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Lifestyle & Leisure Guide



Canadian Guide to recreational property in Northern Mexico’s newest resort community; where the desert meets the sea • Getting there • Where to stay • What to do • Dining • Lifestyle • Investments • Safety


Melanie Watson and David Cunningham

Everything we could wish for

My wife and I live in Edmonton. We are fiftyish, both professionals, no kids. We have travelled a lot over the years and experienced many countries and cultures. By chance about 4 years ago we happened to visit San Carlos. It was a brief visit, but we were intrigued. Spectacular desert and mountain scenery contrasted with the brilliant blue of the Sea of Cortez. There’s a pleasant absence of high rises and chain hotels. The town was Mexican with a substantial dose of American and Canadian Gringos. The Mexicans were friendly enough to excuse our utter lack of Spanish and the Gringos were helpful and welcoming, rather than insular. Our travels have always taken us to the water and boating is a passion. San Carlos had not one, but two excellent, well-protected marinas. On our return to Edmonton we decided maybe we had wandered enough over the years and that San Carlos might be that place we had been looking for. It might also permit us our dream of a waterfront home - there is still value in Mexico, and not only in the restaurants and cantinas. Over the course of the following two years we did our due diligence on the web and visited San Carlos each year for a month at a time, renting a house on the beach at Playa Algodones, just out2/2 side San Carlos. The beach is nothing short of sensational with the sunrise on the left, sunset on the right, and a sunny day in between. On each of those occasions we drove from Edmonton, taking our time (and dogs with us). The drive is lengthy, but manageable. The five hours from the Mexico / U.S. border to San Carlos is mainly four lanes and was a pleasant surprise. In early 2010 we found and purchased that waterfront home. The home, the surroundings, and the people we have met combine to be everything we could wish for - except, maybe, more time to enjoy it.” David Cunningham & Melanie Watson

Take your time to enjoy it Pristine beaches, marvelous scenery, comfortable weather, peaceful town, healthy atmosphere, friendly community; the boat in the dock, the bike in the rack, the fire in the grill, the beer in the cooler; T-shirt and shorts are more than enough...

Steve and Aracely Cammack/Hattie Annie

Come to Sonora, Stay in San Carlos Live MĂŠxico

Welcome to Live the dream in the Sea of Cortez

4/5 4/4

Jacques Cousteau named the Sea of Cortez the “World’s Aquarium”.

of a small town community made of people with similar interests. This place has something for everyone, from the golfer, the extreme sports fan, to divers who want to discover its underwater life. A natural gift for outdoor enthusiasts, San Carlos has estuaries, canyons, horseback riding, biking and hiking trails and many species of marine life, sea mammals and birds to watch.

Sunset from Tinajas.JLF-IS®



he dream of being seaside on a boat, looking at a fiery sunset listening to the waves, is possible in San Carlos. San Carlos, where the desert meets the sea, is a resort destination and community of 7,000 people that has become the secret jewel of the Sea of Cortez for visitors and residents alike. Many of these are originally from Canada and the US. Everyday in San Carlos, beautiful sunrises accompany you during an early morning walk on the sand beaches. The breeze caresses the hills that surround the town, which is set around two natural marinas. San Carlos is a small town located close to Guaymas, a seaport city of about 150,000 citizens. Guaymas’ port is the most important in Sonora. San Carlos-Guaymas is rich in culture and tradition, with modern day amenities, suppliers and services for a good standard of living.4/4 A cruise line destination, the port of Guaymas and San Carlos are becoming known worldwide as a fantastic place to spend a vacation or reside, but still retains its small town charm. This area is famous for its big game fishing in its crystal blue waters. The Sea of Cortez is a great place for all kinds of water sports and its underwater life is excellent for diving excursions. San Carlos is a place to relax, where you can enjoy the calmness

Temperature ranges from 17 to 26 Celsius degrees in the winter and 25 to 38 degrees in the summer. A cloudy day is rare. If you bring your boat, the two marinas in San Carlos and the port of Guaymas offer safe harbour and storage as well as all necessary services. San Carlos is an actively laid back place, a wonderful seaside community that you can visit today and surely will not want to leave.


1-800-587-2830 01-800-832-9590

(toll free USA and Canada) (toll free Mexico)

(780) 651-1706 (403) 770-6177

Edmonton Calgary

226-1800 (Local) San Carlos

SOLD 2004-2009 RE/MAX First Choice Realty / San Carlos, Nuevo Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico 85506 All Rights Reserved / Each office independently owned and operated

Los Asociados RE/MAX tienen más experiencia en bienes raíces que otros agentes inmobiliarios.



