San Carlos vs Rocky Point

marybna

Well Known Member
Forum Supporter
#1
Was talking to some people in Tuscon. When I worked in Hermosillo we went to San Carlos a lot. We thought about buying but just never did. When they started developing Sandy Beach we bought a condo. Finally bought on at Bella because it was quiet and got rid of the other one. We been there 20 years and still go down about every 6 weeks. Now it seems everyone I am talking to is going back to San Carlos. What has changed? The border at Nogales is a hassle (much worse than Lukeville) I know because we drive to Mazatlan. But our friend are encouraging us to think about it. Any thought ?
 

Stuart

Aye carumba!!!
Staff member
#2
Haven't been to San Carlos in a few minutes (years). But always preferred it over Rocky Point. Better fishing, boating, and not party central. The crowd that goes to San Carlos is much different than Rocky Point because it's not a "weekend getaway."

Just my opinion.
 

sheep3mom

Well Known Member
#3
Haven't been to San Carlos in a few minutes (years). But always preferred it over Rocky Point. Better fishing, boating, and not party central. The crowd that goes to San Carlos is much different than Rocky Point because it's not a "weekend getaway."

Just my opinion.
Is there good snorkeling in San Carlos?
 

marybna

Well Known Member
Forum Supporter
#5
We drive to Mazatlan a couple times a year and we are really (70) old. Jack and I play a little golf and enjoy the beach. No longer have a timeshare so just rent at Pueblo Bonita.
 

Mexico Joe

Cholla Bay 4 Life
#6
Anyone want to put together a San Carlos beginners guide? I've been wanting to go for a long time now. If you could see Baja down to lets say Bahia Los Angeles or go to SC for either of your first experiences which one would you see first?!
 

YumaJames

Well Known Member
#7
Anyone want to put together a San Carlos beginners guide? I've been wanting to go for a long time now. If you could see Baja down to lets say Bahia Los Angeles or go to SC for either of your first experiences which one would you see first?!
San Carlos is absolutely gorgeous, situated in beautiful bays, incredible marina/harbor. The drive down there is kinda boring, flat, desert, nothing much to see until you get to San Carlos. I travel down Baja all the time, there's not much in Bahia de Los Angeles (a few hotels and restaurants), but the bay view of the town is great. If you're considering doing Baja but have limited time I STRONGLY recommend Loreto, an absolutely gorgeous town, quiet, great restaurants, hotels, totally laid back, cobblestone streets, old missions, lots of history. When you're driving down to Loreto you'll pass by Concepcion Bay, the highway running along the Sea of Cortez by Concepcion Bay is gorgeous. There are a couple ways to get to Loreto (or Bahia de Los Angeles), the shorter quicker route is south of San Felipe, but after you go about an hour south of San Felipe you'll hit about 20 miles of real rough road construction, they've been working on that road for years intending to pave it eventually, but for now the road is real rough. You can do it in a truck, can do it in a car but you have to go real slow. The second way is just head south of Tecate or TJ and basically take Hwy 1 all the way south. I highly recommend going taking Hwy 1 south of TJ to Ensenada (beautiful highway that runs along the coast) then continuing south on Hwy 1 down Baja. As mentioned I find the ride to San Carlos is boring, but I can never get enough of Hwy 1 down Baja because the entire trip is so beautiful.

So my answer to your question San Carlos or Bahia de Los Angeles is NEITHER, I'd highly recommend Loreto. Lemme know if you have any further questions Joe, good luck in your adventures!
 

YumaJames

Well Known Member
#8
Lemme expand a little Joe. When driving down to San Carlos you'll probably pass through Caborca and Hermosillo, nothing much to see. Like I said once you get to San Carlos its beautiful, San Carlos isn't that big. Guaymas is much bigger, but I was not impressed with Guaymas, filthy, nothing much to see.
I strongly recommend Baja. If you're limited on time take the route south of San Felipe and you'll reconnect with Hwy 1 at Chapala, it'll save you a lot of time, but you'll hit 20 miles of rough unpaved road construction. If you have more time go to TJ, its super easy to drive through TJ if you're heading south on Hwy 1, as soon as you cross the border you'll immediately turn right onto toll Hwy 1 that shoots you out of TJ super quick and you'll head south to Ensenada. The ride to Ensenada along the coast is gorgeous. From Ensenada just stay on Hwy 1 all the way down Baja, Catalina is really neat, I'd recommend not going to BoLA (Bay of Los Angeles), I strongly recommend continuing south to Guerrero Negro, then keep going to San Ignacio (you have to see the old Mission there and the gorgeous town center, so beautiful), then keep going to Santa Rosalia then that's when the best scenery starts. Then Hwy 1 runs along the Sea of Cortez to Mulege, past Bay of Concepcion (incredible beaches, scenery) then head to Loreto, in my opinion the best part of Baja. If you have time you can continue to La Paz or Cabo. You need a tourist VISA (FMM) to go to San Carlos or down Baja, but you DON'T need a TVIP (vehicle permit) for either San Carlos or Baja. You only need a vehicle permit if you're traveling south of Guaymas.

