San Carlos, Mexico

San Carlos in one word, it would be “colorful.” Everywhere you go, there are brightly-painted houses, vibrant markets, and friendly locals. Even the natural world is colorful; every evening, the deeply contrasting blue sea and red rock are illuminated by a rosy sunset glow.  Folks, if you haven’t made it down to this part of Mexico yet, you’re missing out. San Carlos is an ideal place to spend a vacation by the sea, unhindered by crowds and free to explore in the beauty of the idyllic coast.

About San Carlos

San Carlos is on one of the most beautiful vacation communities in Sonora, Mexico. Vacationing in San Carlos is all about the beauty of the beach and the charm of the culture. Seventy years ago, San Carlos was a cattle ranch with beaches untouched by anyone except a few fisherman. Today, it is a pristine resort village. Once across the border, it’s a straight shot on extremely well-maintained roads. The newness of this community lends to a fresh, clean area making it perfect for a holiday, a wedding, or a family reunion on the beach.

What to Eat

Local food is, of course, an essential travel experience. You think Taco Bell is Mexican? You’ll change your mind after you try real Mexican food. The authentic grub, by the way, is way better than Costa Vida or even (dare I say it?) Chipotle. The staple in San Carlos is fish, fish, and more fish, but even seafood-haters can find fish-free deliciousness to tempt their palates.

And don’t forget to get coconuts! These yummy treats are chopped in front of your eyes and filled with yummy goodness from octopus to as simple as chili and lemon.

Things to Do

If you’re hanging out in San Carlos, there’s one place you surely want to be: the beach. You can spend all day on the sand and never get sick of it! You might expect such a beautiful beach to get crowded, but it rarely is. In fact, if you decide to visit in the off-season, it’s almost like staying on a private beach. If that doesn’t make you feel like a celebrity or multi-millionaire, I don’t know what would! Be sure to take a walk to the old  Club Med to take a look at this famous historic building.


In the off-chance that you do get sick of it, you can go on a fishing tour, or hike the fascinating rock formations. A hike up Tetakawi Peaks will come in handy to burn off all those mimosas, and you’ll be amazed at the sweeping views of the sea and city!  San Carlos is also a fantastic place to go diving, and there are several top-rated dive sites in the area! Not a diver? Never fear! You can get scuba dive certified while you’re there or plan a trip to the hot springs.

If you would like to visit a hustle and bustle of a little town you can take a 30 min drive over to Guaymas. It has all the excitement of a big city with street vendors with carts and makeshift booths lined up and down the sidewalks with all kinds of wares and tokens of Mexico.

These shoes are a favorite. Every time we go our friends and family ask us to pick up these shoes. 

Where to Stay

There are plenty of vacation rentals in San Carlos. You have a few options when it comes to staying in this town: rent a house or stay at a resort. If you want to rent a house, check out Hacienda Babbitt. This sprawling villa has six rooms and can accommodate large groups of up to 20 people plus more if people want to bring sleeping bags and don’t mind sleeping on the terrace or in the grass-lined, covered courtyard. The house is within walking distance of the beach and is situated in a secure gated community. You can sunbathe on the terrace in private or on the beach or book horseback riding along the beach.  If you want to experience fresh tortillas made right before your eyes we can set you up with a local that will come right to the house.

Click on Hacienda Babbitt  to visit their website

You can also get many VRBO rentals


On the beach by Hacienda Babbitt is Bonifacio’s Cotton Club, a gourmet restaurant on the beach. You can sip cool drinks and listen to live entertainment while enjoying quesadillas or lobster.

If you are thinking of a destination wedding this would be the perfect place. Hacienda Babbitt could accommodate the wedding party while the hotel down the road can host family and friends. All at a reasonable price!



Another great place to eat is Soggy Peso. This is a fantastic little beach bar with food and drinks that are almost as good as the cool atmosphere of this open-air shack. If neither of these is for you, head to Bienvenidos, another little restaurant on the beach that offers a variety of local dishes.



Not far away, San Carlos Plaza Hotel is a perfect place to stay if a house rental isn’t your style. This hotel is located on the beachfront and has all the amenities you could need for your stay, including a gym, pool, and bar.


Average Air Temperatures (Range)

January – 60-75º  February-60-75ºMarch – 60-77º April – 64-83º

May – 70-85º June – 78-90º July – 80-94º August- 80-94º

September-80-94º  October – 74-88º November- 69-80º December-60-77º

There’s no doubt about it: San Carlos is the perfect place to stay and play on the Mexican coast. It’s not far from the border, has plenty to do, is absolutely gorgeous, is easy to travel in and around and if you have a private plane or want to charter one,  you can even fly right on into it. If you’ve not experienced the ambiance and relaxation of Mexico take advantage of everything San Carlos has to offer.

