Mexico’s Coastal Highway 003 Shaves Hours off Travel
Laguna Shores Resort sits right off of the Coastal Highway nestled next to the Sea of Cortez. The highway has been completed from Rocky Point to San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico which shaves hours off of travel time for those coming to Rocky Point from California.
It used to take Southern Californians eight or more hours to get to Rocky Point via Highway 8 or Mexico’s not-so-safe Highway 2, but with the completion of the Coastal Highway, everyone can now enjoy a nice safe drive on a new highway.
Californians traveling to Rocky Point can now take their usual route of U.S. Hwy. 8 and exit at Yuma to get to the U.S./Mexico border crossing at San Luis. You will want to take this route instead of going all the way to Gila Bend and then shooting down Arizona Hwy. 85. From Yuma, Hwy. 95 takes you all the way to the border crossing at San Luis, which is easy to get through – pick a lane, wait for the car ahead and you’ll get the green light (go) or the red light (inspection). Even their inspections are a breeze. They simply pull you off to the left and ask a few questions then on your way you go.
Getting through San Luis may be tricky the first time, but after that it’s a breeze. After you cross through the border you will continue straight (you cannot make a left hand turn) for 2 blocks. At the 2nd or 3rd block you will make a left turn – follow the traffic and you’ll be fine. It doesn’t matter if you miss the first left turn you can make, just go up another block. After you have made your left hand turn you will then go “back” 2 or 3 blocks (however many you came up) to the main boulevard through San Luis, which is “Obregon”. There is a sign, a couple blocks up, after you cross the border that points you to Caborca and Hwy. 2 – that is where you want to be. Once you get back to the main blvd. through San Luis you will follow it until you see the bridge. You will also see a sign that says “Puerto Peñasco” and will want to be in your far right hand lane. The lane will take you off to the right beside the bottom of the bridge. After you stop at the stop sign you will then make a right hand turn and continue on that highway following all the signs to El Golfo de Santa Clara.
Once you make the right hand turn under the bridge you will technically now be on the Coastal Highway, though not much scenery until you get to El Golfo de Santa Clara. Soon after you make your turn you will have to stop at a toll booth and pay $94 MN (pesos) for a passenger vehicle. Right after you pass the toll booth, on your right, there is a parking and rest area with a restroom…it’s the only one unless you drive into El Golfo de Santa Clara. After the toll booth you will continue on straight down the highway. It is a good road with no pot holes and plenty of space to pass and pull over.
After the railroad tracks you will come to a glorieta (traffic circle) and it is clearly marked which way you go to get to El Golfo. You will go halfway around the circle. Just follow the signs – you can clearly see where you are going and where you came from. Once you have gone around the glorieta you will still be on the Coastal Highway. Not far ahead of you there is a permanent military stop. They (usually) do not stop traffic coming into El Golfo, but you will need to slow way down. Semi trucks that are being inspected will be stopped in the left hand and there are men all around the area so proceed slowly and just watch for anyone hopping out of their cab. A military officer will be in the middle of the road directing you to pull over to the right IF they are stopping traffic coming in. This usually doesn’t happen, but just be aware that it can.
Once you have passed the military installment your next turn will be at El Golfo de Santa Clara. The turn is clearly marked. You will make a left hand turn. If you pass arches on your right or come across a Pemex (gas) station then you have gone too far. The turn is somewhat hard to see at night if you are not familiar with where it is. If you want to proceed straight and go into the beach town of El Golfo de Santa Clara they have a couple good restaurants, motels and a little bit of shopping. El Delfin has great food at very reasonable prices as does the Las Conchas Restaurant at the Las Conchas Motel on the beach. Down the road a bit is El Capitan, which is an open air bar with cold beer and good shrimp. There is usually a flea market type swapmeet in the middle of town and some small shops on the side streets for souvenir tee-shirts. There is an OXXO if you want a convenience store as well as a Pemex station if you need gas. If you go into El Golfo – it’s a tiny town – then as you come out you will make a right turn to get on the Coastal Highway that puts you straight into Puerto Peñasco.
This is the scenic part of the Coastal Highway. Beautiful views of the Sea of Cortez as well as deep canyons. The highway is a bit windy at first so beware of fast cars coming down the hill. The hwy. also has a problem with sand drifts so watch for sand piled against the guard rails and on the highway. Other than that it is a fantastic highway with lots of passing room and great scenery. There are distance signs all the way to Peñasco so you will know how far you have to go. It takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to get from El Golfo de Santa Clara to Rocky Point depending on how fast you drive. The speed limit is 90 kmh and there are police that patrol the highway (a rarity, but you don’t want to get a ticket). You know you are getting close to Rocky Point when you come to Laguna Shores Oceanfront Resort – you will see the big arches on your right. It’s a great development with a restaurant so if you’re in the mood for something to eat or a cold beverage, or just a look around, pull up to the arches and tell the security guard what you wish to do. Most likely you will be escorted in and shown where to go.
A little past Laguna Shores is a stop sign (a 2-way stop so be careful). To your right is Laguna del Mar, which has a beautiful Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course open to the public. To your left you will be able to get to the Mayan Palace and that highway will take you on to places like Playa Miramar and Playa San Jorge. The next big town will be Caborca. There are also developments and small towns along the way – a scenic drive, but a terrible highway. If you continue straight on the Coastal Highway it will lead you to Sandy Beach and the high-rise condominium developments. This part of the highway is also very windy so beware of cars coming at you too fast. This highway is just a short jog until you come to another glorieta straight ahead and a Pemex station to your right. Go halfway around the glorieta and continue on to Sandy Beach.
The Coastal Highway makes it easier, safer and quicker for Californians to get to Rocky Point. The Sea of Cortez is great for fishing, swimming, diving and snorkeling as well as a number of other activities. The town is full of shopping, restaurants, activities and attractions. San Diego’s weather, atmosphere and attractions are great, but so are Rocky Point’s with the best sunsets around, cheap shrimp and seafood, warm ocean water and fantastic resorts all along the beach at much less than you would pay in San Diego or any other beach town in California. Come to Rocky Point and enjoy all it has to offer.