Kino Bay Travel Guide

Steve Marlett

Kino Bay (Bahia de Kino), Sonora, Mexico

West of Hermosillo, the state capitol of Sonora, approximately 80 miles is the two-part village of Kino Bay.

Why two parts? Well as you approach the Sea of Cortes on Highway 16 from Hermosillo, you have a choice of turning left into Kino Viejo (Old Kino) or traveling up the road a mile or so further and seeing Kino Nuevo (New Kino).

What's it gonna be? If you decide to go into Kino Viejo, you will see what an authentic Mexican fishing village looks like; this is where you will find very good seafood restaurants, taco stands, inexpensive hotels, an active oyster farm, and many, many nice friendly people. The streets are mostly dirt but navigable and the pace is ultra slow.

However, if you decide to go into Kino Nuevo, what will you experience? Seven miles of pristine beach front dotted with homes for Mexican citizens from Hermosillo who use this place as their weekend. Along with winter homes and bungalows for Americans and Canadians who find winter in the sun preferable to the weather back at home! The people here are also friendly and inviting. The pace is also slow- slow- slow! That's a good thing, right?

Kino Bay in total is very small and laid back! So small, in fact, that any serious shopping has to be done 40 miles away in a town called Miguel Aleman or all the way back to Hermosillo! Although, Kino Bay does have small tiendas (small markets) and several restaurants, it is wise to bring with you what you will need for your stay.

What can you do in Kino Bay? There are five islands off the coast of Kino Bay making the sport fishing here outstanding. The Baja Peninsula is 125 miles west of Kino Bay and because of the spread out of the Islands in the sea of Cortes it is considered one of the best places to cross the sea of Cortes in a smaller boat. That means there are many coves and inlets to be explored and fished.

The beaches in Kino Bay are considered by many to be better than the beaches of Cancun! Your first vision of the seven mile coast will definitely bring a "Wow!" to your lips! There are many miles of coast line that can be explored. The sunsets here are some of the best in the world with the offshore islands adding dramatic contrast to the end of the day festivities.

Even though Mexican families make up the bulk of the population here, the Seri Indians call the area around Kino Bay their home. They actually live north of the New Kino Bay area, in a village accessible by a 17 mile dirt road. The village is called Punta Chueca (crooked point) because of the coastline. At Punta Chueca it looks as though you could walk across the shallow water to Tiburon (Shark) island. However looks can be deceiving. The channel is only 1.9 miles across but it is called canal infernillo (little hell channel) because of the rip currents and shoals which can make navigation extremely difficult. If you visit Punta Chueca, be prepared to have many handcrafts of the Seri displayed to you by dozens of Seri Indians. This can be a little overwhelming, but it is fun at the same time.

There are not too many full blood Seri Indians left in the world, but they are known worldwide for their carvings of plant and animal life in the natural material known as ironwood. This wood is so hard and so difficult to carve that the finished product lasts a lifetime and is highly valued. As the supply of ironwood has diminished, the Seri have started carving other materials such as rock in the same manner. However, the Seri will always be known for their ironwood carvings.

There is a small history museum in New Kino Bay that has much to do with the Seri Indians of the area and it is definitely worth a visit. There is much to be learned about the people known as the Seri.

There is no real marina in either Old or new Kino Bay. Boat launching is available on well maintained ramps in either location. Fishing from either boat or from shore is a big pastime here in Kino.

Do you like exploring the desert in your 4x4 or sand rail? There are literally 1000's of square miles of trails going off in every direction from either Kino location.

Sailing? The sailing is great here as you have the islands offshore creating differing wind patterns to keep you as busy or relaxed as you want.

Hungry? Don't forget to taste the food. Seeing as you are on the edge of the Sea of Cortes, you must try the seafood. In many of the local restaurants fresh rock lobster is available (ask first). When we visit, we will stop at a local restaurant and request lobster dinners for the evening. That evening we would have a fresh catch of the day! Can it get any fresher? No way!

Flora? In the desert of the southwest of Arizona and the Northwest of Mexico, there are plants that do not exist in other places of the world. The Saguaro cactus is the most popular and well-known. However, on your drive into Kino Bay, you will be introduced to one that will make a mark on your mind! It is the giant Cardon. It is found in just a very few regions anywhere in the world and only in Sonoran Desert areas; however, they are abundant here in Bahia de Kino! Make sure to take a trip with a local guide and get out where these huge cacti grow. You will be impressed by the width and the height of these giants of the plant world.

Kino Bay - from the people, the history, the culture, the rugged coastline and beautiful beaches - all this and more warmly invites you to visit both New and Old Kino Bay on the Sea of Cortes!

Where to Go in Kino Bay

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Guided Tiburon Island Tour

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expert pick

P.O. Box 163

While in Kino Bay you will notice several islands offshore. One of these, off to the north, is Tiburon Island at 464 sq miles it is the largest Island in Mexican waters. This is an uninhabited island today; yet a past "home" to the Seri Indians. It is required to have a Seri guide to tour this island reserve.

El Pargo Rojo Restaurant

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#1426 Mar de Cortes (New Kino)

A great local restaurant serving seafood as a specialty and Traditional Mexican plates. Serving breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Delivery and Pick up service available.

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