Puerto Penasco/Rocky Point Homes for Sale & Real Estate

Listings last updated 02/08/2023
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Overview of the real estate prices in Puerto Penasco/Rocky Point, Sonora, Mexico

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Here are the 20 most popular locations from Mexico for foreign homebuyers:

La Paz , Rocky Point, Puerto Vallarta, Lake Chapala, Valle de Bravo, Campeche, Merida, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Akumal, Tulum, Costa Maya, Cabo San Lucas


Puerto Penasco is located in the state of Sonora in northwestern Mexico. Situated about 60 miles from the United States border, Puerto Penasco is the closest spot for Arizona residents to find a major beach which is why the city is nicknamed “Arizona’s Beach”. Puerto Penasco is also known as Rocky Point. The city is quite large at nearly 3,800 square miles in size although the population remains comparatively small at just under 60,000 residents.

Tourism is a major money-spinner in Puerto Penasco, most importantly the recreational fishing industry. Until the early-1990s, Puerto Penasco was only known for its fishing and camping. As the area became overfished, an alternative industry needed to be found. Inspired by Cancun, Puerto Penasco began to establish itself as a tourist destination by developing hotels, condos, and other amenities to entice foreigners and Mexicans. There are now over 40 hotels and motels in Puerto Penasco. Major colleges in Puerto Penasco include the Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Puerto Penasco (Technological University of Puerto Penasco) as well as a campus for Universidad de Sonora.

Until the 1920’s, Puerto Penasco was nothing more than a small fishing village. Even then, the development was very minimal leaving almost the entire coast free of any residential or commercial development of any kind. In the 1990s, the Mexican government designated some of Puerto Penasco to be used for tourism. There are dozens of hotels now along with restaurant and shops. Condos, at one point, were owned 99% by Americans but after the Great Recession, the number of vacancies increased considerably.

The area of Puerto Penasco is part of the Altar Desert, which is part of the larger Sonora Desert, and is considered the driest and hottest part of the region. Puerto Penasco has an extremely dry climate with summer high temperatures averaging in the 90s. In the winter months of December, January and February, average low temperatures are in the mid-40s. Rain is scarce in Puerto Penasco with the average rainfall under 4 inches.

Real estate is geared toward those looking for a second home or relocating. Puerto Penasco boasts being close to the United States border and offering an ideal location for a vacation property on the water; marketing efforts are often geared toward Arizona residents. There are homes and condos that are very affordable and newly developed neighborhoods are starting to pop up.

Puerto Penasco is an ideal vacation location for foreigners, especially those from Arizona and California. Modern beachfront properties and a friendly population make Puerto Penasco an enticing place to live. It is very common to hear English spoken by the staff almost anywhere, including golf courses, restaurants and retail shops. As a growing tourist destination, Puerto Penasco is becoming a hotspot for both vacationers and residents in Mexico.


Puerto Penasco, Mexico

San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
  • Country: Mexico

  • State: Sonora

  • Nickname: “Arizona’s Beach”, “Rocky Point”

  • Population: 57,340

  • Area:

    Land: 9,774.45 km2


Lifestyle and Culture

Amongst the souvenir shops are many local crafts that showcase the culture of the community. Everything from clay and stone pieces to fine jewelry can be discovered in stores, markets and galleries. Places like Galeria Colibri and Plaza Mision del Bar are well-known spots for purchasing incredible pieces of art made by local craftsman.

Puerto Penasco has many great festivals and events throughout the year. Some of the most popular events include the Festival of Hot Air Balloons, the Taste of Penasco Culinary & Cultural Festival and the Rocky Point Rally.


Entertainment and Tourism

Puerto Penasco is a major tourist destination for folks entering Mexico from Arizona. There are many activities from hiking to water sports. The CET MAR Aquarium is a great place for family fun and hiking into the desert is perfect for the adventurer looking for a unique experience.

Once known as a place for University of Arizona college students to legally drink, Puerto Penasco’s tourism development has also allowed a thriving nightlife to come about. Manny’s Beach Club and J.J.’s Cantina are two of the most popular bars in the city. Within the downtown area are dozens of bars, clubs and restaurants. The City is the largest nightclub in Latin America and there are various spots for folks of all ages looking to party and enjoy a cocktail.

Entertainment and Tourism

Districts & Neighborhoods

There are eight main residential areas in Puerto Penasco including Las Palmas, the Sandy Beach, Old Town and Cholla Bay.

Old Town

Old Town, also referred to as Old Port, is known as the fishing area as well as the center of tourism for Puerto Penasco. Everything from resorts to fishing charters to jet ski rentals are all found in Old Town.


Mirador offers several hotel options and is known for its bustling nightlife. Some of the most popular bars and clubs are found in Mirador and include Manny's Beach Club and Margaritaville. Residents and vacationers will find easy access to the beaches here.


Cholla Bay

Originally a fishing village, Cholla Bay is a few miles south of Old Town and is the location of many homes and condos. Residents find this area quieter than the resort and touristy areas to the north. Most homes here will have great ocean views and it is the choice of expats who are looking for a place to live, not a place to party.

Playa Encanto

Playa Encanto is a newer development located just east of the main area of Puerto Penasco. There are many beautiful new homes and condos available with breathtaking views of the water. Playa Encanto has many affordable rental options and offers newer amenities with the joys of being a little out of the touristy zones of the city.

Real Estate Market

A combination of a slow economy and foreigners not eager to purchase a second home is hurting the housing market in Puerto Penasco a bit. A strong U.S. dollar is making the cost of living in Mexico more affordable but the housing market is slow to grow in Puerto Penasco after the Great Recession.

The cost of living in Puerto Penasco is very affordable especially when compared to other resort towns in Mexico. The prices of rental properties in Puerto Penasco are over 40% lower than in Tijuana and over 65% lower than in Cabo San Lucas.

There are new developments in Puerto Penasco including parts of Playa Encanto which is seeing more residential properties being constructed. Other areas have increased investments with large housing communities in the works. These places are not only affordable but they offer incredible views of the water.

The most likely buyers of properties are trending toward those seeking vacation properties or looking to relocate. The make-up is a solid mix of local fishermen and expats. Because it is very slowly growing, Puerto Penasco is still considered a fishing village although its modern amenities, luxury homes, condos and resorts are indicating that it is trending away from its roots.

For those non-Mexican citizens interested in purchasing real estate, they must go through a Mexican Bank Trust also known as a Fideicomiso. A tourist visa is required if foreigners wish to own property.

  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre: Not available
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre: Not available
Home Style Average Rent Price
1-bedroom apartment in City Centre $167.40
1-bedroom apartment Outside of Centre $90.45
3-bedroom apartment in City Centre $244.34
3-bedroom apartment Outside of Centre $167.40

Source: www.numbeo.com (May 2017)



In Puerto Penasco, the Universidad de Sonora, in coordination with the University of Arizona, has their Scientific and Technological Research Center and Center for Desert Studies located here. The CET MAR Aquarium is also considered a major research center which allows the public to come in and observe the various species of marine life.

The public school system in Mexico is free for Mexican citizens and is managed by the Secretariat of Public Instruction. For foreigners with children attending school there is a cost and many choose to enroll them in private and international schools. Unlike most public schools in the United States there is no heat or air conditioning and students are required to purchase and wear uniforms regardless of the family income.

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