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Stone Island Mazatlan Tour

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What are your thoughts on a tour company planned visit to Stone Island versus a do it yourself Stone Island visit?

 

My wife and I are on a cruise in January 2020 that is stopping in Mazatlan from 9:00am – 5:00 pm. We are trying to decide if we should book a tour of Stone Island which includes pickup and drop off,  a 1 hour catamaran tour, 30 minute ATV tour, lunch and open bar (at Casa Cardona), and use of beachside facilities like palapas for the price of $114.00 total for two people, or should we just do the trip to Stone Island ourselves (without a tour company – a la carte). Doing it ourselves would entail us taking a short walk to catch a water taxi to Stone Island. I was told that it costs $2.00 per person round trip for the water taxi. After the water taxi ride, you must take a short walk down the beach to get to the restaurants. We have heard that Letys restaurant is a nice and reasonable place to eat or would you recommend another place with good food and reasonable prices. We want a good lunch and 4/5 alcoholic drinks each during our 3-4 hour stay on the beach. I was told that we may be able to arrange for our own ATV tour from a vendor on the beach for a good price. Is it true that you can arrange for your own activities on the beach?

 

What would you recommend for us and why? We are not afraid to walk a little. We are just trying to get the best deal for our money.

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We just did Stone Island in August and it is very easy to do on your own.  We took the water taxi and walked down the beach to Lety's.  They set us up with 3 lounge chairs and two umbrellas.  Chairs and umbrellas are complimentary with the purchase of cocktails/beers and/or food.  We did a week long land vacation and our day on Stone Island was one of our favorites.  The beaches are very swim-able and the food was fantastic.  We even rented a boogie board through Lety's for my son.  Yes you can arrange ATV's, banana boat rides and pony rides on the beach as well.  I know someone who did an arranged tour and they felt they didn't have enough beach time.  Just really depends on what you are looking to do for the day but I can't recommend Lety's high enough.  Can't wait to go back in June.  Happy to answer any  other questions you may have.

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Agree with snowdogsmm on all points. We always do Stone Island on our own because it is so easy and very inexpensive compared to an organized tour like OP describes.

 

Another place to consider for lunch/drinks is Molokay... our personal favorite! 😎

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Thanks snowdogsmm and KroozNut for taking the time to share your experiences on Stone Island. We were leaning towards doing Stone Island on our own rather than an arranged tour, so it was good to hear that it is doable and we could also possibly save a little money. Thanks again for your time.

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I would not pay $57 per person for this excursion, and I always do Stone Island DIY, but "a 1 hour catamaran tour, 30 minute ATV tour, lunch and open bar (at Casa Cardona)" would add up.  I do not know the prices, but just assigning prices pretty much picked out of the air, say $25 pp for the catamaran tour, $25 pp for the ATV rental, $25 pp for lunch and open bar, buying these separately seems to add up pretty quickly.  The $57 pp tour price might be a bargain!

 

My last visit to Stone Island, with a golf cart from the cruise terminal to the ferry dock (mobility issues), ferry fare for 4 people, drinks and snacks for four (included the use of chairs and a table under a shade umbrella), cost about $75 for the four of us.  But we did not go horseback riding, ATVing, sailing, …, and we drank only coconuts, virgins and soda. 

 

So, if you want all of these "extras", go for the tour so you know the costs up front.

 

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On 10/14/2019 at 1:41 PM, snowdogsmm said:

We just did Stone Island in August and it is very easy to do on your own.  We took the water taxi and walked down the beach to Lety's.  They set us up with 3 lounge chairs and two umbrellas.  Chairs and umbrellas are complimentary with the purchase of cocktails/beers and/or food.  We did a week long land vacation and our day on Stone Island was one of our favorites.  The beaches are very swim-able and the food was fantastic.  We even rented a boogie board through Lety's for my son.  Yes you can arrange ATV's, banana boat rides and pony rides on the beach as well.  I know someone who did an arranged tour and they felt they didn't have enough beach time.  Just really depends on what you are looking to do for the day but I can't recommend Lety's high enough.  Can't wait to go back in June.  Happy to answer any  other questions you may have.

 

Hi,

1.Does Stone Island have plenty of shade near the beach and at the restaurants? We need that.

2. If we did the NCL ship excursion, and our friends do it own their own, it is a small enough area where we would be able to easily find them and be together?

Thanks. 

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23 minutes ago, oregonian123 said:

 

Hi,

1.Does Stone Island have plenty of shade near the beach and at the restaurants? We need that.

2. If we did the NCL ship excursion, and our friends do it own their own, it is a small enough area where we would be able to easily find them and be together?

Thanks. 

 

To question #1: From our experience, yes. There are enough places to escape the sun if you need to do that.

