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Mazatlan Level 4 Travel Warning

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So let me start by saying I've done this itinerary at least a half dozen times and various other Mexico cruises (Ensenada, Cabo, etc.) and have always felt safe going on excursions with independent operators.  This time around however, I am quite concerned about the Level 4 travel warning for Mazatlan which has a "do not travel" description. The other ports have remained steady at a Level 2 over the years but the state of Sinaloa now has a Level 4 (which I have never seen before).  

I originally booked a tour to Turtle Farms but am now thinking twice as it requires a 45 minute drive from the cruise port. 

 

Am interested to hear everyone's thoughts and experiences. 

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This is what is included in the US Travel Advisory...

 

Sinaloa State – Level 4: Do not travel due to crime. Violent crime is widespread. Criminal organizations are based and operating in Sinaloa state. U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel in most areas of the Sinaloa.

 

 

 

Mazatlan: U.S. government travel is permitted only in Zona Dorada, the historic town center, and direct routes to and from these locations and the airport or the cruise ship terminal.

 

 

 

Los Mochis and Port Topolobampo: U.S. government travel is permitted within the city and the port, as well as direct routes to and from these locations and the airport.

 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, riffatsea said:

Please tell us where you found this level 4 advisory??

 On the official site I only see a Level 2 advisory which is the same as last year.

Here is the web site from the USA government that I used:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/mexico-travel-advisory.html

In the exact link you posted, scroll down to:

 

Sinaloa state – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime.

Violent crime is widespread. Criminal organizations are based and operating in Sinaloa state.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Mazatlan: U.S. government employees may travel by air or sea only. U.S. government employees are limited to the Zona Dorada and historic town center, and must use direct routes when traveling to and from those locations and the airport and cruise terminals.

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OK thanks!

We have seen this before.

I will go to the Mazatlan forum on Trip Advisor to see what the Canadian and American snowbirds say who spend the winter there.

We also have done this itinerary many many times and have not had issues staying near the port areas and main downtown areas.

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Love to hear what the "local" Canadians/Americans have to say.  Staying around the port is one thing, my concern was about traveling 45 minutes by car to the turtle spot my daughter wanted to visit.

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Thanks for reposting.  I've travelled a bunch and rarely see this Level 4 advisory so it definitely gives me pause (especially since I'm traveling with my young daughter).

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I understand your concern! We are considering a tour to one of the smaller villages about 45min away from the city also.

Here is the thread from Trip Adviser. The answers all seem to think these advisories are more political than real:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g150792-i257-k12305068-Going_outside_of_the_city_north_and_south_Travel_warning-Mazatlan_Pacific_Coast.html

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ugh.  i have a cruise booked to mexican riviera next month with two little ones (6 and 4) and have never been to mazatlan.  should i be afraid of this particular port?  

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@dethman,

Have you read the information listed above???

There is no need to be afraid of the port!!

Go to Stone Island with the little ones and enjoy the beach.

 

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My in laws live there right now and say it is very safe. I've been there and it is a wonderful place with amazing people. Just be smart about your decisions like you would traveling anywhere in the world! I second Stone Island!

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Super low likelihood of being caught up in anything.  Tijuana, the Mexican city closest to me, just set a crazy record of about 3,000 murders last year.  Most were related to gangs fighting gangs in areas of the city where I don't go as a visitor. 

 

I do worry personally sometimes about "secuestracion," or kidnapping by gangs as I do know people who have experienced this issue personally and have actually lost family members.  This, however, will not happen on a cruise excursion as the gangs know not to mess with tourists in groups.

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On 2/8/2019 at 10:59 AM, fuzzychop1 said:

My in laws live there right now and say it is very safe. I've been there and it is a wonderful place with amazing people. Just be smart about your decisions like you would traveling anywhere in the world! I second Stone Island!

