The closest coastal city to Arizona, Puerto Peñasco is currently a boom destination and Playa Arenosa, or Sandy Beach, is its most popular stretch of shoreline. This lengthy expanse of powdery golden sand backs onto the city’s major all-inclusive resorts. The public beach is perfect for families, offering ample space for volleyball or sandcastles. As it faces the Sea of Cortez – memorably called the “the world’s aquarium,” by the explorer Jacques Cousteau – the beach is also a favorite with snorkelers and scuba divers keen to catch a glimpse of some of the fascinating marine life in the area.
The closest beach to the center of Puerto Peñasco, Playa Bonita stretches out west until it meets Sandy Beach. The location and convenience of the beach is unmatched by any other in the area. Umbrellas are available to rent and excellent food and ice cold beers are on offer throughout the day. Much like the neighboring Sandy Beach, Playa Bonita has a very family-friendly vibe, but is big enough to ensure that it rarely becomes crowded.
This six-mile expanse of unblemished golden beach boasts sandy dunes and gently lapping waters. A favorite for surf fishing and shell collecting, the beach fronts a broad range of hotels and holiday homes. The lengthy and wide corridor of sand means there is plenty of space for everyone – from families to runners and yoga enthusiasts. Take care when venturing out into the shallows, stingrays frequently gather in the sands, particularly in the months between March and May.
Jutting out into the Sea of Cortez, La Cholla Bay is a rocky section of land that offers little in the way of sandy beaches. Tuscon Beach is the softest part of the enclave, but there are better spots for sandcastles and sunbathing. What the beach does offer is spectacular marine life: when the tide is out it exposes sections of the huge 15-mile (24-kilometer) reef submerged in front of the bay. If you enjoy exploring tide pools this is the spot for you, the shallow water pools are bursting with local marine life. Long a favorite with the expat community, Tuscon Beach backs onto a number of excellent bars and restaurants.
El Mirador Beach
This popular stretch has a more commercial feel than the other beaches on this list. During the spring break period that runs from mid-February into April, the location is transformed into a thriving party hub. Located in front of nightlife hotspots such as Elixir Bar Lounge and Baja Cantina, the beach itself is made up of both rocky and sandy sections.