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Rocky Point Spring Break 2012. Safe?

Phoenix, Arizona
5 posts
Rocky Point Spring Break 2012. Safe?

Has anyone heard of any violence in RP this year? What about the drive to and from? Anything at the border? Why is there a new US warning for RP? We go every year but the new warning has my husband worried about carjackings and kidnappings considering we have small children. We are wondering if we should keep our Spring Break plans. Thanks!

Level Contributor
1 post
1 review
1. Re: Rocky Point Spring Break 2012. Safe?


As far as R.P. being safe...it is! I have taken my grandkids there within the past 15 yrs.

I feel safe enough to take them again.


Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
Level Contributor
18,095 posts
96 reviews
96 helpful votes
2. Re: Rocky Point Spring Break 2012. Safe?

The travel warning for PP really says nothing more than exercise caution. There have been no carjackings or kidnappings involving tourists or visitors in PP, or even in Sonora.

Level Contributor
4 posts
12 reviews
2 helpful votes
3. Re: Rocky Point Spring Break 2012. Safe?

We go there as well as lot's of our friends from Los Angeles at least 4 times per year. We actually just got married there October 22nd 2011 and had about 80 people come out from Cali & Az. Everyone loved it and it was safe like always. As long as you respect the law just like in any country, you are good to go. We are going again for spring break this year.

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
15 posts
25 reviews
22 helpful votes
4. Re: Rocky Point Spring Break 2012. Safe?

We have been going 2-3 times a year for over 20 years and have been taking our kids since they were toddlers and never had even a hint of a problem. Just went in January and are going again in April.

Sonoita, the border town, is safe and caters to tourists. If you're hungry from the drive, be sure to check out the roadside taco stand in front of Vasquez Liquors. The highway from Sonoita to Rocky Point is closely watched by the authorities and also patrolled by the Green Angels -- a uniquely Mexican volunteer group that helps stranded motorists. If you need a jump start, oil, coolant, a little gasoline or help with a flat tire, they will assist you, no gimmicks. I once needed their help when I foolishly ran out of gas on the way home, out in the middle of the Mexican desert -- don't do that if you can help it!

It's a nice modern highway and only takes about an hour (slightly speeding!) to get from Sonoita to Rocky Point. Speaking of speeding, watch out in Sonoita on the south end of town just before you reach the highway, the speed limit gets very slow and they DO write tickets. If you're not wearing a seatbelt, they will ticket you for that too. Once you're on the highway, you can go with the flow of traffic, which is generally faster than the posted limit.

For peace of mind, it is generally recommended to make the drive during daylight hours, although I have often done it at night, including one trip where we crossed the border at 11:30 pm (the border closes at midnight!).

Who can say why the U.S. State Dept always re-issues these warnings just before Spring Break or major U.S. holidays. Maybe some drug gang member got shot in Juarez, over 1000 miles away, so they decide that all of Mexico is dangerous. I don't know, but sadly, I have learned to just ignore them because my experience of regular travel to and from Rocky Point bears no resemblance to their dire warnings of violence.

I recently read that you are 17 times more likely to be a victim of violent crime in Flint, Michigan than in Rocky Point, and yet there are no travel advisories warning people to stay away from Flint, Michigan :)

Phoenix, Arizona
1 post
5. Re: Rocky Point Spring Break 2012. Safe?

It there VALUE in going to Rocky Point any longer?

I first went to Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) in the 60's with my folks and have thoroughly enjoyed it ever since, especially the wonderful people, the History, the snorkeling, golfing, beach-combing and simply lazing on the beach with an ice-cold Corona in hand! :) I've been all over Mexico, from the capital city to the Yucatan to all points on the Mexican Riviera and Baja, but have always been infatuated with Rocky Point ("RP").

My Dad's best, lifelong friends were Hispanic (as were some of my friends and my mentor after Dad passed, I'm very fortunate to say!) and they had been going to "RP" for the deep-sea fishing clear back to the 1950's. Back then that small road south from Lukeville was "high adventure", meaning it was no sure thing that you wouldn't get you vehicle stuck in the sand along the way!

On my very first trip to Mexico as a boy, my Dad gave me two valuable tips which I never forgot and held me in good stead:

1) "Always remember you are visiting down here, you are a guest!"

2) "That these people don't speak Your language doesn't make them ignorant, it means You are ignorant. So learn the lingo, as best you can, and they will respect you for the effort!"

I've never had a problem in "RP" in all those years and have made friends, like our pal "Cowboy" at the fish market, with whom we loved to learn/discuss Mexican politics and also bought tasty fish from for nearly 30 years until his recent retirement.

Over the years I've become a bit of a Mexico history buff. The land is rich in history as contributed to by the indigenous Indians, "the Builders", Aztecs, Mayans, Spanish, French, and Chinese. That and my Grandfather's military involvement when Pancho Villa was raising hell on the border, all contributed to capturing my imagination and a long time love affair and fascination with "RP" and Mexico in general.

The other huge draw for me to "RP" is that it was SUCH a bargain, in terms of drink, food, accommodations and things to do! It wasn't that long ago that one could sip on cold Cerveza from noon to night for about $.40-.60 cents US. Now unfortunately we're looking at about a $1.00 a bottle and that's at the Distributor! Buy one at the bar for $2.00 on average, and up if you're not paying attention.

We used to go to Costa Brava and El Capitan or LaCurva restaurants and enjoy fabulous Mexican food or fresh Fish dinners for $4-5.00 a plate. Now we see average prices of $9-15 a plate and up. Good grief, I don't have to leave the US to spend like that at all!

