San Carlos is a beautiful community just off Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. The community is roughly 5 hours away from the border near Nogales, Arizona. It has exceptionally clear, warm, and shallow waters. The combination of desert-like land and bay waters makes it a great leisure place in the wintertime for people coming from the north.

Located on the western coast of Mexico, the best way to travel fast is to use the Hermosillo airport. Regular flights from Mexico City, La Paz, Monterrey, Phoenix, Guadalajara, Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Culiacan, Mexicali, and Chihuahua arrive at the airport. US Airways has daily non-stop flights from Phoenix, Arizona to Hermosillo Airport. Once you land, you can pick up a rental car or hire a taxi. You can also reach Guaymas bus station with a taxi, and travel to your rental home from there. Online travel sites and travel agents can be contacted in advance to book flights and give you the most accurate San Carlos travel information. You can use the preparatory phase of your trip to secure your travel and trip by booking vacation rentals.


Driving to the waterside community is easy and safe on the highway from Nogales, Arizona. The road is full of interesting landscapes that you can enjoy while traveling. The highway reaches Hermosillo where you will continue south onto Mexico Highway 15 that connects with Sonora 17 Highway West. Keep on it until you reach San Carlos. Stops along the way include drinks, food, gas, and restrooms. There are toll roads along the way, so be sure to have pesos with you. Follow the speed limits around Hermosillo and San Carlos to avoid any fees. Always carry your US passport, and be sure to get Mexican car insurance if you are driving.

Once you reach the community, you can get around by using a taxi, bus, rental car, or ferry. In town, taxis can be picked up in front of the Marina Terra Hotel or the Plaza los Jitos between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. You can ride around the town for anywhere between $3-$6 dollars. Modern buses go around the resort. The buses take off every 20 minutes from their starting place and operate between 6:15 a.m. and 7 p.m. Three late buses depart at 8, 9, and 11 p.m. The bus goes through Boulevard Beltrones, through Marina Terra, and towards the Marina San Carlos end.

Ferry boats are an easy way to reach mainland Mexico and return. Vehicles can also go on the ferries. San Carlos travel information can be acquired on site together with booking of vacation rentals for the perfect all-inclusive trip.

About San Carlos

Founded originally as a large cattle ranch, the picturesque resort community is now known for the incredible clarity and warmth of the ocean water in its shallow bays on the Sea of Cortez. Not surprisingly, San Carlos has a large, active diving community.

This unique destination is truly an encounter of the desert with the sea, and the popular mountain called “cerro del tetakawi,” in native Yaqui language (“rocky mountain”) is a favorite for climbers who take in the view of the beautiful bay below.

Despite the city having only about 7,000 permanent residents, there is a surprising number of RV parks, resorts, vacation rentals, and stores from which to choose. Water sports enthusiasts delight in its beautiful beaches, plentiful opportunities for diving and snorkeling, kayaking, and offshore fishing.

The community is also home to an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, and multiple gift shops and galleries for browsing. For the boater, two marinas are available with paved launch ramps, dry storage facilities, complete marine repair and maintenance services, fuel docks and affordable rates for slip rental.

Treat your palate to numerous restaurants featuring seafood, Sonoran beef, Mexican dishes, and American cuisine available throughout the town.

If you have yet to experience the laid-back lifestyle of a Mexican seaside resort, San Carlos is an excellent choice to start dipping your toe in the water – or just dive right in!

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San Carlos Weather

In San Carlos, summers are short, with temperatures in the 90s or above, and the skies partly cloudy. In contrast, the winters are warm and mostly clear. There are basically two seasons in San Carlos: the hot season, which lasts for 2.2 months, from March 22 to May 30, with an average daily high temperature above 94°F; and the cool season lasting for 3.1 months, from November 3 to February 6, with an average daily high temperature below 85°F.

The best time of year to visit San Carlos for warm-weather activities is from early December to early March.

San Carlos Transportation Options

The taxi stand at the Hermosillo International Airport has established its fares at 300 pesos (about $30 US dollars) for the short ride into town. Taxi stations are also situated in front of the Marina Terra Hotel and Plaza Los Jitos; drivers do not use meters, so establish the price up front (you can usually barter a bit.)

Another option is renting a car at the airport for about 700 pesos a day ($70 US). Budget Car Rental and Hertz have rental desks available.

Other San Carlos transportation options include catching the San Jose bus for seven pesos (70 cents). It passes in front of the airport once every hour or so and will take you into Guaymas, where you transfer to another bus to San Carlos at Ley Shopping Center for 9 pesos (90 cents). However, this mode is not recommended if you have more luggage than you can easily carry on your own.

Finding Where to Stay in San Carlos

The hotel/resorts of Club Med, now owned and operated as Paradiso, and the San Carlos Plaza were built on beach frontage. A popular and more affordable alternative to the hotels in San Carlos is vacation rentals.

Not sure where to stay in San Carlos? Renting a private home or condominium with multiple bedrooms and a kitchen may be just the ticket for traveling with your family or a large group. These options are also perfect for long-term stays.

Contact today to book your stay, learn more about the latest San Carlos travel information, or to advertise your unique rental property. You can also browse our list of properties, here.