In the Indigenous language Cahitia, Guaymas meant “To throw arrows to the head ".
The first one to discover the Bay of Guaymas seems to have been Francisco de Ulloa, companion of Hernando Cortes. He first explored the area in September, 1539.
At the beginning of 1701 P. JUAN MARIA SALVATIERRA S.J. came to Guaymas and founded the mission of San Jose. Don Juan de Gálvez General del Virreinato of New Spain expressed the following decree on August 31, 1769: " In order that the port of Guaymas could prosper, they will construct houses and stores, with land being distributed at the same time to individuals. ".
In 1813 the "King Fernando" was anchored in bay of Guaymas for 5 months and did in depth explorations.
On March 26, 1814, the Spanish Parliament approved maritime traffic for Guaymas. On the 9th of November, 1820 open trade was declared with the port of Guaymas and on November 20 of the same year the maritime custom was established.
Sr. John A. Robinson, American citizen and later consular agent in Guaymas, in his memoirs said, “San Fernando of Guaymas has visited in 1821 and at that time there was only a house that was used as customs and a hut at the foot of the hill occupied by a thief since the population was taking root in San Jose of Guaymas.
In 1825, The Political Local Constitution arranged that town halls were formed. From that year Guaymas had the category of municipality.
In 1827 the first commercial movement is registered in the new Port of Guaymas, with the arrival of four ships bringing 650 tons of diverse products with value of 104,947 pesos, 7 royal ones.
The first constructions to improve the maritime movement began on the first of November, 1836. They began construction of the first wharf in Guaymas.
Invasions against the Port of Guaymas began in 1847. A North American fleet anchored and opened fire with cannons against the port.
In 1851, a French vagabond, Marques de Pindray, jumped from his boat to land, accompanied by eighty eight followers. A riot broke out resulting in numerous deaths.
In 1865, French ships attacked the port and occupied the port until 1866.
The Pacific Mail Steamship Co. began sending the ship “Curazao” on a monthly trip between San Franiciso and Guaymas. The Mexican West Coast Steamship Co. was operating thirteen ships of the Pacific Mail and Stemship Co. They were traveling to the ports of La Paz, Guaymas, Mazatlan and San Blas.
During this time, nothing was creating more interest than the arrival of big German boats. They were bringing china, porcelain, kitchen utensils, cutlery and exquisite linens from England.
In 1880, a contract was signed with the steam “Newbwen” of California.. That same year, the Railroad of Sonora initiated travel in Guaymas. A wharf of access was constructed to receive different material and machineries for the railroad
Ata the end of the 19th century, Guaymas was relying on merchant fleets that were the property of the CIA. In these years, the CIA bought three steam ships, Korrigan, Korrigan II and the Korrigan III. These ships were coming to the port of Guaymas loaded with copper of Santa Rosalia. In 1890, the population of Guaymas was 10,000. These people were proud to live in a city with modern services: electricity, telegraph, urban railroad and especially a communication with the principal ports of the world across big shipping companies. The economy of the port was of great importance.
In 1913, five ships belonging to federal forces were anchored in the bay, and the first air bombardment ona naval ship was initiated.. In 1925, naval zones were constructed..
On November 5, 1935, the local legislature votes for the following decree:” the title is granted the Port of Heroic, for the action of heroism, defending the state and the Mother land itself”
In 1942, there was new construction in the wharf, due to a fire that caused massive destruction.
In 1961, PEMEX’s wharf is constructed.
In 1964, the unit of silos is constructed for the exportation of grains.
In 1995, The Administration Portuaria Integral of Guaymas replaces Guaymas Port Services. Its principal aim is to administer, to supervise, to control and to promote goods, services and activities inside the Port Enclosure. It operates with usefulness and, with its own resources, achieves self sufficiency.