Located just 66 miles south of the US border on the North end of the Sea of Cortez. From Phoenix and Tucson the 210 mile drive takes approximately 4 hours. Rocky Point started as a fishing village in the 1930's and gradually developed into one of the mar shrimp producing areas in the Sea of Cortez. During the Prohibition era in the US, an enterprising businessman, Johnny Stone, visited Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point). Realizing the potential of this village to attract wealthy Americans to vacation and fish, Stone built the town's first hotel, drilled a well, and opened for business. Al Capone, who was among his clientele, brought friends along to enjoy the climate, drink, gamble, and deep-sea fish. But it was not until years later when it was slowly discovered by some Americans as an alternative for retirement and vacation. Rocky Point is surrounded by the Sonora Desert on one side and, the Sea of Cortez on the other. Unique ocean conditions in this town create extreme tides of up to 23 ft. between high and low, and this also produces a unique marine life. Swimming in the area is very safe and emulates lake conditions with no rip tides and a very calm water unless it is windy. You can watch the sunrise and the sunset on the same ocean horizon. There are many places to visit while in Rocky Point, such as the Pinacate Mountains, which geographic condition was ideal for NASA's training for the Lunar mission due to its similarity to the moon's surface. San Jorge island and its sea wolves, the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (a 55-foot long whale skeleton is near the entrance of the facility), and the sand dunes of the Altar Desert. Rocky Point is sunny almost year-round with practically no rainfall.
Rocky Point offers many sporting events including sailing, fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing and automobile and motorcycle racing just to name a few. There are as well rentals on most sporting equipment.
Rocky Point offers everything from relaxing with a cold margarita on a magnificent sunset cruise, to shopping in the mercado, or along the local stands near cholla Bay. Fresh catch of the day can be purchased and fleeted for you at the fish market.
Returning to Arizona: The U.S. Customs & Immigration stops every vehicle to ask questions about citizenship and contents of car. U.S. customs Port Director allows citizens to bring back to Arizona $400 in souvenirs per person and 50 lbs. of food per carload (for personal use). Each person over 21 may bring one (1) liter of alcohol. If you have any questions about what you are bringing back just ask the border police before you cross. Also you can try their site at www.customs.ustreas.gov/
"One thing about Rocky Point is that there is an abundance of comfortable properties to choose from. The best bargains are found the farthest from the beach. If you like to drive, they offer more personal service and better prices than their larger competitors who cater to tourists. Remember, you are in Mexico so don't expect to find the same quality and comfort you would within the U.S. borders. Capture the flavor by sleeping in a room with Mexican cement floors, miss-matched furniture, hand made tiles lining the bathroom, and listening to mariachi music filtering in through the open window. This is what traveling is all about - experiencing the unusual and different, far away from home."
The Rocky Point Gringo Guide by Mary Weil
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