Labor Day Weekend in Rocky Point, Mexico: Sea, Sand, Fun and Dolphins
It’s time to celebrate Labor Day Weekend this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A day for workers and their families to kick-back, relax and have a great time in Rocky Point, Mexico. With school starting and summer vacation over, Labor Day Weekend is typically thought of as the last “hoorah” of the year as summer comes to a close. So, this weekend is usually packed with party-goers, families and those looking to end the summer with a bang.
The town will be teeming with ATV riders, jet-skiers, sunset cruise goers and hordes of people on the beach getting that last bit of summer tan before diving back into their hectic school and work schedules. There’s a lot you can do in Rocky Point in three days and, if you use your time wisely, you can pack in a trip to Bird Island to snorkel with the sea lions, an ATV ride around the “sand bowl” and Competition Hill, a sunset cruise aboard the very popular pirate ship “El Rey del Mar”, a banana boat ride, a half-day fishing trip, horseback riding on the beach, parasailing over the Sea of Cortez or even an ultra-lite plane ride over the shores of Puerto Peñasco. And don’t forget shopping and eating – Rocky Point is known for delicious seafood and frosty margaritas.
In order to enjoy all of these activities in Rocky Point, Mexico, you must first arrive safely, which means leaving yourself plenty of travel time and not endangering yourself, your passengers, or other vacationers heading down for Labor Day Weekend. If you are coming from Phoenix, Arizona, you will notice the flow of traffic has changed once you hit Gila Bend, due to new construction, so there may be a bit of a delay. Once outside of Gila Bend you will have to slow down for the Border Patrol checkpoint. Police have been known to ticket those who do not slow down to the posted speed limits. (You don’t want to waste anymore time so be sure to obey all speed limits, especially once you hit Mexico.) Vehicles traveling south through this checkpoint do not have to stop, just slow down to 15MPH. Once you hit the U.S./Mexico border at Lukeville/Sonoyta, you will be stopped by U.S. Immigration before you cross into Mexico. This has been known to cause quite a backup on heavily travelled weekends so be patient and allow possibly 20 minutes or more. You are asked if you are carrying more than $10,000 USD in cash or any guns or ammunition, which is illegal in Mexico.
Once you cross into Mexico you may again be stopped and inspected if you get the “red light”. You will be asked where you are going, what you are bringing and may be asked for your vehicle registration and Passport, as I was last week. You are no longer allowed to bring beef into Mexico as well as some fruits, vegetables, poultry and dairy items – just like crossing back into the U.S. The list changes, so to be on the safe side, bring as little as possible. Now that we have Bodega Aurrera (a subsidiary of Wal-Mart), Sam’s Club and a few large supermarkets, you can find everything you need for your weekend visit. Sonoran Beef is touted as some of the best beef in the world, we have the freshest seafood, our poultry is not injected with hormones or steroids and our fruits and veggies are, for the most part, free of pesticides and other chemicals. Between these big stores and convenience stores like Circle K and OXXO you can find many American brand items and snack foods. Plus you help out the economy when you buy locally. And check out Sam’s Club for a fantastic selection of wines from around the globe – at good prices as well. It saves packing time and is fun to shop in foreign places and see what interesting items they carry.
Once you cross the border and are in Sonoyta, the speed limit runs from 20 kmh (not MPH) to 40 kmh (look at the little dial on your speedometer) and there are sometimes police who sit with their radar guns on. A speeding ticket is about $10 USD and is to be paid at the police station…DO NOT pay the officer even if he offers a receipt. I know it’s easier and isn’t a giant time suckage, but you just make it worse for the rest of us. How? The more people that pay police on the spot, the more they will expect it – or know they can get away with it – so they keep on doing it. And the infractions become more ridiculous. In a perfect world if you are speeding by a hair you won’t be hassled, but if officers know you will throw them a $20 when pulled over then they are sure to nab everyone they can. It only takes a few minutes to slow down and get through these spots so please do it…for the sake of everyone who travels behind you. If you are pulled over insist that you go to the police station to pay the fine. You do not go to the court house to pay any traffic violation and the police station is always open – so know these facts and don’t be duped.
One constant bad spot for radar is on the south end of Sonoyta where the overhead sign is. There is usually a police car or two there with a few policemen with radar guns. The speed limit is 40 kmh and they WILL pull you over and ticket you. Every time! Most people slow down as there always seems to be some organization there collecting money, but they can radar you before you even see them. Last week there were no police cars – just a policeman leaning against the pole with a radar gun. I do not speed through there and saw him, but did not realize he had a radar gun until my cousins came through and said they had been pulled over later that evening. So beware. There are also highway police in black and whites that will ticket you as well. Don’t start or end your trip with an unnecessary ticket.
There is a detour through Sonoyta now that the main bridge is being worked on so this has cause major traffic jams o Highway 2 right by the Circle K. The route is clearly marked and if it gets too backed-up there will be traffic police controlling the traffic as best they can. Instead of going over the main bridge through Sonoyta, you will be rerouted onto Highway 2 and then through the wash – the “back way” as we locals call it. Semi trucks also have to use this route so it’s a tight squeeze if you do not give them enough room so please be considerate of others and obey the traffic cops. On Labor Day Weekend this area may get pretty messy and jacked so, once again, allow time for this delay and relax – you are now just one hour away from paradise!
Other than those delays, you should have no other problems traveling to Rocky Point, Mexico and enjoying a fantastic weekend in the sun. While you’re out and about why not come down the Coastal Highway and take a tour of Laguna Shores Oceanfront Resort and have some lunch or a cool beverage. If you haven’t been in awhile I guarantee you will definitely be surprised at what’s been going on out here. And if you’ve never been, come have a look and perhaps you will decide to become one of our neighbors. It is a great low-density master planned community right on the ocean with its own estuary and plenty of amenities that no other master planned resort in Rocky Point offers. It never hurts to take a look and it’s a nice 10 to2 0 minute drive from downtown Rocky Point. It’s always good to see something new while you’re in town and if you’d like the nickel tour, just ask – the Laguna Shores staff will be happy to show you around. Check out their website at www.lagunashoresresorts.com and visit them on Facebook. “Like” the page and get access to a special “Fish & Stay” package.
Come on down to Rocky Point, Mexico this weekend and enjoy the sunny weather, warm water and the fantastic natives, food and drink. And be careful getting here because we want you to come back! See you this weekend.