From up to down and left to right: a tourism complex, the Old Pier, the Malecon, El Mirador neighborhood, sunset at the Sea of Cortez and the Whale Hill
|• Municipal President||Ernesto "Kiko" Muñoz |
|• Total||9,774.45 km2 (3,773.94 sq mi)|
|Elevation||10 m (32 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC-7 (Pacific (US Mountain))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (No DST)|
|Postal code (of seat)|
Puerto Peñasco is a resort town located in Puerto Peñasco Municipality in the northwest of the Mexican state of Sonora, 100 kilometres (62 mi) from the border with the U.S. state of Arizona. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 62,177 inhabitants. It is located on the northern shores of the Sea of Cortez on the small strip of land that joins the Baja California Peninsula with the rest of Mexico. The area is part of the Altar Desert, one of the driest and hottest areas of the larger Sonoran Desert.
Puerto Peñasco Municipality is a municipality in Sonora in north-western Mexico. As of 2015, the municipality had a total population of 62,177 inhabitants. The only locality with a significant population is the municipal seat, also named Puerto Peñasco, which contains almost 99% of the municipality's population.
Sonora, officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Sonora, is one of 31 states that, with Mexico City, comprise the 32 federal entities of United Mexican States. It is divided into 72 municipalities; the capital city is Hermosillo. Sonora is bordered by the states of Chihuahua to the east, Baja California to the northwest and Sinaloa to the south. To the north, it shares the U.S.–Mexico border with the states of Arizona and New Mexico, and on the west has a significant share of the coastline of the Gulf of California.
Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.
Since the late 1990s, there has been a push to develop the area for tourism. It is now one of the most important tourist destinations in northern Mexico. Puerto Peñasco is often called "Rocky Point" in English, and has been nicknamed "Arizona’s Beach" as it is the closest beach to cities such as Phoenix, Tucson, and Yuma.
Phoenix is the capital and most populous city of Arizona, with 1,626,000 people. It is also the fifth most populous city in the United States, and the most populous American state capital, and the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents.
Tucson is a city and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States, and home to the University of Arizona. The 2010 United States Census put the population at 520,116, while the 2015 estimated population of the entire Tucson metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was 980,263. The Tucson MSA forms part of the larger Tucson-Nogales combined statistical area (CSA), with a total population of 1,010,025 as of the 2010 Census. Tucson is the second-largest populated city in Arizona behind Phoenix, both of which anchor the Arizona Sun Corridor. The city is 108 miles (174 km) southeast of Phoenix and 60 mi (97 km) north of the U.S.–Mexico border. Tucson is the 33rd largest city and the 58th largest metropolitan area in the United States (2014).
Yuma is a city in and the county seat of Yuma County, Arizona, United States. The city's population was 93,064 at the 2010 census, up from the 2000 census population of 77,515.
The Mar de Cortés International Airport serves Puerto Penasco, but currently has no regularly-scheduled flights in or out. The new highway shortens the drive from California by 160 km (100 mi). Tourism and fishing are the most important economic activities for the city. Development to date includes over one hundred restaurants, forty-two hotels and motels, and fourteen RV facilities. The new "Home Port del Mar de Cortes" (Sea of Cortez) cruise ship terminal is currently under construction between Sandy Beach and Cholla Bay (La Choya), northwest of the central city.
The Mar de Cortés International Airport, also known as Puerto Peñasco International Airport, is the first fully privately funded airport in Mexico. It was built by Grupo Vidanta and is located in La Jolla de Cortés, 15 minutes from the city of Puerto Peñasco in the state of Sonora and 5 minutes from some of the larger hotel and condominium developments by the Sea of Cortés.
Federal Highway 2 is a free part of the federal highway corridors that runs along the Mexico–United States border. The highway is in two separate improved segments, starting in the west at Tijuana, Baja California, on the Pacific coast and ending in the east in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, on the Gulf of Mexico. Fed. 2 passes through the border states of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas. It has a total length of 1,963 kilometres (1,220 mi); 1,319 kilometres (820 mi) in the west and 644 kilometres (400 mi) in the east.
The city is known by two names, Puerto Peñasco in Spanish and Rocky Point in English. In 1826, retired Lt. Robert William Hale Hardy of the British Royal Navy was sailing in this area searching for pearls and precious metals. He named the area Rocky Point and it was identified as Rocky Point on marine maps until President Lázaro Cárdenas changed it to Puerto Punta Peñasco. To simplify pronunciation, the English name lost the word “Port” and the Spanish name dropped “Punta”.
Lázaro Cárdenas del Río was a general in the Constitutionalist Army during the Mexican Revolution and a statesman who served as President of Mexico between 1934 and 1940. He is best known for nationalization of the oil industry in 1938 and the creation of Pemex, the government oil company. He also revived agrarian reform in Mexico, expropriating large landed estates and distributing land to small holders in collective holdings (ejidos).
