Sonora Rally © 2015-2018 All rights reserved

Host Hotels 2019


March 17 & 18 - Hotel Araiza - San Luis Rio Colorado (same as 2018)

Hotel Araiza is about a mile from the boarder crossing in San Luis Rio Colorado (south of Yuma, Arizona).


Rally Registration takes place here on Sunday, March 17, 2019. Race Stage 1 on March 18 is a loop stage that starts and finishes in San Luis Rio Colorado, so you'll probably want a room here the nights of March 17 & 18. Race Stage 2 starts in San Luis Rio Colorado the morning of March 19 and finishes at a remote desert location where you will be camping. A special rate is setup at this Hotel Araiza for all coming to the rally, make sure to use the link below to make reservations in order to receive the discounted rate.


1) Click link above


3) Select Dates (probably March 17 and March 18)

4) Procede with online reservation process

* note prices are in Pesos!

** Price: 1,400 pesos (approximately $70us) / DOUBLE w / Breakfast


Hotel Araiza

Av. Madero y Calle 18 #1800, Col Residencias, San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora C.P. 83448

GPS: 32° 28.569'N 114° 45.593'W

Map Location



Information for hotels on later stages will be added here as soon as it is available.



Food 2018 (2019 info TBD)

What, when, where


Sonora Rally will be offering the below food package to all racers, crew, family at $150 per person.




$150 PER PERSON to include:


- BREAKFAST - 3 mornings

Breakfast Burritos, OJ, Coffee, Mexi Breads at desert Bivouacs and Buffet when Bivouac is at hotel


- DINNER - 4 Nights - (includes Awards Party Dinner)

San Luis bivouac dinners will be hosted by the local restaurants Horno 320 and La Faisana and will include some of their signature dishes. Puerto Peñasco dinner will be held in the bivouac and will include local fresh seafood (ceviche etc) and Puerto Peñasco tacos, quesadillas etc. The final dinner will be held at the hotel pool area and will be include a dinner buffet.






TECATE will be providing beers for purchase in Bivouacs and Cocktails will be for purchase at both hotel locations.


Please note: MARCH 20th breakfast is on your own. There is a buffet breakfast available at the host hotel.


Signup for the food package is available on the online race entry form or at rally registration at host Hotel in San Luis Rio Colorado.

Map to San Luis

Finding the hotel


The PDF map to the right has 4 pages, which is more complete than the single image to the left. Everybody should download and print the PDF map to aid in finding your way across the border and to the hotel and tech inspection areas. THIS MAP IS FROM THE 2018


Rallye Raid style race in Mexico

A truly unique race in

North America


March 17-22, 2019


Sonora, Mexico

In Brief

Yokohama Sonora Rally is a multi-day cross-country off-road rally in Mexico's scenic Sonora Desert, utilizing Dakar style rally roadbooks for navigation


The emphasis is on challenging rally style navigation through a wide variety of desert terrain. Race categories include motorcycles, quads, cars, trucks, and UTVs. The non-racing Adventure Raid class allows street licensed cars or trucks that may not have a roll cage.

The event is the brainchild of off-road and rally specialists Scott Whitney and Darren Skilton. Their vision was to present an off-road race unlike any other, introducing innovative elements that challenge the machine, and the competitor’s body, mind, and soul. They succeeded in that vision the first year, 2015, and Darren continues with that goal each year.

The aim is to provide a unique world-class rally that is both challenging for the best off-road competitors, as well as manageable by the less accomplished. Dakar vets will find familiarity in the rally format and terrain, while rally newcomers will get a strong taste of what Dakar is really like.


One aspect that sets this rally apart from all other off-road races in North America, and mimics the famous Dakar Rally, is the massive sand dunes, and extensive "HP" (off-track) compass heading navigation that is required to find your way.


Don't be mislead


Though you may see a lot of photos and discussion about the massive sand dunes from our previous events, don't think that's all you'll see in 2018. Dunes will still be a part of the event, however, we are expanding to even more all new terrain.


Competitors will traverse everything from rocky mountains, washes, kilometers of flat-out beaches, kilometers of roadless open deserts, the largest most remote sand dunes in the Americas, and more. If you’re familiar with Baja, Nevada, and similar traditional desert racing, kick those silty whooped-out habits because this is completely different ! Nearly all of Sonora Rally is on roads and roadless terrain completely unknown to off-road racing.

Bivouac Map

Map of Host Cities (2018)

The big picture


See where we will be staying each night.


Note that San Luis Rio Colorado where registration and the start of the rally takes place is right on the border, just south of Yuma AZ.