As for accommodations, we've done it all, and one thing for sure is, there ain't no big bargains down there any more as far as I'm concerned. More tragic is that they don't seem to much give a damn if we come down and stay any longer. I can hardly get a reply to a voice mail or email these days when inquiring about accommodations. Used to be, "yes Senior, we have your information on file and look forward to seeing you again and we would like to offer to you our 39% VIP discount for your continued patronage. Hasta Luego!"

I guess the "gringos" have worn out "our" welcome, that's sad.

Here's what I've seen in terms of price changes over the years (all USD$).

>Resorts - $200-500 a night recently (Mayan Palace).

>Private Home Rentals - used to be $80-120 now $300-500 a night (nice 3-4 bed beach-front homes in Las Conchas)

>Hotels - used to be $40-70 now $100-150 a night (Playa Bonita on Sandy Beach or Plaza Las Glorias and Costa Brava on the Malecon downtown, (CB now defunct)

>Condos - used to be $80-120 now $200-400 a night (I rented at Las Palmas 25 times and one trip paid for 5 condos for 5 families all at once, now I can't get a return email.) There are still "bargains" to be had by searching Craigs List for US Owner/Renters, we found a nice deal at Sonora Sea/Spa/Sky.

>Motorhomes - used to be $8-10 a night full Hookups now $20-25 a night (Playa Bonita, the Reef on Sandy Beach or San Rafael and Playa del Oro over by Manny's)

>Truck&Camper on the beach - used to be $0-2 now $5-10 a night (the Reef)

Equipment Rentals are no longer reliable! There WAS a pride of mechanic/ownership and we used to rent Jet Skis and ATVs all the time. We had 0% failures on Jets, and maybe had a 5-10% breakdown factor on ATVs, some of that is to be expected.

The last few times we rented ATVs 1 in 3 vehicles had mechanical failures EVERY day. To which you might say, "well that's only 33% failure rate", but when one breaks, everyone chips in to get all back to safety - meaning that day's ride is over for all.

On our most recent trip we had another failure (chain break), AND adding insult to injury after "piggy backing" in the ATV-less rider(s), we had to stand around in the hot street for 45 minutes waiting for the ATV-renter to go retrieve his equipment before we could get our Drivers Licenses back. Then instead of coming back with the ATV and saying "sorry for wasting your vacation day", he drove right past us to the garage, later "texting" his partner that the Licenses could be released. It was like we were wasting his time, rather than the other way around, Incredible!

Jet Skis now rule the beach (much like motorcycles did in the 60's and 70's). Rental outfits appear at 9:00 in the morning and are there until dusk. I used to snorkel out to 250 yards off the coast and for 2-4 hours at a time, totally mesmerized by the fascinations of the Sea of Cortez. Lately I've had to go out to snorkel at 8 am (yes a little chilly then!) to enjoy a good swim. Nowadays you must be very careful about swimming further than 50 yards off the coast and be careful to wear bright hats and be ever vigilant for the JetSkis. The Jets have the ocean so churned up that you can't see a damn thing while snorkeling any more, so they've pretty much ruined snorkeling for me at least at "RP".

On our most recent trip we had a first Jetski "failure". There was some cracking in the top forward surface in the Gelcoat of the hull. This was not on the standing area and not on the nose cone, so no implications of jumping too hard or hitting something could be made. We did notice this cracking on one of the Jets prior to the ride but failed to take careful notice of this on the second. Hell it was only a 30 minute ride, how much inspection should you have to do, right!

Well the operators tried to pin the damage on us, told us the Jets were $12,000 each and we were responsible and then called the cops, the whole thing got crazy. Remember, it's "Napoleonic Law" down there, you are "guilty until proven innocent", not the other way around. Long story short, we had to cut our vacation 3 days short and had to slink out of the country (leaving 3 nights Condo rental and some beach possessions behind!).

We feel the Jet handlers were setting us up to cover the costs of long-term vessel fatigue issues or perhaps rough handling on and off the trailers, but who knows?

Too much drama to be sure.

Finally, I am bummed to be reevaluating whether or not I still want to go to "RP". All the reports about Narco Terrorism has it so only 25% of our friends and family will even consider going any more.

The Costs are getting up there to where I could go to San Diego for the same money.

The only big draw for me is the warm water to swim in, but the snorkeling is being trashed by the Jets and Banana boats. (hell the solution is so simple it's ridiculous, but it'll never happen - Simply run the damn Jets and Bananas 300+ yards off the coast and let the swimmers and fishermen have some peace and safety, DUH!)

Again, Too much drama, Too much to think about! I realize "the Gringos" are ruining it for us all by not being respectful of the country, the culture, the people. BUT I'm the type of respectful "gringo" that Mexico should welcome, not drive away and you ARE losing me, bit by bit.

I go to "Rocky Point" to "get away from it all" -- To relax, to cook, to eat, to drink, to read a book on the beach, to have fun, that's what it is SUPPOSED to be all about, to be sure.


Phoenix, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona
1 post
6. Re: Rocky Point Spring Break 2012. Safe?

we traveled to RP in march 2012 and were pulled over in Sonoita mx for going 45 in a 35 mph. the officer wanted $150 , i offered $20 he accepted and we were on our way ! I looked at it as a donation .

Monterrey, Mexico
Level Contributor
158 posts
7. Re: Rocky Point Spring Break 2012. Safe?

We, Mexicans, do the same every time that we have this kind of experience. It's part of our traditions, costume and way of living . Flexibilty and plasticity and understanding of our culture make things more easily to accept them. and help us lubricate the machinary of our system so things can run smmothly. I have been reading that in some places of Europe . and other countries, you have no other option than to pay a HIGH fine -50 euros if you no pay 1 euro of the bus- or higher if its a traffic violation..

8. Re: Rocky Point Spring Break 2012. Safe?

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