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San Carlos

San Carlos is a beachfront subdivision within the port city of Guaymas, in the northern state of Sonora in Mexico. It is noted for the exceptional clarity and warmth of the ocean water in its shallow bays.

San Carlos is a beautiful place because it is an encounter of the desert with the sea, which gives life to many places to enjoy watching like the most popular local mountain called “Cerro del Tetakawi” (“Rocky Mountain”).

Not only the mountain by itself is beautiful once it’s formed with rocks and desertic vegetation, but it is also an excellent option for those who enjoy climbing, and enjoying the view from the mountaintop of this beautiful bay.

There are a number of RV parks. There is also a very large and active diving community. There are many opportunities to fish, scuba dive, and relax on the beach. There are also other outdoor activities like climbing.

There are also many Americans and Canadians who live in San Carlos during the winter.

San Carlos has been used for many films.

Geo & Climate

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:

  • June–August: 29°C – 32°C and even more
  • September-October: 26°C – 32°C
  • November–March (winter months): 17°C – 21°C
  • April and May: 22°C – 25°C

History & Timeline

The community of San Carlos was founded on lands that previously were a large cattle ranch known as the Baviso de Navarro, which later got divided into four parts: Los Algodones, San Carlos, El Baviso, and El Represo.

In the mid-1950s, Mr. Rafael T. Caballero purchased the Los Algodones, San Carlos, and El Baviso ranches, contracting with city planners who designed the first stages of gradual and planned tourism development.

In 1963, the State Congress made San Carlos an official part of Guaymas. They gave 27.746 sq km of land from El Baviso. In 1973, more land from San Carlos and Los Algodones was added, making a total of 49.79 sq km for the community.

Beaches & Water Activities

There are beautiful sand beaches, kayaking, and offshore fishing.

This place is spectacular for diving and snorkeling. Underwater visibility of over 30 m is very common in these places. Sometimes visibility even exceeds 61 m as is often the case at San Pedro Nolasco Island.

For the boater, two marinas are available with paved launch ramps, dry storage facilities, complete marine repair and maintenance services, fuel docks, and reasonable rates for slip rental.

Popular dive sites:

  • San Pedro Nolasco Island
  • Martini Cove
  • Catalina Island
  • Double Point
  • Eagle Rock
  • The Three Marias
  • Cautin
  • Frenchie’s Cove
  • Lalo Cove
  • Zorro Cove
  • San Antonio Point
  • Kevin’s Rock
  • Emerald Bay
  • Painted Rocks
  • San Luis Island
  • Deer Island
  • Window Rock
  • Sea Mount
  • San Nicolas Island
  • Honeymoon Island

How to get there & Transportation

  • San Carlos is about a 6-hour drive from the USA along the Mexican Interstate Highway 15.
  • San Carlos is only a 400 km or 4-hour drive from Nogales (Arizona) on Mexico Highway 15.
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