The Case For Mexico
Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, remained an unknown fishing outpost until the 1920s when Arizonan John Stone opened a hotel and casino targeting Americans who wanted to escape Prohibition.
Today, this town is known as Puerto Peñasco in Mexico and Rocky Point north of the border. Surprisingly, it got its English name first, in 1826, from a retired Royal Navy admiral who was in the area scouting for precious metals. In the 1930s, the Mexican president renamed the town to Puerto Punta Peñasco, later dropping the “Punta.”
Perhaps the biggest appeal of Puerto Peñasco to the retiree considering options for where to settle is that this spot is only 62 miles from the U.S. border. That’s just over three-and-a-half hours by car from Phoenix, Arizona, or six hours from San Diego, California.
We Americans often overlook Mexico, because it’s right next door. Sometimes it feels too convenient to qualify as a retire overseas destination. However, that convenience factor is exactly why certain spots in this country can be perfect for both expat retirees and second-home owners.
Puerto Peñasco is one of these places. You can easily drive here or back and forth between this part of Mexico and the United States. One of the biggest hassles when you have a home abroad, especially if it’s a part-year residence, is getting there and back. In Puerto Peñasco, you can just pack up the car, throw the dog in the back seat, and go. When you cross the border in Lukeville, Arizona, you enter a “Hassle-Free Vehicle Zone,” a program that allows you to drive your car into certain parts of Mexico without a vehicle permit (although you still need Mexican auto insurance, available immediately online with a credit card).
If you don’t live nearby, you could fly to Phoenix and either rent a car or take a shuttle to
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