Prior to the 1920s, the area was just one of the safe harbors for wandering fisherman who worked the upper Gulf of California.During fishing seasons, fishermen from Guaymas, Bahía Kino, Puerto Libertad, and Puerto Lobos began to come here to camp out. The main attraction for these fishermen was a fish called totoaba, which was fished not for its meat, but for its use in medicine. At this time the area was known as Punta de Piedra o Punta Peñasco. The name comes from a large quantity of solidified lava that hit the Gulf. Even as early as the 19th century, fishermen from Arizona came here. Since there was no source of drinking water, it was not settled permanently.
The Gulf of California is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean that separates the Baja California Peninsula from the Mexican mainland. It is bordered by the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sonora, and Sinaloa with a coastline of approximately 4,000 km (2,500 mi). Rivers which flow into the Gulf of California include the Colorado, Fuerte, Mayo, Sinaloa, Sonora, and the Yaqui. The gulf's surface area is about 160,000 km2 (62,000 sq mi). Depths range from fording at the estuary near Yuma, Arizona, to in excess of 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) in the deepest parts.
Guaymas is a city in Guaymas Municipality, in the southwest part of the state of Sonora, in northwestern Mexico. The city is 117 km south of the state capital of Hermosillo, and 242 miles from the U.S. border. The municipality is located on the Gulf of California and the western edge of the Sonoran Desert and has a hot, dry climate and 117 km of beaches. The municipality’s formal name is Guaymas de Zaragoza and the city’s formal name is the Heróica Ciudad de Guaymas.
Bahía de Kino is a town in the Mexican state of Sonora, Hermosillo (municipality), on the Sea of Cortez ; it was named after Eusebio Kino. The name also applies to the adjacent bay between Tiburón Island and Punta San Nicolás, Sonora. The names Bahía de Kino, Bahía Kino and Kino Bay are used interchangeably.
In the 1930s, under President Lázaro Cárdenas, a railroad was built to connect the Baja California to the rest of Mexico, passing by Puerto Peñasco. The town began to grow again, adding a police delegation in 1932, as a dependency of the nearby municipality of Sonoyta, even though the town was part of the municipality of Caborca.The railroad line created new population centers and the initial layout of the city and port of Puerto Peñasco was begun in the 1940s. During this same time shrimp fishing was having an impact on the local economy.
Sonoyta, Sonora is a town in the northern Mexican state of Sonora. It stands on the U.S.-Mexico border, facing Lukeville, Arizona, in the United States. It is the municipal seat of the municipality of Plutarco Elías Calles.
Caborca is the municipal seat of Caborca Municipality in Sonora. The municipal population was 85,631 (2015). The official name of the municipal seat is Heroica Caborca.
In 1952, Puerto Peñasco separated from the municipality of Caborca and comprised the localities of Sonoyta, Bahía La Choya, 21 de Marzo and Cuauhtémoc. Sonoyta was the second largest population center at the time. In 1989, the municipality of Plutarco Elías Calles was split from Puerto Peñasco.Until the 1990s, there had been little tourism here except for campers and fishermen. The municipality’s pristine beaches with clear waters stretched for a hundred miles north or south with almost no development. The push to make Puerto Peñasco or Rocky Point a major tourism center was initiated in 1993, with the government joining with private investors to build condominiums and other facilities. The goal has been to take advantage of the area’s proximity to the United States.
Much of the inspiration for the effort came from the success of Cancún, which was a nearly virgin beach before a government/private venture developed it. Another reason to look to tourism was the declining catches of fishermen here, due to overfishing and pollution. The federal government contributed two billion pesos in infrastructure, especially roadways and an airport and the area was declared a free zone, meaning foreigners could visit the area without a visa (although a passport is still needed). There was some economic instability in 1994 and 1995, but it did not derail development here for long, coming back by 1999. Between 2002 and 2007 economic growth was at twelve percent. The local real estate market started to go bust in 2007 due to the economic slowdown in the United States.