By air, sea or highway



Red Deer Galgary 4


Alberta Sweetgrass Great Falls Helena

Butte 15


Idaho Falls


ou can easily travel to sunny Salt Lake City San Carlos-Guaymas from 15 anyplace in the world. Sonora is one of the Northernmost states of St. George U N I T E D S TAT E S 15 Mexico, due South of Arizona. Las Vegas Flights arrive daily by US Air89 Kingman L. A. ways from Phoenix, Arizona. 40 Albuquerque 93 10 Direct Route from The airports at Ciudad Obregón S. Diego Phoenix 8 Alberta, CANADA to 10 and Hermosillo are just 75 miles 2 Tucson San Carlos, MEXICO Puerto 10 from San Carlos. These are conPeñasco El Paso Nogales nected internationally through at 15 Hermosillo Kino least 7 airlines that fly direct from Guaymas Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Carlos Cd. Obregón Guadalajara, Mexico City and other cities. If you prefer to drive, the CANAMEX ROUTE takes you directly to MEXICO Mazatlan San Carlos. From Edmonton, drive Highway 2 (Queen Elizabeth II) to Calgary. From Calgary, Highway Guadalajara 4 will take you to the border with the US. Drive I-15 S to Salt Lake Mexico City City and after three hours driving S, take exit 95 and follow I-89 S. It will take you to Phoenix and from here I-10 E will lead you to Tucson. Then take the exit to Nogales and drive I-19 to the border with than tourism, they are required to Empalme/Guaymas no longer have to 6/6 Mexico. In Mexico, the four lane have a proper visa. register and obtain a vehicle permit. divided highway MEX15 will lead For travel to Mexico beyond If you want to travel South of Guayyou to San Carlos. Nogales, Canadians must be in pos- mas, you will need a vehicle permit. Crossing the border session of a tourist card, also called Check for other reCanadian citizens, including those Multiple Migratory Form for For- quirements. with dual nationality, are required eigners (FMM). Insurance to present a valid passport in order Mexican authorities impose a Mexican insurance is required when to enter and exit Mexico. tourism tax for all visitors to Mex- traveling south of the border. There Permanent residents and land- ico of approximately 20 USA dol- are many opportunities to acquire ed immigrants of Canada should lars. This fee is normally included insurance in the USA prior to crosscheck for specific entry require- in airline ticket prices. ing the border. Also, look online for ments with Mexico’s immigration Vehicle permits quotes or policies. authorities. As for persons seeking Those who plan to travel with vehi- Canadian and American insurance is to enter Mexico for purposes other cles into the state of Sonora north of not valid in Mexico. of




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What to do Nature and Adventure

By Bryan Replogle


Outdoor fun

Make friends with someone who owns a boat, throw away all your money and buy a boat, or better yet charter a boat with an experienced captain for a day on the Sea of Cortez. You can find terrific catches of dorado, yellowfin tuna, billfish, sailfish, striped and black marlin, sierra mackerel and bonita, depending on the season and currents. Most boats practice catch and release for billfish.


Sailing/Windsurfing/ Kiteboarding

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There is usually no cooler place to be than on the water. Sea breezes here can vary, yet they are usually very comfortable. Winter winds are 8/8 usually the strongest, with summer breezes being lighter. Many sailboats reside in San Carlos as it is out of the ‘hurricane belt’. It is a great port to dry-dock and from which to launch for longer excursions to Baja.


The San Carlos Country Club is an 18 hole par 72 facility that was originally designed by Roy Dye, son of the legendary Pete Dye. They have cart rentals to help avoid walking in the heat and cold beer at the Caddy Shack waiting for you.

San Carlos is a place where you and your family can live an endless adventure.


Nacapule Canyon boasts a stream that trickles year round and is an easy hike from the end of the dirt road behind the air strip. Another short hike is from the end of the Mirador lookout to the top of San Antonio Point. For the more advanced hikers, a forty-five minute scramble up Tetakawi can provide some magnificent views of the town and ocean.


Many people just bike around town, yet there are many great off-road trails near-by. There is an excellent singletrack trail between the Delfinario and the highway just behind the estuary. The dirt road to Nacapule is an easy ride, and trails and roads past La Manga can keep you exploring for days. Bryan Replogle is the owner/operator of San Carlos Aquatic Adventures.

