Cholla Bay in an eclectic, colorful collection of high-end homes that sit on the south shore of Cholla Bay. The bay is an amazing area as it has one of the highest tide changes in the world at about 23’.
High Tide at Cholla Bay
A high tide occurs every 15 days during the new moon and full moon when the sun, moon and earth all are in alignment. It is amazing to sit at JJ’s and watch the tide empty out of the almost 60 acre bay.
During this time many people go into the bay clamming or looking for sand dollars. For the most part, sand dollars can be taken from her if they are not alive. You'll know that they are alive if they are dark. Alternatively, the white ones are no longer alive and can be taken.
During the emptying of the bay, you can walk all the way across to Black Mountain, but keep an eye on the incoming tide so you are not stranded. As the bay gets closer to the Isla del Mar area it is very muddy at low tide and it is easy to get stuck in it, even with 4 wheel drive.
Boat Launching at Cholla Bay
If you want to launch a boat you can do so next to JJ’s. Depending on the tide, they will hook up what they call a Giraffe to your boat trailer and float it into the water. You can spend the day fishing in the bay or around the end of the point of Cholla Bay. Then radio the boat launch to pick you up. You can have some cold beer and lunch at JJ’s and enjoy the beautiful view or check out the Cholla Bay Oyster House. The bay is also great for kayaking and again you can launch it next to JJ’s.
A little history of Cholla Bay - in the 1930’s a gentleman named Duncan Brown came from San Luis Rio Colorado, where he was a farmer and discovered the bay. In 1941, he was able to finalize the purchase of the 3374 acre parcel which included Cholla Bay. After his passing, his widow sold the property in 1956 to his nephew Gustavo Brown Sr. Gus who then started leasing out the land. Eventually, Americans came and built boat houses so they could enjoy the area and go fishing. That eventually led to people building homes, as there was no place to stay in those days.
When Gus Brown Jr. was asked how the lots were designed, he explained that his dad would pick up 4 stones and throw them and where they landed became the lot lines of the over 1250 lots. That explains some of the funky sizes of the lots.
The Brown family has always had high plans for the land which someday will include the HOME PORT. This project has been put on pause for a while, but it may be restarting soon. While there is development on Sandy Beach, the intention was always to keep Sandy Beach pristine.
When you visit Puerto Peñasco, make sure to take the time to go out to Cholla Bay. Enjoy the tide changes and mingle with the locals at JJ’s!