What you didn’t know about Puerto Peñasco and 10 things to do that does not involve the beach

 
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach
"An endless ocean with moon drifting tides, lies a timeless horizon where the sea kisses the sky" - Erika Beach
"Un mar interminable, con olas manejadas por la luna, un eterno horizonte, donde el mar besa el cielo" - Erika Beach
******* Please note that this blog is written in two languages. English is in Bold and the Spanish is in Italic, right below each paragraph.
 View from La Casa del Capitan

View from La Casa del Capitan

Puerto Peñasco is an old fishing village situated on the Sea of Cortez, where the state of Sonora meets the state of Baja California, Mexico. Puerto Peñasco is a beautiful desert beach town situated 3.5 hours away from Arizona, and six hours from San Diego.  It's also known to many as Rocky Point, especially those in Arizona. One of the things that makes this rocky pearl town in the north western part of Sonora so special and unique is it’s connections to the moon and NASA. During my last trip here, I got to visit this beautiful biosphere along with other activities that didn’t involve the beach. Rocky Point, is such a unique desert town, I wanted to tell a couple of things you may have never known about Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) and 10 things to do that does not involve the beach. Well, only one involves the beach.

Lo que no sabias de Puerto Penasco y 10 cosas que hacer que no incluyen playa

Puerto Peñasco es un pueblo Viejo pesquero situado en el mar de Cortez, donde el estado de Sonora se junta con Baja California.  Puerto Peñasco es un hermoso pueblo donde el desierto se junta con el mar situado a tres horas y media de Arizona y seis horas de San Diego.  Muchos lo conocen en ingles como Rocky Point, especialmente en Arizona, donde lo conocen como “Arizona’s Beach”.  Una de las cosas que hace a este bello pueblo en la parte noroeste de Sonora tan especial, es su conexión con la luna y NASA.  En mi ultimo viaje a Puerto Peñasco, me toco visitar la bella biosfera y otras actividades que no incluyen la playa.  Puerto Peñasco es un pueblo único y quiero platicar de unas cosas que pocos conocen, y 10 cosas que no incluyen playa. Bueno, solo una incluye la playa

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | El Pinacate

El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve

El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve are large and relatively undisturbed protected areas with unique physical and biological characteristics in the Sonoran Desert. It comprises two very distinct broad landscape types, the east (volcanic shield) and the west (active sand dunes). It’s an area unique in all the world, with it's moon like craters over a mile wide, lava tubes, 'moon-scapes', black pumice soil, cinder cones and sleeping volcano’s. 

La Reserva de la Biosfera de el Pinacate y el Gran Desierto de Altar, son areas protegidas con características físicas y biologicas en el desierto de Sonora.  Tiene dos tipos de paisajes muy distintos. Al este (zona volcanica)  y al oeste (dunas de arena activas).  Es una zona unica en el mundo, con cráteres de mas de una milla de anchos, tubos de lava, paisajes lunares, y suleo de piedra pomez negro. 

 Accumulated Lava Rock

Accumulated Lava Rock

The presence of a volcanic shield, and by the extensive areas of active dunes that surround it, made for ideal conditions for NASA training. From 1965 to 1970, NASA began sending astronauts to the Gran Desierto de Altar, to train for walking on the moon, due to the similarities of the terrain to the lunar surface. Neil Armstrong was amongst those men. El Pinancate Biosphere was caused by a violent steam of explosions. Approximately some million years beneath the earth, hot magma melted rock created massive subterranean pools of intensely hot liquid slowly building up pressure far below the earth's surface. This caused a violent 'steam explosion' that sent millions of pounds of rocks-debris into the sky, creating the nine craters.

Tambien esta la presencia de un escudo volcanico y volcanes durmientes.  De 1965 a 1970, NASA mando astronautas que llegarian a la luna a entrenar en esta bella zona. Escogieron a esta zona por los tipos de suelo tan similar a la superficie de la luna.  El famoso astronauta Neil Armstrong, fue unos de los visitantes a esta zona. La biosfera del pinacate fue creada por una violenta explosion de vapor.  Magma caliente debajo de la tierra creo lagos subterraneos de liquido caliente, que poco a poco formaron presiones hasta causar explosiones mas de millones de anos atras.  Esto creo los nueve craters.

