If you are looking for an interesting day trip south of Puerto Peñasco, you will find a plethora of options.

Within a couple of hours of Rocky Point there are ancient petroglyphs from over 2,000 years ago: Ancient Native Americans lived in a community now called La Proveedora with arguably one of the largest concentrations of petroglyphs anywhere else in the world!

There is also a famous Padre Kino Mission, built in about 1687, (San Ignacio de Caborica). Padre Kino, a Jesuit Priest constructed about 24 Missions in the southwest deserts of Sonora, Mexico, where he converted many Native Americans to Christianity and shared farming skills with thousands of his disciples.

If a more modern cultural experience is to your liking check out the local vineyard, Viñedos la Bonita. This boutique vineyard is an up-and-coming winery that produces quality local wines. They have created an informative presentation, not only introducing their wines, but also showcasing many other delicious local treats. You may be surprised with the local olives, citrus, asparagus, dates, jerky or a personal favorite of mine, the stuffed coyotas. They put forth a presentation of many local flavors that you may not know this area is famous for. For example, you probably know Sonora is famous for their beef, but did you know that about 75% of the asparagus the U.S, consumes comes from Sonora? The area is a diverse and rich agricultural area. When you stop in, be sure to ask them about their very exclusive grape stomping parties during harvest season which is coming up in a few weeks.

Right around the corner from Viñedos la Bonita is a beautiful and tranquil beachfront community called Santo Tomas which currently boasts about 50 homes, a new condo development, and a fantastic restaurant and cantina called Mamachita’s. Mamachita’s Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and has an amazing pollo milanesa dish (kind of like a chicken fried steak). They also serve a pretty phenomenal michelada! The restaurant as well as the area has a wonderful history and is well worth a visit.

In 2001, on my first trip down to Santo Tomas, there were only a few homes built and today there are more privately owned swimming pools than there were houses back then! There are 5 swimming pools within the development either completed or currently under construction, one of which is the community pool for the residents of Estrella Condominiums. And speaking of Estrellas (stars in Spanish) if you’re a stargazer, Santo Tomas has got to be one of the best places to watch the skies once the sun sets – if they aren’t a Dark Sky Sanctuary, they should be!

Santo Tomas offers a variety of rental homes and condos as well as activities such as horseback riding, kayaking, paddleboarding, electric bike rentals and they even offer the occasional wellness retreat. This makes me think that a day trip to Santo Tomas just won’t be sufficient – you will definitely want an overnight getaway, weekend or week stay in a condo or beachfront home. Best of all, the beach is sandy and secluded from the crowds and vendors and there are miles and miles and miles of it to explore.

Santo Tomas is usually very serene and tranquil; however, this year they had a brush with fame and excitement when the Sonora Rally participants raced through the eastern portion of their almost seven kilometers of beachfront property. For those of you who are not familiar with the Sonora Rally, it is an event affiliated with the Dakar Rally, and is one of the most prestigious off-road navigational rallies in the world. Last month lucky Santo Tomas owners and visitors got to witness over 100 bikes, quads, and specialized off-road vehicles practically right in their own backyard…what an honor!

All of these adventures, except the rally of course, can be experienced on your own – there are no special vehicle permits needed to drive to Santo Tomas or its surrounding areas and you can get there in just over an hour from Puerto Peñasco. If you prefer to go on a tour or with a group, Ruben Cordova of Elite Tours and Transportation does an excellent job. He can be found at Elitetoursmx.com. Viñedos la Bonita, the Petroglyphs and the Mission can all be found online and on social media.

Santo Tomas welcomes you to come out and have a look around and enjoy a delicious meal at Mamachitas. They are currently constructing and selling Phase 2 of their Estrella Condominiums, which is a low-density condo development. And in addition to the condos, there are also lots and custom homes for sale so feel free to have a look around whether you come for the day or a few days. For sales and tours you can find their advertisement in this edition of The Rocky Point Times and for rentals check them out online at www.santotomasrentals.com. Come and see what peace of mind is all about.

Vaya con Dios!