Water sports at San Carlos. JLF-IS®

San Carlos has world-class diving. Many excellent dive companies and instructors assist beginners to experts with exploring the depths just offshore. The best diving takes place at Isla San Pedro, yet as the water warms and clears in close, there are many great areas just minutes from the harbour.

Lifestyle & Why we choose to live here

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an Carlos is not only a beautiful small town on the Sea of Cortez, it is a community. In San Carlos we not only share the geographical space but we are connected in the emotive sense of the word community. What that means to the predominantly North American people who live here is a relationship with each other that is rarely found anywhere in the Western Hemisphere. Â Neighbors are neighborly and everyone greets each other whether they are friends or strangers. A lending hand is always available to whoever needs it. Notwithstanding that San Carlos is one of the most beautiful places in the world it is rare to find a place where one can become a part of community where it is safe, relatively inexpensive to live and an infrastructure that supports a healthy lifestyle. Making the decision to live here is likely one of the easiest choices one could every make. Mexico is known as the land of Margaritas so we all expect that the tequila will be good. For those from north of10/10 the border they will learn that not only is there many different kinds of tequila but Mexico also has good beer, gin, brandy and vodka. All of these local brands are much cheaper than in the north. Imported wine can be found from Spain and Chile with an occasional sighting of Argentinean, French and Australian wines. Eating well and enjoying a Margarita on the deck listening to the waves come in also means that getting some exercise is in order, and we have a new state of the art fitness facility. For those who enjoy the out-

The reason that people stay in San Carlos is because of the community

doors there is hiking, biking, diving, snorkeling, golf, horse back riding and world class deep sea fishing. For those whose interests are more sedentary there is the Art League, the Performing Arts Council, a quilting group and card games everyday everywhere. Access to good treatment has to be a part of the equation when considering a home here. In Sonora we are fortunate to have excellent facilities and well trained and experienced medical

practitioners. Rescate, the local ambulance service, is completely supported by the community. As active real estate agents in San Carlos we have met many people who have fallen in love with the physical beauty of San Carlos and the texture of life here. Each person has a very clear reason as to why they choose to live here. Diane Barroll is co-owner of RE/MAX First Choice Realty and First Choice Property Management.

Aereal view of Creston at San Carlos. JLF-ISÂŽ


By Diane Barroll

The newest !

Condos GUAYMAS, SONORA. Tel (622) 226 1221 Fx (622) 226 2021

Everything we could wish for

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Sponsors COFETUR-Comisión de Fomento al Turismo OCV- Oficina de Convenciones y Visitantes de Guaymas API- Administración Portuaria de Guaymas REMAX First Choice First Choice Property Management Marina Real Century 21- Marina Punta Arrecifes Vista Real Marina Terra Hotel & Spa Playa Blanca Fomento Urbano de San Carlos Perlas del Mar de de Cortés Contributors Tom & Diane Barroll Bryan Replogle David & Melanie Cunningham Production Photos: Juan Luis Fernández, Enrique Yescas Copy: Alfonso López Pérez Design: Omar Solano Published by Editorial Imágenes de Sonora, S.A. de C.V.

Printed in CANADA Oct. 2010

View from Tetakawi hill to East / JLF-IS®

Bank trusts Smart investing in Mexico

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an Carlos has great real estate opportunities, from a beachfront house, to modern condos that you can own and rent. Professional brokers offer their services and can assist you in your search for property, and also help you manage it if you are renting it or investing in it for resale. Foreigners can buy or invest in real estate in Mexico without any restriction, except in the coastal and border areas. There, foreign individuals and branches of foreign corporations can have 100% control of property through a real estate bank trust. Mexican corporations with foreign capital are allowed to buy directly if the property is to be used for profitable purposes. A “Fideicomiso” or bank trust is defined for real estate purposes as a transaction between a Mexican bank and foreign individual or firm investing in areas otherwise restricted to foreign investment. The bank serves as the trustee and the investor is the legal beneficiary of the trust. The bank holds the title to the property in trust for the beneficiary who retains the ex14/14 clusive right to use and control the property. As a trustee, the bank acts on behalf of the beneficiary in transactions involving the property, including the decision to transfer, assign or otherwise dispose of his or her interest in the property. The trust is essentially a contractual arrangement which, in most respects, is identical to a US land trust. Mexican law expressly provides that at the end of the initial 50 years of term the trust, upon request,

for real estate

Professional real estate agents can help you invest the smart way.