 

Question #2: Possibly, but may depend on where your excursion takes you to, and where your friends are settled. The restaurants, etc. occupy a pretty long stretch of the beach, so you might not be able to find each other unless you prearranged a rendezvous point such as Lety's or Molokay for example.

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For shade, we kind of “rent” a table w/ umbrella from one of the restaurants.  “Kind of rent” because it isn’t a rental arrangement — we use the table, chairs and umbrella and we buy beverages and food.  Just like a sidewalk cafe at home.

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13 hours ago, KroozNut said:

 

To question #1: From our experience, yes. There are enough places to escape the sun if you need to do that.

 

Question #2: Possibly, but may depend on where your excursion takes you to, and where your friends are settled. The restaurants, etc. occupy a pretty long stretch of the beach, so you might not be able to find each other unless you prearranged a rendezvous point such as Lety's or Molokay for example.

 

Thank you. I like your suggestion of a meet up point. I think there ate lots of good reivews for Lety's, so that's probably what we will do.

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10 hours ago, Mike45LC said:

For shade, we kind of “rent” a table w/ umbrella from one of the restaurants.  “Kind of rent” because it isn’t a rental arrangement — we use the table, chairs and umbrella and we buy beverages and food.  Just like a sidewalk cafe at home.

 

Thank you. I will research to see if we can do this at Lety's.

 

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yes at Lety's you can have loungers and umbrellas or tables/chairs under their covered area.  They only ask that you purchased food and/or drinks.  Very accomodating.

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3 hours ago, oregonian123 said:

Does anyone know which restaurant is used by NCL for the lunch on their Stone Island Tour?

 

I can't say for sure because I've never actually taken an organized excursion to Stone Island from the ship, even though we visit Stone Island nearly every time we stop in Mazatlan.

 

I can say though that on our last visit there, while enjoying lunch, drinks and beautiful views at Molokay, we met a gentleman that was part of an organized cruise ship excursion that had stopped in there for lunch.

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On 10/14/2019 at 1:41 PM, snowdogsmm said:

We just did Stone Island in August and it is very easy to do on your own.  We took the water taxi and walked down the beach to Lety's.  They set us up with 3 lounge chairs and two umbrellas.  Chairs and umbrellas are complimentary with the purchase of cocktails/beers and/or food.  We did a week long land vacation and our day on Stone Island was one of our favorites.  The beaches are very swim-able and the food was fantastic.  We even rented a boogie board through Lety's for my son.  Yes you can arrange ATV's, banana boat rides and pony rides on the beach as well.  I know someone who did an arranged tour and they felt they didn't have enough beach time.  Just really depends on what you are looking to do for the day but I can't recommend Lety's high enough.  Can't wait to go back in June.  Happy to answer any  other questions you may have.

I have never taken a water taxi in Mazatlan. Where do you take it and how much is it to Stone Island?

Thank you, 

JB

Edited by jennybenny

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It is about a ten minute walk from the cruise terminal building.  Ask Falcon or one of the other blue shirt Volunteers— you turn left when you reach the road in front of the terminal building.

 

Cost:  30 pesos or $2US per person round trip.

 

then, the reasonable cost for food and drink, plus any activities there.

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Just got off our cruise last Sunday.  I always do Stone Island on our own.  We had a lot of new cruisers on our sailing and only two people were brave enough to join us (and had the time of their life).  First of all, honestly if you know your left from your right and can walk briskly for 10 minutes on a flat surface, you can find the ferry easily.  

 

Get off ship and take the shuttle through container area to the shops where many people are drinking and shopping.  Just keep walking through, ignore everyone offering you tours, taxis.  Anyone telling you, that it is too far to walk.

 

Get outside of the gate, you will see a block curving wall to your LEFT, just follow it (there will still be taxis asking you where you are going, just ignore them).  Honestly 10 minute walk by the wall.  It dead ends at a street, look up and you will see a sign (not new and neon, old paint that says stone island ferry).

 

Cross the street and walk down the uneven dirt road (you will start to see water. ). Pass the free roaming chickens .  You will see a small salmon colored shack (probably with some people just hanging around drinking). Go up to window, wait patiently for woman to end her phone call.  Pay $2 us pp for your round trip ticket (friend has pesos and I believe she paid 90 pesos).  Get your tiny tickets, walk to the right of shack and down the gangway to small dock at bottom.  When a boat pulls up, get in it. Expect to do it on your own (no one will be standing there trying to help you like on the ship tenders).

 

Short ride across water.  When you get out walk up short hill.  You can walk the beach which is long.  About halfway down you will see busier restaurants (tours go there)

 

OR you can jump in the back of a waiting truck (bed converted with benches and covered ) ask how much to Letys (should be $1 apiece).  There were other people in our truck who got out at the first stop (bear in mind that they are driving on a dirt road behind the restaurants you can,t see the beach during the ride).  We started to get out and our driver thankfully said no (as this was the stop in the middle of the beach).  When he stopped next time it was for us.  Directly between Lety,s and Carmelitas (which is actually where I always go. 