Once you boat over to Stone Island, where do u go?  Are there free beaches or only hotels/bars that control sections of the beach? Thanks

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Lived in mexico in 2006-2007 for two years and traveled everywhere. Been to all the top tourist beaches, and the areas not well known.  In our two years we visited almost every state in the Mexican union, we got in trouble once, on a mexico city subway, got pickpocketed, should have never got on a packed train, knew better but was in a hurry.  Just a few tips, leave your bling on the ship, or better yet at home.  Dress casual, you are not going to prom on the Mexico beaches.....  Try to blend in....  was hard for me, 6'4 red head and a 5'10 blond wife, but we did fine.  Don't be stupid, don't ask for trouble, don't listen to the media that loves shock value.  

 

These vacation towns on the beach are probably safer then Miami or Detroit!  I would use caution at any boarder towns, and areas where the drug trade is ongoing, which the state Sinaloa  is know for, but will not be an issue where tourist are.  

 

As for this turtle tour, how are the online reviews for this trip or company putting on?  Can you google the beach you are going to research?  Call the people and ask them about the risks?  I'm guessing with that distance, you will be fine.  If you were going an hour or two into the interior i would probably tell you to pass.

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I can't speak specifically to Mazatlan, but we did a Sea Turtle rescue and city tour excursion that took us about 40 minutes away from the port in Acapulco when they were also under a level 4 advisory and never felt unsafe for a second.  Our tour guide was very open about the issues with the drug gangs, but was reassuring that we were safe.  I would hate to have missed what turned out to be one of our favorite excursions ever due to fear of something extremely, extremely unlikely happening.  I'm also reminded of my travels to China where I heard from the Chinese about how they are warned not to to travel to the U.S. due to the risk of gun violence.  Many in China really do believe that there is a high risk of getting shot if they travel here.   

 

Research and ultimately do what you're most comfortable with, but if I were in your position, I'd go see the turtles!  I mean, look how cute they are and how much fun we had:

https://profcruise.com/the-best-excursion-in-acapulco-and-the-tale-of-doug-the-sea-turtle/

 

Either way, have a great cruise!  Staying on the boat is always fun too! 

 

 

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On ‎2‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 11:45 PM, cwalmonds said:

Once you boat over to Stone Island, where do u go?  Are there free beaches or only hotels/bars that control sections of the beach? Thanks

Once you are at Stone Island, a short walk will bring you to the beach.  The beach is free, but you will want to settle down on chairs or lounge chairs that belong to the restaurants on the beach.  The restaurants' demands are very reasonable.  Get a few drinks and an appetizer, and settle in for a few hours of enjoyment.

 

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Thanks for the warning! I have noticed these off and on over the last few years and for a while ships weren't even stopping here.  With this up, I think instead of going ashore independently, as we would be inclined, I will book a shore excursion through the ship. They keep a close eye in regards to passenger safety and will cancel anything that doesn't look safe.

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You're welcome.  I've gone back and forth second guessing myself but have decided to stick with my instincts (cancelled independent tour) and will just play it by ear.  We leave in the morning so I'll report back if I get any more info while on board.

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Japan, Canada, Mexico, England, and Turkey have all issued travel warnings to their citizens considering a visit to the USA.

Will you consider cancelling your traveling there as well?

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Was on the Grand Feb 11th to Mexico.... in Mazatlán....

 

We rode the free, mandatory, trolley to the terminal....then you walk thru the terminal to the access to the town.

 

(there's a nice OXXO store....think 7-11 right here....that you can buy any drinks you need, cheap)

 

From there you can walk the BLUE LINE on the street to the central Market area....

 

From there you can walk 4-5 (small street) blocks to the Cathedral...

then return to the central Market

 

Then we went WEST from the central Market 10-12 small blocks to the BEACH...small access

we were able to go down a few steps and walk in the water.  I think from here you can 

take the sidewalk....all the way to the Golden area....but we didn't want to walk that far.

 

There were lots of cruisers on these main pathways.

 

AND there were a bunch of what looked like ex-retired-Americans in BLUE TSHIRTS all over the blue line corners helping people stay on track and answering questions....

 

There were also POLICE cars, trucks, and crossing guards along the blue line to the market.

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