Do I need my passport? Yes. It is the law since June 1, 2009. Anyone crossing the border into the United States must have proof of citizenship. The passport or passport cards are the only documents that fulfill this requirement. You can use your Global Entry card for expedited entry into the U.S. using the SENTRI and NEXUS travel lanes.
How long does it take to get to Rocky Point? About 4 hours. It’s a beautiful drive from Tucson or Phoenix through the Organ Pipe National Monument. You’ll cross the border at Lukeville, AZ (closed Midnight to 6am) and arrive at the condo about an hour later. There is rarely traffic jammed up at the border crossing on the way into Mexico but the lanes coming back into the U.S. can get backed up during peak times – spring break, 3-day weekends, holidays, special events. You might also encounter delays on Sunday afternoons. We try to stay over until Monday to avoid traffic.
Do I need to purchase separate car insurance? Yes. Your U.S. insurance is not valid in Mexico. On the drive to Rocky Point, you can easily purchase a short-term policy for your car, truck, motorcycle, RV or trailer at any roadside “Mexico Insurance” provider before you get to the border. Try the Why Not Travel Store in Why, AZ. A nice place to stretch, use the restroom, buy snacks, gas up and get insurance. You can also get quotes and purchase a policy online (search “Mexico Car Insurance”).
Is it safe to drive in Mexico? Yes, the road leading to Rocky Point is very safe. It is no more difficult than driving in the U.S. although we recommend you avoid driving at night. Lighting can be bad and the roads don’t always have shoulders. Be careful passing on the open road. A left turn signal from the car in front of you is usually an invitation that it is safe for you to pass, but use your common sense. Don’t use your turn signal on a two lane road when you are about to pass. You might get hit. When there is a left turn lane, there will usually be a left turn arrow. Wait for it, if there are 4 lights on the signal. And right on red is not the norm.
Can I take a rental car into Mexico? Check with your company of choice. Some rental companies let you, but it’s always changing. Last we heard, Enterprises allows it. Remember, you’ll need separate Mexico insurance whether driving your own car or a rental.
Can I bring my pet? No. Renters are not allowed to bring pets of any kind, breed or size, no exceptions. This is a very strict management policy, not made by the owners. You may see people walking their dogs, but they are condo owners, not renters. Policy states that if a pet is found in your condo or resort public area you will be asked to leave, without a refund.
Can I bring fireworks? No. If you are found using fireworks you will be expelled without a refund.
What time zone is Rocky Point? Mountain Time Zone. It is the same as Arizona and like AZ, Mexico does not observe Daylight Savings Time.
Is Rocky Point safe? Yes. Rocky Point is very safe. The local economy depends on tourists for their primary source of revenue and they are very careful about our protecting our safety. To add peace of mind, the resort areas are gated and have 24-hour security in the parking lot (free) and the beach. When visiting the Malecon or driving around town just use your common sense. Don’t invite trouble, don’t break the law and respect the local culture and customs.
What should I bring? Beach towels, beach chairs, shampoo/toiletries, sunscreen, coffee, coolers, charcoal, food, passport. The condos have hair dryers and soap in each bathroom. Bedding and bath towels are provided but you can’t take the towels to the beach or pool. There are chairs in the pool area but you can’t take them onto the beach so if you don’t want to sit in the sand, bring chairs. Some guests bring a pop-up cabana for shade, and leave it on the beach during their stay. It’s safe.
Can we drink the water? Technically you can but most people drink bottled because Rocky Point water has a high mineral content and doesn’t taste great. It’s perfectly safe to use the tap water for showers, teeth brushing and cooking. We provide 5-gallon jugs of purified water to drink during your stay. Fill up your smaller bottles to take with you to stay hydrated. You won’t get sick from the water outside the condo either. Ice at the bars has always been fine and the restaurants cook with purified water. I’ve never known anyone to get sick from the water in Rocky Point.
How far are the Sandy Beach Resorts from town? About a 7- to 10-minute drive. There are usually taxis available if you don’t want to drive. We suggest you negotiate your rate before you get in.
Is there golf nearby? Yes. There are two great golf courses nearby. The Links at Las Palomas resort is closest, right at Sandy Beach (18-hole, par-72 championship course) and The Club at Laguna Del Mar (9-hole Jack Nicklaus signature course) is about 4 miles away. Ask your concierge or resort representative about all activities in the area.
How many people can stay in my condo? Each 2b, 2ba condo has a max occupancy of 6 people – 4 adults and 2 children 12 and under. If you are found to have more people than recorded on your reservation or exceed the occupancy limitations, you will be evicted without a refund. Children are considered occupants. Please know the exact guest count before you book your reservation. Each occupant will be issued a wristband and it must be worn to access the resort public areas. The number of wristbands (which allow you to be at the resort) will be issued to the number reported on your reservation – no exceptions.
How old do I have to be to rent the condo? The individual checking in must be 25 years of age or older and be must be present the entire rental period (I.D. is required and must match the name on the reservation).
Can we use the resort facilities of other resorts that we’re not staying at? No. Even though they are both Sonoran resorts, each is independent. You can’t use their pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, etc. unless you’re a guest with a wristband, but you can dine at their restaurants/bars and book appointments at their spas.
Can I bar-b-que inside the condo, or on the patio? No. It’s a big fire hazard and strictly prohibited. There are bbq grills in the common areas at the Sonoran Spa and the Sonoran Sun. Bring your own cooking materials.
Cash or Credit? No need to change money or bring pesos. Dollars are accepted everywhere in Puerto Penasco. Some smaller restaurants, shops and bars do not take credit cards (i.e. cash only at The Sonoran Grill) but your Visa and MC will be welcome most places. There are banks and ATMs in town but remember, you will get pesos.
Will my mobile phone work? Maybe. Cell phone carriers vary in their service and even then, it changes. Contact them before you leave to ask them if they provide service in Rocky Point. Otherwise, when you are connected to Wi-Fi (in the condo or most public places) you can use the phone/message through Facebook, WhatsApp Messenger, Hangouts and other freeware instant messaging applications for smartphones.
Can I fish in Rocky Point? Yes! Fishing permits are required for everyone in any boat where even one person is fishing – unless you’re under 12 and accompanied by an adult with a permit. Catches cannot be sold or exchanged and each person can take only 11 lbs of fish from Mexico per trip. All boats in Mexican waters need a valid permit. Grouper, Pinto Bass, Red Snapper and Yellowtail are available in December. Grouper can go up to 200 lbs. Yellowtail range up to 20 lbs and spawn in the Sea of Cortez. They prefer warm waters and migrate to the north to feed as the waters warm up. Ask the front desk about signing up for a day of fishing.
Seasonal Fishing Calendar:
What is Rocky Point weather like? Puerto Penasco weather is sunny almost all year round, with only 2 inches of rainfall per year, on average. Winter days are usually warm/mild, but it can get chilly at night. We love Rocky Point in winter because it is quiet and the weather is usually perfect for a beach stroll, hanging out on the balcony, or a swim in the heated pools. Summer months can be 90-plus degrees with high humidity (mostly August) but overall the air is always quite a bit cooler by the beach no matter how hot it gets in town (or in Phoenix). The water temps in the Sea of Cortez are a beautiful 80+ in the summer and never get very cold even in winter. Expect temperature ranges from 40 to 75 December thru February; 60 to 80 degrees March thru May; 68 to 98 June thru August; and 62 to 84 September thru November.