Puerto Penasco is a Mexican city that lies about sixty-two miles from the border of Arizona in the state of Sonora. It covers an area of thirty-seven hundred square miles and has a population of approximately forty-four thousand resident. The city is located on a strip of land that connects Mexico with the peninsula of Baja California. The are in which it is located is the Altar Desert, which is one of the hottest areas of the greater Sonara Desert. The area around it is known for its many beachfront condos which include Las Palmas, Las Conchas, Sandy Beach Resorts, Bella Sirena, Costa Diamante and Sonora Sea. It is also known for its many beaches which include Playa Bonita, El Mirador, Playa de Oro, Las Conchas, La Cholla and Estero Morua.
Puerto Penasco was first named by Lieutenant Robert William Hardy of the British Royal Navy in the early nineteenth century. He was sailing the area looking for precious metals when he came upon the area. He named it Rocky Point and put it on several marine maps. It retained this name until it was changed to Puerto Punta Penasco (The Port of Rocky Point) by Lazaro Cardenas. Over time, this name would be shortened to Puerto Penasco. Prior to 1921, the area was used by fisherman who worked the Gulf of California. Fisherman from all over Mexico would come to the area to fish for Totoaba Fish. The area had no drinking water, so these fishermen never established a permanent settlement. In 1921, John Stone visited the area from Arizona and put into motion his plans to build a hotel complex and casino. He drilled water wells and established flights from Arizona to bring tourist into the area. Mr. Stone’s plans were successful and the complex attracted many visitors looking for a place to gamble and drink. His success would lead to many quarrals between him and the locals. When the locals finally forced Mr. Stone out of the area, he turned to drastic measures. Before he left he filled the water wells in with earth and burned the hotel to the ground. The are of Puerto Penasco would once again become desolate, that is until a railroad was built connecting Baja California to the rest of Mexico. This caused the town to once again experience a period of growth. By 1941, it was a fishing village with a population of almost two hundred people. Tourism, however, wouldn’t come to the town until the 1990s. In fact, very few visitors came to the town prior to 1990, except for the occassional fisherman or camper. The area had miles upon miles of beautiful beaches with crystal clear water, but had no major development. This would change in 1993 when their was a push made to develop it into a resort. Not long after, the city was teeming with restaurants, bars, markets and hotels. Today, Puerto Penasco enjoys a thriving tourism industry.
Other attractions in the city of Puerto Penasco include Cholla Bay, Cholla Mall, La Spa, Old Port, Cet-Mar Aquarium and Playa Bonita Beach. The city is also home to a fantastic array of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Some of the more popular ones include The Black Dog, Hidalgo Tellez Virgilio, La Curva, Latitude 31 Restaurant & Sports Bar, Pink Cadillac Diner, Rosies Doughnuts, Friendly Dolphin, Ocean View Seafood & Steakhouse, Paladar Habana Vieja, Lapa Lapa, Mayan Palace Puerto Penasco, Rocky Garden Restaurant, Manny’s Beach Club and The Point Restaurant. The city also has quite the selection of resorts, villas and hotels available to tourist. Some of the more prominent ones in Puerto Penasco include Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort, Penasco Del Sol, Hotel Playa Inn Rocky Point, Mayan Palace Puerto Penasco Wyndham, Playa Bonita Hotel, Mayan Palace Puerto Penasco, Laos Mar Hotel, Sonoran Sky Resort, Hotel Paraiso del Desierto, Hacienda Del Mar Bed & Breakfast, Marina Pinacate Resort, Best Western Playa Inn Hotel, Hotel Fiesta de Cortez, Dream Weaver Inn, Sonoran Sun Condos, Princesa de Penasco, Casa Blanca Golf Villas, Empresas Turisticas Palacio Hermanos, Frenos y Refacciones de Sonora, Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa, Esmeralda, Mayan Palace and Mar de Cortes International Airport Hotel.