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 Moderated by: bartmanaz  
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Baja Sixer
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Hola, seeking recommendations for things to see and places to explore in the area.
This will be our first time to San Carlos, we are staying for a week.
Restaurant recommendations also sought! Thank you in advance for any info you can provide. :cool:

Hook
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When are you coming? Will you have a car?


I think the single, best source for things to do in San Carlos is the weekly What's Up San Carlos newsletter. It is an amazingly thorough and informative description of what's going on in San Carlos, from week to week. Even descriptions of the music at the restaurants, from night to night.


Google it. They accept advertising, so their business descriptions, especially restaurants, are not impartial. 


But my favorites are Colibri for relatively upscale dining (the filet mignon is excellent and great gourmet pizzas) and Hammerheads for a combo of good American classics and Mexican food. I also like Hammerhead's for happy hour as they make a great margarita and also have cheap beer.


I also like the food at Club de Capitanes near the Marinaterra Hotel. Really good pozole and clam chowder, as well as wood fired pizzas. People rave about the ribs there, too, as I recall. A Mexican dark ale on tap for cheap.


For Mexican lunches or dinners, I like Tequila's. Gonna try Maria's real soon, too. 


Best taco stands for me are Tacos Sarita (barbacoa) and Luis El Nar (for the birria!). I haven't tried Tony's latest incarnation and dont know if his wife is still cooking;  she had the best birria in town, IMO. I dont like Don Lalos, which seems to be popular at night with the locals.


For breakfast I like Rosa's Cantina, Maria's and the little cocina economica near the circle that leads to the country club entrance. El Mar is also good and has a great view from their dining area. Ocean front.


Best seafood is probably out at La Manga, which is an experience in itself, as you eat on a bluff overlooking the ocean and a small fishing village. I think it is called Dona Marias. You will need to ask for directions in town. It's gotten pricy in the last few years, so there are better, cheaper options in Guaymas and farther south, but no one has that view. 


Maybe the best deal in town is the Wednesday night, all you can eat Italian night, out at Joey's in the San Carlos Plaza Hotel. You get your choice of ravioli, lasagna, and five types of pasta with four types of sauces. Except for the lasagna, each is made to order and brought to you from the kitchen on a plate. NOT BUFFET STYLE!!! 140 pesos per person INCLUDING A GLASS OF RED OR WHITE WINE. If you want to have a few different pastas, go easy on the lasagna, as it is very meaty and filling. Very elegant setting. 


There are other restaurants that are very popular. Delfines (which actually has a teppan room for 6-10, as well as conventional seating), Tortugas, Iguanas, La Palapa Griega (Greek and seafood RIGHT ON THE BEACH), Los Arbolitos (great seafood variety with an ocean view). 


Seriously, San Carlos has an incredible amount of restaurants, for the population. But it is a tourist town, so I guess it's not surprising.

bartmanaz
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Visit http://www.sancarlosmexico.com for more information.

Baja Sixer
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Thx for the info! We are driving to San Carlos and will arrive on January 17.
Looking forward to a great visit.

stephenjay
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Excellent recommendations for restaurants, Wednesday at La Palapa 5:00 Mark Mulligan sings and plays guitar always fun, visit the overlook called La Mirador, go horseback riding on the beach or up a beautiful canyon, there are 20+ charter boats waiting to take you deep sea fishing, Gary's offers an educational eco tour of the harbor, Hattie Annie boat offers a great sunset curse with strong marguerites, go kayaking in Pelican Cove, visit the old central market in Guaymas also see the fleet of shrimp boats, take beach walks, go shopping, be lazy, eat, drink and be merry.

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We get there every other month or so and our week will include much of what the previous posters mentioned:
- A day at Soggy Peso on the beach. Try the Shrimp Quesadilla.
- At least a few trips to the Sarasito's taco stand for tacos and coronas
- A day out with Fernando fishing of Catch 22
- A day snorkeling. If you can get to Martini Cove, it is pretty.
- Hammerheads for happy hour
- Climb the goat tits.
- For night life / Sports Bar there is Iguanas.
- Golf at the country club. (Kind of rough, but still fun)
We always have to set aside dome time for maintenance on our home especially since the last storm season. lol

lasninas
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I would add to the restaurant list the best quiche ever at Barracuda Bob's at the San Carlos Marina.  They also serve the best eggs benedict on weekend.  Lots of great pastries too.

Baja Sixer
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Good thing we’re bringing our bikes!!! Looks like there are many eating and adult beverage options in San Carlos! 😎
Thx again for all the recommendation, we do prefer to ask locals for recommendations. 👍🏽

Jimmy
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Sooo nice to set outside Barracuda Bob's at the San Carlos Marina with some Fine coffee and Fine food and watch the poor boaters at the ramp....


Put the boat in the water.....
won't start...
work on the boat...
still won't start...
pull the boat out and take it home.....

