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Puerto Penasco

(4.3/5 based on 850+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, nature, beaches
Puerto Peñasco is a city located in Puerto Peñasco Municipality in the northwest of the Mexican state of Sonora, about 100 km from the border with the U.S. state of Arizona. It is located 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 of the larger Sonora Desert. Because of the lack of water, this area had no permanent settlements until the 1920s. In the 1930s and 1940s, the construction of a rail line connecting Baja to the rest of Mexico passed through and allowed for the development of a permanent town. For most of its history, the area has been associated with fishing, which is still a major source of income. However, since the 1990s, there has been a push to develop the area for tourism, as it is already heavily visited by people from Arizona and California. Puerto Peñasco is often called "Rocky Point" in English, and has been nicknamed "Arizona’s beach" as it is the coast closest to the major cities of Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma, and many Arizonans spend weekends there.HistoryThe city is known by two names, one in English and one in Spanish . 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”.
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