Travel planner

Tim Vanderpool

San Carlos is 400 miles south of Tucson. Take Mexico 15 south from Nogales, Sonora; the modern four-lane toll road charges approximately $18 round trip. For information on travel and auto insurance requirements in Mexico, go to and click on "Insurance." Fall daytime temperatures average in the 80s.

To call San Carlos phone numbers from the United States, first dial 011-52-622. A useful website for planning is


Water Sports. Several well-established shops provide tours and gear for kayaking, fishing, and diving. They include Gary's Dive Shop (226-00-49); La Brisa Fishing Charters (226-02-97); Ocean Sports (226-06-96); and the Sonoran Sport Center (226-09-29).

Beaches. Playa los Algodones, open to the public, spreads north from the San Carlos Plaza Hotel.

Golf. Club de Golf Marina San Carlos (226-11-02) offers a championship 18-hole course.


Kiamy's Gift Shop. Handcrafted jewelry and leather goods. Km. 10, Blvd. Beltrones; 226-04-00.

Sagitario. Colorful folk art from across Mexico; exquisite pottery and masks. Carretera San Carlos No. 132; 226-00-90.


Bananas Restaurant-Bar. A popular hangout with fantastic grilled fish. Calle Sol No. 246; 226-06-06.

Charly's Rock. Great ceviche and marlin tacos on a terrace overlooking San Carlos Bay. Km. 9, Blvd. Beltrones; 226-08-88.

Restaurante Rosa's Cantina. A friendly eatery serving mainstream Mexican fare. Don't miss the historic photographs. Aurora No. 297; 226-10-00.

San Carlos Grill. Excellent broiled spiny lobster and shrimp spaghetti in an ebullient atmosphere. Plaza Comercial San Carlos No. 1; 226-05-09.


Best Western Hacienda Tetakawi. Moderately priced but quite nice, and a skip away from the bay. From $54. Km. 10, Carretera A. San Carlos; (800) 528-1234 or

Plaza Las Glorias. Upscale and cheery; in the city center, with rooms overlooking picturesque Marina San Carlos. From $120. Blvd. Gabriel Estrada S/N; (800) 342-2644.

San Carlos Plaza Hotel. This "Gran Turismo" hotel―Sonora's highest ranking―offers deluxe rooms, a vast marbled lobby, and access to the shimmering sands of Playa los Algodones. Special rates from $105. Paseo Mar Bermejo Norte No. 4; (800) 840-1252.

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