Welcome to San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico, home of world class scenery and adventure.

San Carlos is a magical place. Founded almost 50 years ago, it is nestled between the beautifully rugged Sonoran Mountains and the Sea of Cortez. National Geographic recently described our coastline as one of the ten most beautiful in the world. Here you can experience some of the best that Mexico has to offer.

Part of what makes San Carlos so special is that you immediately feel at home here. It is a small town right on the coast, without the hustle and bustle of other resort towns.  Many Americans and Canadians make this their home, either in winter or year round. We have beautiful beaches and 2 world class marinas.

Sailing, sportfishing, scuba diving, kiteboarding and kayaking are year round activities. Jacques Cousteau called the Sea of Cortez  the "world's aquarium" as it has some of the most diverse marine life in the world.

We have resident pods of dolphins that can be seen in the bay most mornings or in the evening on one of the many Sunset Cruises. There are pods of Orcas in the sea, too. Encountering them is an amazing experience.This video was taken in November of 2011.

Orca sighting in San Carlos

On the Island of San Pedro you can snorkel or scuba dive with Sea Lions. In the fall you can dive to see hammerhead sharks. For the past 2 summers we have had whale sharks, also.

There are many, many land adventures to enjoy, too. Hiking, golf, quading and biking along with many cultural and musical events make this a paradise. 

Getting here is an easy days drive south from Phoenix or Tucson along a safe, 4 lane highway. There are direct flights daily into Guaymas, only 15 miles away. From Nogales to south of Guaymas is what's called the "Hassle Free Zone"  Which means you don't have to register your car and pay a deposit. This makes traveling in this part of Mexico very fun and enjoyable. You have to stop at "Click 21" the customs and visa crossing that is 21 kilometers south of the border in Nogales. Here you obtain your tourist visa if you are staying more than 3 days. You can get a visa for up to 180 days.

We are at about the same Latitude as south Florida, so our winter temperatures are much warmer than most parts of Arizona, especially at night. Tired of icy mornings? Do you want to sunbathe BEFORE noon? It's only 5 hours from Tucson. 70-80 degree days and 50-60 degree nights.

Come and enjoy the magic of San Carlos!


 In the News

Sonora is Safe

Ist you need to realize that San Carlos is a small town in the rural state of Sonora. Anywhere in the world, rural areas are safer than big cities. Lots of us, Mexicans and ex-pats, live, work and play here, and wouldn't choose to be anywhere else. Here is an excerpt from a news article by Linda Ellerbee.

"You would have to be living on another planet to avoid hearing how dangerous Mexico has become, and, yes, it’s true drug wars have escalated violence in Mexico....I’m a journalist who lives in New York City, but has spent considerable time in Mexico, specifically Puerto Vallarta. I’m in Vallarta now. And despite what I’m getting from the U.S. media, the 24-hour news networks in particular, I feel as safe here as I do at home in New York, possibly safer. Do bad things happen here? Of course they do. Bad things happen everywhere, but the murder rate here is much lower than, say, New Orleans" (or Washington, DC, Phoenix, or LA) "Another thing. The U.S. media tend to lump all of Mexico into one big bad bowl. Talking about drug violence in Mexico without naming a state or city where this is taking place is rather like looking at the horror of Katrina and saying, “Damn. Did you know the U.S. is under water? The recent rise in violence in Mexico has mostly occurred in a few states, and especially along the border. It is real, but it does not describe an entire country. (An estimated 90 percent of Mexico's murders are specifically drug-related — not U.S.-style mall shootings, schoolyard massacres or road rage — and concentrated in five of its 31 states, leaving the rest of the country freer of crime than most of the United States)

"I go where I want (which does not happen to include bars where prostitution and drugs are the basic products), and take no more precautions than I would at home in New York; which is to say I don’t wave money around, I don’t act the Ugly American, I do keep my eyes open, I’m aware of my surroundings, and I try not to behave like a fool.......Mexico is a beautiful country, a special place. The climate varies, but is plentifully mild, the culture is ancient and revered, the young are loved unconditionally, the old are respected.......And then there are the people. Generalization is risky, but— in general — Mexicans are warm, friendly, generous and welcoming. If you smile at them, they smile back. If you greet a passing stranger on the street, they greet you back. If you try to speak even a little Spanish, they tend to treat you as though you were fluent..............So come on down and get to know your southern neighbors. I thinkyou’ll like it here. Especially the people." Read the complete story and more

Weekly News and Events

Access our weekly online newsletter at What's up San Carlos

Get the latest information on upcoming events,  weekly daily happenings, restaurant specials, classifieds and much more. You can also subscribe to receive the newsletter directly or access archival issues. 

  • Dive Report 2.14.12, excerpted from "What's Up San Carlos" It’s a beautiful morning and we’re on our way to San Pedro Island. Undoubtedly the primary reason people visit this location is to interact with the playful colonies ...
    Posted Feb 27, 2012, 12:32 PM by Becky Moors
  • Dive Report 2.6.12 excerpted from "What's Up San Carlos The winter solstice has come and gone and spring is around the corner. Hallelujah, that means longer days and warmer temperatures above and below the surface. While planning for the ...
    Posted Feb 27, 2012, 12:30 PM by Becky Moors
  • Dive Report from "What's Up San Carlos" 1.31.12 Okay, maybe it can be said that the area lacks consistency. Certainly many species seem to come and go. Still many are encountered by divers throughout the year like Octopus ...
    Posted Feb 27, 2012, 12:27 PM by Becky Moors

  • Posted Feb 27, 2012, 12:24 PM by Becky Moors
  • Dive Report 1.11.12 from What's Up San Carlos Contrary to what some believe San Carlos is surrounded by an amazingly large number of dive sites. Names like La Cueva and Window Rock bring to mind images of deep ...
    Posted Feb 27, 2012, 12:26 PM by Becky Moors
  • Dive report Jan, 17th 2012 from What's Up San Carlos Its mid morning as Captain Ernesto maneuvers the Ocean Spirit into Zorro’s Cove which takes its name from the 1998 movie, “Mask of Zorro”.  Scenes filmed here include the ...
    Posted Jan 17, 2012, 5:16 PM by Becky Moors
  • Dive report 12.19.11 from What's Up San Carlos It’s Saturday morning and we’re anchored over the reef at San Antonio Point. This is one of our favorite local sites. The topography is unique and it always ...
    Posted Jan 17, 2012, 5:15 PM by Becky Moors
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