.
Stretching north around a curving bay from the Old Port are Puerto Peñasco’s main beaches, Sandy Beach and Playa Hermosa. Discover attractive strips of golden sand lined with beach bars, condo-style accommodation and large hotel resorts. Try kayaking, Jet Skiing, parasailing and snorkeling. Go deep-sea fishing, take a sunset cruise along the coast or visit Isla San Jorge, an island revered for its birdlife and sea lion colony.
Play a round of golf at courses such as the Jack Nicklaus-designed Peninsula De Cortes Golf Course. Enjoy guided nature walks and interactive science exhibits at the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans. Visit El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve, a spectacular landscape of deserts, volcanic craters and mountains.
Puerto Peñasco is famous for its nightlife, too. The bars, cantinas and nightclubs on Calle Matamoros are favorite hangouts of the Spring Break crowd. Cholla Bay is another busy nightlife district.
Puerto Peñasco is about a 4-hour drive from both Phoenix and Tucson, in the U.S. state of Arizona. Get to the resort with a rented car or catch a bus from Hermosillo, Tijuana or the Arizonan cities. The combination of nature, recreation, entertainment and a balmy climate make Puerto Peñasco a great year-round destination.