The oldest part of the town was founded between the edge of the sea and Ballena Hill. 100 km (62 mi) from the U.S. This means that foreigners can drive from the U.S. to Puerto Peñasco without obtaining visas. This makes the area attractive to visitors from Arizona, California, and Nevada. In a relatively short time, Puerto Peñasco has become a major tourist center. It contains numerous hotels as well as RV and primitive camping sites. Many consider Puerto Peñasco to be “Arizona’s beach” with Tucson, Phoenix, and Yuma closer than the Mexican cities of Mexicali and Hermosillo. Most visitors come for the beaches and to fish. The annual fishing festival begins on Navy Day on June 1. These celebrations feature mariachis, folklorico dance, and a festival queen. Another fishing tournament is sponsored by the La Choya Bay Club. Beaches here include Sandy Beach, Las Conchas, El Mirador, La Choya, Playa Encanto, Estero de Morúa, Playa La Joya, Playa Miramar, and Playa San Jorge. Sandy Beach is noted for its sand which is a light brown color. One attraction of the beaches is the tidal pools. Tides here can raise and lower the sea on the relatively flat land up to 8 m (26 ft). Low tide reveals a large number of tidal pools in the craters of the rocky coast. In these pools there used to be large numbers of crabs, starfish, and other marine life. There is also an estuary by the name of Morúa east of the community of Las Conchas. Here live thousands of birds, including migratory species.The base of the area is volcanic rock, much of it solidified lava flows from when ancient eruptions met the ocean. To promote tourism here, the city was declared to be part of the border “free zone” although it is about
A large number of beachfront condominiums have been built in this area including Las Conchas, Sandy Beach Resorts, Costa Diamante, Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort, Sonoran Sea, Bella Sirena, and Las Palmas.The first condos, Las Conchas and Bahías Choya, were built in the far southeast and far northwest respectively. Interest in property here has been unexpectedly strong prompting further developments such as Sandy Beach. This development has plans for a golf course, malls, marinas and more condos.
Crafts for sale here include shell jewelry, iron pieces and carved ironwood.
The airport is a joint government and private enterprise project which was inaugurated in 2008 and has a daily capacity of 2,000 passengers.Puerto Peñasco is a popular destination for spring break, especially for high school and college students from Arizona and California for both its proximity and its 18-year-old legal drinking age.
The Universidad de Sonora has its Centro de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas (Scientific and Technological Research Center) as well as its Centro de Estudios del Desierto (Center for Desert Studies) here which are open to visitors.These institutions started as a joint project with the Laboratory of Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Arizona in 1963 to develop methods of desalinization of sea water. In 1973 and 1974, the Unidad Experimental Peñasco was founded to research the raising of blue shrimp or Penaeus stylirostris. This project has been the leader in the development of shrimp farming techniques in Mexico. The CET-MAR Aquarium is a marine research center open to the public with displays of marine life such as turtles, octopus, and numerous fish species.
Many residents are from the United States or Canada. Most restaurants offer menus in English, and most businesses accept U.S. dollars.Puerto Peñasco is popular with retirees, especially those from the United States and Canada who have trailers and RVs. However, there are retirees here from all over the world. The town also has newspapers in English.
The city of Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) is found in the northwest of the Mexican state of Sonora, a state that is located directly to the south of the U.S. state of Arizona. It is located on the eastern coast of the Gulf of California approximately 60 miles south of the Arizonan border, only about a four hour drive from Phoenix or Tucson.The city’s maximum elevation is 100 meters (328 feet) above sea level and its minimum is 0 meters (0 feet) above sea level. It is found in the Sonoran Desert, a desert which stretches from the U.S. states of Arizona and California and down to the northern tip of the Mexican state of Sinaloa. Because of this, its climate reaches extreme temperatures during the summer and relatively high temperatures in the winter. The city itself is relatively flat, with the exception of Ballena hill that is found near its port. Further, remnants of ancient volcanos can be found on the beaches of Puerto Peñasco and several dormant volcano peaks can be seen throughout the entire state.
Puerto Peñasco has a desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh) with an average of 10 days of rain per year. The average high temperature is 27.5 °C (81.5 °F), but temperatures as high as 40 °C (104.0 °F) are not uncommon in the summer. The average low temperature is 17.5 °C (63.5 °F). On average, the temperature drops below freezing once a year. Though very rare, it is possible for a tropical storm or hurricane to reach the northern Gulf of California and cause significant damage. Hurricane Kathleen in 1976, Hurricane Nora in 1997, and Hurricane Rosa in 2018 were the last hurricanes to hit Puerto Peñasco.
|Climate data for Puerto Peñasco (1981–2010), extremes (1971–present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||30.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||19.1|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||14.2|
|Average low °C (°F)||9.3|
|Record low °C (°F)||−8.0|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||5.9|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||1.2||1.4||1.2||0.6||0.0||0.1||0.9||0.4||0.7||1.2||0.8||1.9||10.4|
|Average relative humidity (%)||61||67||62||61||60||62||70||65||63||58||57||73||63|
|Source: Servicio Meteorológico Nacional|
As of 2015, the city of Puerto Peñasco has a total of 62,177 inhabitants, making it the eight largest locality in the state. The population of the town has doubled since the year 2000, due to the developments in tourism.
According to data provided by the 2010 census, approximately 2.65% of the population over the age of 15 are illiterate. And about 15.02% of the same age do not have a basic primary education. About 3.48% of children between the ages of 6 and 14 do not attend any type of institution of education. Furthermore, about 36.73% of inhabitants over the age of 15 did not finish their primary education, and about 31.74% of the population is not inscribed in any government health service.However, since 2010 Puerto Peñasco has been among the healthiest cities in the state.
