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Rocky Point Mexico
A Weekend Getaway
Mention Rocky Point and everyone in Tucson knows that you are referring to Tucson, Arizona's favorite beach. Rocky Point is actually the American name for the little Mexican fishing village of Puerto Peñasco.
In recent years Puerto Peñasco has grown to more of a town or small city and fishing has given way to tourism and the construction of resorts rather as its major industry.
A three to four hour drive from Tucson, Rocky Point is a popular weekend getaway destination for people who live in Tucson as well as for those in Phoenix, San Diego and points in between.
From both Tucson and Phoenix the easiest way to get to Rocky Point is to simply drive to the Lukeville / Sonoyta border crossing, turn right on to Mexican Highway 8 just past the border check point and head west until you reach Rocky Point.
Lukeville itself consists mostly of a store and U.S. Customs Port of Entry complex while Sonoyta on the Mexican side is a real city with homes and businesses.
Because my wife had stepped in frequently when her boss, the owner of the business, needed extra help, we were rewarded with a three day weekend stay at her and her husband's condo at the Princesa de Peñasco resort in Rocky Point.
Taking our youngest with us, we drove down at the end of March when the days are balmy and the humidity low.
I had assumed that the Princesa de Peñasco was a timeshare but was wrong.
Instead, it was a condominium resort but the condominium units were for sale individually as second homes.
The management company does provide supervision and management services for the absentee owners as well as an optional service of renting the units out when the owners are not in residence. When we arrived there were still a few unsold units available - starting at U.S. $2 Million.
On the Beach
The Princesa de Peñasco is located along a long stretch of beach that is dotted with other resorts and resorts under construction. Even at high tide, the beach is wide and long.
In addition to beach chairs and other amenities provided by the various resorts for their guests, local independent vendors work the beach selling their wares that range from ice cream treats to native jewelry.
One can easily spend the day relaxing in a chair under a palm leaf umbrella, sunning oneself, swimming or just walking or jogging along the, seemingly endless, beach.
Being located on the eastern shore of the Gulf of California means the sun rises in the morning behind the beach and sinks as a fiery ball into the waters of the Gulf in the evening. In early morning the tide is out and few people are on the beach making it an ideal time to explore and simply jog or stroll along the beach.
During the day there are lots of people and lots of activity along the beach - a great time to mingle, meet people and enjoy life of the beach.
As evening approaches the crowds disperse, vendors pack up and go home and the setting sun casts a special glow over the beach.
This is a great time for a romantic stroll with the love of your life or just a quiet, solitary walk along the beach feeling the, now cool, sand between your toes while being serenaded by the waves as they gently roll onto the shore.
Off the Beach
Staying in a condo meant that we could prepare our own meals, but for that we needed food so we ventured inland from the beach and away from the big resorts to the town with its shopping, homes and older, traditional hotels and motels.
The Old Days
Americans first began visiting Puerto Peñasco back in the 1960 when a combination of hippies and retirees were looking for inexpensive places to live their carefree lifestyle. With its largely empty beaches and sleepy fishing village atmosphere, this was an ideal place. Just throw a sleeping bag on the sand, pitch a tent or park your old VW minibus on the beach and enjoy life.
Here, at the north end of the beach where small outcroppings of rock signal the end of the sandy beach, is what appears to be one of the last renements of the "old Rocky Point" of decades past. While desolate in a way but clearly in the path of the resort expansion, this area is still tourist oriented. An RV resort sits here and provides facilities for RV owners and campers with tents. Behind the beach, the area is empty consisting of sand dunes and wild grass. Here you can rent an ATV and ride the dunes or hire a ride down the beach on a motor driven hang glider. While on the beach itself you can relax, fish and buy souvenirs.
And, turning your head to the south you watch the feverish construction of new high-rise condo resorts.
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