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The Guaymas Port is Mexico's busiest port of call and is always filled with the hustle and bustle of both tourists and locals alike. Guaymas port of call was declared a commercial port in 1814 and thereafter became a center of trade. The port has plenty of history, particularly dating back to 1847 during the Mexican-American War. Now the fastest-growing seaport in Mexico, the Port of Guaymas is capitalizing on its newfound attention with plans for a massive expansion.
The port is located in Sonora, Mexico, which generally stays hot and dry all year around. Temperatures regularly hover in the 90s during late July and August. This beautiful harbor, combined with the clear waters of the Sea of Cortez and the tall, rugged mountains just inland combined give this area a unique feeling very similar to the eastern flank of Baja, California.
The Mexican port town of Guaymas, on the east side of the Gulf of California and 950 mi/1,530 km northwest of Mexico City, is rapidly becoming a destination in itself, although it started on its way to tourism fame as a place to catch the ferry to Santa Rosalia, Baja California. (Check times of ferry sailings locally, as they change with the tides.)
Where You are Dock
Guaymas has become one of Mexico’s newest cruise ship ports. In 2008 a new port was built, with the aim of boosting tourism. Now providing the amenities to support large cruise ships, The commercial building cruise terminal in a federal area of 703 square feet total; which includes at the first level consists of 16 shops in an area of 333 square meters, and  a second level that consists of a restaurant-bar with kitchen and bathrooms 370 square meters with two rest areas.
Understanding Guaymas is simple. There are 2 main roads -- The highway and Serdan. Streets and Avenues are either north or south and are numbered. Rent a car or use the city wide bus system which costs 7 pesos per trip (less than 50 cents). Lots of taxis available at a reasonable cost and many of the drivers speak some english. Trips to San Carlos (~10 km away) cost 12 pesos per trip, leaving from the central market, one block south of Serdan.
Things to Do and See
The resort town of San Carlos, which is an extension of Guaymas cruise port, is a very popular resort town with a personality of its own. The town is a long-time laid back favorite of professional golfers, anglers and the ever present time-share crowd. There are also a number of wealthy Mexican families that call the resort town home. There are several good hotels, two marinas and an 18-hole golf course.
Along the coast there exists 650 species of fish, including the famous marlin and sailfish that keep the local charter companies busy. If you have ever dreamed of interacting with dolphins, Delfinario Sonora is the place to have that once in a lifetime experience. The aquarium is located between San Carlos and Bahia Bacochibampo and promises to be an unforgettable experience for adults and kids alike.
The Guaymas San Carlos region offers a number of beautiful landscapes due to its excellent location, where the sea, desert and mountains come together to create a spectacular backdrop, perfect for a wonderful vacation.
The diversity of the ecosystem that can be found in the coastal area of the state of Sonora lends itself to a number of fun aquatic activities. Swim in the ocean of these beautifully unique beaches. Fill your sights with the amazing view of the desert fusing with the mountains. Do a little adventure tourism or visit historic sites in Guaymas. There is a little bit of everything.
Whale Watching
Attractions in Guaymas San CarlosThe Sea of Cortez is famous for its whale watching, due to its being a great feeding ground for these mammals, with the abundance of plankton and small fish that inhabit it. With a little bit of luck, you might get to see some of the many species of whales that exist in the world, whether you are out fishing, sailing down the Guaymas coastline or on an excursion in search of these animals. During the winter and spring, there are lots of opportunities to go whale watching so take advantage.
Dolphinarium of Sonora
Located between San Carlos and Guaymas, this modern interactive dolphinarium was inaugurated in 2006 with two goals in mind: to offer a water show and to provide the region a rehabilitation and therapy center for children with neurological problems.
The dolphinarium offers educational activities, where you can study the anatomy of dolphins, sea lions and other sea creatures. Dolphins are used for the rehabilitation section of therapy for people with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other disabilities
The Aquarium of the World
The famous oceanographer, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, called the Sea of Cortez "the aquarium of the world." This body of water is filled with a surprising variety of biological diversity, the bulk of which is native to the area. It is a natural laboratory for scientists and an incredible place for deep sea divers and fishermen. This sea is home to about 40% of all sea mammal species in the world, as well as 900 species of fish, and is the place with the largest variety of whales and dolphins in the world.
Diving in the Guaymas San Carlos area is phenomenal. Adding to the previously mentioned attractions, you can also find an area that has many underwater caves and canyons, as well as two artificial reefs (tuna barges) only 30 minutes away from the north of San Carlos. One of the best places to go diving is off the Island of San Pedro Nolasco.
Estero El Soldado
The coast of Sonora is lined with a number of marshes, estuaries and swamps. Great examples are the fascinating marshes of El Soldado, located between Guaymas and San Carlos. It is a beautiful coastal lagoon and teeming with life. Some species that consider this area home are the blue heron, sea swallows, crabs, mullets and oysters. You can visit the marshes on foot, by bicycle, in a motorless boat or even on a tour
Mirador Escenico
This is a lookout point that is located on the San Carlos Hill. It is a typical place where tourists go to enjoy one of the best panoramic views of the Guaymas San Carlos coastline. Admire the Sea of Cortez from this point.