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | El Pinacate

To the west, are North America's largest field of active sand dunes and only active Erg dunes. The dunes can reach 200 meters in height and contain a variety of dunes types. To the East, there is a dormant volcanic area, comprised of the Pinacate Shield with extensive black and red lava flows that covers as part of the desert pavement and nine large craters. These craters are a perfect circular shape that are one of the most significant visible landforms in North America that can be seen from space. These craters were formed by volcanic eruptions that accumulated lava in compact rocks, sand and volcanic craters. The most recent activity was about 11,000 years ago and these volcanic craters are dormant.

La zona de dunas activas de arena mas grandes de norte America se localizan al oeste.  Las dunas pueden llegar hasta 200 metros de altura y se caracterizan como diversos tipos de dunas. Al este esta la zona de volcanes inactivos comprendidos por el escudo del Pinacate con piedras de lava rojas y negras que cubren la zona desertica y los nueve craters.  Estos craters tiene una figura circular casi perfecta y son unas de las zonas mas significantes de Norte America que se ven desde el espacio.  Estos craters se formaron por erupciones volcanicas que acumularon lava, piedra y arena.  La actividad mas reciente fue aproximadamente 11000 anos y estos craters estan inactivos.

 Photo by NASA

Photo by NASA

Below is a video of things to do in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico!

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | El Pinacate

Ten things to do in Puerto Peñasco that does not involve the beach

1. Watch the sunset and the Ocean tides

Watching the sunset is something that I always try to do at every beach destination I’m at. I love watching people walking around the beach and looking at the sun as it disappears. However, If you have visited the beaches of Puerto Peñasco, then you have encountered the natural phenomena that occurs along it’s shore, where the ocean tides come in and then disappear to a far distance.  Approximately every fifteen days, both during a new moon and a full moon, when the sun, the moon and earth align, one of the most extreme and drastic tide ranges in the world occurs. 

Las mareas y observer la puesta de sol

Disfrutar la puesta de sol es algo que siempre trato de hacer en cualquier destino playero al que voy.  Si has visitado a Puerto Peñasco, entonces te a tocado ver el fenomeno que ocurre en la bahia cuando la marea sube y luego desaparece a la distancia cuando baja.  Aproximadamente cada 15 dias cuando la luna nueva y la luna llena, el mar pasa por una danza de mareas drásticas. Esto ocurre cuando el sol, la luna y y el mundo se alignan, manifestando uno de los cambios de marea mas drasticos y extremos en el mundo. 

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | El Pinacate

This happens on the upper Gulf of Mexico where the tide enters into the narrow strip of the Upper Gulf, causing the sea to rise to a registered high level, down to a draining low level in a single day. When the moon and sun are not in alignment, “flat tides” exist both in the morning and evening. Puerto Peñasco’s tides are ultimately a result of gravity, the sun and the moon, and the earth’s rotation.

Esto ocurre en el golfo de california donde el mar entra a la parte superior del golfo y esto causa que la marea se registre super alta y luego baja a un nivel considerado drastico en un solo dia.  Cuando la luna y el sol no estan alineados, existe lo que se le llama “mareas planas” en la manana y la tarde.  Las mareas de Puerto Peñasco son un resultado de la gravedad el sol y la luna combinadas con la rotacion de la tierra.  Selecciona aqui o abajo para ver un lapso de tiempo  de la marea.  Normalmente en marea alta, la bahia esta al nivel de las rocas en la foto de abajo.

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | El Pinacate

CLICK BELOW to see a time lapse of a low tide. Normally when in high tide, the shore will be up the level of the rocks pictured below.

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Tapeo Wine Bar

2. Wine Bar, Tapeo

During our stay we visited the most darling wine and tapas bar called, Tapeo. At the entrance of Tapeo, you will find a beautiful wine bottle Christmas tree that is up year round. The indoor outdoor restaurant offers a very comfortable Mexican rustic vibe with live Salsa nights on Wednesdays. They offer delicious dishes like paella and other tapas for sharing.

