How did it come to be called Rocky Point? According to our local historian, Guillermo Munro, in his excellent book A Brief History of Puerto Peñasco, it was called Rocky Point before it was ever called Puerto Peñasco! In fact, he says it received the name Rocky Point in 1826 by a retired English naval officer, and it was known that way on navigational charts until 1936. At that time General Lazoro Cadenas visited and enquired what the name meant. He was told, Punto Penasco, From that time it was called Puerto Punta Peñasco, and finally that became Puerto Peñasco.
Puerto Peñasco is a small fishing village in Northern Mexico off the Sea of Cortez famous for its shrimp. Puerto Peñasco became a city in 1952. Victor Estrella Bustamante, a fisherman and one of the town’s founders, was named the city’s first mayor.
By 1965 the surge in shrimp prices and the influx of fishermen from other parts of Mexico helped make Puerto Peñasco the hub of fishing activity in Mexico.
Puerto Peñasco had always had some loyal visitors from the States who came to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of this fishing village not far from their homes, and there were, by then, a handful of non-Mexican business owners who gravitated here in search of a better lifestyle.
By 1988 the number of annual visitors had surpassed 240,000 and hotels, RV parks, began to dot the landscape along with other businesses catering to tourism. As construction began to boom, labor was imported from other parts of the country, bringing even more growth, albeit to a different segment of the community.
As was to be expected, many of those who discovered Peñasco decided to move here permanently, driving up the need for more housing and services. In recent years the popularity of the Mayan Palace and a visit by then-President Vicente Fox only served to reinforce the importance of the city for Mexico and Sonora.
Puerto Peñasco continues to be a popular destination for visitors from Arizona and elsewhere in the US, with a strong presence from Canadians escaping the snow and cold.