About Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco)
Known as "Arizona's beach," Puerto Penasco -- Rocky Port in English -- isn't widely known to those outside of Arizona. Sixty-five miles south of the Arizona-Mexico border, and a four-hour drive from both Phoenix and Tucson, the port referred to as Rocky Point draws the bulk of its visitors from those areas. But that could change with the construction of a cruise ship facility, which would make it a homeport for sailings on the Sea of Cortez.
The development has had a rocky (no pun intended) history, with starts and stops over the past decade or so. Nevertheless, the first of three cruises sailed from Puerto Penasco in January 2020, with passengers ferried to and from the ship via tender. There's no word yet on whether the line that offered those sailings, UK-based Cruise & Maritime Voyages, will return for a second season.
Puerto Penasco is poised at a spot where the Sonoran Desert meets the Sea of Cortez, so it's hot and humid in summer and can get chilly in winter. It was a mere fishing stop until the 1920s, when a developer dug a well creating the area's first water source, and built a casino and hotel. Visitors from Arizona flocked to drink, gamble and revel, but post-Prohibition, that action waned.
Rocky Point's major growth spurt came in the 1990s, when a forest of high-rise condos began to take root on then-pristine Sandy Beach. Around the same time, more expats began building vacation homes on beaches to the south. Today, the town of 62,000 gets about 2.5 million visitors annually.
The residential developments have spawned more tourism-related enterprises including golf courses, dive outfitters and fishing charters. It isn't the laidback fishing village it once was, but you won't have to look far to discover what French explorer Jacques Cousteau meant when he dubbed the Sea of Cortez "the world's aquarium."
- Sailings begin October 16th
- Cruises from $575 per person
- Flexible booking and cancellation policy
- 20+ eateries, gratuities, WiFi & more included ($600 value)
Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) Cruise Reviews
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