Last edited on Wed Dec 5th, 2018 09:28 pm by Jimmy

JZ
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By far and away the best thing to do in SC is get out on the ocean. 2nd place isn't in the same zip code.

bachrachj
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My favorite Carne Asada tacos are at Don Lalo's. He's on the right as you head towards the marina and almost directly across the road from the El Mar/Palapa Griega entrance. He only opens at night and stays open late. Well worth the $25.00 MXN for a great taco! No hay cerveza. ¡Buen provecho!

maryt
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I like El Mar restaurant for breakfast. I have had good lunches there too. Beautiful view, reasonable prices and I love the shrimp omelet or Eggs Benedict.

Embarcadero restaurant has 3 tacos arrachera that are super delicious.

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Charley's Rock is a great place to pass some time and watch the waves.  Molcajete' frio is on my list for every visit.  If you're headed towards La Manga, a stop at the Peso is warranted, another on my list for every trip.  Blackie's used to have some pretty great steak and prime rib, but I've not been there for a while.  Don't forget about Thrifty for some ice cream for dessert after all that eating.

MountainbikeVH
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For take out I highly recommend Pollo López on Beltrones (main drag through San Carlos) on the ocean side of the street just past Rescate as you head towards to Marina. It’s small, no seating, orange facade. They sell the most delicious fresh whole rotisserie chicken (they chop it up for you) that comes with potatoes, onions, jalapeños, tortillas and salsa for about $7US. Pro Tip: ask for extra potatoes! 

Last edited on Tue Dec 18th, 2018 01:59 pm by MountainbikeVH

Hook
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MountainbikeVH wrote: For take out I highly recommend Feliz Pollo on Beltrones (main drag through San Carlos) on the ocean side of the street just past Rescate as you head towards to Marina. It’s small, no seating, orange facade. They sell the most delicious fresh whole rotisserie chicken (they chop it up for you) that comes with potatoes, onions, jalapeños, tortillas and salsa for about $7US. Pro Tip: ask for extra potatoes! 

I think you are talking about Pollo Lopez. I believe Pollo Feliz is now closed, and we are awaiting the opening of Mazateno in its place.

MountainbikeVH
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Hook - woops you’re absolutely right, I have edited the name to Pollo Lopez. Thanks.

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I have always got a chuckle out of the name "Pollo Feliz"....El Pollo NO ES Feliz....La gente esta feliz...hahaha

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So there are good places to eat here. Chances are there are good places to eat where you live. I agree with JZ on this one, get out on the water and enjoy this beautiful coastline. Explore Guaymas a little, a bustling commercial seaport. Rent an ATV and explore the desert. The natural beauty here is what keeps people coming back. Please post your experience after your trip for other first timers.

390pony
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I much preferred Pollo Feliz, I find Pollo Lopez to be very greasy and unappetizing.

Jimmy
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The 2 main things that the local gringos do in San Carlos is.....Eat and Drink...Now that the Sea of Cortez is getting fished out they don't fish that much anymore.....
San Carlos used to be a small Drinking Village with a Fishing Problem.....Now not so much Fishing....
Newbies will want to get out and see the sights..Nacapule Canyon..the Ocean..etc...But after they have seen all the sights then all that is left to them is Drinking and Eating...


Oh I forgot....And Helping the Stray Dogs...

Last edited on Tue Dec 18th, 2018 07:39 pm by Jimmy

390pony
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Go diving!

dolphin007
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If ya don't mind the trek, visiting the BEAUTIFUL WHITE SAND BEACHES in La Munga. The food out there as well, Very good and inexpensive. A small fishing village that is supported greatly by gringos. Nonetheless, AWESOME folks live out there and its a great cultural experience!TRUELY BEAUTIFUL WHITE """""CLEAN""""" BEACHES.
DIVING IS STILL BIG IN SC! :o)
But I agree with Jimmy, San Carlos is practically fished out. if ya don't mind having to go 25 miles out. Quads, Horseback riding, the waterfalls as already stated. I would agree with sightseeing in Guaymas ( Not outside those parameters, especially after dark!sAN CARLOS IS PRETTY MUCH A EAT'N AND DRINKIN TOWN..San Carlosmis more of a quiet retirement town, NOT BIG for the very young 21-40 group!. THERE ARE SOME GREAT RESTAURANTS!
ENJOY!

repsilon
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The fishing has been good. Some good yellowtail are being caught and there are still lots of bonita. I run some charter boats and can take you out. There are lots of birds in the Estuary right now. I also rent out kayaks and paddleboards. Hike the Tetekawi or Nacapule. Pickleball is popular.