Imagine !


Course Location

It's secret!


As with most cross-country rallies, the actual race course is never published in any form, and never known by the racers until they are on it in the race. Roadbooks for each stage are handed out the evening before that stage is to be raced, so there is little time to study it, and no opportunity to prerun it. The course is not marked, and no GPS tracks will be provided, nor allowed. And since the whole event is held in a region few if any of the competitors have ever been to, there will be no “past experience” to give local knowledge advantage to one competitor over another. Twenty-year Baja racing veterans won't know the course any better than newcomers to Mexico.


How to follow the race course


A unique roadbook will be provided for each stage. The roadbook is the key tool for navigating the race course. All race vehicles are required to have an odometer with 1/10 or 1/100 kilometer precision, as well as a digital compass (GPS) that provides “true North” vehicle headings in numeric format (0 to 359 degrees). The odometer MUST be adjustable up and down in distance via manual control. Utilizing a GPS as an odometer is generally not acceptable since they are usually not easily adjustable on-the-fly. All distances in the roadbook will be in kilometers, not miles. These are all standard requirements for cross-country rallies worldwide.

Learn more about navigation in Sonora Rally here (Link to document will be provided later).


Lengthy details coming later for Navigation, GPS, Roadbooks, HP (compass headings), WPM (waypoints), etc.

Crew Support

Only in the bivouac


In cross-country rally, competitors take care of themselves on the race course. Crew support can only be given in the bivouac. Any support provided to competitors by crew members on Specials or Transfers is forbidden except where specifically authorized by the rally organization. Only competitors can help other competitors on Specials or Transfers (Liaisons).

Rally School

Learn how this rally works


An on-site rally school will be provided after Registration at the host hotel. The school will help rally rookies learn how to navigate by roadbook, and learn some of the basics of rally racing. Rally experts will also find the school helpful in understanding unique aspects of Sonora Rally roadbooks and GPS and WPM utilization. If you think "HP" means horsepower, you need this school !

Cars & Bikes

Safety through separation


Cars will start hours after the bikes, and some stages will be split towards the end so bikes and cars are on different tracks. The car course may also be a bit longer than the bike course to add to the separation.

Also, some of the stages will be mostly dunes and HP (no road) towards the end if not the full length. In those cases you won't be stuck on a road with a berm or cliff on each side. So, any car that might be approaching a bike can take their own path that doesn't coincide with the bike's path, and cars have the freedom to go well around to pass in these areas. In addition, it's tough to make dust in sand, so visibility in most areas should be excellent.

Overall, the mix of bikes and cars should be a non-issue.


In addition, we will be using the Rally Comp device which implements a Pass Alert function that allows a car to signal a bike (trigger a loud beeper on the bike) when approaching to pass. This type of alert system works very well as proven in Dakar and other events worldwide.


Fuel Range


Each stage has fuel available near the start of the Special (usually your gas can at the bivouac), and on some stages a single neutalized (off the clock) fuel stop mid-way through. Typically we aim for a distance between fuel supplies of 150 miles (240km) maximum.


We understand that 150 miles may be too far for some bikes and quads that are not ideally setup for rally competition. We will provide additional "intermediate" moto fuel stops supporting a maximum fuel range of approximately 90 miles (145km). However, the intermediate gas stop(s) will be "on the clock", so you would loose a minute or two gassing up that extra time. In some cases your crew are not allowed at the intermediate gas stops, so you will have to top off on your own, from the gas cans the race organization places at that point.


Cars, trucks, UTVs and Adventure Raid entries should have fuel range of at least 150 miles (240km). More range is better! Keep in mind fuel range is much worse in sand and dunes than what you would normally get, so give yourself plenty of margin! For those cars and UTVs that can not make the 150 mile distance, we allow them to gas up at the intermediate (90 mile) moto gas stops (with fuel they supply), but they will receive a 10 minute penalty if they stop for gas at these intermediate moto gas stops.

For reference, Dakar moto/quad rules require a range of 250km plus 20% margin, which is 186 miles (300km).



Fuel Stops and Fuel Cans


Competitors must supply their own fuel. All who need fuel at a intermediate moto fuel stop must supply full cans to our fuel stop crews the night before. Our crews will then deliver your fuel to the intermediate fuel stops. It will be to your advantage to have several fuel cans so you have fuel in the bivouac as well as at the fuel stops. For those who do not have at least 150 mile range, you may need to give two cans to our fuel crews so we can deliver them to a 90 mile stop and a 150 mile stop.


