Updated Feb. 19, 2015
If you’re heading to Rocky Point soon or planning a run over the border for Spring Break, we hope you find these driving tips useful.
Bring your Passport or Passport Card! Yes, a U.S. Passport is required to return to the U.S. (Minors under 16 can travel with birth certificate as per the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/whti_state_factsheet.pdf
Vehicle Insurance: While some U.S. insurance companies do extend their comprehensive and collision coverage into Mexico, none of these offers Liability coverage in Mexico, which is required by law. You can purchase Mexican Insurance online prior to travel, as well as over the phone or at numerous spots along the drive down (for example in Ajo, Why, or at the gas station in Lukeville just before crossing).
Speed: However exciting it may be to get through the desert and to the beach as fast as you can, or return home after a number of fun-filled days on the sand – WATCH YOUR SPEED particularly through and anywhere near Ajo, AZ and again as soon as you cross the border at Lukeville into Sonoyta. Note: Speed limit in Mexico is in Kilometers and we recommend cruising through Sonoyta at 25 MPH (40 KM) – yes, through the WHOLE town…yes, 25 MPH! If you get the opportunity to meet a friendly policia, fines are paid at the police station (this is true in Peñasco too) not with a $20 (or more) and a smile on the side of the road.
Crossing with Food or Pets – Check for more info here –> SENASICA (English tab in upper right-hand corner)
Highway Sonoyta to Puerto Peñasco
- DO THIS! Seriously, DO THIS!! When driving to Puerto Peñasco from Sonoyta on Highway 8, turn right at intersection for “Golfo de Santa Clara” toward Laguna del Mar. Turn left after train tracks (STOP SIGN) and take road toward Sandy Beach (passing the wind generator). You can easily double-back into town on either the “newer” road past the Convention Center or the boulevard in front of the condo area. If coming in on the Coastal Highway (from San Luis Rio Colorado) continue straight toward Sandy Beach.
- In case you don’t take the turn-off to meet up with the Coastal Highway/Road to Sandy Beach – when coming in from the North:
- At the first large detour (DESVIACIÓN) signs coming into town, you can veer left (Blvd. Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez) or turn right (Blvd. Samuel Ocaña). If you choose to veer left, carefully maneuver potholes and turn right at 2nd stop sign – this will take you back to Blvd. Juarez (the completed section) and into town.
- If you choose to turn right, take the newly paved Blvd. Samuel Ocaña up to the large construction arrows, prompting you to turn left on a dirt street, then right on another dirt road at your first opportunity (running parallel to Ocaña) which will then meet up with the paved Av. Constitución. Turn left and continue into town (this will also intersect with No. Reelección [stoplight] giving you the option to turn right on road toward Playa Bonita / Sandy Beach).
Highway Sonoyta to Caborca
- When driving South out of Puerto Peñasco along points toward Mayan Palace, please use extreme precaution with pot holes and road conditions. We strongly encourage traffic to/from Caborca or Hermosillo take the highway from Sonoyta south. This may entail double tracking up to Sonoyta in order to then head South, however time will be made up due to the condition of the highway.
- Old Port – Yes, entry to the Old Port/Malecon is open and will require patience, good tires, and a bit more time from now through at least March 31st. This week (Feb. 15 – 19), two-way traffic has been open on Blvd. Juarez into Old Port though remain alert to road construction. City officials explain principal work on this stretch, which may lead to detours (Desviación) is planned to take place generally from Monday through mid-day on Fridays in order to facilitate weekend traffic.
- Access to Latitude 31, Kaffeehaus, and Whale Hill (Casa de Capitan) is open on dirt road at beginning of construction area. Plans are to begin paving this stretch with hydraulic concrete at beginning of March, which will then need time to cure before heavy vehicular traffic can transit here. However, options for parking from off the detour are planned so people can walk to some of these spots. Once concrete is installed, pedestrian and bicycle traffic will be allowed during the curing process. We wonder if someone’s up for running a shuttle during the “curing” process to get people up to Whale Hill.
- Turning onto Calle 13 from Blvd. Juarez – When coming from the South there is no longer a left turn off Juarez onto 13 since the Pescado was erected. Prior to construction on the short-cut by the movie theater, we used to recommend turning near Circle K and then right before reaching up with Calle 13 at stoplight. This is somewhat possible with good tires and on dirt roads, though a preferable method is – Turn right on Blvd. Kino (after train tracks) and then take first left onto Constitución (across from City Collections office [Centro de Recaudación], continue along Constitución to Ave. Miguel Hidalgo (approx. 3 blocks), turn left on Hidalgo (which turns into Calle 13).