Other Recreational Activities
Apart from the excellent diving areas, there are also a number of places to go snorkeling, such as the many islands, caves and rocky areas. The boat rides, sailing, kayaking and other such activities are popular in this beautiful region of contrasting landscapes. Don't miss out on a trip across the tranquil waters of one of the most exotic bodies of water on the planet: the Sea of Cortez.
Horseback riding on the beach is an activity that has been gaining in popularity among visitors. There are also some tour operators that offer horseback rides. For the sports enthusiast, there is biking, hiking and rock climbing, all of which can be done in the numerous valleys and canyons that are nearby, like the beautiful Canyon of Nacapule and the Tetakawi Hill, representative landmark of San Carlos.
For the golfer, San Carlos has a golf course with attractive views of the surrounding landscapes.
Since 1960, the area is famous for the abundance of fish of all sizes. In the Sea of Cortez, you can three types of marlin (blue, black and striped) as well as sail fish (very similar in appearance to a marlin, though smaller, and is common in the area). Usually, anglers who catch these fish are sports fishermen and normally let them loose afterwards. If you prefer to eat your catch, there are bonitos, mackrels, yellow fin tuna, wahoos and mahi mahi.
San Carlos offers three important sports fishing tournaments every year: the San Carlos Labor Day Invitational Fishing Tournament, the International Billfish Tournament and the Ladies International Fishing Tournament.
Of the cities of Guaymas and San Carlos, the latter is better known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the state of Sonora. With desert vegetation, the Sea of Cortez and the fine, golden sand of San Carlos, you'll find a spectacular view of an amazing landscape.
Playa de los Algodones (named for its sand dunes that look like puffs of cotton) is a place that is frequented more its warm waters. It is great for any water sport. The most frequented beach in the region is Playa San Francisco, with calm waves, located between Guaymas and San Carlos. Playa Piedras Pintas is another attractive beach that is located away from the crowds and is excellent for snorkeling, camping or just working on your tan.
Places of Interest in Guaymas
The urban center of Guaymas has attractive places of interest for the traveler in search of culture and history in Mexico. The majority of the historic buildings date back to the 19th century. Among these different buildings, you can find the Templo de San Fernando (Temple of San Fernando), the most important in this port city, dedicated to a Spanish king and which took a long time to construct. The Banco de Sonora (Bank of Sonora) is another urban symbol of great architectural beauty of neoclassic style. The Palacio Municipal (Municipal Palace) is a small yet beautiful edifice that was built from stone and dates back to 1899. The Antigua Carcel de Guaymas (the Old Prison of Guaymas) still has its original gangways, main patios and a tower. Made out of basalt and with a medieval architectural influence, this building was opened in 1897. It is presently a governmental office.
Eating Out
Take a day trip to Guaymas, a 20 minute drive from San Carlos. This relatively new port is the second largest on Mexico's Pacific Coast (Manzanillo being the first). Guaymas is best known for being one of the largest shrimp producers in Mexico. So if you love those camarones (shrimp), dining in Guaymas should be a distinct pleasure. Of course, it's not all this portside town has to offer in the way of good eats. Filet of sole, grouper and red snapper are also very fresh and popular regional catches. Among others, the tastes of Italy and Greece can also be found in the area.
El Pargo Rojo, which means red snapper in English, is decked out with fishnets and replicas of the fish you can chose to dine on while there. While the catch of the day varies, the quality of seafood served is top notch. The restaurant also delivers.
La Roca is a classy restaurant that has long been a local favorite. The stone house set against the cliff has separate dining rooms and a balcony that overlooks a fountain and several large trees. Look for excellent seafood dishes and their specialty Queso La Roca (zesty potato slices covered with cheese).
For the finest cuts of Sonoran beef you’ve got to try the Sonora Steak Restaurant. Their specialty Rib-eye is aged for 28 days and will melt in your mouth. They do have some vegetarian dishes as well, such as their Fettuccine with pasillo chilies and garlic.
The hottest new gathering for younger people is the cocktail lounge in the El Bronco Restaurant. There is a well stocked bar at the center of the room and the service is superb.
Nice thing about Guaymas is there are large supermarkets nearly every other block, even a Walmart and Sam's Club. Lining the Plaza de las Armas you will find market stalls filled with numerous handmade crafts from the local artisans who flock there every day but Sunday. Take a peek into the popular El Nicho Curios and you will find a great collection of tiny heirlooms, odd treasures, religious paintings and old jewelry to fit everyone’s taste.
Kiamy’s Gift Shop is like a bazaar with something for everyone. Located on Blvd. Beltrones, Kiamy’s has silver, crafts, leather bags, souvenirs, ceramics and most popular of all, Yaqui Indian masks. El Sarape specializes in sterling silver jewelry from Taxco and pewter crafts from all over Mexico. They are located on Ave. Obregan 161.

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