the Mexican government will issue a new permit which provides for a new 50 year term. Mexican banks are controlled in a similar manner to the Canadian banking system. As such HSBC and Scotiabank in Mexico are two of several international banks that act as trustees to foreigners acquiring property. As the beneficiary, foreign investors have a personal and exclusive right to use, occupy, encumber and possess the property,

including the right to build, subject to applicable construction and zoning regulations. In addition, the beneficiary may transfer or assign his or her beneficial interest to any person and may keep the profits from the sale of the property according to the instructions given to the trustee, subject to the applicable tax laws and expenses of the sale. Source: Comisión de Fomento al Turismo

El Caracol residential / JLF-IS®


55 beach front lots from 100,000 US dlls.

luxury and privacy Tel (622) 226 1221 Fx (622) 226 2021

Great places Lodging & Dining

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hether you come for vacation or business, there is accommodation in San Carlos or Guaymas waiting for you. Choose a beachside resort, a condo tower, a house in the hills, a boat at the marina or a hotel in downtown Guaymas near the port and you will receive traditional Sonoran hospitality. Perhaps you would like room with a vista of the mountains and the sea, a Mediterranean beach resort or a condo with spectacular views of the bay and marina. There are hotels and resorts with comfortable suites and bungalows, or apartments homes for rent or purchase. With room service, restaurants, bars, business centers, Internet access, conference rooms, bilingual staff and attention to detail in all areas, San Carlos has a wide variety of great places to stay. Some of these hotels have in-house transportation, car rentals, travel agencies, boutiques, gift shops, tourist information, water sports and outdoor activities. We suggest that you make a reservation prior to your visit to San Carlos. Inquire directly with the hotel you wish to visit, a property man16/16 agement company or visit the many websites available with extensive information about San Carlos. From Mexico with taste Even before the sun rises, there are places to eat that offer freshly cooked and complete breakfasts. You can enjoy American style coffee, fresh fruit juices and eggs made to order with a special Mexican flavor, such as “chorizo”, refried beans and tortillas, “tamales”, “machaca” (shredded dried beef) and more. There is nothing like sitting at a beach palapa, cold drink in hand with

for everyone

Enjoy the best hospitality and food with a view of the Sea of Cortez.

thoughts of friends at home shoveling their driveway. The meals prepared here are all made with fresh ingredients from Sonora’s farms and sea. Also, there are inexpensive taco stands where you can enjoy fish, pork and beef. Savor Mexican cuisine to international gourmet dishes accompanied with the best wines, delicious and world famous Sonoran “carne asada”, prime steaks, pasta and Italian food, fresh seafood cocktails, sushi and

many types of sandwiches and tacos, also American style meals, hamburgers and pizzas and other specialties. The décor and atmosphere at the local bars and restaurants can be described as casual, with good taste, and the service is top notch. Many restaurants feature live music from local artists and musical “trios” can serenade you while you eat, drink and treasure the moment.

Sunset at Los Algodones beach, San Carlos. JLF-IS®


Natural gift The original beauty of San Carlos


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to the world

El Soldado Estuary, Tetakawi hill in the background. JLF-IS速

ecause of its biological diversity and geological peculiarities, San Carlos is an ecological entity with various ecosystems that have very different flora, fauna and microclimates. Desert, mountain and sea, each has its own beauty and life. The Soldado Estuary on the coastline, and the canyons between the mountains, like Las Barajitas and Nacapule, have their own natural gifts to offer the world and can be classified as exotic. Abundant marine life, birds and sea mammals can be found around San Carlos, from the Island of San Pedro to Guaymas bay. This coastline is one of the richest and most varied in Sonora. Come see its cliffs, reefs, caverns, points, bays, peninsulas, mountains and coves, different examples of underwater life, beaches, islands and estuaries. On land, the symbiosis of desert and sea present extraordinarily beautiful scenes. At different hours of the day and seasons of the year, the mood changes and the colors are worthy of the best photographs. Saguaros, cacti, trees, bushes and shrubs 18/18 create a desert garden of unequaled color. There are fiery sunsets There are many ecological jewels where nature is reserved, like El Soldado Estuary. and bright stars and moon in the evening sky.

Seasons and climate

Should we talk about the weather? Yes! San Carlos has great weather year round, excellent for outdoor adventures, sports and fun on the beach. You will not need heavy clothing to keep warm during the winter and you can easily get by just with a tshirt during most of the year, even in the fall. Here is a guideline of typical weather patterns.

