Puerto Penasco aka Rocky Point, Mexico

November 1-9, 2020 ~ Mexico

Puerto Penasco (Picture taken from the deck at Lucky’s Cantina)

Six of us had made reservations for Playa Bonita RV Park for the 2020 springtime, but they got cancelled due to COVID-19. Fortunately, we were able to rebook for last November. The other two couples had been there before and raved about the weather, interacting with local venders, beach front location, sitting in the warm sea water, fabulous and fun places to eat, and the shopping on “Rodeo Drive”.

Tim and I were the newbies.

Along the drive, Sonoran Desert

The seaside resort town is located only 66 miles from the US border, and a relatively easy (although somewhat bumpy) drive. Billed as a gem destination, where the Sonoran desert dunes meet the crystal clear waters of the Sea of Cortez, it was recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Rocky Point was a sleepy fishing village in the 1930’s, and gradually developed into one of the largest shrimp producing areas in the Sea of Cortez. During the prohibition era, business man Johnny Stone, visited the area and decided to develop it into a tourist resort destination. Building the first hotel, he then drilled a well, and he was open for business. Al Capone was among his clientele who then brought his friends for gambling, drinking and fishing. Today there are a number of hotels, resorts, and restaurants. It is both a retirement and vacation destination.

Random shot

You might recall that we had originally been hesitant to drive in Mexico when we agreed to go whale watching in February in Baja with Dick and Karen, when the pandemic was barely starting. Here we were, eight months later, COVID was in full swing and we were driving our RV back into Mexico.

What could possibly go wrong???

Dick, Karen, Susan and Dennis left a couple of days before us and we met up just north of the border, where we then caravanned to the RV park. The drive was uneventful, other than taking our time over sometimes less than superb roads.

Just crossed into Mexico, traveling along the border wall

The first night we had to settle for spots across the road from the beach, but by the second night, all three RV’s had beach front parking. The four of them got side-by-side, and Tim and I only a few doors down.

Not only were the views blissful, but it was immensely fun interacting with the merchants as they strolled along the concrete walkway that borders our campground spots and the sand. Food (fresh tamales, ice cream bars, tortillas), hats, an array of jewelry, t-shirts, and so much more were offered at reasonable prices. Bargaining was joyful, and there was never any pressure to buy. The vendors were a privileged few, who would get denied entrance onto the private property if they bothered or ticked off a guest.

I ended up purchasing several pairs of lightweight silver earrings from one vendor who had the wire hoops swapped out for posts and returned them to me the next day. I was delighted with both the results and the quality.

Silver earrings

We decided to limit our eating out to once a day (either lunch or dinner), and do a communal meal once a day. Breakfast was on our own, except for two mornings when the guys fixed all of us a meal fit for a king.

There were a few favorite places to eat that we were introduced to. We tried to only choose places where we could eat outside and not in close proximity to anyone outside of our small group.

The six of us on the upstairs deck at Lucky’s Cantina with the ocean behind us

A favorite place that we ate at a couple of times was Lucky’s Cantina. Right in the heart of Old Town, you purchase a drink, and then get a free breakfast included. And the food was both generous and tasty.

We enjoyed another great meal right on the edge of Morua Estuary, known for their fresh oysters.

Plate of fresh baked oysters

And another successful meal was at “Wrecked at the Reef”. Open air beach seating, with plenty of room around us.

Wrecked at the Reef

One afternoon we stopped in at a tequila factory and each of us ended up walking out with a bottle of almond tequila. I thought it paired quite well with the caramel and cream flavored tequila, so I some how ended up with two bottles. Quite tasty actually, but they are still sitting on my kitchen counter, mostly untouched.

Besides the great food and drink options, shopping at their “Rodeo Drive” was so much fun, that we made several trips there. I got a bit carried away getting colorful pottery for my kitchen back home, but I love it. The bright colors brighten up any tables cape, as well as reminding me of our trip.

This is just SOME of the colorful dishes/bowls I got

Another afternoon was spent at “Shell Beach” looking for shells to add to the collection of souvenirs. We did find a lot of shells, but much smaller than we had hoped for. In researching “shell beach” I’ve come to learn that plentiful shells can be found on many of the beaches, especially after a storm, at the high tide line.

Tim sifting through the sand, looking for small treasures
Dick soaking up some sunshine and relaxing on the empty beach

We had a fun time, regardless…

On one of our final days, we took a drive to check out Laguna del Mar. Due to COVID restrictions, we were not allowed to enter the Club, so we continued driving and exploring a bit further west, along the coastline and came across the colorful community of Cholla Bay where we enjoyed taking a few pictures before stopping for a drink.

A surprise burst of color that was rather eclectic
Adios from our campsite, as the sun sets

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for a new experience in our RV adventures. “Ellie Mae and Jethro” (our RV and tow car for anyone new here) have now crossed two international borders, with excursions into both Canada and Mexico. We are itching to get back on the road to explore. I’m particularly interested in seeing more of the South and East Coast. Tim has his second Pfizer shot scheduled for the later part of April, so hoping by mid May we will be “good to go”!

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
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10 Responses to Puerto Penasco aka Rocky Point, Mexico

  1. paperpopups says:

    Loved the photos and sharing of the great finds you bought. It was easy to pretend I was there for a second with the great photos. Thank you, Petrina – Upstate NY


  2. Mike Alssko says:

    Envisioning myself there as I read this, Joanne. Great narrative.


  3. Pretty good deal, buying a drink and getting a free breakfast out of it. What a way to kick off your day! 🙂 Colorful Mexican pottery, this from Puerto Vallarta where we went for several years, also decorates our kitchen. –Curt


  4. Your pictures are wonderful, and make me long to be in our Motorhome traveling seeing sights like you are doing.


  5. What a great experience! And to be able to share with friends, and have others to play with! What were the temperatures like? Did you have any bad weather? It’s great to be able to get so far away, so close to the border.


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