Bahia Kino Mexico
Bahia de Kino (Kino Bay) is a beautiful 15-mile long stretch of silk sand beach, located on the northwest coast of the state of Sonora, Mexico. It wasn’t long ago that Kino Bay was a little-known beach destination for those seeking a quiet place to soak up sun, swim, snorkel, or scuba dive in warm, tranquil waters of the Sea of Cortez. One of the best beaches in Sonora, Kino Bay is located 66 miles from Hermosillo, the capital city of Sonora, and a municipality whose governing includes Kino Bay.
Kino Bay was established in the later 17th century by Father Eusebio Kino, a Jesuit missionary, who set up a mission for the indigenous Seri Indians. Today, the village is home to 5,000 inhabitants and is divided into two parts – the old and the new. The old Kino Bay, “Kino Viejo”, is a rough and dusty fishing village. The new Kino Bay, “Kino Nuevo”, is where tourists gather on its beaches. Tourists include America’s “snowbirds” heading south for their winter excursions. They come in RVs to winter here and park in one of Kino Bay’s RV parks, or they rent or own homes on Kino Bay’s developing shoreline.
The beachfront homes are part of Kino Bay’s branding as a “Priority Tourist Zone” by the Sonora government, meaning that they have big plans to develop the area it into a leading tourist destination. To facilitate this, Kino Bay has built a new infrastructure, beautiful beachfront homes, and several hotels. Pending projects include a marina and a “nautical staircase” linking Baja, the United States and Sonora over the Sea of Cortez (a very ambitious project).
Due to the desert heat, Kino Bay’s high season runs from November thru March. At Kino Bay, visitors can experience many things, from the high-adventures of kayaking or deep-sea fishing in the Sea of Cortez, to relaxing in a hammock on the beach, or exploring Mexico’s largest island, Tiburon, sitting directly in front of Kino Bay’s shoreline.
Attractions & Things to Do in Kino Bay
Beaches – Kino Bay has several lovely white-sand, palapa-lined beaches, including the popular Kino Nuevo and Playa San Nicolas. Tranquil waters make the bay’s beaches safe for swimmers.
Snorkeling and scuba diving – in the beautiful Sea of Cortez, visitors regularly see colorful fish, species of the small invertebrates, clams, manta rays, sponges, and sea turtles.
Deep Sea Fishing – visitors to Kino Bay can find fishing equipment, charter boats, or take in a guided excursion with the hopes of catching sport fish like Sierra Mackerel, Yellowtail, Sea Bass, and occasionally a Dorado.
Tiburon Island – located 17 miles away over the Straits of Hell, just 45 minutes by boat on a calm day. However, the strait is aptly name because over rough seas it can take up to 5 hours and becomes very dangerous. The 400-acre ecological preserve is home to big horn sheep and mule deer as well as flora and fauna that exist nowhere else in the world. An interesting fact about this island is that in the 1960’s, even though it was Seri Indian territory, the Mexican marines established it as a refuge to protect large game animals from poaching and overzealous hunters. Today, the Seri don’t hunter here, and permits to hunt are auctioned off to wealthy big game hunters, typically selling for $75,000 USD. Permits are required to visit the island.
Patos Island – features a submerged Spanish vessels that once sailed the Sea of Cortez. Other nearby islands include San Esteban and Punto Sargento.
Museums – two museums highlight the cultural heritage of the indigenous Seri people.
Punta Chueca – an ancient Seri fishing village. Located 17 miles north of Kino Bay, it is home to about 1,000 Seri people. Visitors will see Seri women weaving intricate baskets (“canastas”), or necklaces, and both men and women carving beautiful figures made of ironwood. The Seris have long expressed themselves in colorful drawings and other artistry. Today it is a way of life, and their products are sold on Kino Bay’s beaches; a nice souvenir of authentic Mexican culture.
How to Get to Kino Bay
Fly into Hermosillo’s International Airport, which offers both domestic and international flights. From Hermosillo, Kino Bay is about a one-hour drive (107 km/66 miles) by car or bus. If traveling by car, travelers would head northwest out of town on Boulevard Encinas and keep driving until they see the turquoise waters of the Sea of Cortez. Buses run between Hermosillo and Kino Bay nearly ever hour during the day and into early evening.