Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
WarmWaters

Mazatlán - Compiled Info : Beaches & Snorkelling

Recommended Posts

has anyone done the Kolonahe Catamaran Tour to Deeer Island? If so was it fun? Are there any shaded areas or umbrellas that can be rented thanks? Doug

 

 

Hello Doug,

 

We did this excursion. Although we had a nice time, we would not do it again. :(

 

We spent $15 on a cab to get to the El Cid Marina and the driver did not have change, so it ended up costing us $20 one way. The tour did not seem to be organized very well and the crew was very laid back, which I suppose is a theme in Mexico, and they seemed to have their own time schedule. LOL. :). This would have been okay except that we had a ship to return to!!

 

We rushed off the Mariner to a taxi then waited 1 1/2 hours at the dock while they waited for passengers and loaded ice & drinks onboard. The sailing part was enjoyable and they did have an open bar, although most people were not drinking. I believe we were the only cruise-ship passengers onboard. Most people were staying at local hotels, so obviously they were not too concerned about the return time.

 

The primary reason we would not do it again is because of the stress involved getting back to the ship! We barely made it back in time, with only 15-20 minutes to spare, when we should have had 2-3 hours to spare...:eek:

 

Luckily, on the return trip we had a pulmonia cab driver that thought he was driving in the Indy 500!!!:eek: LOL. The kids thought it was great fun weaving in and out of traffic in an open air cab, as if we were in some kind of James Bond movie.......us parents,... not so much!!! Dh and I were trying to come up with a plan B and devise a way to meet up with the ship in Puerta Vallarta the following day if need be......no kidding.

 

Needless to say, our cabby got us to the ship and was paid very well for doing so!

 

Overall, it was an enjoyable day. Let me try to answer some of your questions now.....Deer Island is very pretty with a nice small beach area. The snorkeling was so-so. The equipment was in poor condition and the water was cloudy and visibility was not as good as in Cabo the previous day.

 

It was very hot that day, but the water was perfect for swimming. There are no umbrellas for rent but there was a couple of palapas with chairs on a first come basis and a shady porch area where we ate....They had 2 kayaks available for approx. 50 people to share, so we did not have a chance to try that. We did try the banana boat ride and we all enjoyed that very much!!! :D There was one "rustic" restroom on the island and a nasty crew restroom onboard the catamaran. A hot lunch consisting of rice, beans, shredded beef, tortillas, salsa etc...was provided and the open bar continued. Someone brought the food over from the mainland in a little boat. Actually, that may have also added to the delays.

 

I'm sorry to disappoint you with news about this excursion. It was fun, but far too stressful for cruise ship passengers. Your experience may be completely different, of course. :) However, the fact that we were "trapped" on the island and had no possible way of leaving early just compounded the problem. I suggest looking for an alternative excursion and avoiding the stress.

 

Enjoy your cruise!

Karen

Edited by Craving A Cruise
typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We may still do the excursion as nothing else we reviewed seemed too worthwhile and we like the idea of snorkeling, banana boat, beach and there is a supposed to be a nice hike on the island and all for 45$. We are pretty active people and the idea of a city tour though one was well recommended by Mazatlan Frank seems a little lame for us. Thanks alot for your input, I guess it is also best to bring small change . Lots of 5$ and 1$ bills.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We may still do the excursion as nothing else we reviewed seemed too worthwhile and we like the idea of snorkeling, banana boat, beach and there is a supposed to be a nice hike on the island and all for 45$. We are pretty active people and the idea of a city tour though one was well recommended by Mazatlan Frank seems a little lame for us. Thanks alot for your input, I guess it is also best to bring small change . Lots of 5$ and 1$ bills.

 

 

Hi again Douglash,

 

I just thought I should clarify my previous response to you about the Kolonahe Catamaran.

 

I didn't mean to sound negative about the trip, so I apologize if it came across like that. After discussing this excursion with my family, we all agreed that it was indeed a fun day! My teens really enjoyed it :) and would like to do it again. However, Dh & I would like to try something different next time.

 

I suppose our teens were completely oblivious to the fact that we almost missed the ship...:eek: LOL....Unfortunately, Dh & I were unable to really relax and enjoy the 2nd part of the day, once we realized that we were possibly going to get back too late and we better come up with a "Plan B" just in case we did indeed miss the Mariner.

 

Imho, It is a little risky booking something like this on your own. As I mentioned previously, we were the only cruise ship passengers on board... Which may tell you something...? I would hope that no one has missed the ship previously...

 

The El Cid Marina is a good distance from the port, so you will need to allow plenty of time to travel back & forth...... I believe the tour was supposed to be back by 2:30pm, but we didn't get back until about 4:15pm!.... Then we had to wait for a taxi...The Mariner's last "ALL ABOARD" call is at 5:30pm and we did not get back to the port until 5:10-5:15pm...:eek:

 

If you do decide to go, just keep track of the time. In hindsight, we probably could have tried to get back to the mainland on a different tour boat or private boat if we had thought of it. Of course, your excursion may run on time as scheduled and you won't face any delays..

 

Also, the catamaran docks off the island in deeper water, so you will be ferried to the shore in a small boat and will then have to jump out onto the beach. Getting back into the boat was a problem for several people in our group. This may not be a problem for you since you are "active", but I thought I should mention this fact since others are reading this post....

 

Let me know if you have any more questions, I'll be happy to answer them.

 

Bon Voyage!

