I recently had a conversation with a guy I met while vacationing up in the mountains of central Arizona, about Rocky Point. It seems that this guy was going to visit our fair city for the first time and wanted to know “everything” about it. When the topic of where to stay came around, I told him that there were so many to choose from that he would simply need to start making inquiries. Well, he did. The next time we met, he proudly announced that he was going to be staying at Las Palmas…or maybe it was Las Palomas…he wasn’t sure since his wife had made the reservations. In any case, he said, the names were pretty cool, eh?

That got me thinking…something I rarely do, so bear with me…a lot of touristas coming to Peñasco stay at the resorts, and know them by name, but do they know what the names mean when translated? It seems that the Spanish inflections and words are cool when you say them, but a little insight into just what they translate to might be educational, no?

For example, the new “big dog” in town is called “Encantame.” When you translate that word, it can mean “charm me,”, “enchant me,” or the more descriptive, “lure me.” All say the same thing, but in Español it sounds ‘a bit more,’ doesn’t it?

The recently popular word “Laguna” is pretty easy to translate. It means “lagoon,” and the Sonoran Sun, Sky, Sea and Spa resorts are pretty self-explanatory, as is The Mayan Palace and the Grand Mayan.

Everybody knows about Las Conchas (the shells), Playa’s (means ‘beaches’) Encanto (Charm or charming), Dorada (golden) and Miramar (view of the sea). Speaking of the sea, the Hotel Viña Del Mar on the Malecon (how many of you know that Malecon translates to ‘pier’) translates as “the vineyard of the sea.” Huh? Well, it sounds cool anyway, and having stayed there myself many years ago while building my first house on the beach, I can say it is a nice place to hang out.

Moving along we have the resorts on Sandy Beach. Esmerelda translates as “Emerald,” hence the green hues used in decorating there…no mystery. Las Palmas (the palms, a no brainer if you are thinking like a local) or Las Palomas which can mean either the “Doves,” or the “pigeons,” you decide…

Then you have Puerta Privada, that ‘private’ no rental high rise. That can mean either “private door” or “private gate,” again, your choice, but it sounds much cooler in Spanish!

There are several new golf resorts and communities coming on line north of Choya Bay (Choya is a take-off on CHOLLA, which is a nasty cactus that was ubiquitous in the area long ago, and BAY is…um…a bay, or bahia in Spanish.) So, Choya Bay in Español would be Bahia Cholla? I guess that’s right…or maybe not. Anyway, there are three new communities that are being developed north of town.

Islas del Mar (which translates as “Islands of the Sea,”) which makes sense if you have ever visited them. There are a number of islands that have been created around the golf course and restaurants. Chef Luca’s restaurant at Islas del Mar is a great place to enjoy breakfast or brunch and take in the stunning beauty of these man-made islands.

Of course, Laguna Shores, as previously mentioned, simply means “the shores of the lagoon.” What lagoon, you may well, ask? Well, take a ride out there and see for yourself. It has a lot to do with the tidal exchanges here in the northern reaches of the Sea of Cortez.

The newest development north of town is called Costa Divina. Three guesses! The “Divine Coast!” Well, I don’t know how “divine” it is in relation to other coastlines hereabouts, but, okay, Costa Divina it is.

Another newer hotel/resort has finally been opened between Playa Encanto and Playa Dorada. It is called “Playa Azul” (the blue beach). No, the beach is not blue. The sand is still the same color as the rest of Peñasco’s beaches, but the name sounds sooo cool, doesn’t it?

There are couple of other residential towers with cool names out near Playa Miramar; Encanto Tower (charming tower?) and Luna Blanca tower (White moon tower).

So, if you are new to town, you might want to check out these places, among many others, just so you can ‘name drop” and sound cool when you are back stateside at that cocktail party or back yard barbecue. After all, “I stayed at Las Palomas” sounds so much cooler than, “I stayed at The Pigeons,” doesn’t it? Cheers!