2017 details: There are numerous Pemex stations in both San Luis Rio Colorado and Puerto Peñasco. There is one Pemex fuel station a few miles from the bivouac near San Luis Rio Colorado. There are many Pemex fuel stations near the bivouac in Puerto Peñasco. There is one Pemex station near the bivouac in Puerto Libertad.


Be aware you are not allowed to bring a lot of fuel across the border into Mexico in fuel cans. They may let one through, but if you have a bunch of full ones, they may stop you and make you pay a tax. So, it's better to bring them in empty and fill them in Mexico.


2017 NOTE: The Pemex gas station in Puerto Libertad does not have 92 octane “Red” fuel. They only have lower octane “Green” fuel. If your race vehicle requires high octane fuel, you should bring it yourself from Puerto Peñasco where it is commonly available.



What is the bivouac?


The bivouac is generally an encampment where competitors and crew stay overnight between rally stages. It's a pit area, camping area, eating area, social hangout and more, all wrapped up in one cool place. It's often in a remote dirt location where few if any conveniences are available.


At some of our previous events, the bivouac was nothing more than an abandoned brick barn surrounded by miles of wide-open desert. Yet we turned it into a really cool place that the competitors loved!

Bivouac Food


San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico


Average HIGH temperature in March is 80°F (27°C) - San Luis Rio Colorado

Average LOW temperature in March is 49°F (9°C) - San Luis Rio Colorado

Average RAIN in April is 0.2 in (0.5 cm) - San Luis Rio Colorado


TODAY's Weather - San Luis Rio Colorado

TODAY's Weather - Puerto Peñasco

Number Plates


Moto Number Plate Race Sticker

- FRONT only

- Width 18.5cm (7.27 inch) x Height 19.5cm (7.6 inch)


Car, Truck, Adventure Raid & UTV Number Plate Race Sticker

- SIDES (doors) x2

- Width 37cm (14.5 inch) x Height 39cm (15.2 inch)




Numbers will be assigned, Motos 1-49, Cars/UTVs 51-99.


Number stickers will be handed out at registration at the hotel.


The rally logo and sponsor portions of the sticker must be clearly visible on the vehicle. If the logo/sponsor doesn't fit while attached to the number, the logo/sponsor portions may be cut off and attached in an equally visible adjacent position.



Mexico Auto Insurance


You should have this!

All racers are insured while racing and while on transit stages, through the organization. However if you drive your race car / moto anywhere outside of race time... to get gas, to go to hotel etc ... you must carry your own Mexican liability insurance. It is a requirement for the rally. You can get this insurance through Instant Mexico Insurance. Their office has been informed - mention Sonora Rally and they will know how to insure you. If you are not able to get insurance prior to registration Miguel Rico will be at registration to help insure you on the spot.


Miguel Rico is our representative and should you have any additional questions please don't hesitate to email him:


We will require proof of Mexican liability insurance before banding you.


You should have Mexico auto insurance on all vehicles taken into Mexico, including your crew vehicle.

Customs Form for crossing the border


Make the crossing easier on yourself

In order to facilitate an easy border crossing into Mexico we need the linked form filled out so we can send the info to the proper authorities.


EVERY vehicle being driven across the border must have a customs list form filled out with driver and passenger names.


If you are crossing the border without any significant items such as race vehicle, trailer, tools or supplies, you should be fine without filling out this form.


You must have registration papers for all vehicles crossing the border, including your race vehicle. And the person who is named on those registration papers must be there when crossing the border. Otherwise you may not be allowed into Mexico.



Buy your tourist permit at the border.

Do not bring more than $10,000 cash unless you declare it.

Do not bring across full gas cans or drums (they must be empty).

No excessive spare parts / merchandise.


Sat Phones 2018 (2019 info TBD)


Required for Competitors

All competitors (including Adventure Raid) are required to carry an operational Satellite Phone (one per vehicle). You may bring your own, or rent one. We have arranged the following deal with Satellite Phone Store for rentals. Non-competitors are welcome to rent a phone as well.


Mention "Sonora Rally" to receive this special price.


Price $90, includes:

- Fully charged Ínmarsat satellite phone (IsatPhone2), or Iridium 9555 for $10 more

- Spare battery

- Small hard case

- AC and DC combined charger and USB charging cable

- Quick Start guide

- Shipping to the customer via UPS

- Only pay for the minutes and text messages used. $1.99/minute

- Rental dates approximately Mar 17th – April 1st (2 weeks +2 days) to give everyone time to receive their orders

and ship them back.

*Or pickup and drop off in San Diego is available, Satellite Phone Store likes to meet customers and give

them a brief tutorial if they have never used one before.