Durante nuestra estacia, nos toco visitar un barecito de vinos y tapas llamado, TAPEO.  A la entrada, esta un arbolito de navidad de puras botellas de vino super lindo que esta todo el ano.  El restaurante tiene un ambiente “indoor/outdoor” con una vibra super rustica Mexicana donde ofrecen noches de salsa los miercoles.  Ofrecen paella y otras tapas para compartir deliciosas!

Puerto Penasco | Mexico

They offer a full wine list filled with wines from the Baja Mexico wine region, which included one of my favorite Mexican wines and producers, The Duetto by Santo Tomas. That bottle is from Valle De Guadalupe and the 2009 vintage. I had never had the 2009 vintage before so I was curious if the bottle would hold the same as prior years.

Ofrecen una carta de vinos muy completos con vinos de la region del valle de Guadalupe en Baja y Coahuila.  Esta lista incluye uno de mis productores de vinos mexicanos favoritos, el Duetto por Santo Tomas.  Esta botella es del Valle de Guadalupe y una reserva del 2009.  Nunca habia probado esta reserva del 2009, asi que tenia curiosidad si la botella degustaria igual como las versions de anos anteriores.

 Photo by Katherine Belarmino

Photo by Katherine Belarmino

I previously tried the 2007 vintage, which is made up of Cabernet and Tempranillo. In prior vintages, this bottle was made in collaboration with Wente Vineyards, located in Livermore Valley in Northern California. However, the 2007 vintage was the produced only by Santo Tomas. This bottle is one of the most popular bottles produced in Ensenada, Mexico. This bottle is difficult to find, so if you find a  2007 vintage…grab it!!!! The 2007 vintage was had dark and savory fruits with notes of baking spices. It was silky with a touch of creaminess that lingered to a nice smooth finish. It was my first love in Mexican wines!

Previamente deguste la reserva 2007, que estuvo elaborada con cabernet y tempranillo.  En reservas anteriores, esta botella se elaboro con una colaboracion de los Vinedos Wente, localizados en el valle de Livermore en el norte de California.  La reserve 2007 fue producida exclusivamente por vinedos de Santo Tomas.  Esta botella del ano 2007, es una de las mas populares producida en Ensenada Mexico y es muy dificil de encontrar asi que si ves una…agarralal!  La reserva 2007 tenia sabores de frutas obscuras con notas de especies para hornear.  Tenia un toque cremosito y sedoso con un final largo.  Es mi primer amor de vinos mexicanos!

Puerto Penasco | Mexico
Puerto Penasco | Mexico

At Tapeo we had the 2009 vintage, which was just as beautiful as the 2007. It was an elegant red blend made of 60% Tempranillo and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. It was earthy and a beautiful nose of dark berries. It was lighter in baking spices then the 2007 with soft tannins and a nice long round finish. We all loved this bottle and wanted more! I love this wine and I know I can never go wrong when I order it.

En Tapeo probamos la reserva 2009, que estuvo igual de bello que el 2007.  Es una mezcla de tintos compuesta por 60% tempranillo y 40% cabernet Sauvignon.  Es terroso con un aroma de cerezas obscuros.  Es mas ligero en especies que el 2007 con taninos suaves y un acabado lindo y completo.  A todos nos encanto esta botella y queriamos mas!  Me encanta este vino y se que nunca me arrepiento cuando lo pido.

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | El Pinacate

3. Hike El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve

During my visit to Puerto Peñasco, I got to explore the east side of the El Pinacate Biosphere Reserve. I didn't get to visit the west side, but I was able to experience the volcanic and crater side. We had a guided tour by the Biosphere reserve that took us all over the park and explored a lot of the craters that were accessible. 

Durante mi visita a Puerto Peñasco, me toco explorar la zona este de la biosfera El Pinacate.  No me toco visitar la zona oeste, pero si visite la zona de los craters y el area volcanica.  Nos dieron un tour de la reserva que nos llevo por todo el parque y pudimos explorer craters accesibles. 

