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San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico

San Carlos, Sonora, MexicoSan Carlos is a beachfront subdivision within the port city of Guaymas, but is considered its own town in the northern state of Sonora, Mexico.

It is known for the clarity and warmth of the ocean water in its shallow bays that lie in the Sea of Cortez. Given the size of the city, with nearly 7,000 inhabitants, there is a large number of RV parks, resorts and stores available.

There is also an active diving community. Many Americans and Canadians live in San Carlos during the winter months as the summer months are very hot and humid.

Fishing, scuba diving, and beach activities are all available. Another popular sport in San Carlos is sailing but one can also decide to skydive over the Sea of Cortez.

San Carlos is about a six-hour drive from the United States along the Mexican interstate Highway 15.

San Carlos Mexico is still primarily an expat community, with many Americans and Canadians spending the winters here because of the warm and humid weather - similar to that in Texas in the summer.

You will see plenty of recreational vehicles and campers parked in the local campgrounds and plenty of people wearing "Don't Mess With Texas" t-shirts.

San Carlos is just off the beaten track so it retains much of the quiet charm many are looking for.

San Carlos, Sonora, MexicoThe swimming and surfing is incredible, there are literally dozens of places to snorkel or scuba dive and the surrounding mountains are filled with hiking and climbing paths for all levels of fitness.

Getting to San Carlos is pretty easy whether you choose to drive or fly. There are direct flights from Tucson and it’s about an eight-hour drive from Phoenix.

If you don't drive down, you will probably want to rent a car in order to take advantage of the many local attractions.

Several large hotels are built along the beachfront of San Carlos, but a popular alternative to the hotels are vacation rentals.

These rentals come in all shapes and sizes and they’re a good choice if you’re looking for a place to stay that is as comfortable as a hotel while having a bit more character and more amenities of home like a kitchen.

Most are listed with professional property management - making it easy to book and there is someone available onsite to answer all of your questions.

The community of San Carlos was founded on land that previously was a large cattle ranch known as the Baviso de Navarro.

This was later subdivided in four great estates known as Rancho Los Algodones, Rancho San Carlos, Rancho El Baviso and Rancho El Represo.

San Carlos, Sonora, MexicoIn the mid-1950s, Mr. Rafael T. Caballero acquired the ranches Los Algodones, San Carlos and El Baviso, contracting the services of City planners who designed the first stages of a gradual and carefully planned tourist development.

In time it would become one of the first and most important tourist and recreational communities in the State of Sonora.

When the private investors began the initial works for this development, in support of this vision, the State Congress of Sonora during the governorship of Luis Encinas Johnson issued a declaration establishing the official incorporation of the Township of San Carlos, Nuevo Guaymas, Municipality of Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico.

Through a decree published on 28 September 1963, with an endowment of 27.746 square kilometres of privately owned lands located in the Southern portion of the estate Ranch El Baviso.

To complement the Township Land Endowment, the State Congress, during the office of Governor Faustino Felix Serna, increased the Legal Land Fund by adding the estates known as Ranch San Carlos and Ranch Los Algodones, both with a surface of 22.04 km2.

This was published in the Official State Bulletin no. 23, on 21 March 1973. A total of 49.79 km2 of privately owned lands constitute the territorial reserves of this development.

On 1 July 1976, The Agrarian reform Secretariat, through the Director of Legal Affaires, declared by means of official notification no. 240-438155, Reference XV; that the mentioned privately owned lands located in the remaining lands of the estates El Baviso and San Carlos, have no agrarian legal claims upon them, and consequently the proprietors are free to lien, to encumber, to contribute to societies, to merge, to cede on trusteeship and to freely dispose of these lands.

San Carlos, Sonora, MexicoIn that same official notice it is recognized that the proprietors of these four estates, voluntarily ceded to the Federal Government part of their lands for the creation of the new center of population and for the formation of the Ejido 13 July, affecting the Northern and the western portions of the estates San Carlos, El Baviso, Los Algodones and El Represo.

The above in accordance to the Presidential Resolution of 15 July 1968, was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation on 27 August 1968.

In support of the objectives set forth by the private investors for the development of a new tourist destination, the Agrarian Reform Secretariat, the Secretary of Human Settlements and Public Works, and the Secretary of Tourism, altogether issued a Declaration of High-priority Tourist Zoning, for all the effects of law; in favor of the estates El Baviso, San Carlos and Los Algodones, owned by Grupo Caballero.

The cited declaration was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation No. 34 on 15 August 1980.

In the State of Sonora as well as in its personable cities and towns, is a diversity of 'real time' leisure attractions, as well as a strong historical perspective.

Filled with great presidential traditions, Guaymas is the birthplace of three former Republic of Mexico presidents: Abelardo Rodriguez, Plutarco Elías Calles and Adolfo de la Huerta.

San Carlos, Sonora, MexicoSan Carlos has been used for many films, including:

The classic film Catch-22, starring Alan Arkin, Orson Welles, Martin Sheen, Bob Newhart, Anthony Perkins. The film set for this motion picture was still there when I visited San Carlos in the early 1970's. It was rather interesting to walk among the old buildings that I could clearly remember from the movie.

