Puerto Penasco

Puerto Pe asco (Rocky Point), Sonora

Population: 45,000

Time Zone: Mountain Standard Time

Airport: Ignacio L. Pesqueira International Airport in Hermosillo (HMO).

Elevation: Sea level

Perhaps no Mexican town is more of a “boom town” than Puerto Pe asco (many Americans call it Rocky Point). Long a weekend-beach-and-party getaway for Arizona, recent years have seen a building bonanza, partially fueled by the advent of the fidiecomiso, which allows foreigners to, in effect, own property near the beach, financed with American-style mortgages. Located approximately 1 hour by car from the border at Sonoita, in recent years developers have moved in, building homes, condos, resorts and golf courses. As it is just as hot as the Arizona desert, summer is not the best time for a visit, with temperatures routinely exceeding 100 degrees.

Before its recent “discovery”, the then small fishing village survived from the fish-rich Sea of Cortez, with a sizable shrimp boat fleet based there. Tourism was anchored by simple RV parks, campgrounds and cold-beer vendors. Tourism and development will be the future of the area, as the Sea of Cortez, like many of the world’s waters, is becoming a depleted resource due to over-fishing.