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | El Pinacate

Upon stepping onto the park, you can automatically feel the different on the ground. Colorful volcanic rocks cover the floors leaving the impression that a stronger force was present at some time. The views from on top of the craters are beautiful and serene making you feel so small. The craters are so enormous and some can be spotted from far away.

Cuando llegas al parque, imediatamente notas la diferencia del suelo.  Piedras volcanicas coloridas cubren el suelo y dan la impression que en algun tiempo hubo una fuerza muy fuerte presente en esta zona. La vista en lo alto de los craters, son increibles y serenas y te hacen sentir pequenisimo en la tierra.  Los craters son enormes y se pueden ver desde muy lejos.

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | El Pinacate
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | El Pinacate

Tips on the Biosphere Reserve:

  1. Check in at the Information Center prior to traveling out into the Reserve.
  2. There is no Entrance Fee, but donations are always greatly appreciated.
  3. Bring water and toilet paper. There is a restroom, but no toilet paper!
  4. There are some poisonous animals, snakes & insects in the reserve (rattlesnakes, scorpions, black widow spiders, Gila monsters, etc). Do not disturb the animals, turn over rocks they might hide underneath, or place hands-face-legs into holes or caves. Ask Reserve Staff members for more information on visitor’s safety
  5. Drone info: We had a drone and it was allowed to fly up to a certain high only. I couldn't remember how high. 

Tips de la Reserva de la biosfera

  1. Registrate en el centro de informacion antes de viajar hacia la reserva.
  2. La entrada es gratis pero siempre se agradecen y aceptan donaciones.
  3. Lleva agua y papel del bano, hay sanitarios pero no hay papel!!!
  4. Hay animals venenosos como viboras e insectos.  No molestes a los animals, no voltees rocas o metas manos o tu cara donde no puedes ver.  Pregunta a los guias por mas informacion sobre tu seguridad en la reserve.
  5. Informacion de Drones:  nosotros teniamos un drone pero nomas nos permitian volar hasta cierta altura…no me acuerdo cuale era el limite.
 Picture by 52 Perfect Days

Picture by 52 Perfect Days

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | La Señorita

4. La Senorita sunset cruise

One of the things that I was looking forward to the most was sunset cruise with La Senorita. However, due to high winds, we were unable to take the boat out. Instead, we relaxed on the boat, had some cocktails and watched the sunset. I can’t wait to come back on another sunset cruise. The sunsets must be majestic.

Una de las actividades que mas me emocionaba era tomar el “sunset cruise’ con la senorita.  Pero porque habia demasiado viento, no pudimos salir al mar.  entonces nos relajamos en el barco, disfrutamos  de diferentes tragos y vimos la puesta de sol.  Quiero regresar y tomar el “cruise” han de ser increibles las puestas de sol.

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | La Señorita
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | La Señorita
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | La Señorita
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | La Señorita
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | La Señorita
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | La Señorita
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach

5. Paddle board or kayak

A kayak or paddle board excursion on The Club at Laguna Del Mar, is also another fun and relaxing thing to do. Laguna Del Mar is located in the middle of the golf course, so paddling gives you the feeling like you’re in the middle the Middle East desert. This area does get a little windy on some days so be prepared to paddle!!!! During our adventure, we saw a couple days far away and plenty of wildlife. 

Una excurcion de kayak o paddle en el Club de Laguna del Mar, es otra actividad divertida y relajante que puedes hacer.  Laguna del mar se localiza en medio del campo de golf, asi que andar en paddle se siente como si estuvieras en un desierto del medio oriente. Esta zona si es un poco aerosa, asi que preparate para remar mucho!  Durante nuestra Aventura vimos…y mucha fauna!

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach
 Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by 52 Perfect Days

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by 52 Perfect Days

 Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by 52 Perfect Days

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by 52 Perfect Days

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach

6. Golf

If you choose not to kayak or paddle board, The Club at Laguna Del Mar has a large golf oasis that is surrounded by Deltas of the Sea of Cortez. The course is surrounded by pristine salt water lagoons abounding with wildlife. I didn’t chose this option, but a couple of my friends did. 