 

p.s. Yes, bring lots of small bills for the taxi and don't forget to tip the catamaran crew also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A thousand thank you's for this most informative post!! It is printed out and will be instrumental in making this cruise planning less stressful. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Craving a cruise for the info. I could definetely understand the nervousness given the time pressures you were under but I think we are going to book it. We are traveling with my partner's parents from Long Beach who are in their 70's and only fairly active at best. The mom is very fair skinnned and while I think they would enjoy the catamarran ride, it appears there is little or no shaded areas on the island which is a must for her plus they may be pretty bored as they are not snorkelrs or hikers. I think a city tour would be better for them. Thanks again for the information and hope we have some good weather out there as the East Coast has been miserably cold this year. Regards, Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the info. We wanted to go to Stone Island on our own time, so thanks for all the info will print and take this with us. Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never been on the Pacific waters before just wondering about how rough the seas are and are the waters warm like caribean?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've never been on the Pacific waters before just wondering about how rough the seas are and are the waters warm like caribean?

Thanks

 

Hi Katiecat-

 

I'm wondering the same thing! I just booked the Splendor sailing Jan 16, 2011 and this will be the first Mexican Riviera route for us.

 

Hope it's calm like the Victory sailing Jan 17th! It couldn't get any better than that!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anybody have approximate costs for food and activity rentals (horses, floaties etc) on Stone Island? Most "tours" are $35 or so that includes lunch and 2 activities. Not sure we would get our monies worth. :confused: Seems to me taking the water taxi and buying lunch would be the way to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've never been on the Pacific waters before just wondering about how rough the seas are and are the waters warm like caribean?

Thanks

 

 

The water on the Pacific side is a little rougher than the Caribbean. I think the only place we really noticed it was on the beach. The Pacific waves crash and slam where the Caribbean waves roll in.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Nancy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you very much for the great information. I too have been looking with difficulty.

 

My question:

 

Is it better to have Peso's or American dollars? Where is the best place to get Pesos? PV will be our first stop?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trust me on this one. Been to stone island 4 times. Do it yourself and park yourself at Victors.

Cheap beer and Great BBQ garlic shrimp. ATV Rentals are near by or horseback riding is close too. Can't remember the price on the latter 2. But its deffinately affordable. I've done both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bumping this thread in case anyone has snorkeled in Mazatlan recently and would like to weigh in? I am a novice snorkeler, and I don't have high expectations for Mazatlan... I just want to be out there snorkeling! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How up to date is this Deer Island info? Prices, places to meet,etc? I like the idea of renting a hobiecat, especially for ~ $30.

If you someone who has been recently or lives there can please let me know, it would be awesome!

Thank you!

 

Deer Island, in the middle, is the largest of Mazatlan's secluded coastal islands. Only DeerIsland is officially open to visitors. It’s about 1/2 mile from the mainland and has been designated a natural reserve for protection of native flora and fauna. Petroglyphs have been found here. In the centre of the island are rock paintings of historical value. It is a great place for hiking, fishing, snorkelling, shell hunting, swimming, and privacy. The beautiful sandy beach is nice, much more relaxing with no vendors to bother you and the water is clear for snorkelling. Bring your own picnic and drinks. There is an easy trail leading up to the top of the hill, a 45 minute hike (15-20 minutes) for amazing views of Mazatlan. This is the best place in Mazatlan for snorkelling. It’s the best on the northwest side of the island (to the left when facing the water) but you have to stay close to the shore in the rocks in the shallow water (4-5 feet). Eel, baby lobster, small octopus and a spectacular display of thousands of brightly colored fish. Some unusual rock formations lie just offshore and make for an interesting undersea exploration. There is no coral, just rocks. I snorkelled in water about 2 feet deep and could see quite a few fish. I went up to the end of the island (to the left as you stand on the beach looking at the city), the visibility improved a lot, but the water got a bit rough. A novice might be uncomfortable here being so close to the rocks.

 

Transportation to the island is provided by panga, (small boat) or a World War 2 amphibious vehicle painted to look like a shark with lots of teeth. Every hour 80 pesos ($8) roundtrip p person, 30 minute boat ride or by renting a HobieCat/ catamaran (about 40 minutes) My favourite thing to do is take a hobiecat over to DeerIsland. Stop at a corner store buy beer and snacks, rent the snorkel equipment ($5ea) from the same guys that take you across. They pick you up at whatever time you want. $30 roundtrip, 4 people can fit on the boat for that price. Find the boats in front of Hotel Los Arcos, next door in the empty lot. The taxi from the ship is $10.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How up to date is this Deer Island info? Prices, places to meet,etc? I like the idea of renting a hobiecat, especially for ~ $30.

 

Been to Mazatlan many times and had owned a Hobie Cat for many years. DITTO... great idea. If it were me... I would show up at El Cid and check out the conditions (wind and sea). Then, if it was a nice strong breeze with calm seas, I would find a nice 16-18' Cat with big sails and a large jib... and !!! GO FOR IT !!! and fly a hull all the way over there (wind is prevailing on shore, so you rip over there) and luff back with the swells, boom wide open

 

Deer Island is only about a mile off shore

 

Hobie_03.jpg

 

another-angle-of-deer-island-mazatlan-mexico+1152_12895743475-tpfil02aw-5457.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're looking into going to the Golden Zone for water sports (Wave Runners). Anyone rented them in this location. Found a deal where you can use the facilities at the Posada Freeman Hotel for free upon use of a rental. Anyone been to this hotel?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2019
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...