Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook
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Making the Most of Mazatlan, Mexico
Making the Most of Mazatlan, Mexico
GETTING TO MAZATLAN
The Disney Wonder docks in Mazatlán’s commercial cargo port south of downtown. No tendering should be necessary. You can expect to go ashore around 8:00 am. A “complimentary and compulsory” shuttle takes you to a more tourist-friendly port area, offering shops and bars. Other than this, there’s not much around. Taxis are plentiful and reasonably priced—look for the green and white (or red and white) vehicles known as “eco-taxis.” Taxi fare is about $10 to $12 for a trip to the Golden Zone. Or you can get a Pulmonia ride (an open-air taxi that looks a bit like a golf cart) for roughly the same price. Buses are also available for about $7/family. There’s an English-speaking Visitor Information Center available upon arrival for transportation questions, too. All ashore time is 8:00 am. All aboard time is 4:45 pm.
GETTING AROUND MAZATLAN
Mazatlán has four prime tourist areas. Old Mazatlán, the city center (Centro), is near the southern end of a peninsula. Its colonial charm is quaint and it’s a good spot for some casual exploratory walking. Zona Dorada (the Golden Zone) is a 10-mile stretch of sandy beaches—it’s the tourist heart of the city, populated with shops, restaurants, and hotels. Isla de la Piedra (Stone Island) is east of the Mazatlán peninsula and a short boat ride away—you’re most likely to visit it as part of an excursion. And finally, Isla de Venados (Deer Island) is a natural reserve protecting the native flora and fauna—again, you’re most likely to visit this island as part of an excursion.
STAYING SAFE IN MAZATLAN
El Centro in Old Mazatlán and the Golden Zone are generally safe for tourists who take common sense precautions. Avoid the local tap water—opt for bottled water instead. While the water has improved much over the years, it’s best not to take the chance here. Few beaches have lifeguards, so be careful and don’t swim when you see red flags. We strongly suggest that you rent diving equipment only from outfits that require you to have a certification card—others may not be sufficiently safety-conscious. Like most Mexican destinations, there is no shortage of peddlers. Usually a simple “no” does the trick, but if not, it’s best to ignore them outright. Mazatlan is a very large city, with a population approaching a quarter of a million. Use your normal “big city smarts” when going about town. Oh, and if you and tequila don’t go well together, let us forewarn you that virtually every mixed drink is made with tequila.
In August 2017, the U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning for this region of Mexico: One of Mexico’s most powerful criminal organizations is based in the state of Sinaloa, and violent crime rates remain high in many parts of the state. Defer non-essential travel to the state of Sinaloa, except the cities of Mazatlan, Los Mochis, and the Port of Topolobampo. Travel in Mazatlan should be limited to Zona Dorada, the historic town center, as well as direct routes to and from these locations and the airport. Travel in Los Mochis and Topolobampo is restricted to the city and the port, as well as direct routes to/from these locations and the airport.
Top Photo Slice: Mazatlan Cathedral (℗ 53503) Photo contributed by © Creative Commons
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