Si no quieres deportes acuaticos, el club de Laguna del mar tiene un inmenso oasis de golf que esta rodeado de deltas del mar de cortez.  El campo tambien esta rodeado de lagunas de agua slada llenos de fauna de la region.  Yo no escogi esta opcion pero unos de mis amigos si.  

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Tequila Factory

7. Tequila Factory

The Tequila Factory was super fun and a learning experience. Located in the middle of town, is a cute tequila tasting room that is an extention of the origional one. Upon entering the tasting room, you’re immedialty welcomed as an friend or “Amigo”, making you feel at home. You go through a little bit of tequila history, followed by a tequila tasting. This was such a super fun expeirence and took a bottle home of the Tamarindo Tequila.

El Tequila Factory estuvo super divertido y también aprendimos mucho.  El Tequila Factory esta localizado en el pueblo y es una extension del original.  En cuanto entras al tasting room, te dan la bienvenida como un amigo, y te hacen sentir como en tu casa.  Te dan un poco de historia sobre el tequila y luego una degustacion.  Esta experiencia fue super divertida y hasta me lleve una botella de tequila de tamarindo.

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Tequila Factory
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Tequila Factory
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Tequila Factory
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Tequila Factory

8. Eat

You have to eat three times a day, so you might as well try different food spots every time. Click HERE to see my last article on all the fun places to eat and drink in Puerto Peñasco. We ate at La Casa Del Capitan, El Oktopus, Citron at Palomas Del Sol Resort, The Grand Mayan Resort Tapeo and Miguel’s Restaurant at Peñasco del Sol Hotel. You don’t want to miss this!!! Click here to see the video.

Tienes que comer tres veces al dia o no? asi que pues hay que probar diferentes lugares cada vez.  Oprime aqui para ver mi ultimo articulo de lugares divertidos para tomar y comer en Puerto Penasco.  Nosotros comimos en la Casa del Capitan, el Oktopus, Citron at Palomas Del Sol Resort, The Grand Mayan Resort, Tapeo and Miguel’s Restaurant en el hotel Penasco del Sol.  No te lo quieres perder haz click aqui para el video.

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach

9. ATV/Quad/ Dune Buggy

You also have the option of taking the ATV or dune buggies’ out in the desert and the beach. We took a guided tour with Javie’s ATV through the town and then to the dunes. Click here to see my ATV/ Quad riding video.

Tambien tienes la opcion de andar en cuatrimotos y ATV’s o dune buggies en el desierto y la playa.  Nosotros tomamos un tour de ATV’s con Javie’s ATV.  Primero por el pueblo y luego por las dunas.  Selecciona abajo para ver el video de ATV’s.

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach
 Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by 52 Perfect Days

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by 52 Perfect Days

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach

10. Walk around the Boardwalk and Malencon

Walking around el Malencon (center of town) is a no brainer. There’s so much to see and so many darling shop to look at. Fishermen are usually outside selling their daily catch, while other are making fun michelada drinks on the streets. Along the way, you can also find neat stores built of recycled items. Or simply find a boutique hotel that is the perfect hidden gem.

Caminar por el malecon es obvio.  Hay mucho que ver y muchisimas tienditas super lindas que visitar.  Los Pescadores casi siempre estan vendiendo sus pescas del dia mientras otros  venden micheladas en la calle. Durante tu caminada tambien te encuentras con muchas tiendas con productos de materiales reciclados.  O simplemente encuntras un hotel boutique Escondido para pasar un buen rato.

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach

Future port of entry

There are so many things to do in Rocky Point. From desert activities to water sports or just relaxing by the beach is what makes this desert oasis special. However, in the near future, a cruise ship terminal will be available. Actual dates are not set, but the State of Sonora has future plans to bring in additional tourist via cruise ships. 

Hay muchisimas cosas que hacer en Rocky Point.  Desde actividades en el desierto o relajarte en la playa, es lo que hace este lugar tan especial.  En un futuro no muy lejano, se va a abrir un Puerto para cruceros. Todavia no tiene fechas, pero el estado de Sonora tiene planes en el futuro para traer mas turismo por barco.

 Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

 Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

 Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

 Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

 Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

 Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

 Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

 Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

 Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

 Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Photo by Erika Beach | Peñasco del Sol

A special thank you to Come to Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitor’s Bureau) for sponsoring my stay, activities and this post. I also want to thank you for getting to this point of my article and I hope that you get the chance to visit this ocean pearl in the middle of the Sonoran desert. 

Un agradecimiento muy especial a Come To Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco Convention and Visitors Bureau) por patrocinar mi estancia, actividades y blog.  Tambien les quiero agradecer por llegar hasta este punto de mi articulo y espero que tenag la oportunidad muy pronto de visitor esta bella perla del ocenao en el desierto de Sonora.

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Best places to have wine in San Miguel De Allende with breathtaking views!

 
 View from El Mirador | San Miguel de Allende

View from El Mirador | San Miguel de Allende

Some of the most majestic skyline views in all of Mexico can be seen in San Miguel De Allende. UNESCO World Heritage is situated on a hill where cobblestone streets cover the grounds of the city, giving panoramic views to just about any rooftop. During my last visit to San Miguel De Allende, I got to experience some of the best that San Miguel has to offer with their baroque Spanish architecture, cultural festivals and thriving art and food scenes. Guanajuato wineries and vineyards are also located about 20 minutes from the center of SMA. You can read about it here and here. But most of all, I was able to visit several rooftop restaurants with 360 degree views of San Miguel that can be seen from every direction.

 View from El Mirador | San Miguel de Allende

View from El Mirador | San Miguel de Allende

 La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel | SMA

La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel | SMA

El Cielo

One of the most magical spots in town is La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, whose dramatic pink towers rise above the main plaza, “El Jardín”. El Cielo offers one of the best unobstructed views of La Parroquia and the towns Plaza, where cultural festivals can be seen from the top, as they walk through the streets. This restaurant offers traditional Mexican dishes and local wines from the state of Guanajuato and Mexico. Come for the wine and views!

 El Cielo Rooftop Bar | SMA

El Cielo Rooftop Bar | SMA

 El Cielo Rooftop Bar | SMA

El Cielo Rooftop Bar | SMA

 View from El Cielo Rooftop Bar | SMA

View from El Cielo Rooftop Bar | SMA

 Night view from El Cielo Rooftop Bar | SMA

Night view from El Cielo Rooftop Bar | SMA

Luna

If you ever visit SMA you have to visit popular Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Hotel. Their rooftop bar Luna is located at the top level offering majestic view of the entire city. This is a beautiful hotel and restaurant with an impressive wine list with a large variety of Mexican producers, Old World and New World wines. La Parroquia is further away, but panoramic views of the other side of San Miguel covers the scene and are spectacular. Delicious tapas, dishes and exotic cocktails are available to dining or apetizers. This is a must visit and makes for the most beautiful wedding!

San Miguel De Allende | With Love Paper and Wine
San Miguel De Allende | With Love Paper and Wine
San Miguel De Allende | With Love Paper and Wine
San Miguel De Allende | With Love Paper and Wine
San Miguel De Allende | With Love Paper and Wine

Quince

One of the best things to do in SMA is walk the cobblestone streets that cover the city. We found this restaurant doing just that and had the most delicious meal!  This restaurant was nicely decorated in modern décor offering the close views of La Parroquia from a different perspective then “El Cielo”. The food was exceptional and the drinks were made by in house mixologist. Due to the fact that cocktails is what they do best here, I decided to skip the wine and I ordered a Raspberry Watermelon vodka drink topped with a chilli lemon powder and a rose petal. A Bloody Mary and Michelada cart was also available for brunch. I highly recommend everything here!!! Due to it's popularity, make sure you make a reservation, otherwise you're stuck at the bar.

