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Traveling to Rocky Point
Bienvenidos A Sonoyta - the sign above basically says it all about driving to Puerto Peñasco - Welcome. Sonoyta is a small town of 10,000 people just across the Arizona/Mexico border from Lukeville. The town is full of life. The first thing you’ll notice is the many vendors selling their wares, kids going to school, and small family owned businesses trying to make a buck. It’s really commerce at its best. You’ll want to stop at the Arizona M arket just on the other side of town for grocery’s that you have forgotten to bring and a nice clean restroom. Two other recommended pit stops are the Circle K as you come around the hill at the intersection of Route 02 and Benemerito de Las Americas and the new Pemex Station located on the short cut 16 de Septiembre to Rocky Point that you take just as you pass over the bridge.
Speed Traps in Sonoyta Make sure to travel the speed limit while driving through town. Sonoyta police set up speed traps along the main road. They will stand in the middle of the road with radar guns. By the time you realize it’s a speed trap it’s too late. You’ll be pulled over and given a ticket. Conveniently enough, the speed trap is right in front of the police station.
1 Hour Drive from Sonoyta to Rocky Point From Sonoyta it’s another hour drive on Route 8 to Puerto Peñasco. As you enter town, Route 8 turns into Benito Juarez. The town of Puerto Peñasco is quite easy to navigate. The city is laid out in a grid pattern with north/south and east/west streets. A few streets run diagonal through the city. The major streets are paved, yet many of the side streets are well compacted dirt. Bring a city map on your first trip to Rocky Point. Plan out the route to your destination. Planning will make your trip much more enjoyable. Once you get your bearings and drive the town a few times, it’s actually quite easy to get around.
Grocery Stores, Domino’s and ATMs on Benito Juarez There are grocery stores, ATMs, gas stations and even a Domino’s along Route 8/Benito Juarez Avenue just north of town. Walmart was in the planning stages of constructing a new store on a large parcel as you enter Puerto Peñasco, but I’ve heard that the project was scrapped in January 09 due to the economic downturn.
The resorts of Sandy Beach are located northwest of Puerto Penasco. There are two roads heading west that directly access Las Palomas, Sonoran Resorts, Sandy Beach Resorts, and Playa Bonita. The first is Samuel Ocana Garcia. A Pemex Station is located on the southeast corner. The next road is Calle 26 with a local high school on the southwest corner of the intersection. Map of Puerto Penasco.
The old port, Malecon district, whale hill and the road to Las Conches are located south of the town. Take Benito Juarez through town. You can’t miss the sign to Las Conches, make a left and continue driving. You’ll find here the Black Dog Bar, Giuseppies and Hacienda Las Fuentes. For the Old Port and Whale Hill continue on Benito Juarez. Here you’ll find the Coffee Haus, Latitude 31, the fish market, Las Casa de Capital, Porto Finos, and access to the Port.
Instead of driving cars or trucks, many visitors to RP use quads on the side streets to get around town. Use of quads on the main avenues and at night is prohibited. Many of small business that rent quads are located west of town near Sandy Beach just north of Calle 13 on Plutarco Elias Calles. They will provide you with a quad for the day along with helmet and face mask to keep the dust out. Visitors also bring their own quads over the border on trailers. If you are planning on bringing your own, make sure they are insured and you bring the registration. The border agents will want to verify that they are yours and that you have the proper documentation.
One interesting difference between driving in Phoenix and RP is that the green light at intersections will start to flash just before it turns yellow. This warns you to slow down and be prepared to stop. Very helpful. We wish they had these intersection lights in the US.
For more information of what to expect while driving to Rocky Point see our article entitled Lukeville/Sonoyta Border Crossing and Rocky Point Travel Tips.