Puerto Peñasco is full of educational institutions ranging from elementary schools to universities. The city also houses several private schools and trade schools.Since 2015, the following have been registered in the municipality.
· A school that specializes in special education of public character and administration for the Federal Government.
· Four education centers of elementary education, three private and one public.
· Fifteen kindergarten schools, ten of which are public and five of which are private.
· Twenty-tree elementary schools, twenty of which are public and three that are private.
· Four public and two private high schools.
· Superior Techological Institute of Puerto Peñasco.
· Technological University of Puerto Peñasco.
· University of Professional Development.
· CEUNO University.
Puerto Peñasco also has two General Hospitals, a Center of Urban Health, a Hospital of Social Insurance, a Family Medical Unit of the IMSS (Mexican Social Security Institute), as well as many clinics and private consults all around the city.
Hermosillo, formerly called Pitic, is a city located centrally in the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora. It is the capital and largest city as well as the main economic center for the state and region. As of 2015, the city has a population of 812,229 inhabitants, making it the 16th largest city in Mexico. The recent city population spur is due to its recent strong industrialization, especially in the automotive industry.
The Sonoran Desert is a North American desert which covers large parts of the Southwestern United States in Arizona and California and of Northwestern Mexico in Sonora, Baja California, and Baja California Sur. It is the hottest desert in Mexico. It has an area of 260,000 square kilometers (100,000 sq mi). The western portion of the United States–Mexico border passes through the Sonoran Desert.
Santa Isabel is a municipality of Puerto Rico (U.S.) located in the southern coast, south of Coamo; east of Juana Díaz; and west of Salinas. Santa Isabel is spread over 7 wards and Santa Isabel Pueblo. It is the principal city of the Santa Isabel Micropolitan Statistical Area and is part of the Ponce-Yauco-Coamo Combined Statistical Area.
El Fuerte is a city and El Fuerte Municipality its surrounding municipality in the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa. The city population reported in the 2010 census were 12,566 people.
Federal Highway 8 is a free part of the federal highways corridors in Sonora. It is connected to the roadway that transitions from the border post at Lukeville, Arizona where it connects with Arizona State Route 85, proceeds south through Puerto Peñasco with Sonoyta, Sonora, and intersects with Fed. 2. It continues through the El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve until ending at Puerto Peñasco, a length of 100 km (62 mi).
Roger Meade Clyne is the lead singer, primary songwriter, and rhythm guitar player for the American rock band Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. His previous bands include The Refreshments and the Mortals.
La Colorada is a small town in La Colorada Municipality in the Mexican state of Sonora. In 2005, the population of the municipality was 1,754, with 288 living in the municipal seat. The now-municipality was founded by Spanish Jesuit missionaries at some point between 1740 and 1743. Formerly known as Minas Prietas, La Colorada became a municipality on June 28, 1934. As an important mining camp in Mexico, La Colorada boasted a population that topped 5,604 in 1895. The municipality is situated 45 km (29 mi) southeast of Hermosillo.
Plutarco Elías Calles is a municipality in the northwest of the Mexican state of Sonora. Its municipal seat and main urban center is Sonoyta, on the United States border opposite Lukeville, Arizona.
The Pinacate Peaks are a group of volcanic peaks and cinder cones located mostly in the Mexican state of Sonora along the international border adjacent to the U.S. state of Arizona, surrounded by the vast sand dune field of the Gran Desierto de Altar, at the desert's southeast.
CEDO is the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans. The acronym CEDO comes from the Spanish name: Centro Intercultural de Estudios de Desiertos y Océanos.
San Luis Río Colorado is a municipality in Sonora state, in northwestern Mexico.
Gonzalo Inzunza Inzunza, commonly referred to by his alias El Macho Prieto, was a Mexican drug lord and high-ranking leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, a Mexican transnational criminal organization. He worked as the cartel's assassins chief under the tutelage of Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada and as the regional leader of the cartel in the states of Baja California and Sonora. His base of operations was in Mexicali, where he coordinated marijuana and cocaine shipments through the Calexico–Mexicali border region. On 18 December 2013, Inzunza Inzunza was killed in a shootout with Mexican authorities in the resort area of Puerto Peñasco, Sonora. Before the gunfight was over, several of his gunmen took the corpse of the drug lord with them.
Alto Golfo de California Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve located in the state of Sonora in extreme northwestern Mexico. The 1,652,110 hectares (6,378.8 sq mi) reserve comprises the El Pinacate y Gran Desierto reserve and the Bahia Adair on the Gulf of California border. Geological volcanic formations with craters, dunes, oasis and beaches, and the diversity of plant associations determine its special landscape. The reserve was established in 1993 by the President of Mexico as Reserva de la Biosfera del Alto Golfo de California y Delta del Río Colorado and extended in 1995.
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