Planning on traveling this summer or next year to a Caribbean island? Maybe you’ve visited your share of island destinations, or they are in the future plans, part of your travel bucket list. With a long list of beautiful available islands and tropical destinations all over the world, the choices are endless. Every place in this world has its own beauty and special secrets and I personally will continue to seek them out, tirelessly.

Just returning from my first trip to the ABC Islands, (3 islands, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, 15-30 miles off the coast of Venezuela) I can’t help but make a comparison between the islands and Puerto Penasco. It actually happens to me quite often on vacation, comparing Rocky Point to other beach towns…the comparison is constantly there and in my opinion Rocky Point never loses.

Here is a quick comparison summary:
Aruba ( the most touristy beach destination of the 3 ABC islands) have many visitors flying in to the airport from all over the world and many Americans from the east coast. What are they searching for? I asked a few of them on this trip…Here are some of the reasons why folks choose the islands:

1. Warm weather
2. Blue water
3. Soft sand
4. Relaxation
5. Swimming pools and pool bars
6. Water sports
7. Fishing
8. Adventure
9. Great food
10. Live music

Ok, let’s look at Rocky Point: normal responses “Warm weather, blue water and soft sand”. Have to give a check on the beautiful blue Sea of Cortez especially when you can see the diamonds shimmering on a nice clear blue endless sky day. Check again for the warm weather and check again for the soft sand.

Another popular response, relaxation and a drink by the pool bar or ocean ….Again, Rocky Point matches up in that category with many hotels and condo properties with gorgeous pool bars and some great restaurants and beach front bars. My new favorite beach front bar is “Wrecked at the Reef.” Staring at the ocean with a cool drink in your hand, doesn’t get much better at any island.

Water sports, fishing and adventure. Well, walk to the water’s edge on Sandy Beach in Rocky Point and you will be offered jet skis, parasailing, ultra light rides and banana boat adventures. Drive down to Old Port and there are fishing charters available on the way and at the marinas even a cruise on a pirate ship is yours for the asking. My friend who caught an 80 pound grouper will talk your ear off about the fishing in Rocky Point. Drive along any road in town and you can’t help but notice ATV rentals, dune buggies and Rhino’s.

Good food and live music. Well, Rocky Point has many great restaurants (the list is endless and constitutes an entirely different article) and live music is happening in many great spots. Just a few on my mind, every weekend at Max’s you can hear great live music while you enjoy filet mignon. Wrecked at the Reef and Chango’s have great live dance bands that will get you moving and out of your seats.

Yes, Rocky Point is not a Caribbean island and there are certainly things you will find on an island that Rocky Point does not have ….for that I am thankful in several ways. The biggest on my list is, MOSQUITO”S!!!! Yes I returned from the islands with numerous souvenirs, many annoying raised red bug bites. Can’t be helped on the tropical islands, (humidity and tropical rain storms breed them)but here in Rocky Point I never get one itching red bug bite . Ok, here is one more thing the islands have that we don’t, Hurricane season and hurricane travel warnings …enough said.

Have to mention one more, another big one..Island prices.. The local beer in Aruba will run you about $5(and that is happy hour prices) Right here in Rocky Point we can get two for that price!! A hamburger will run you about $10 in Aruba or Bonaire and hotel rooms, much older and much more expensive are very costly, plus you pay island tax, departure tax and energy surcharges. Rent an entire condo for about $100 a night in Rocky Point and the latest in granite countertops, beautiful kitchens and flat screens will be available and room for 4.

Oh and did I mention the sunsets? have to add one more comparison, our fabulous Rocky Point Sunsets take my breath away over and over again.…Yes, the color changing red, orange and purple skies over the Sea of Cortez are among the best. In ten days on the island, I never witnessed a sunset like the ones I have witnessed in Puerto Penasco. And don’t forget the night time sky… at night because of the island haze and cloudiness.. No stars … If you haven’t witnessed the stars of Rocky Point walk out on a quiet beach in Los Conchas or Cholla Bay and look up…you will be amazed at the infinite number of stars that cover the nighttime sky.

Yes, Rocky Point is not an island in the Caribbean but it is a wonderful beach town easy to travel to from Phoenix or Tucson. Located on the gorgeous unique Sea of Cortez nicknamed the “world’s aquarium” by Jacque Cousteau the waters hold dolphin shows for your enjoyment. Plus, Rocky Point allows me to bring all the comforts of home with me in my car, (even my dog ). So before you go and spend all the money on the red eye and an 8 hour plane ride, think about what we have here, in Arizona’s backyard. It may just become your new favorite island destination.