Things to Do in San Carlos

A vacation is a yearly must for many people. After long hard days at work, stretching out and relaxing allows them recharge their batteries. Those who are looking for a place where they can do all sorts of wonderful outdoor activities or just lie on the sand all day frequently find that San Carlos makes the perfect destination. There are lots of things to do in San Carlos. Travelers can spend time on land playing golf, head into the beautiful waters of the Sea of Cortez or watch the stars pop out from a boat perch. The possibilities are endless and endlessly inviting. Any traveler to San Carlos should think about what they want to do before they head here. This makes it easy to plan a trip that includes their favorite attractions.

Discover some of the top things to do in San Carlos, from restaurants and nightlife to the area’s best beaches and tours with Casago’s travel guide.

Situated 275 miles from the Nogales border, San Carlos is among Sonora’s most popular vacation destinations, renowned for its dramatic landscapes and ample opportunities for adventure and relaxation. This striking beachfront resort town overlooks the Sea of Cortez and is a terrific spot for enjoying water sports like snorkeling, kayaking and offshore fishing. Thanks to its balmy weather and temperature year-round climes, San Carlos is visited by thousands of travelers looking to for a fun wintertime escape.

Under the Sea

One of the many pleasures of vacation rentals in the area is the opportunity to head underneath the sea. There are protected coves along La Posada beach that make it easy to go snorkeling and see the region’s many exotic fish. It’s easy to bring your own gear here or rent gear from many stores. Those who want to go diving can work with a local company and improve their diving skills or learn to dive for the first time. There’s an underwater canyon that awaits exploration at Seal Island. This is the place to go for those who love marine mammals and want to see them in their natural habit. Get in touch with a certified instructor and have a great time just offshore.

Steve Schwab Founder, CEO

On Land

The land here is just as lovely as the sea. Take advantage of it by heading out for a round of golf. The San Carlos Country Club offers access to a pro club. This is a great place to head up from the beach and get memorable views of the entire area below. The club offers many levels of play. Professional golf tournaments are held throughout the year. This makes it easy for the traveler to play around of their own with some of the best in the world or just take a seat and watch a great game.

Take a Boat Ride

One of the many things to do in San Carlos is head for a boat. Many vacation rentals offer kayaks that can be rented for a few hours. Renting a kayak lets the traveler explore the region’s many coves. A traveler can also take advantage of the opportunity to take an organized kayak tour. These tours are ideal for families who want to stay together and appreciate help from a guide. An eco-cruise is another fabulous option. Head for the Isle of San Pedro. Watch as dolphins and sea lions put on a show right in front of your eyes. Later in the day is not too late to take a boat along the waters here. See the area from the water and eat dinner on a local cruise as the sun goes down.

Popular Activities in San Carlos

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San Carlos Restaurants

San Carlos has an eclectic collection of restaurants, cafés and eateries that cater to all tastes and budgets. In the mood for pizza, fresh seafood or authentic Mexican cuisine? From casual dining to upscale cuisine, these are some of the top-rated places to eat in San Carlos, Mexico:

  • Rosa’s Cantina Restaurant – an excellent choice for breakfast or lunch, this cantina serves up tasty chicken tacos, inspired Latin fare and is vegetarian-friendly.
  • Los Arcos – Dig into the freshest seafood in town at this simple but exceptional eatery. You can’t go wrong with pescado a la plancha (grilled fish) or a bowl of their ceviche.
  • Blackie’s Restaurant – Known for their great service and warm ambience, Blackie’s has an international menu and is famous for their tender steaks, tequila shrimp prepared tableside and garlic shrimp.
  • JJ’s Tacos y Cosas – Akin to a glorified taco stand, JJ’s is legendary for its fried fish tacos, freshly prepared salsas and hilarious proprietor. A great place for a cheap bite to eat, a drink or a snack.
  • La Trattoria – This gem of a restaurant features delicious wood-fired pizzas, chicken parmesan, pastas, and seafood specials along with a nice wine selection.

San Carlos Fishing

San Carlos offers world-class fishing in the Sea of Cortez, where anglers have chances to land trophy-sized blue, black and striped marlin. Book a half or full-day sportfishing charter and enjoy an action-packed day on the water. Other big game fish include yellowtail tuna, mahi mahi, wahoo and jack. In addition to offshore trolling, visitors can try their luck fly fishing and bottom fishing for grouper and red snapper. San Carlos also hosts several prestigious tournaments each year, including the Cantina Cup, the International Billfish Tournament and the Ladies International Fishing Tournament.

San Carlos Tours

Nature lovers and adventure-enthusiasts have dozens of tours to choose from in this Sonoran paradise. If you’re planning a trip with young children, friends or loved ones, here’s a roundup of the area’s most visited attractions and popular day trips:

  • ATV tours that trek over sand dunes and into desert mountains
  • Horseback riding tour on the beach
  • Hiking Mount Tetawaki for panoramic coastal views
  • Snorkeling and kayak trip to Aquarium Cove and Seal Island
  • Hiking and ziplining at Nacapule Canyon
  • Boat trip to San Pedro Nolasco Island to snorkel and swim with sea lions
  • Day trip to Sonora Dolphinarium where educational shows cater to young crowds
  • Skydiving Sonora for the ultimate adrenaline rush (no experience necessary!)
  • Flyboarding tour – Hover 10 feet above the ocean waves like Iron Man
To make sure you take advantage of the best things to do in San Carlos during your stay, contact a representative at Casago today! We are ready and waiting to help you experience an unforgettable Mexico vacation.

Steve Schwab Founder, CEO

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San Carlos Beach Guide

Soft golden sands and turquoise waters are the hallmarks of San Carlos, which features some of Sonora’s most breathtaking beaches. The coastline is hemmed in by coconut palms and rugged desert mountains, and boasts numerous public beaches that are just steps from your vacation rental.

  • Playa San Francisco Beach –between the downtown area and Guaymas, San Francisco beach is situated within a protected cove, has gentle waves and is a great beach for swimming, sunbathing and combing for pretty shells.
  • Playa Piedras Pintas – want to snorkel or explore tide pools on a quiet stretch of beach? Head to Playa Piedras Pintas for a tranquil day with the family.
  • Playa Algodones – aptly named for its lovely cotton-like white dunes, this beach is popular for windsurfing and other water sports. Bring a good book, some sunscreen and unwind under a thatched-roof palapa.
  • Playa Miramar -This stretch of coastline is one of the liveliest for families and can get crowded on weekends. There are volleyball nets, and visitors can rent pedal boats, kayaks, and banana boats for some fun on the water.

San Carlos Nightlife

As the sun dips below the horizon, travelers will have no shortage of bars, nightclubs and lounges to choose from. Enjoy drinks with friends, hit the dance floor and mingle at these San Carlos hotspots:

  • Hammerhead’s – popular sports bar with big TVs, draft beer and happy hour specials
  • Froggy’s – Live music, cheap margaritas and ale, Froggy’s is where the locals go to party
  • Shots Bar and Restaurant – Located in the marina, features live entertainment on Friday and Saturdays and is a terrific bar to enjoy sunset cocktails
  • Tequila’s Restaurant and Bar – Known for their delightful margaritas, Tequilas has a dance floor and features live music every weekend

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