Average water temperature Months








Apr May







Aug Sep 32




Aug Sep


Nov Dec 25


Average air temperature Months




High ( C ) 23


Low ( C )



Apr May



Nov Dec





















Yes, Sonora is a safe place! Practical tips for visitors


an Carlos is visited and it is home to thousands of Americans and Canadians that travel and live there peacefully. Mexico is a safe place for people who decide to spend their vacations there or have a home. Sonora and its destinations like San Carlos, Puerto Peñasco and Bahía de Kino are favored by thousands of North Americans and Canadians. Our recommendations is to use the same streetwise precautions when visiting Mexico that you would follow in Alberta or anywhere in Canada, the US or the world. From Nogales down to Guaymas, Sonora is a state with friendly and welcoming people.

Beware of slippery cobblestones, uneven sidewalks, knee-high curbs, head-knocking signs, eye-poking awnings, toe-stubbing thresholds, open trenches, unexpected dropoffs and discarded construction debris. Simply paying attention to your surroundings and where you are going will allow you to avoid many 20/20 embarrassing and painful San Carlos is a peaceful and safe place for residents and visitors. mishaps.

20/21 20/20 Everything in moderation Tourists who turn their vacations into nonstop happy hour wear out their welcome very fast. They also suffer the vast majority of accidents, arguments, misunderstandings and unpleasantness.

the daytime. Use the same common emergency medical service called Ressense and be aware of your surround- cate and hospitals and clinics minutes ings as you would in your hometown. away. Other programs like Skymed offer evacuation services as well. Always Outdoor activities There are many outdoor activities like purchase health insurance before deparkayaking, golfing, biking, surfing, fish- ture from home. In Hermosillo, you can ing and more. Remember to bring your find first rate medical care in San Jose Use common sense hat, sunscreen and drink water to stay and CIMA hospitals. Avoid wearing any expensive, hydrated. ry in public, don’t carry fancy bags, and make your ATM withdrawals Medical services during busy hours, preferably during San Carlos is fortunate to have a 24 hour For more information, visit

Marina San Carlos. JLF-IS®

Watch your step!

Tom and Diane Barroll

your vacation property First Choicespecialist Property


First Choice Property Management Tom and Diane Barroll, from Alberta, were looking for the perfect place to buy property for their eventual retirement Come and see why they chose San Carlos. Rentals by the day, the week or the month.

Vacation rental homes & condos, property management services,

1-800-587-2830 01-800-832-9590

(toll free USA and Canada) (toll free Mexico)

real estate listings and supervision of investment property in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico.

(780) 651-1706 (403) 770-6177

Edmonton Calgary

226-1800 (Local) San Carlos

Year round Always something to do

22 22/22

uaymas-San Carlos’ community has year round activities that help build friendships and welcome visitors. Hundreds of Canadians and Americans along with their Mexican friends share unforgettable moments at fishing and golf tournaments, sailing regattas and many other sporting events. Many local clubs and associations gather enthusiasts of different sports and outdoor activities and hold charity events to benefit the local community. The ladies actively participate in the fishing, golfing, and other sports. They organize fashion shows, cook offs, casino nights and many other events, all with the common good in mind. Art has a very important role in San Carlos’ living. Exhibitions, charity auctions and other related activities are fundamental to the local spirit. Art galleries and shops have impressive works from local and foreign artists on display and for sale. There are many motorcycle rallies and exhibitions every year, which gather hundreds of riders. Environmental groups, such as the World Wildlife Foundation, work extensively in San Carlos and Guaymas to create awareness in preserving these 22/22 wonders. area’s natural There are also traditional events that have shaped the way of life of Guaymas and San Carlos since its beginnings. The “Carnaval” in Guaymas, before the “Cuaresma” in the spring, is an annual event that brings people together in a colorful fiesta with parades and musical performances. Festival del Mar Bermejo commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of Guaymas, which occurred on July 13th, 1854. Shrimp and calamari have their own festivals. Come to Guaymas-San Carlos, there’s always something fun to do.


Traditional events help bring together the community and embrace visitors.

Web links




Real Estate and condos


San Carlos Country Club, 18 hole golf course. JLF-IS®



amelinas C Residencial

Fomento Urbano de San Carlos, S.A. de C.V. Toll Free USA 1-866 804 4817, MEX 1-800 507 7002 622.226.0226

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San Carlos -Guaymas MEXICO from CANADA  

Canadian Guide -Lifestyle & Leisure Guide- to recreational property in Northern Mexico’s newest resort community; where the desert meets the...

San Carlos -Guaymas MEXICO from CANADA  

Canadian Guide -Lifestyle & Leisure Guide- to recreational property in Northern Mexico’s newest resort community; where the desert meets the...