For further information about traveling to Mexico, tolls, marriage license, insurance, passport information, different forms of transportation and general Mexico information,  check out Mexico Travel Information. 

About The Author

Karie Babbitt

Karie Babbitt is a Lifestyle and Family Travel Writer. Mother of three boys and one girl. She has raised a family of six on a single income for over twenty-five years. She will share how she budgets so she can travel to show her kids all fifty states before they leave her home. Her parenting fails and successes, budgeting tips, food and living life in bliss.


  1. Kristie | 4th May 18

    This sounds like a lovely place to go in Mexico! Love the coconut treats! 🙂

  2. What Corinne Did | 7th May 18

    Oh my good, can you take me there?! I am so tired of the cold bad weather in England! I need some sun and not just one day out of 30 ahah! sounds like such a lovely place to go!

  3. Cristina Coroiu | 7th May 18

    The photos are great. I’m not a fan of fish so I would have to find something else to eat. I like Mexican food and now I’m even more curious about the real flavor.

  4. Amber Myers | 7th May 18

    This does look like a lovely area. I’ve never been to Mexico before. I know I would love that beach!

  5. Anita Mckaney | 7th May 18

    Taco Bell has nothing on Mexico!! You are so eight about the colors. Such a fun and inviting culture to visit!

    • Karie Babbitt | 7th May 18

      Haha yes, my hubby says Taco Bell is Americanized Mexican food. Thank you for reading.

  6. Ally | 7th May 18

    I’ve never heard of this area of Mexico before. I was sold on going here when I saw those coconut treats!

    • Karie Babbitt | 7th May 18

      Coconuts are the best. They have them with so many different flavors. Octopus is not one I am willing to try I like the sweet toppings. 🙂

  7. Laurie | 8th May 18

    What is your favorite time of year to go? It looks like an absolutely lovely place to travel!

  8. Andrea | 8th May 18

    i love mexico it has been a while since i’ve been i have a lot of friends there and love going to different beaches and exploring the cities. the food is amazing, i have yet to go to san carlos.

  9. Minakshi Bajpai | 8th May 18

    seems like you had a great time.I would love the beach.

    • Karie Babbitt | 30th May 18

      Yes, the beach was incredible. Especially because we mostly had it to ourselves. 🙂

  10. Anjali W | 8th May 18

    The place looks lovely! And I love the fact that they have servings in coconut. I have never heard of this before. I hope to visit San Carlos soon. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Karie Babbitt | 30th May 18

      The coconuts are one of the things the kids love the most.

  11. Jessica Taylor | 8th May 18

    This looks like a wonderful place to visit! I had no idea there was so much to do there!

    • Karie Babbitt | 30th May 18

      Jessica, yes it is wonderful and my family hasn’t even begun to see it all. So much more to do and see which I will do more posts on.

  12. Hannah Marie | 8th May 18

    Looks like a wonderful place to visit. I always believe Mexico has some great places and interesting culture. I would love to visit!

    • Karie Babbitt | 30th May 18

      It is pretty amazing and the people are so friendly and want to share their culture.

  13. Essi | 8th May 18

    Hi Karie!

    The place looks wonderful. Ironically I’m heading to Mexico on Thursday and needed places to visit. Thanks for the share.

    • Karie Babbitt | 30th May 18

      I hope you have an amazing time in Mexico.

  14. kim | 8th May 18

    What a neat place to visit! I love to travel and I might have to add this to my travel wish list.

    • Karie Babbitt | 30th May 18

      Kim, you won’t regret adding it to your travel wish list. It took me a while before I would go down but now I look forward to it every year.

  15. Dana Peller | 9th May 18

    I’ve never been to Mexico, but I hear the weather is beautiful this time of the year. Looks like you had a great time there.

    • Karie Babbitt | 30th May 18

      It’s so worth it. We always have so much fun and look forward to a trip there every year. If your ever up for adventures I would highly recommend it. There’s so much to see and do.

  16. Mickey | 9th May 18

    Those photos look amazing. I can’t wait for the day I get to visit Mexico

    • Karie Babbitt | 30th May 18

      You will absolutely love it!

  17. Karen - Our Irish Family | 9th May 18

    It sounds such a lovely destination for a getaway. Drinking straight from coconuts and deserted beaches sound exactly my type of vacation.

    • Karie Babbitt | 30th May 18

      The coconuts are super yummy and served in so many different ways. One of my children had octopus in his last time. Yuck! I like simple plain coconuts are the yummiest.

  18. Blair villanueva | 13th May 18

    I always wanted to visit Mexico because somehow we have shared similar culture. I would be happy to experience their local best cuisine!

    • Karie Babbitt | 30th May 18

      The food is delicious. I think in my family we adults mostly go for the food. I think we end up eating the majority of the time. 🙂

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