 

Ruben at Carmelitas is awesome and can set up massages (1 hour $30 us, hubby did this). (Atv 30 min for $20 friend and I did it).  Basically whatever you want ask them (I’m sure letys does the same.   Buckets of beer $1 apiece, awesome food.  Shad, sun loungers whatever.  I think we spent $200 (with generous tips) for all the above plus a bannaba boat ride steak nachos , shrimp tacos etc.

 

of note here, when the truck driver dropped us off , we told him to pick us back up at 5:30 pm (all aboard was 6:30 pm).  He was there early and Ruben knew what time we had to leave.  We walked onto the ship at 6:03 pm.

 

If you didn’t get or appreciate my humor, then you probably need to take an excursion.  If you “get it” then go on your own,  either way you will have a great time.  Question is how adventurous are you and how much do you want for your money.  Two ship friends who didn’t want to wait for us (as we waited for all who were invited ). Left on their own and then paid $30 apiece for a tour at the dock).

 

Hope this is helpful.  I found my way the first time years ago with detailed instructions from  CC.  We had such a great time and enjoying retirement we are doing it again in two weeks ,  Happy sailing everybody.

Edited by sprinkles
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Ps. I forgot to mention the $200 we spent was for the four of us, including tons of tequila.  I was hesitant to even post this as we love our quiet little piece of paradise.  But felt the need to pay it forward.  Too many great tips from CC through the years, I just don’t post very often anymore as usually someone has already answered.  It’s just so easy folks, the people who took the tour from the dock only had a few hours there.  We spent the entire day there.  Again happy cruising everybody.

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11 hours ago, sprinkles said:

Ps. I forgot to mention the $200 we spent was for the four of us, including tons of tequila.  I was hesitant to even post this as we love our quiet little piece of paradise.  But felt the need to pay it forward.  Too many great tips from CC through the years, I just don’t post very often anymore as usually someone has already answered.  It’s just so easy folks, the people who took the tour from the dock only had a few hours there.  We spent the entire day there.  Again happy cruising everybody.

Thank you for the very detailed description. I think we will do this on our cruise! 

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Your welcome jennybenny, I had seen your earlier post and was hoping you would see mine.  I really was trying to explain exactly how it went a little over a week ago.  Have a great time!

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So DH has some mobility issues, is there a way to get to and from the ferry terminal without walking?

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Yes, if it makes you feel any better, I personally have M.S. (I have had walkers on cruises before and always bring a cane) and DH is recovering from major back surgery (7months ago).  So I understand.  You could do the start of my suggestions up to walking out the main gate out of the “busy shopping area”.  Again, don’t talk to anyone inside the shopping area.

 

When you get out of the security gate, there are taxis there.  Ask them how much for “immediate /not waiting for other people”  to take you to the ferry “shack” cars drive on the dirt road, so there’s no reason they can’t take you right to the shack.  Let them know you know how short a walk it is (you can watch it yourself on the way and determine if you want to walk it back, I think someone said about 4 blocks on another thread, that sounds about right.  By the way, it is a fairly decent paved sidewalk, up to the dirt road part.

 

I wouldn’t pay more then $5 bucks including tip (even on my worst day).  Then when you get to the ferry shack, you can decide if you want to ask him a time to come back to get you.  Otherwise I’m fairly certain that the shack attendant would be willing to call you a cab.  Or better yet, whichever restaurant you choose to spend your time at, ask them, I have no doubt that they will arrange it for you.  Probably call someone when you get in the truck to go back to the ferry.

 

Also don,t forget getting into the water ferry itself. I chose to step on first, take our bag and put it on a seat, then help DH.  Of note it was easier for him then the water taxis in Cabo (for that we had him sit down on the bow (think front of ski boat kind of thing).  The truck on the other side had a step to get up into it.  If it’s not there when you get off ferry, wait for one (trust me I have walked this beach too many times in years gone by).  I’m leaving soon to go back and will try and inquire on a taxi price. Heck we might even take one for ourselves anyway, lol.  I’ll post on my return.

 

It,s doable and we’ll worth it!  Hope this helps.

Edited by sprinkles
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We always like to help out the beach venders too and buy their little odds and ends, straw beer holder, cheap jewelry, chicklets etc.

We drink eat and have a great time at Stone Island.

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4 hours ago, Buck Turgidson said:

We always like to help out the beach venders too and buy their little odds and ends, straw beer holder, cheap jewelry, chicklets etc.

We drink eat and have a great time at Stone Island.

We are going to be there next month and are going to give Stone Island a whirl.  We are suckers for all the cheap stuff the beach vendors sell as well.  There are some decent bargains to be had.  Which of the restaurants would be the best to hang out at?  I have heard good things about Lety's.  Any suggestions?

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