Puerto Peñasco / Rocky Point - FAQ
Is it safe to travel to Puerto Peñasco? - Puerto Peñasco is probably one of the safest places to travel in Mexico. Before Covid-19, 2.5 million visited the beach town per year (most from Arizona), and now, as Covid-19 impact has subsided, visitors are coming back at close to the previous rate. It is recommended to enter Puerto Peñasco through the Lukeville/Sonoyta port of entry. You will only be driving in Mexico for 65 miles and the road is in good condition. Make sure to observe speed limits, especially in the town of Sonoyta and the city of Puerto Peñasco. Driving at night is not recommended due to possible road hazards. We recommend you drive during the day and use the Lukeville/Sonoyta border crossing. The stretch of highway just past the border to Puerto Peñasco was designated as a “safety corridor” since 2016.
Do you need to purchase extra car insurance to travel to Puerto Peñasco? – Yes (by Mexican law), make sure to purchase Mexican car insurance before crossing the border or simply online (there are several companies that offer it). Expect to pay an average of $US 100.00 for 4 days of coverage (depending on vehicle value)… Liability is required; full coverage is recommended.
What precautions do I have to follow while driving in Mexico? - Make sure to observe speed limits, especially in the town of Sonoyta and the city of Puerto Peñasco. The speed limit in Mexico is in kilometers, not miles and you will get pulled over if you exceed these limits. Roads are generally in good condition. Follow traffic laws; be alert to stop signs that are often difficult to spot.
How far is it to drive to Puerto Peñasco? – From San Diego – 320 miles, From Los Angeles – 420 miles, From Yuma – 180 miles, from Las Vegas - 464 miles, from Phoenix – 212 miles, from Tucson – 214 miles, from Albuquerque - 624 miles, from St. George, Utah – 584 miles.
Can you drive a rental car into Puerto Peñasco? - Yes, if the rental car company allows it. There may be an additional surcharge to rent vehicles traveling to Mexico. There is no Uber service in town and taxis can be pricey.
What are the border crossing times? – The border is currently open daily from 6AM to 8PM. Expect exceedingly long lines at the border going into Mexico on Fridays and coming back to the US on Sundays or holidays.
What to expect while crossing the border into Mexico? - Once you drive across the border there is a random red light / green light system for Mexico customs inspection. Approximately 70% of the time you will get a green light and you will continue into Mexico with no further questions or customs check. If you get a red light simply pull into an open inspection parking spot for a routine customs entry inspection by a Mexican customs officer. They will ask you questions about your visit, and they may also inspect your belongings. Custom agents may also ask you routine questions such as;
- Do you have currency over $10,000 with you?
- Do you have any firearms, ammunition or drugs (including marihuana)? It is illegal to bring firearms, ammunition or weed into Mexico… You will get arrested if they find ammo or guns in the vehicle you are driving or in your possession.
- Other standard procedure questions may be asked (don’t be nervous and don’t act suspicious. Be yourself and answer the questions honestly. They will instruct you when to proceed). Although very seldom requested, you may need to show the following documentation:
- Title or registration verifying ownership of your vehicle as well as any towed units, travel trailers, recreational vehicles, etc. For leased, rental or company owned vehicles, you must obtain a letter from the actual owner authorizing you to take the vehicle into Mexico.
- Pet vaccination records if you bring your pets with you.
Can I use my cell phone in Puerto Peñasco? - Yes, Verizon, Spring, TMobile and AT&T work in Puerto Peñasco, provided there is local phone company’s regional coverage. Like in the U.S., signal becomes more sporadic as you enter more remote areas. Make sure to call your provider and find out if there is an international plan to avoid roaming charges which can be very costly!
Do I need a passport to travel to Puerto Peñasco? – Yes, including children, passports (or visas for non-us citizens) are needed to re-enter the U.S. Double-triple check that you have everyone’s documents.
Are there COVID-19 travel restrictions? - While we know that visitors, and property owners from the US continue to travel to Rocky Point, the US Consulate has regularly announced that travel to Mexico is restricted to “essential activities”. So, can you come to Rocky Point? The answer is yes! Rocky Point has been unique in that travel to and from the United States has been OK’ed. It is a recognition that this travel is ‘essential’ to the economy of the town. This has been the case since August of 2020. US citizens are not required to provide proof of vaccination at this point. It is recommended that visitors follow the basic safety and hygiene protocols.
Do I need to exchange US Dollars into Mexican Pesos when traveling into Puerto Peñasco? - You don’t really need to exchange dollars into pesos. All establishments accept and prefer US dollars and their rates will be posted in dollars. Same goes for the vendors on the beach. Make sure to bring small bills as often they don’t have change for the larger bills. If you prefer to pay in pesos, you can do this but it’s best not to exchange money before arriving in Mexico.
Most likely you will get a better exchange rate in Mexico. Money can be exchanged through ATMs or at local banks. Also, if you don’t have a foreign exchange fee on your credit card you will generally get the best exchange rate when paying by credit card.
How is the average weather during late April? – Puerto Peñasco has desert climate: Here are the stats for late April: Average High Temperature: 84F, Average Low Temperature: 59F, Average Relative Humidity: 60%, very low possibility of rain (6mm / month), Sea Temperature: 69F