Puerto Peñasco , Sonora , Mexico

Puerto Peñasco, also called Rocky Point, is located on the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California).  This very special town has a long history.  The area has always been considered desirable; from its rich fishing grounds used by the Hohokam Indians to to today's strong tourism industry.  When Mexico and the U.S. were negotiating the Gadsden Purchase, so the US could acquire land that would eventually become parts of Arizona and New Mexico, the original agreement actually included this area to be part of the US.  Had this happened, AZ would have had a seaport!  However, the final purchase did not include the Rocky Point area and thus it remained part of Mexico. 

The discovery of blue shrimp in the waters off of Cerro de Peñasco, literally "Rocky Point", in 1920 led to the establishment of the first formal village.  Back then water was trucked in from the Mexican border town of Sonoyta 60 miles away.  Al Capone discovered this hideaway and was known to stay for months at a time as he evaded US authorities. 

The sandy trail became highway "Mex. 8" which was paved during WWII by the US Army corp of Engineers which really accelerated the town's growth. The shrimping expanded greatly in the 1950s. By the late 1990's, there were over 800 shrimping boats fishing the area.  This led to over-harvesting, tighter restrictions on who can fish, and a re-adjustment of the local economy.  Today, the shrimp are again plentiful and many other fish are caught by the locals. The Sea of Cortez houses a variety of fish including flounder, grouper, marlin, red snapper, sea bass, and yellowtail.

As you drive to Puerto Peñasco, Mex. 8 passes near the crater strewn landscape of Pinacate Desert National Park, which was designated a biosphere reserve in the early 1990s. The reserve is one of the world's most unique environments consisting almost entirely of lava fields interspersed with sand dunes and moonlike craters. Apollo astronauts trained there for their moon walks in the 60's. The park entrance is off of Mex. 2 west of Sonoyta. There are no facilities although camping is allowed with a permit. The tourist office in Puerto Penasco can provide tour information. Telefono: (638)3-4129

The town retains the charm of a modest shrimping village and local restaurants are good if not elegant. While shrimping and fishing are important to the local economy, tourism is easily the most important. Puerto Peñasco is the port for many charter boats, which will take you fishing, out to bird island to swim with the sea lions, sailing, or in the winter, whale watching.

Puerto Peñasco is generally known for its warm weather and clear skies - they only get 5.5" of rain each year. Due to the "ocean effect", the climate is more moderate than Arizona: slightly cooler in the summer and slightly warmer in the winter.

Casa de Olé is tucked away on the quiet and gated community of "Playa la Jolla". It is located at the end of the Playa Encanto beach, and is just a quick 20 minute drive into the town of Puerto Peñasco.  Our pristine sandy beach is perfect for swimming, fishing, kayaking (available at Olé), snorkeling, dolphin watching, and of course, long walks and shell collecting. If you walk East, you can go for miles, and if you head West you will come to the tip of the estuary, an ecological sanctuary that fills and empties twice a day with the tides. It is a great bird nesting area, and is home to a local oyster farm, where you can buy the freshest oysters ever! During high tides the Estuary fills up with sea water up to a depth of 15-20 feet. During low tide, marine life in tide pools may be explored. Tides can range as high as 24' each way - high and low tides occur twice each day.

When you stay with us, there is a detailed coffee table binder that outlines much more local details as well as contact information for the many available activities.

Casa de Olé is a scenic 4 hour drive from both Tucson and Phoenix (with 3 hours of the drive being in AZ.) Check out the link below for driving directions:

Link for detailed driving directions: Driving Directions to Casa de Olé

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