The first step to any vacation is getting to your destination. One big convenience about traveling to Rocky Point is that in a morning’s drive, you can can be there. If you are coming from Phoenix or Tucson, Arizona, the drive time is four hours or less. Also, more and more vacationers are discovering that Puerto Penasco is only a day’s drive from most parts of New Mexico and Southern California as well. Let’s look at all of the options for Puerto Penasco travel.
This is the big one. Most of the people who come to enjoy the fun and sun of Rocky Point drive there. Being just an hour south of the Arizona/Mexico border, Puerto Penasco really lives up to its title as “Arizona’s beach.” Driving from either Phoenix or Tucson involves an easy and at times incredibly scenic road trip through the rugged Arizona terrain. Just before the border crossing at Lukeville, you pass through the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. This internationally recognized biosphere reserve is home to a beautiful example of the Sonoran Desert landscape. It is definitely worth a stop.
Crossing the border into Mexico is normally very straightforward. Except for during the start of holiday weekends, there is usually not much of a wait here. A lot of the time, you get a green light and are allowed to pass right on through. If you do end up talking to a Mexican border agent, they will ask you where you are going and probably take a look in the back of your car. Then, you are on your way. (Want more details about crossing the international border? Check out our guide here.)
In the approximately one-hour drive while in Mexico, you will find that the highway is as good as the one you just traveled on in Arizona. There are also emergency phones along the way should you have any problems. Travelers from Southern California may come into town from the west on the new coastal highway, “La Costera.” This two-lane road takes you along the edge of the sand dunes of the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, one of the wildest wilderness areas in North America.
Another Puerto Penasco travel option is to make a reservation on the Sea Side Shuttle. Vacationers who rent with Sea Side Reservations can go from their house in the Phoenix metro area to their luxury condo or rental home on the beach in a large, comfortable van. Once in Rocky Point, taxis can take you wherever you want to go.
Private pilots fly into Rocky Point all the time. Plans are also in the works for an airline to add Puerto Penasco to its route. Flying out of Mesa, Arizona, Westwind Air Service is the only charter airline that makes flights available. Their planes are equipped to carry up to nine passengers.
Rocky Point is small enough that a taxi or a stroll down the beach will take you to most every place that you want to go to. Remember if you get a little lost, the city has a new Tourist Police force. Modeled on successful organizations in other Mexican vacation destinations like Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta, these police are English-speakers who are charged with being helpful and keeping visitors safe. Find one of them and they will help you find your way.
Taxis will be waiting near popular restaurants and bars all around town and also near the resorts and vacation homes tourists stay at. If you are walking down the street window-shopping, don’t be surprised to hear a taxi give you a beep as it drives by, just to see if you want a ride.