When I tell people about this little gem in Mexico, nobody seems to have heard of it. But the more I share, the more they want to hear and before long they are planning a visit. This charming little fishing village on the Sea of Cortez really does have it all!
Welcome to San Carlos, Sonora where the desert meets the sea!
Perhaps what I love the most about San Carlos is what it doesn’t have… no skyscrapers, no peddlers on the beach and no crazy traffic congestion. You see, San Carlos is not a Mexican tourist hot spot.
But it is a retirement destination. For decades many Americans and Canadians have been seeking their dream retirement in San Carlos. In fact, 75% of the people living there are foreigners.
But don’t worry, not everyone is a senior and there is plenty for the younger crowd to do. Like most sunny, Mexican beach destinations, activities abound from kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, kite surfing, fishing, golf, hiking and even ATV riding on the beach.
So what else makes San Carlos so popular? Well for starters, you can conveniently drive there. It is only a four-hour drive south of the Arizona border on a double lane, safe highway with just a few potholes.
For accommodation in San Carlos you will find a popular RV Park, moderate or fancy hotels, plus vacation rental properties to choose from.
There are plenty of excellent restaurants with flavors to please every palate and there are two large grocery stores if you prefer to cook.
The weather of San Carlos is of course a huge draw. Winters are dry with temperatures usually reaching the mid to high 70’s. Despite being a desert, the ocean brings some humidity in the summer and temperatures hit the 90’s and higher. With the warmer, humid weather comes some rain but usually late in the day or at night.
The landmark for this town of 4500 people is the Tetakawi Mountain majestically towering over the large marina. It provides the backdrop for many a gorgeous sunset.
In fact, grab your camera and head out to a trendy new restaurant on the beach called Sunset Grill. The floor is sand and the walls are glass so you won’t miss the Kodak moment when the sun goes down. Plus the food, décor and atmosphere are unbeatable!
Shopping you ask? Well there are plenty of little stores in San Carlos but if you want the big box names you will find WalMart, Sam’s Club and Home Depot in Guaymus just 15 minutes away.
So what does a typical day look like in San Carlos? Well the best morning coffee can be found at Baracudda Bob’s in the Marina Complex before you head out on a fishing charter. Then it’s off to the new gym in town for your morning work out with a friend. Next, spend some time at the beach enjoying a stroll or your favorite water sport. Later hang out with friends for dinner while watching sports on the big screen TV at Off The Edge Restaurant & Pub.
If this doesn’t appeal to you, trust me some variation of it will. San Carlos offers plenty of fun in the sun, adventure and even relaxing activities. At San Francisco beach many enjoy watching the pods of dolphins pass by close to shore. It is also a great beach to find shells and colorful, smooth rocks.
Best of all, you will meet plenty of kindred spirits in San Carlos. It’s a small, charming Mexican town where you will quickly make new friends. Hang out at La Palapa Griego Restaurant on the beach listening to Mark Mulligan (Mexico’s version of Jimmy Buffet) perform while sipping beer and eating fresh guacamole and chips.
It doesn’t get much better than that!
Now I know what you are about to do… you’re going to ask Uncle Google all about San Carlos, Sonora Mexico right? Go for it. He can help you plan your trip.