Sonora Bay

Sonora Bay

This is a bit bigger than the 'normal' size Club, meaning about 750 people when it's full; but it is rarely anything close to full. One visit I had, there were only around 100. Some people really like this aspect as you really get to know everyone there; try that at Cancun. This village draws mainly West coasters - Canadian and American; many Mexicans also.

The rooms are in two groups, one near the tennis and horse stables (A-D), and the other spread along the beach toward the sailing and scuba (S,T,V,Y,Z). Depending on your interests, you might prefer one over the other. The beds are in alcoves and can not be pushed together, like most other villages.

Note: This village is open from March or April through October, only.

Trivia note: The beach scenes in the movie Catch-22 were shot on what is now this village's beach. Also, on the hillside behind the village you can see the dirt runway made for the movie.

Sonora Bay map
Sonora Bay map

Some Sonora Bay pictures
Sonora Bay pics

This village has just about every sport imaginable. They are only lacking the circus. Big time on tennis and horseback riding. This is also a Dedicated Dive Center, more on that in a bit. If you want to kill yourself on sports, this is the village to do it at.

This is an especially nice village for West coasters. Relatively quick and easy to get to. Most people will make flight connections through Phoenix. I met one person that lived in Phoenix, who drove down several times a month for long weekends.

This village is located fairly far north and has the same weather conditions as most deserts. Hot as hell during the summer and very cold during the winter. Club Med really screwed up when they first opened this village by trying to keep it running during the winter. Back then, everything was open air and there was no relief from the strong cold winter winds. The common areas now have glass doors that can be shut and this may be the only 'beach' village you'll see that has a fireplace. Thankfully the village is now only operated during the warmer times of the year. Lets clarify that. During the summer it is HOT - VERY VERY HOT! The Club catalog has a temperature chart topping at 95 during the Summer peak, do NOT believe it. Expect temps well above 100; like maybe 115 or 120. I would suggest the milder times of the year - May, early June, late September, or October.

Depending on your attitude this can go under the heading of 'pro' or 'con'. This village IS in the desert. It has the look and feel of Phoenix; without all the people. If you don't like deserts, you will not like it here. Personally I lean in the other direction. The area has a stark beauty that I find very appealing.

SCUBA diving.
This is a Dedicated Dive Center. Club Med is really pushing it on this one, about all it means is a 2 tank dive per day. The water temp can be anything from freezing to almost too hot; depending on the time of the year that you are there. Wetsuits are available free of charge. There just are not any good dive sites locally and the vis can be pretty bad. There was only one local spot that I can say I really, really enjoyed. The diving off Seal Island is very nice and there is a good chance of seeing dolphin and/or whale on the trip over. The down side of going to the island is it burns up most of a day; which is why they don't do it everyday. Diving with the playful seals is great fun; just watch out for the big males. The Diaz wreck is a worthwhile semi-local dive also. There is no dock for the dive boats to tie up to, so transfers are by skiffs, boarded on the beach. If the ocean is rough, the boarding may be done in the lagoon. A night dive is done on Wednesday. A computer is not needed at any of the dive sites.

Dive Sites
8AM (Nomad) 8:30AM (Sabrina)
Monday Seal Island Diaz Wreck
Tuesday Diaz Wreck Local
Wednesday Seal Island Local
Thursday Local Local
Friday Seal Island Diaz Wreck
Saturday Local (7:45AM)
Sunday Local (7:45AM)

NOTE: Local dives return about 12PM, Diaz Wreck around 1PM, and Seal Island around 2PM.

Recommended excursions:
Everyone seems to like the 'Seal Island' - snorkeling trip. I think if you haven't been to the island it's well worthwhile.

Seal Island by boat, 1/2 day
Sunset Cruse by boat, 2 hours
San Carlos by bus, 1/2 day
Deep Sea Fishing by boat, 1/2 day
Cavern Kayak must be in good physical condition, 1/2 day
Estuary Kayak 1/2 day
Trimaran: Sail & Snorkel 1/2 day
Mountain Bike must be in good physical condition, 1/2 day
Canyon Ecotour "Barajitas" by boat and by foot, 1/2 day

Horseback Riding
Pool Party Ride Wed & Thur, 3:30 to 6:15PM, $60US
Breakfast Ride Fri, 8 to 10:45AM, $60US
Hollywood Movie Ride Thur, 8:30 to 10:30AM, $45US
Beginner Trail Ride Sun & Tue & Fri: 3:30PM, Mon & Wed: 8:30AM, 1 hour, $30US
Low Intermediate Trail Ride Sun & Tue & Fri: 3:30PM, Mon & Wed: 8:30AM, 1 hour, $30US
Intermediate Trail Ride Mon: 3:30PM, Sun & Tue & Thur: 8:30AM, 1 hour, $30US
Advanced Trail Ride Mon: 3:30PM, Sun & Tue & Thur: 8:30AM, 1 hour, $30US

Most recent visit: June-99

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