This article is from the May 1997 The Mexico File newsletter.
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Guaymas Hotel Recommendation

Guaymas used to be a favorite stop for me on my annual summer drive down the west coast of Mexico. On my first trip in 1970, the film Catch 22 had recently finished shooting on the beaches of San Carlos just north of town and some of the film crew were still hanging around camping on the beach. That beach at that time was as fine and beautiful and perfect as any beach I have ever seen. The incredibly blue ocean and sky, contrasted with the craggy, brown mountains, coupled with the serenity and amazingly abundant sea life, made it an unforgettable site.

But that was then. There is now a Club Med and housing development on that spot. And although the sky is still blue, the last time I snorkeled my old spots, there were few fish. An encampment of fishermen just to the north have been employing their nets for years now and the result is startling. The pages seem to turn way too fast sometimes.

Closer to town, actually the north part of town on Bahía Bacochibampo, lies the sixty-year-old Hotel Playa de Cortés, originally built by the Southern Pacific Railroad. It is a grand old hotel that doesn't get much business these days, although it deserves to. Most of the tourist traffic goes to San Carlos and its many RV parks or newer hotels. These are mainly fishermen and retirees who are comfortable with the Americanized colony that San Carlos has become. The city of Guaymas has not developed into much of a tourist destination in recent years.

But if you are in the area, try the Playa de Cortés. The colonial style, 150-room hotel is located on a serene bay with a nice sandy beach and a large pool area. It has the feel of a bygone era with a fine dining room and a feeling of elegance not often found in this part of Mexico. The green, spacious grounds also include tennis courts and sport fishing boat access. There is also RV parking and hook-ups which includes use of the hotel grounds and pool area.

Although Guaymas is off the tourist track, it is only a couple of hours drive from the colonial town of Alamos (see The Mexico File, June 1996), so you could take in both places in the same trip. From Guaymas you can also take the ferry over to Santa Rosalía on the Baja peninsula. So if you're looking for an area of Mexico you haven't tried before, consider this possibility.

To contact the Hotel Playa de Cortés, call (800) 782-7508 or in Mexico (522) 1-112-24. The rates start at around $50.00 US and rise to $130.00 US for bungalow suites. D.S.