San Miguel De Allende | With Love Paper and Wine
San Miguel De Allende | With Love Paper and Wine
San Miguel De Allende | With Love Paper and Wine
San Miguel De Allende | With Love Paper and Wine
San Miguel De Allende | With Love Paper and Wine
San Miguel De Allende | With Love Paper and Wine
San Miguel De Allende | With Love Paper and Wine

Pictured on the below is a breakfast restaurant we found by accident right across the street from "El Mirador". Consequently this restaurant was called "El Mirador". This restaurant was like eating at someone house with impressive views and a home cooked meal. Actually, it was someones house and it was a home cooked meal!!! Regardless, we had the best breakfast and had the best view of SMA. 

San Miguel De Allende | With Love Paper and Wine
San Miguel De Allende | With Love Paper and Wine

The Unknown Churro Spot

If you visit SMA, you have to ask around and find this churro place pictured below! It's the best churro spot and it was recommended to me by several people. We waited in line forever for the churro, but it was totally worth. I can't remember the name of this place, but it's near the central park and when you see the long line, you know you found it!

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Another must thing to do in just walk around the entire town. Most of the hidden spots we found was by walking around. Theres so many beautiful building to see all very unique and not one in the same. The streets and architecture are colorful  and a true representation of what Mexico is like. You can also walk over to the market and buy yourself some artisan handmade goods. Or simply take in the views and all the burros and people!

San Miguel De Allende | With Love Paper and Wine
San Miguel De Allende | With Love Paper and Wine
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Beautiful wineries, picturesque rooftops bars, baroque architecture and an exceptional gastronomical scene, are the reasons why tourist’s from all over the world continue to make San Miguel one of the most popular tourist and retirement destinations in Mexico.

 

The Best Eats and Micheladas in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico | Rocky Point

 
Puerto Penasco | Mexico | Rocky Point

I have found the best michelada in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico!!!! Along the way, I also found the most delicious eats! Puerto Peñasco is an old fishing village situated on the Sea of Cortez, where the state of Sonora meets the state of Baja California. It's also known to many as Rocky Point, especially locals from Arizona and California. Just a short 3.5 hour drive from Phoenix and 6 hours from San Diego, lies this rocky pearl town in the north western part of Sonora, Mexico. Click HERE to read What You Didn't Know About Puerto Peñasco and 10 Things To Do. Video Below.

Puerto Penasco | Rocky Point

There's so many things to do in Rocky Point, which you can click here to read more. However, one of the things I decided to do during my past trip, was find the best michelada in town. Throughout my years of traveling to Mexico, I've tasted some of the best Michelada's and have figured out the way I like to drink it. I knew I wasn't going to be disappointed while in Mexico, so I decided to visit five different restaurants and michelada spots and find my favorite. All five of them were delicious and none of them I disliked. For purposes of this article, I requested no clamato (clam and tomatoe juice) on all of my micheladas. At each restaurant, I also found delicious traditional dishes, along with modernized ones as well.

Above is a video of ATV Riding video on the beaches and desert of Puerto penasco Mexico. The video below is a Michelada video.

A post shared by Erika Beach | Writer (@withlove_paperandwine) on

Mayan Palace | puerto penasco | Mexico

What is a michelada you may ask??? A michelada (Cubana Mexican style) is a mixture of:

  • Beer/Cerveza 
  • Lime
  • Salt
  • Chili powder/ Chile piquín (Tajin)
  • Salsas: salsa inglesa (Worcestershire sauce), jugo Maggi, and Tabasco
  • Ice

Lager and Amber beers are best and I prefer Indio or Negra Modelo on mine. However, in most places in the U.S, Micheladas are also made with Clamato (Clam and tomato juice). All in all,  it's very similar to a Bloody Mary, replacing the vodka for the beer. 