Sorry, I know these last two posts have pretty much nothing to do with Rocky Point, but just answering Joe's question. Delete if necessary, I totally understand.
 

Stuart

Aye carumba!!!
Staff member
#11
Ugh I've gotta find more time to do these trips.
The Baja one isn't a trip you do half-cocked. Honestly, you need to plan it in advance, consider contingencies, and have a vehicle you know you can trust. And even the best planning can still come back to bite you in the ass.

I'm not talking jumping on 1 and heading south. When we did it, we crossed at Mexicali, went to San Felipe, and headed south from there. The road has gotten better, but when we went, from just south of San Felipe was nothing but gravel snake paths with hairpin turns along the Enchanted Islands all the way to Gonzoga Bay. We stayed in Gonzoga camped on the beach for a couple of days. From there, more of the same of hard scrabble roads, military checks (never had anybody so happy to get a helmet of ice in their life), out to 1 thru Laguna Chapala. Next stop Guerro Negro, then on to Santa Rosalia. The road coming into Santa Rosalia along the Tres Virgenes volcanos is heart stopping, at best. Two lanes, lots of traffic, and the buses and semis want their lane and half of yours. Steep downhill incline with a 1000 ft. + drop on your side with few or no guard rails. Spend the night in Santa Rosalia; you'll need to. I suggest the El Morro to stay at. Nothing fancy, but great food and lots of other travelers heading up or down. Next day, you can visit San Lucas Cove (was full of squid fishing pangas when we were there, reeked of rotting squid parts, we moved on). Next stop is Mulege. Punta Chivato is about 35 miles north of Mulege and we decided to go there. Fell in love with the place and stayed there for nearly two weeks, with runs into Mulege when we needed supplies. Slept in a tent on the beach the whole time. Gtilled fresh fish and partied with other camper every night. Fantastic place, great snorkeling, and totally relaxing. Didn't want to leave. The trip back up, we took the Pacific side. Stayed at the Old Mill, fished,and made our way through the back roads and crossed into the US at Tecate.

It is the trip of a lifetime, but not something to do on a whim. A whim is let's go to Rocky Point for the weekend.
 

YumaJames

Well Known Member
#12
You're 100% correct Stuart, driving down Baja takes a little planning and the roads are pretty crazy at times. Sounds like you've seen a lot of beautiful places down there and had some very memorable experiences, good for you! So many places where you could have a great time kayaking Joe, Concepcion bay has gorgeous beaches for camping, protected coves/islands, lots of sealife (whale sharks), you'd have a great time Joe vrs open water kayaking in Rocky Point. It would be great to kayak in San Carlos too, Joe, there are so many gorgeous protected bays, the scenery is top notch.

In the last few years I've put tons of miles on my motorbikes touring the States, Canada, and Mexico and Baja is still probably the top of the list. Been down Baja a few times over the last few years, planning to go again in a couple months, just can't get enough of it. I love seeing new places, but stupid Mexican laws makes it pricey and difficult to travel the mainland. To travel the mainland a person requires a TVIP (vehicle permit which requires a few hundred dollar deposit), toll highways get expensive, good Mexican vehicle insurance gets pricey, and most of all I just don't feel safe traveling the mainland, its a different ballgame and if you're unfamiliar with local conditions you're definitely the underdog. Whereas Baja is so easy to travel, all ys need is a tourist VISA and vehicle insurance and even though I keep my guard up I feel much safer there. Beautiful climate, much cooler summers. Cleaner than the mainland, and lots of interesting historical places to visit. Baja is definitely an addiction.
 

brokenwave

Well Known Member
#13
Now this is the kind of wonderful info that I feel would be lost if this site shut down. How can you preserve this if it transitioned over to FB? Yeah, I getting my CC out to support us.:)
 

marybna

Well Known Member
Forum Supporter
#15
In a few weeks we are driving down to Mazatlan for 9 days. Haven't been for a few years. We do it in 2 days. Alot of times when I go to RP, my husband can't go. I never have any trouble getting a friend to go because "it is only an hour in Mexico>" and there is always traffic going down. Old lady need for feel safe.
 

marybna

Well Known Member
Forum Supporter
#17
We are driving to Mazatlan. I emailed a friend in San Carlos about dropping by. She said not to come. Police and Army all over the place. She siad it is good but a real hassle getting around. I guess that answer my question RP or San Carlos.
 
Top