The beach at San Carlos Bay was used to recreate a World War II bomber base for the movie 'Catch 22' in the 1970's. I walked around that set years later and found it it rather unsettling to basically stroll around the same buildings that were in the film such as the base hospital, barracks and flight briefing hut.

"Catch-22" was a big, expensive $14-million movie, but it is easy to see why. To simulate the bomber base, the films director, Mike Nichols, constructed a complete B-25 bomber base on a patch of surreal Mexican coastline with pristine white sand and remarkably clear blue water - and then equipped it with numerous real WWII B-25s that actually flew.

The Mask of Zorro in 1998 - starring Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins & Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Lucky Lady in 1975 - starring Liza Minnelli, Burt Reynolds and Gene Hackman.

Camaroneros in 1998 - Mexican production starring Erick del Castillo

Spanish language soap opera Por Tu Amor in 1999 starring Gabriela Spanic.

The hotel and resort of Club Med, which is now closed, and the San Carlos Plaza were built on beach frontage. A major alternative to the hotels in San Carlos now are vacation rentals.

San Carlos, Sonora, MexicoScuba diving in the area is abundant. The waters of the Gulf of California in the San Carlos area offer a multitude of diving opportunities at all skill levels year-round.

Average surface temperatures are 85 °F(29.4 °C)-90 °F(32.2 °C) (often even warmer) June–August, 80 °F(26.6 °C)-89 °F(31.6 °C) September and October, 63 °F(17.2 °C)-71 °F(21.6 °C) in the winter months November–March. It then warms-up again 72 °F(22.2 °C)-77 °F(25 °C) in April and May.

Underwater visibility of over 100 feet or 30 meters is very common. Sometimes visibility exceeds 200 ft. or 61 meters as is often the case at San Pedro Nolasco Island.

However, a consultation with a local shop dive shop or divemaster is recommended, and can provide accurate and detailed information on current conditions at specific dive sites.

I wonder if the diveshop at the harbor in Guaymas still has the photo of Mexican diver standing outside next to a Grouper he had caught while spearfishing.

With it's tail lying on the sidewalk and it's head easily almost two feet taller than the diver, it makes you wonder how this local diver was able to bring it in.

While a lot of people are familiar with Sonora Mexico, some parts of this gorgeous state are still unknown by tourists.

And that is certainly the case with the town of San Carlos. San Carlos is located on the Gulf of California and is well-known for its pristine white beaches and plentiful places to scuba dive.

San Carlos, Sonora, MexicoSan Carlos Mexico is still primarily an expat community, with many Americans and Canadians spending the winters here because of the warm and humid weather - similar to that in Texas in the summer.

You will see plenty of recreational vehicles and campers parked in the local campgrounds and plenty of people wearing "Don't Mess With Texas" t-shirts.

San Carlos is just off the beaten track so it retains much of the quiet charm many are looking for.

The swimming and surfing is incredible, there are literally dozens of places to snorkel or scuba dive and the surrounding mountains are filled with hiking and climbing paths for all levels of fitness.

Getting to San Carlos is pretty easy whether you choose to drive or fly. There are direct flights from Tucson and it’s about an eight-hour drive from Phoenix.

If you don't drive down, you will probably want to rent a car in order to take advantage of the many local attractions.

Several large hotels are built along the beachfront of San Carlos, but a popular alternative to the hotels are vacation rentals.

These rentals come in all shapes and sizes and they’re a good choice if you are looking for a place to stay that is as comfortable as a hotel while having a bit more character and more amenities of home like a kitchen.

Most are listed with professional property management - making it easy to book and there is someone available onsite to answer all of your questions.

San Carlos, Sonora, MexicoGuaymas is the closest city to San Carlos that has larger supermarkets and businesses - such as a Soriana Mercado.

Another is the Super Ley grocery store, which is inside a sort of small mall. In the center of town are a few historic sites:

Three Presidents Square, Fisherman's Monument, Mother's Square, San Fernando Church, and a monument to Benito Juarez on a hilltop that is a hot climb for a good view of the city.

There is also a museum in Guaymas, in the Mirador section on the way to downtown Guaymas from San Carlos. The Hotel Playa de Cortez in the Mirador section - an historic hotel built in 1936, with a bit of the old Mexico feel.

There is an adjoining RV park, which was empty off-season - May is not peak RV season in Mexico. It is worth a stop at the hotel if you make a trip to the Museum or the Pearl Farm (also in Mirador).

If you are looking for some time out on the water, check out San Carlos Aquatic Adventures.

All in all, San Carlos is a beautifully scenic location attracting boating aficionados and a growing number of U.S. and Canadian 'locals'.

As most locations in the world there are increasing housing construction and real estate prices, but as a pleasing and picturesque setting for a holiday it simply is an exquisite destination.

www.explore-sonora.com/san-carlos




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