Top Five Micheladas

La casa del Capitan | puerto penasco | Mexico

5. The Michelada Stand

Michelada | puerto penasco | Mexico

The michelada stand was my #5 pick (I can't remember the name). This michelada stand only had fruit for eats. Don't get me wrong, this michelada was great, but there were a few reasons why this was my last choice. The michelada was filled with a dark salsa from scratch and chammy candy in the mix. The rim was coated with a chilli and chamoy salt mixture that was super yummy. It had celery stick and a tamarind candy to top it off. The two major reasons why this was #5:

  1. The michelada had more beer and not enough salsa. While drinking it, I felt was drinking a lot of beer!
  2. The people over charged me! Can you believe that after they made it, they asked for $10 US dollars!!!! I should have asked for the price before I ordered it, but I didn't think it was going to be that much!! NOT worth it!!!
 Picture by Alexa Meisler of 52 Perfect days

Picture by Alexa Meisler of 52 Perfect days

4. Oktopus Restaurant

El Oktopus restaurant was one of my favorite places to eat in all of Puerto Peñasco with an incredible view of the Malencon and the ocean. This two story restaurant was also my #4 choice for the best michelada in town. Again, this michelada was fantastic, but the only thing wrong with this was that the beer and salsa ratio was off. Once I added more michelada salsa, it tasted perfect! This michelada also had regular salt around the rim and I prefer Tajin or chili powder. Due to the fact that I had to ask for more salsa to add to the beer, this michelada came in at #4 (pictured below).

PS- I'll be writing more on this restaurant and their amazing food in a post coming up!. 

Oktopus | puerto penasco | Mexico
Oktopus | puerto penasco | Mexico
Oktopus Restaurant | Puerto Penasco | Mexico
Mayan Palace | puerto penasco | Mexico

The Grand Mayan at Vindata resort is one of the most beautiful resorts in Puerto Peñasco. This exclusive resort is private and you have to be a member to stay at this magical place. Due to the fact that this resort is away from town and for private members only, this michelada is not accessible to everyone. Which is the reason why their michelada comes in at #3. (I'll be talking more about this resort in a future post.

Mayan Palace | puerto penasco | Mexico

Their michelada was also very delicious and they had a 2 for 1 special during happy hour. They also didn't have Indio beer, which is another reason it got #3 on my list. Their michelada salsa was made from scratch by their in house mixologist and it also had a chill powder on the rim. 

Mayan Palace | puerto penasco | Mexico
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My #2 selection was Peñasco Del Sol Hotel. Now this was a tough call and it almost came in at #1. This michelada tasted almost the same as my number one choice. I loved the salsa on this michelada and the rim was coated with Tajin chili powder. This michelada was the last one I had on my trip and it did not disappoint!!! 

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And the winner for the best Michelada in Puerto Peñasco is.......

1. La Casa del Capitan

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La Casa del Capitan was my all time favorite Michelada while in Puerto Peñasco. It was the very first stop before checking into my hotel and this restaurant had the most magnificent views. I was taken away by the views and the michelada, making my first hour in Rocky Point super memorable.

La casa del Capitan | puerto penasco | Mexico

This michelada was perfectly seasoned with the right amount of salsa and beer mixture with salt on the rim. My friend Katherine, who was my taste tester throughout the trip, also agreed that La Casa del Capitan was the #1 choice. We ended up comparing every michelada we had to La Casa del Capitan's the entire trip..

La casa del Capitan | puerto penasco | Mexico
La casa del Capitan | puerto penasco | Mexico
LA Casa Del Capitan | Rocky Point, Mexico

El Citron at Palomas Del Sol Golf Resort

PS- There was one other restaurant we ate at that was worth mentioning, but no micheladas. On our second to last evening, we had dinner at Palomas Del Sol Golf Resort. There, I had the most delicious vegetarian lasagna I have ever had. This lasagna was made of only potatoes, vegetables, cheese and sauce. The wine list was full of Mexican wine selections, as well as importune new world wines.

El Citron | Palomas Del Sol Golf Resort
Vegetable Lasagna

To be honest, any place you choose in Rocky Point will serve you a delicious meal and/or "made from scratch" michelada that you'll love. You can ask them to make it with clamato and see what you think! Have you tried any other michelada spots or restaurants in Puerto Peñasco/ Rocky Point? If so, I would love to hear about them in the comments below, for my next trip!

With Love | Erika Beach 

***** Sponsored by Puerto Peñasco Convention & Visitor's Bureau

***** All photography by me....... Erika Beach

You can read my past articles on Isla Mujeres HERE or Playa Del Carmen/ Chichen Itza HERE

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