Puerto Penasco has held my heart for twenty years. A short three and a half hour drive is all it takes to go from the desert to the sea. Puerto Penasco is also lovingly called Rocky Point by gringas like me. If you google places to stay you may need to use both names. Rocky Point is that road trip that quenches my need to go off the grid and have my very own, “Into the Wild” experience. Except it is equipped with showers, toilets, and running water.
Where to stay:
If you want to go on the cheap I highly suggest camping out at Playa Bonita. For $30 you have a nice clean campsite with electrical and water hook ups. It sleeps up to four. There are public restrooms, showers, a laundromat, and you can buy ice in the front office. It is a hop, skip, and a jump to the ocean on a lovely beach. I have stayed in hotels, rented luxury apartments, and even vacation homes in Rocky Point but this is STILL my favorite way to go. Plus, my best friend has an RV so when she invites me along it’s dreamy. I would not recommend the hotel however….BUT the restaurant has a lovely deck and pretty yummy chips and guac. Make sure to call ahead as they are busy and do fill up. The weather can be hot and most of Rocky Point shuts down in September for their vacation month. The best months to visit are October, March-the first few weeks of June.
Pull your chair right up to where the ocean meets the sand and let the water lick your toes. It heals the soul.
What to do?
The beach is enough for this old girl. I bury my head in a few good books, walk or run on the beach, look in the tide pools, collect shells. There are the usual touristy things to do like banana boats, parasailing, riding horses along the beach, sunset cruises the list goes on and on but I prefer the simplicity of my heart and the beach. There is the fish market, dirt mall, a busy night life that I tend to stay away from. I love watching the stars come out in the night sky. Simple. I do buy a mexican dress every few years that I wear to threads and then hit up the dirt mall for a new one. I even wore it to church because we decided to go last minute.
Farmacia Gloria is the one pharmacy I would recommend for anything from Retin-A to Latisse to Ex-Lax and cold sore medicine. It is a great buy and she is a real pharmacist. You can also pick up a Kinder Egg for your kids here. They don’t sell them in the states but if you see one…buy one. She is right off the main street BLVD. B. Juarez that runs through town and up through the fish market.
Blvd B. Juarez will take you anywhere from Sam’s Club located next to Wal-Mart for when the water supply runs low. I still would NOT drink the water so bring plenty. Also, Coca Light is pretty much the most delicioso diet drink on the planet. Buy cases to bring home. This main drag will take you all the way up to the fish market where you can have fresh catch of the day entree’s for less than $10.00 a plate or fish tacos. You can cross the street to score mexican curios or Ray Bans for cheap. Well, fake Ray Bans that is. Vendors will also hit you up on the beach for these items and they are cheaper to buy on the beach. Do not pass up the taco lady that walks the beach. Order the papas y chile tacos. Trust me. For $4 you have lunch delivered to you on the beach. Yum. Pollo Lucas is right on the main drag don’t miss this awesome charbroiled chicken restaurant. The food is good and fresh. A whole chicken, beans, rice, tortillas, salsa, and garnish is under $20 and will feed a family of four. There are Thrifty ice cream parlors all over the place pop in here for a scoop. My favorite breakfast place is the Kaffehaus. Think lederhosen meets sombrero. A German breakfast shop with pancakes named the chunky monkey, omelets, and skillet breakfasts. It is the best breakfast in town and will run you under $7 a plate and that includes tip. The water is good to drink here. I know you have heard of 7/11 right? Home of the Slurpee? In Mexico they have something similar but it is called 8/12.
Fresh coffee if that’s your thing and homemade donuts every morning but get there early they sell out fast. They also have breakfast burritos and a regular convenience store set up. The cinnamon twist is my favorite.
A chile-lime mango on the beach is so yummy and makes a great brunch. Don’t be afraid to grab a taco at a taco stand for about $3 you have a full meal. Enjoy the local fare.
For literally under $200 you can go to the beach for a week. Don’t forget your passport even an expired one will get you back through to the US border. You will need Mexican Insurance on your vehicle so don’t forget that. My happy place. I leave a little bit of my heart on that beach. Viva La Mexico!
XOXO-The Sunny D