Also known as Rocky Point, Puerto Peñasco is a storied city overlooking the Sea of Cortez. Legend states that it was Al Capone who put Puerto Peñasco on the map while shipping liquor to the United States, with visitors flocking here today to experience its spectacular desert-meets-sea landscapes.
Things to do in Puerto Peñasco
Spend a day relaxing on the dune-backed shores of Sandy Beach, which stretch north from the rocky promontory of Whale Hill. To the south lies Playa Mirador, renowned for its tidal pools where you can find colourful marine life.
Learn about the ecosystems of the Sonoran Desert and the Gulf of California at the Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans. Discover the centre’s ongoing research into wetland rehabilitation and sustainable fishing, then witness the entire fin whale skeleton that’s on display.
A short drive north of Puerto Peñasco takes you to El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve, which features dramatic lava flows and spectacular sand dunes. Admire the 10 perfectly circular craters that dot the landscape and catch a glimpse of the Sonoran pronghorn, a deer endemic to the region.
Fancy a round of golf? Head to The Links at Las Palomas, an 18-hole championship golf course designed by acclaimed golf architects Forrest Richards and Arthur Jack Snyder. It boasts a stunning setting between rolling sand dunes and the Sea of Cortez, with a beautiful clubhouse to relax in with an after-game drink.
Getting around Puerto Peñasco
Charter flights are available to Mar de Cortés International Airport, which is 15 minutes’ drive from Puerto Peñasco. The city is around 3.5 hours’ drive from both Phoenix and Tucson in Arizona, with taxis and microbuses the main means of getting around.