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Published: December 9th 2012
We are at the end of our four days in Puerto Penasco, Mexico, also known as Rocky Point. We have long wanted to see what this "beach front part of Phoenix" was like, knowing that it was once a place to camp on deserted beaches and watch whales and dolphins frolic, and now has possibly more highrises than downtown Phoenix.
We are visiting friends in Phoenix, and drove with them to Puerto Penasco (PP from now on in this entry). It would be more complicated getting there without your own car... The drive took about four hours, and is through beautiful desert and few small towns. The border crossing into Mexico is uncomplicated and we weren't asked to show our passports. They did ask if some of the clothes we brought were for resale...! (Maybe Cindy and I brought too many clothes?)
PP is much bigger than we thought, with big box stores, and many smaller shops for locals. The old port area has a small, modern walkway along the sea and many shops and restaurants....only there are almost no tourists....This partly due to the season and mostly because of the scares about drug gang violence, of which there
From our terrace
have been none involving American tourists. (There was a shoot-out in August in town somewhere).
We stayed in the Las Conchas development which is south of the port. It consists of over six miles of homes and a few condos. The homes are all slightly Moorish in style and most are large. The beach is almost completely covered with shells and shell fragments, many of which are ancient, having been part of the sedimentary rock on the ocean floor. These shells are burnshed and glisten in the sun....really beautiful! The water is calm, full of small fish, and the bottom is a mix of old lava flows and sand. There are lots of sea birds and we saw several groups of dolphins swim by. Again, there was almost no one around....I saw three or four people during an hour beach run....
The restaurants are upscale and really good and dinners were about $14... prices everywhere are in dollars...
North of the port is the Sand Beach area, which is home to the high rise condos, many, many highrises...and a golf course, and restaurants...and guards. You can drive here and never see the town. And you guessed it,
almost no people...
Behind the town and developments, there is some of the most arid land in the world...no one could live here until the technology was available to bring in water.
So, if you can see past the State Dept. warnings and look at the data about the violence, you may want to visit this beautiful place...swim in the sea, explore quiet beaches, kayak the calm waters, collect shells, eat delicious fish, watch birds and dolphins. Give it a try!
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