We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

San Carlos Trip Report

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Albert Lea...
Level Contributor
139 posts
54 reviews
Save Topic
San Carlos Trip Report

We flew direct into Tucson on September 9th. Headed to pick up the rental car that I had reserved with Avis after calling their 800# twice to verify travel to San Carlos. Well we went to get the car and the girl rolled her eyes and asked if we got that info from the 800 #. They only go 15 miles into Mexico any problems after that is your problem. All the rental places are right in a row so we went down the line and asked them all. Dollar was the one we went with but at a higher $. They had a better Mexican insurance rate then anyone in the line also.

We drove to Nogales and stayed at the Best Western Sonora Inn and Suites. New hotel with excellent rooms and service. Everyone that we encountered did an excellent job. We had the complimentary breakfast and then headed to the Mariposa border crossing. I had copied off driving directions which I highly recommend. This is our second time driving and it went as smooth as the first time.

We stopped in San Carlos for lunch at Charlie’s on the Rock. Food and service was excellent and the view is priceless. We stopped at the Bank in the middle of town and withdrew some pesos out of the ATM. We have found that it is much easier paying with pesos then expecting everyone you deal with to convert to dollars. Plus you get a better exchange rate and with our ATM card we have no foreign transaction fee.

We headed to our destination, Premiere Vacation Club. This is our third stay with them and our week was wonderful. The rooms have been updated since our stay 4 years ago and they are very nice. I think you would be hard pressed to find better views. Every room is ocean front with beautiful sunsets. We ate at their palapa restaurant several times throughout the week. Very convenient and relatively good.

Best find this week was two new restaurants. Bonifacio’s and Five Palms.

Bonifacio’s is further south of us next to the Soggy Pesos. Excellent service, food and entertainment. The seaside view was incredible. We ate at Bonifacio’s three times.

Five Palms is on the west side of the main road as you are heading south out of town. Close to the last Pemex gas station. Talk about five star service!!!! They are training there servers like the cruise line. If you go you have to have the oysters Rockefeller!!!

We brought air mattresses with us and everyone around the pool enjoyed them at sometime. We also used them in the ocean. Snorkeling was great, I saw my first lobster, eel and starfish.

We left San Carlos at 9:43 on Friday the 17th and arrived back in Tucson at 4:00. The only stop we made was for a bathroom break. It took us 15 minutes to go straight through Hermosillo instead of taking the bypass and it took ½ hour to pass through the border crossing. We were lucky at the border, not a lot of back up, the last time it took over an hour.

San Carlos in 2012, here we come.

Level Contributor
4 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
11. Re: San Carlos Trip Report

thanks very much. We're getting excited. would anyone know, is there a (not pricey) motel close to the airport in tucson, that would make it possible for us to cut 2 days off our rental car? (fly in and rent the next day for the drive into mx. same for the way back?)

tucson az
Destination Expert
for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
Level Contributor
16,457 posts
78 reviews
Save Reply
12. Re: San Carlos Trip Report

This is such a simple problem to solve yourself, finding a hotel. Go to Yahoo Maps at maps.yahoo.com, put in the full name of the airport, enter, then put in "hotel" under find businesses, VOILA! Check out the names, and look for prices for the ones that interest you.

http://tinyurl.com/2a8pxsg

Or go to a travel service and limit the search to the airport.

Albert Lea...
Level Contributor
139 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
13. Re: San Carlos Trip Report

I did priceline and got the holiday Inn and Suites for 39.00 a night before taxes. They have a shuttle to the airport.

coloado springs
2 posts
Save Reply
14. Re: San Carlos Trip Report

bobbear43, ( or anyone else )

flying into guaymas for the week of thanksgiving, feeling some anxiety over the trip because of unknowns. is it safe, whats the taxi situation at the airport for 4 people going over to pvc in san carlos. should we rent a car or just use taxis? what do you know about pvc? any other comments or advice would be greatly appreciated.

thank you

tucson az
Destination Expert
for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
Level Contributor
16,457 posts
78 reviews
Save Reply
15. Re: San Carlos Trip Report

It's very safe there. There are taxis at the airport but most are sedans. As far as I am aware there are no major car rental agencies such as Hertz at the airport, however there are Mexican companies, and they are OK. If you rent, make sure the required Mexican insurance is included; this could bring the cost up to $40-50 per day. I don't have experience using taxis there (because I drive there in my own car) however they are generally not metered and have standard rates for where you want to go. They will tell you before you go. It would be my guess that it costs $2-3 to go to the shopping area in SC, and probably around $10 to go into Guaymas. Taxi drivers do not expect tips, but tip them anyway, at least $1 or 20% of the cost, and they will be very helpful. Taxis usually charge more at night.

When I was in Guanajuato in Central Mexico I found a very informative taxi driver who would come within minutes when needed, because I tipped. His car was very clean, and he was a very safe driver. He had to compete with a very good bus system, so rates were cheap, $2-3 per trip, and I always gave him 10 pesos or $1 (was 10-1 then).

It is not likely that there will be taxis stationed at your resort. It's fairly far out. However, there are taxis in San Carlos, and if you find a good one, tip him and get his direct number, which will require learning how to dial a local cell # from your cell phone. Most taxis are independent.

You'll have to judge whether you want to taxi or rent a car. It is about 10 miles from the airport to PVC, or about a 20 minute ride. You will be about 5 miles from what there is of a shopping and dining area in San Carlos. You will be about 10-15 miles from shopping in Guaymas. There are only small convenience store type places in SC for groceries. Guaymas has several "mega-mart" type grocery stores, and one that I recall is on the main road leading into Guaymas El Centro but before all the traffic of downtown.

Don't bother getting pesos before you go. When you get money from an ATM you get the current exchange rate. While dollars are readily accepted everywhere, I would suggest having some pesos as well. Small merchants, and taxi drivers, often do not have change for large bills, perhaps on purpose. Make sure you have $1 bills, and break any large peso bills by buying something in a convenience store like an OXXO. As an example, I once paid 200 pesos for a 120 peso meal because I did not have small change, and the restaurant claimed not to have change, but it was off-season and also not that much to lose. The current exchange rate is hanging around 13-1. One reasons for having pesos is that small places will often try to use 10-1 for simplicity; rather than argue pay in pesos.

coloado springs
2 posts
Save Reply
16. Re: San Carlos Trip Report

thank you very much for your input!

Sun City West...
Level Contributor
5 posts
53 reviews
Save Reply
17. Re: San Carlos Trip Report

thanks, just returned the week of 12/10/10 and totally enjoyed the trip! Drove our car w/insur to San Carlos, no problems, and then walked daily to the marina,etc and didn't drive while in town. Will look forward to returning next Jan. for a month or two and need to start looking for a rental that will take our dogs also. Enjoyed the trip immensely!

Tallinn, Estonia
Level Contributor
1 post
9 reviews
Save Reply
18. Re: San Carlos Trip Report

thanks for your detailed report. we also had a bad experience last year when exchanging money in EUR

19. Re: San Carlos Trip Report

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 2:15 pm, July 24, 2014
Get answers to your questions about San Carlos