Bryan 
Repsilon@aol.com 

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I think that most will disagree with Jimmy and Dolphin about the winter fishing. The bonita are good eating and have almost been a nuisance. It was the best run ever, less 40 years ago when people that don't know how to catch fish (and maybe still have that problem) could catch a few. We've had phenomenal fishing throughout the year at times, once again. .. if you know what you  are doing. 25 miles out? That's a good area in summer. We haven't needed to go to the Island or up the coast much yet (@16mi.) and have usually been within a mile of shore, and even the harbor. There have been some great yellowtail catches lately, and some of the fish have been to 20#. Oh Jimmy.

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Thats why the Fishing Bd is Hopping with Excitement.....Sometimes it goes weeks without a post....I guess the Great Fishing is being kept a Secret??? 

Last edited on Wed Dec 19th, 2018 12:48 am by Jimmy

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Jimmy, are you here? You just heard from an expert, why not accept it? By the way many guys are saying the same thing.

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Been fishing down here for about 17 years.  Have never seen a Bonita bite last this long.  Also seems to be lots of smaller yellowtail.  Fished the bottom today within 1 mile of Doble and caught dinner for the next week or so. And I am one of the guys Bryan is talking about that doesn't know how to fish. 

repsilon
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First step is to have a line in the water!


There was an invasion of small yellowtail late Spring. There have been some larger fish around at times. 

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Guaymas is in the free zone correct? I was thinking of getting a vehicle permit just in case we decide to explore east of Hermosillo 

bachrachj
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You can get a car permit once you're here by going to the office south of Empalme. The place is practically deserted and it was easy to do. Look for the modular buildings on the right beneath the giant towers. Huge parking and bathroom facility with around 3 people working there. 2 are the ones that will get you your permit.

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Eating and drinking as the main gringo past time is not entirely accurate. There is a large (50-60 anglos) who volunteer to oversee the turtle hatchings this year under the guidance of a really great Mexican scientist. Some of the local schools would LOVE to have volunteer teachers run English language programs. ANY effort that would connect the Mexican culture with the Anglo culture is very productive and rewarding. If an Anglo is down here just to eat and drink, he/she is missing out on a great way of life !!!! We anglos have much to learn from being involved in the Mexican culture.

Last edited on Wed Dec 19th, 2018 01:54 pm by ballenamar

repsilon
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Why East of Hermosillo (maybe the Rio Sonora route)? Go south to Alamos and Fuente at the entrance to the Copper Canyon.

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I stand Corrected....Fishing is Great..Better than it has ever been...The speculation that the Sea of Cortez was Fished Out was premature. Still, not much said about the Fantastic Fishing is showing up on the Fishing Forum? Is it being kept a Secret?? 


I do not spend as much time in SC now due to The loss of a couple of dear Mexican Family members and the money sucking of some of the rest of them. That has caused in me a loss of love for SC. I usually just visit in Guaymas and other parts of Sonora now...
Sincerely,
Oh Jimmy

Last edited on Wed Dec 19th, 2018 02:06 pm by Jimmy

bachrachj
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"If an Anglo is down here just to eat and drink, he/she is missing out on a great way of life !!!! We anglos have much to learn from being involved in the Mexican culture"

I totally agree. The best advice we got when we first came here was from Guaymas Mary who told us to go the the Soriana at Calle Diez (10), park in the underground parking lot, then walk a block or two away from the main drag. Take a left on any street and walk to Tres Presidentes Plaza through the the "heart" of Guaymas. Say buenos dias to everyone you meet and be amazed at the responses. People will be a little surprised to see you, but I've never had a bad reply from a smile and a buenos dias. Then cross Serdan and come back on the other side.

My joke I like to tell to my friends is; San Carlos is great and if you want to see Mexico, it's only 10 miles away!

repsilon
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I'm sure it was insane in the 60's! The bottomfishing and fishing for select species has been severely impacted. Tecology, shared information, and gringo knowledge has improved though. I just don't think I was that 'out of it' as a kid. The fishing, less for dorado and bottomfish, seems like it just keeps getting better often. It just isn't fair to hang your hat up and go complain about talk about a few good past catches when we are bringing back even better catches all the time. Not many reports? Some of the guys aren't here, or are complacent now, share info. between their few friends, use Facebook, post a weekly report somewhere else and don't want to start an advertising war ;), know that their photos can't compare to others, or feel we don't need to try to convince others that the fishing is good.

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I have been fishing here in SC since the late 70's and I think we catch more fish now than back then. Our technique has certainly changed, but I have been out nearly a dozen times this year and have killed it. We have had several times jigging for YT when we have had triple hook ups. Find the dorado and that is a treat as well. Do not pass up the opportunity to get out with any of the incredible fishing guides.

Baja Sixer
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The reason we might go east of Hermosillo is we used to visit La Colorada and Las Prietas when I was young, haven’t been there since 1984. 
I’ve seen pics of the large Canadian pit mines and would like to see what the town looks like today.

Last edited on Thu Dec 20th, 2018 01:55 am by Baja Sixer



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