Visiting Puerto Penasco from the USA

Located a convenient hour south of the Lukeville border crossing, Puerto Penasco aka Rocky Point is a beautiful destination on the Sea of Cortez. Idyllic beaches and a laid back vibe makes it the perfect destination with easy access for US residents. Many Arizona residents are especially surprised that an oceanfront paradise is so close to home.

Getting to Puerto Penasco from Lukeville

A number of different routes to Rocky Point are possible but the most direct and popular is the Lukeville border crossing. It’s a very simple, RV friendly border crossing with two direction traffic for entering Mexico and re-entering the United States. It’s also only a few hours from Phoenix or Tucson. 

After crossing at Lukeville, you will pass through the town of Sonoyta and continue on Mex Highway 8 straight to the coast. It really doesn’t get any easier. The drive is pleasant on nice pavement that navigates through a landscape much like southern Arizona. When you reach the coast, it will be obvious as the beaches and bustling resorts come into view.

We have a full guide to the Lukeville Border Crossing with instructions and everything you need to reach the destination safely.

Where to Stay in Rocky Point

From beachside tent sites to resorts and luxury RV spaces, a wide range of lodging options are available. Rentals and rooms are not hard to come by but plan ahead on holiday weekends. Memorial Day and 4th of July are especially busy weekends. 

Puerto Penasco RV Parks

Being so close to the US border, traveling by RV is convenient. It also means you can bring everything from home and stay for as long as the visa allows. Some Puerto Penasco RVers will stay for months at a time. If you plan to stay a while, always inquire about monthly rates. 

Playa Bonita RV Resort – They offer power, water, sewer and are pet friendly. Located right in front of the beach and adjacent to the resort, it’s a fantastic location with everything you need to stay comfortable on the beach. 

Playa de Oro RV Park and Suites – They have full hookups with additional restrooms and laundry facilities. Like the latter, it’s at the beach and resort adjacent. Reviews refer to cleanliness and quality of the facilities. I spent some time here and it’s a great spot with a nice bar and restaurant on the beach.

Concha del Mar Campground and RV Park – Beachfront and pet friendly make this a good option for both RV’s and dry camping. They have excellent showers and facilities, making it a nice option for tents, tent trailers and rigs that aren’t self-sufficient. It’s also in good cell service if that’s important. The really nice thing about this Puerto Penasco RV camping option is the ability to park right on the beach.

The Reef RV Park – Amazing location near restaurants with live music and beachfront RV sites. Pet friendly too. There are a few complaints about lack of restrooms or showers for RV’s that aren’t self contained. 

San Rafael Trailer Park – This is a basic park that is clean with showers and electric/water hookups. Nothing fancy but nice and in a nice location with beach access out the back door. I stayed here for a few nights and really liked the location and the fact that it’s quiet. It’s also walled off in a way that blocks the wind which was really nice during the week I was exploring this area.

Captain Ron’s RV Resort – Well maintained with a mix of full-time residents and short term stays. They have laundry, fire pits, bbq and picnic area and excellent security. Storage is available for long term stays and frequent visitors.

Sunset RV Park – Full hookups, wifi, pet friendly, hot showers and a free hot breakfast for visitors. They have large spaces and a fenced dog park.

Whale Hill RV Park – This is a nice, clean park with noted great service in the reviews. It’s not on the beach but is a short walk away. It’s in a quieter area which is nice for folks not wanting the music and noise from the nightlife.

Puerto Penasco Resorts and Hotels

These are a few of the many great options for hotels and resorts. You have access to everything from luxury to simple but comfortable at a wide range of prices. The golf course on the coast is a nice touch for the golfers out there. Many of the accommodations come with pools, making them perfect for cooling down in the heat or lounging with a cocktail in hand.

Manny's Beach Club Puerto Penasco

Los Palmas Beach and Golf Resort – Golfing on the coast only a few hours from Phoenix? It’s hard to go wrong with this one and they offer pools, dining and everything you would expect from a high end resort. 

Penasco del Sol Hotel – Beachfront with dining and a pool. It also offers conference rooms for those here on business or needing to work and do meetings. The staff and service has great reviews as well. 

Best Western Laos Mar Hotel – It’s not on the beach but is immediately across the street and offers nice rooms at reasonable costs. Guests are generally pleased and leave 4-5 star reviews regarding the rooms, service and the great pool.

Playa Bonita Resort – Beachfront with a killer pool setup and a nice vibe. It’s in the heart of Puerto Penasco and is a favorite resort for many visitors. They also have a restaurant onsite, making it difficult to leave this place at all.

Sonoran Sea Resort – Continuing the theme of great beachfront resorts, this one is also a great option with a large pool area and shade palapas right on the beach. If you want to sip cocktails by the pool between swims in the ocean, check their rates here.

