Just got back yesterday from Guaymas, Sonora. We went down for 5 days including travel. Several years ago we stayed in San Carlos, but this time chose to stay in Guaymas itself. The RV park was at Hotel Playa De Cortes, an old railroad hotel that still serves its purpose.
I have now mastered the art of getting down and back and only needing to pay a single toll right just past the Marisposa port of entry. I also did not break anything on this trip
(minus a vent cover that blew off, but I consider that unrelated). The state of Sonoram in the last several years, set up a USA hassle free zone. They took out some of the speed bumps and the trip was a lot faster through some of the populated areas than in times past. Drive from Tucson to Guaymas was 7 hours. Drive back was longer due to a 3 hour wait getting through the border, getting inspected, and getting on our way.
Nothing but Canadians down there, no other Americans that we ran into and no airstreams either
. But one of the canuks did say that one had been through a few days before us
The park had 30amp, good water, and water pressure. The sewer connections were a bit high off the ground so I could not get a good drain. This was not true of all spots but was for the one I chose. The hotel bar/restaurant had very good food and was reasonably priced. We had dinner there and drinks several times
. The pool was large but the water was cloudy. This hotel primarily caters to Mexicans on vacation, it is family oriented so as such there were many families and not so many teenagers/young adults getting wild. That is why we chose this place over a park in San Carlos as we had in the past. San Carlos is just a gigantic wild party at least during Easter. The hotel's beach was mediocre in my opinion. The atmosphere in general was quaint and reminiscent of times past. Tennis court was rough and I would give it a 2 on a scale of 1-10. We played but there was no center strap, the concrete was laid in small squares, surface was just terrible, and the lights were not functional. Price for the park was about $20 per night.
We went to the public beach very near the hotel, a mile at most and visible from the hotel. We were definitiely the foreign folk standing out in the crowd, but all were friendly. Due to the weekend being a major vacation weekend for Mexico, the Navy had on-site support, the local police were assisting with parking, and there was a harbor boat keeping the kids from getting too far from shore. Beach scale 1-5, I'd give it a 3 due to the junk in the sand, crowd, and facilites. Both the wife and I have very nice sun burns to show for the experience.
The downtown market is fare but not spectacular. We bought clothes and had fruit drinks. Pass on Mexican ice cream, they just don't get the fact that it needs to be made with milk, I don't know what they use, but it is not ice cream that you would be used to. Guaymas just spent millions redoing their port. The new waterfront is very nice and many families were out enjoying the evening by flying kites, watching the sunset, or taking a walk. The Soriana was the best place for food, but not tortillas. The best tortillas come from any other small tortilla shop.
I had our truck washed and detailed on the inside and parked in covered parking for $10. Every nook and cranny was cleaned thoroughly and the chrome was spotless. Worth every penny.
We left at 8am on Monday and rolled into our driveway in Tucson at 8pm that evening. We stopped to prepare meals twice and also to get fuel and on the way back I drove slower. Otherwise I think we could have done it exatly the same as down but with the 3 hours addition for border crossing.
We did have our trailer searched by the Army at the usual checkpoint just North of Hermosillo on the way back. All previous trips they had simple waved us through. It was not much of a search, a very young private who poked around here and there and was very respectful of what he was doing but was not very methodical and we were on our way in 5 minutes. US customs did not search at all, just went through the fridge with us and through away our US potatos and a 0.5 lb bag of cooked deli ham
that was perfectly fine and did I say cooked? Still not as much thrown away as last time, we got smarter and had the papaya cut up, that makes it OK, and my wife made us dinner in the rig while we waited in traffic at the border and in the process cooked all the meat in the fridge which made it OK also.
We talked with a lady from Chihuahua, with a daughter from Juarez, as well as the granddaughter all there on vacation. Discussed the current issues in Mexico with drug wars. Apparently, if you go looking for trouble you will find it along the border. In-land, things are fine with the usual travel precautions of being a foreigner in a much poorer country. We had not problems, people were glad to see us, and we had a great time as usual.