Less than four hours south of Phoenix there’s a dreamy beach getaway that’s mysteriously off most tourists radar. Puerto Penasco, perched on the northern shore of the Sea of Cortez, is an hour south of the US border but a world away from everyday concerns.
The drive south takes you through the wild reaches of the Sonoran desert. Twisting Saguaro cactus salute alongside the road. Beyond them, haggle-tooth red peaks dot the horizon. As you approach the city, signs for the UNESCO protected Pinacate Biosphere dot the highway. Striated black, red, and at times green, miles of Biosphere land lean towards craters. Volcanic cones slope up in the distance.
Then roadside attractions emerge and you spy tall, scattered rectangles – the area’s high-rise luxury, beach resorts. Suddenly you’re in town. There are so many ways to enjoy the region – hikes in the reserve, renting ATV’s, golf, kayaking, tequila tours, nightlife, and a rainbow of dining options but the best beach getaway revolves around the bright blue and lapping sea.
Penasco del Sol Beach Resort Hotel
I stayed at the Penasco Del Sol, a family-friendly, modestly priced, beach getaway. It’s set on the central beach of Rocky Point, a short drive from the fishing harbor and village. During the fall weekdays, the art-filled lobby and central pool area are relaxed and hushed. On the weekends, couples and families meet and stroll through on their way to soak in the tubs, enjoy the waterfall bar and walk the beach.
On weekday mornings I could walk the beach with only my shadow for company, but on the weekend crowds fan out from a stepped plaza. A half-dozen tents selling swim-suits to water-wings, food carts set up, and strolling musicians saunter through the beach crowds.
Inside the beach resort lobby, there’s a curved bar open most of the day and the dining room serves breakfast buffets and menu items, with traditional specials on Sundays. Dinners full of seafood and local specialties are featured on the evening menu. In the mornings the coffee is strong and I always filled my plate with papaya, melons, and chilaquiles. There were eggs, sausages, local and Norte Americano options too.
My room was large enough for me to do some yoga before heading downstairs for breakfast and the day’s activities. In the next building over, condos and timeshare owners had their own pool and beach activities.
The area is peppered with resorts high and low. Here’s another take on where to stay in the area.Looking for other options for fun? Check out this post about Puerto Penasco.
La Palomas Beach Getaway
On my last night, we enjoyed a steak dinner in the La Palomas Beach Resort and the band, Agua de Coco serenaded us with Jazz classics.
The Grand Mayan – Luxury beach getaway
About 45 minutes from town is the exclusive Grand Mayan, a Vidanta Resort. The members-only space is laid out with precision along a broad length of the coastline. A Jack Nicklaus Golf Course lies inland from the resort towers. A tempting, lengthy lazy river snakes through the property. Here members own condos and timeshare apartments which allow them to visit the pools and spas, restaurants and services. The spaces inside and out are palatial with expansion slated over the coming years.
The Dream Weaver Hotel
On the afternoon we went into town for lunch we strolled the Malecon and wandered the village. The town is packed with color and tourist shops. Just up a block from the busiest areas are coffee roasters, small galleries and I spotted the Dream Weaver Hotel.
This quirky place was created by host Diane and each room is unique. The courtyard and upstairs patios are full of local art, murals, reed furniture and there’s a view down to the beach below. These are budget accommodations for those interested in basic comfort, cooking options, and the authentic jostling of village life a few blocks away.
I can’t believe it took me so long to visit this part of Mexico! It’s a little over five hours from my home in San Diego and about 3.5 from Phoenix. There is an airport but for the time being only charter flights are allowed.
I’ll be writing more soon about the food and adventures we enjoyed. Mexico is forever in my heart and I look forward to sharing this beach getaway with my family and friends.
This journey was made possible by the Rocky Point/Puerto Penasco Tourism Board. Thank you for hosting me. As always, all opinions are my own. Salut!
Here’s a Pinnable image to share:
We were one day from booking our wedding at Las Palomas but we couldn’t get the family on board. Peurto Penasco has grown up so much since we first starting going twenty years ago. There are some beautiful high end properties to go with that mellow Mexico vibe.
Sorry to hear that you couldn’t get the family on board! The high-end properties are world class.
What a great overview of hotels in Puerto Penasco. Such a lovely beach town. I can’t wait to go back!