Sand Mar Hotel – Get away from the resorts without leaving the beach access. Only a few blocks off the water, it has easy beach access and clean, affordable rooms. The location is near restaurants and everything you can want in the area.

Esmeralda Beach Resort – Set in an idyllic location, it has access to some incredible beaches and a nice pool. Keep in mind, the resort rents out condos so the experience is not consistent across them all. Overall however, they are great and you can research the individual units, some of which are on AirBNB.

The Cove Boutique Hotel – Newer hotel near the beach. It’s smaller so you won’t be overwhelmed with the resort feel but it also has a big pool and great rooms. Initial impressions are great for this place.

Sonoran Sun Resort – Multiple pools, a poolside bar and one heated pool during winter makes the outdoor amenities on par with the comfortable rooms here. They have great beach access and are close to a ton of restaurants, jet ski rentals and more. 

Airbnb Rentals in Rocky Point

If you want something more private and self-sufficient for your own cooking, try Airbnb. You will find numerous condominium options, private houses and space within private homes. It’s a great way to find the right place at the right price. Some of the listings are associated with the resort and condo rentals but there are numerous private listings to explore.

Eating Out – Favorite Restaurants

The resorts often have great dining on the premises but there is plenty to explore outside of those bounds. Mexico is a culinary wonderland with amazing hole in the wall restaurants and street carts that offer incredible food. Here are a few popular options in the hustle and bustle of Puerto Penasco but they are far from the only options out there. Go explore and take advantage of the great dining in the area.

La Casa de Capitan – Excellent views of the sea while you dine at this place. It’s on the expensive side but known for the ambiance and scenery. 

The Friendly Dolphin – Known for having great seafood dishes and tasty drinks, this is a popular stopping point for visitors. 

La Curva – This is a restaurant and sports bar which makes it a nice reprieve for folks traveling during football or baseball season. 

Latitude 31 – Traditional Mexican food with a big menu and wonderful breakfast. People rave about the service here. Check out the Google Reviews to see why Latitude 31 is a great restaurant to try. 

Rocky Point BBQ House – You don’t have to eat traditional Mexican and seafood every night. Mix it up with a highly rated BBQ joint with ribs, pulled pork and delicious meats, beans and more.  

Things to Do in Puerto Penasco

Recreation is everywhere in this area. Look around and you will find laid back activities and fast fun for adrenaline junkies. The Sea of Cortez and surrounding mountains are a paradise for fun.

Rocky Point Beaches

The beach scene is hopping near the resorts but there are also quiet, more remote beaches to explore and enjoy. Pelican Beach is a bird watching paradise where the birds dive. It’s rich in food sources and dolphins frequent the waters here. 

Playa Bonita is the opposite, being in the center of resort activity with palapa rentals and plenty of fun to be had. If you’d rather take a long walk or jog in perfect white sand, spend some time at Las Conchas beach.

Moving south of town is La Ultima Playa. It’s a bit more remote and is a nice place to get away from the crowds. Black Mountain Beach to the north of town is similar with fewer crowds and beautiful desert mountains near the water.

Rocky Point Fishing

The Sea of Cortez is a rich saltwater fishery with plenty of action. At the northern end of the sea, Puerto Penasco has quite a few species throughout the year. Grouper action is consistent year-round and there are plenty of triggerfish. Yellowtail and mackerel come through when the waters are colder in winter and spring. You can fish the surf right off shore or take a charter. Bringing your own boat down is also easy, especially if that boat is under 14-ft.

Rent ATV’s

While the beach and waters draw visitors, the surrounding desert is loaded with dirt tracks to chase. Numerous ATV rentals companies are open for business and many have guided tours to take you around the area. Riding on beaches and into the mountains makes for a fun day.

Enjoy the Nightlife

From live music at restaurants to clubs and a hopping nightlife, there is plenty of entertainment. Beachside bars have the perfect chill vibe while the clubs ramp things up a bit and go late into the night. Grab a drink at Manny’s Beach Club or hit the Elixir Bar when the music turned up loud.

Golfing Puerto Penasco

Rocky Point is unique because several golf courses are located near the beaches. You can play Las Palomas, The Club at Islas del Mar or the Vidante Golf course on the southern end of town. Playing golf by the sea makes this area a special place for golfers to enjoy.

Go Boating on the Sea of Cortez

Rentals for self powered watercraft like kayaks and paddleboards are easy to find. Boat charters for wildlife waiting and general recreation are plentiful as well. The ocean is loaded with opportunities and anyone looking for a faster ride can grab a jet ski rental and go wild on the waters here.

There’s plenty more to do in this area for the adventurous. Between the water, land and local businesses, it’s a paradise just an hour from the border. Head south, grab your Mexican car insurance for Rocky Point and have a great time vacationing.