Thanks, Alexa. It was an amazing trip and I look forward to returning too with friends and family.
I love the look and feel of the Dreamweaver Hotel! Would love to go to Mexico one day. Ojala..
It’s definitely a quirky place. I’d love to stay there one day as well.
I would love to see a ton of pictures from inside Dream Weaver Hotel. I love hotels that feature local art. The colors of the whole town is awesome. I would love to explore here.
Thanks, Jennifer. The Dreamweaver is packed with murals and touches of local art, kitsch and found objects. You’d love it.
Wow I didnt know about this place in Mexico so close to AZ even though I stayed there for a summer a couple of years ago. The crater and the Pinacate Biosphere looks really interesting! Would love to explore this and enjoy some beach time.
It’s still a bit of a hidden gem.
All of these hotels look great and Puerto Penasco looks like a beautiful area! I would love to stay at Grand Mayan, a Vidanta Resort–such a pretty hotel! We are heading to Mexico next winter and are still deciding on which area to visit–will have to look into this region!
Thanks, Jenna, I hope you get to fully explore all that Mexico and especially, Baja Norte, has to offer.
Some pretty incredible resorts here – my jaw almost dropped at the photo of the La Palomas Beach Resort – almost looks like a city within itself! The Dream Weaver Hotel certainly looks quite interest and quirky – I lived in Phenoix for a little over a year, and also can’t believe I didn’t take the opportunity to visit this part of mexico. Will have to travel back!
Las Palomas is only one of the resorts along the PP coastline – each a city unto themselves. I hope you get to see the region for yourself one day.
That resort definitely looks like a happening place! I would want that top tier with my own private soaking pool just to be away from all those people! I also love the look of the Biosphere. I would definitely be making a pitstop there! Craters and volcano cones? Yes, please!
Thanks for stopping by, Paige. There’s something for every style of traveler in the area.
Puerto Penasco looks like my kind of place. Off most people’s radar yet still beautiful and fun. The Dreamweaver Hotel 100% looks like a place I’d love to stay.
The Dreamweaver is definitely a little world unto itself and within walking distance of the main part of town. I hope you see it one day.
La Palomas Beach Getaway looks like a very fancy resort. It reminds me of the one where we stayed in Puerto Vallarta. I haven’t been there in ages, though. I kind of miss Mexico. #TheWeeklyPostcrd
La Palomas is seriously cool for the traveler looking for luxe. I love Puerto Vallarta for many of the reasons I loved Puerto Penasco. I hope you return to Mexico.
Honestly, I don’t know where to start with this post, but you seriously had me with ‘off the usual tourist routes’. The colors are exquisite and I’d love to visit Puerto Penasco. Sign me up for the room with it’s own soaking pool, brilliant idea! So too does Tub time inside the Penasco del Sol beach resort!
Thanks, Anna, glad this struck your fancy! So many different aspects to enjoy in the region.
Just like some of the others, I have never heard of this place. Your photos are excellent quality and tell a story. The Grand Mayan resort looked good.
Thanks, Vishal. The region is definitely leaning towards more tourism for travelers from around the world. You’d enjoy the Grand Mayan.
I am ALWAYS on the lookout for a great beach trip! My body needs the ocean and the sand to survive. Thanks for sharing. I’m thinking the Dreamweaver looks like my kind of perfection.
We think and feel alike about the ocean and the Dreamweaver! Thanks, Melinda.
This sounds amazing, I’d never heard of it before but am always looking for new spots to check out in Mexico! You had me at “chilaquiles” at the breakfast bar…
For some reason I can’t make chilaquiles at home. I’m just not going to make fresh tortilla chips and fail at the start!
Looks like a beautiful destination and hotel! Just added this to my Mexico bucket list! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!
There are so many beautiful places to visit in Mexico, Lolo. I hope you get to visit this one.
Never heard of it before but it’s definitely on my radar now!
Perhaps the jet setters will get there yet. The airport is hoping to open to commercial flights soon.
I’ve never been to this part of Mexico but I love these options for hotels! The Grand Mayan is exactly the type of place we would love to stay in! Luxury with a view!
Thanks, Victoria. There are several beautiful resorts to choose from along the Penasco coast. I hope you see them for yourself.