We Did it All in Mazatlan
Updated: Mar 8, 2021
We left our fabulous campground in Elota at just about 10:30 am. The drive to our next stop should be a short one. We were heading to Tres Amigos near Mazatlan on Isla de la Piedra. Some friends we met in San Carlos at our very first stop was staying there for the winter and said it was a very nice place right on the beach. The drive was only going to be about 2 hours, even with one potty stop! Lol
I really like it when we get to a stop and still have a half-day to explore and relax. We found the campground just before 2 pm. It was an easy drive down highway 15 but without any tolls. That was great! We found Tres Amigos rather easily. Down a few dirt roads but manageable. We saw our friends Bonnie and Geri right off when we drove in. It took the usual 30 or so minutes to set up and then we were off down the beach to find some lunch and a Cerveza! There’s about a half-mile of restaurants to our right toward Mazatlan. We had a lovely lunch and then went to explore the rest of the beach. It is 14 km long and we never did walk all the way to the end. I think our first sunset was the best but each night they were beautiful in their own way. So far, Mazatlan has the best sunsets!
Just before sunset, we took the tarantula and lizard that were our traveling pets from the last beach to be released in their new home. We had them for a few days for evening entertainment. Larry was more than happy to have them out of the Airstream!
Around sunset, some locals came out with motorbikes and quads. The young people raced up and down the beach. It looked like lots of fun. We saw a tractor pulling a cultivator on the beach. We also witnessed a couple either getting married or just taking pictures in their wedding attire. This beach had a lot of action. It was one of the busiest beaches we’ve come across yet. They had horses you could ride on the beach too. That seemed like a big business for the locals in the small town. When we drove in, we saw the stables at homes on the streets along the way. We didn’t ride horses nor did we see many folks doing it, but lots of horses on the beach…..and horse poo too!
At our RV park, a nice Canadian couple registered us, Jose and Pat. Many of the campers were staying the whole winter. Much like San Carlos, some folks just like to stay in one park the whole winter because they just want to escape the cold winters in the north. That isn’t our goal on this trip. We do plan on staying near Huatulco for an extended period of time when we get there. We estimate arriving sometime around mid-December. So we have about 3 weeks of touring the west coast. We are hoping that some of Larry’s family will vacation down here during the time we are in Huatulco.
After we checked in, Pat, the campground host took us out on her quad for a tour of the tiny town. She showed us the good restaurants, a mini-market, a hardware store and the marina. It was a quick tour as the town had about 4 to 6 small streets. She told us that to get to Mazatlan it was a 10-minute water taxi ride for 10 pesos (50 cents). She also told us about the Mercado and other fun places to dine in Mazatlan.
Since we only have 2 full days here on Isla de la Piedra, we will have to make the most of it. We decided to take our bikes on the water taxi the next morning at about 10 am. It was a super fun ride. We got to see a few container ships and one cruise ship along the way. When we got off the ferry, we saw a Hispanic look-a-like for my cat Chloe. I took a picture and sent it to my daughter Jill. She agreed. It looked like Chloe. Fun! Now we needed to find the Malecon…..with very little help from google maps and a bit of intuition, we arrived. I had a few places that I wanted to see and getting around on bikes seemed like the best way. Most of the interior streets were very narrow and many were one-way only. Also, a lot were cobblestones. Not so fun on bikes. They kinda vibrate your guts!! Ha Ha!
We found the Basilica Cathedral of Mazatlán and spent time looking around this beautiful church built-in 1856. Next, we walked to the Mercado since we had heard so much about it. It was a huge indoor market where you can buy anything and everything. Fruits, vegetables, souvenirs, meat, teas, and even get prepared food. Walking through was a bit chaotic with so many folks for me. I couldn’t think of anything that I needed or that I wanted to carry back on the bike so I spent absolutely no money at all. We did buy some peanuts in the shell from a street vendor. That was it! We did notice that they had a very small Mcdonald's restaurant and also a Burger King. When I see these things I’m a bit disappointed but I guess some folks go there. We drove around a little more and then decided to go ride down the Malecon. It was a lovely ride and we stopped a bunch to take pictures and go to the water. I really enjoyed this ride the best. We found a cool cave along the way but unfortunately, it was locked. They had a bunch of restaurants on the Malecon and we stopped at one that had the best view. We had a few beers and some chips and salsa. Getting back to the water taxi was an adventure in itself. Let’s just say we eventually got there and hopefully avoided any “bad areas”. We don’t know, they looked good to us!
On our last full day, I got up early to jog on the beach. I usually run out 15 minutes and then turn back. It was a long flat beach so it made for easy beach running. Sometimes the beach can be very difficult to run on, I lucked out this morning!! After breakfast, we got on our bikes to ride through the little town to a small hill you can hike. The trail is called goat hill and took us about 20 minutes to get to the top. It was more bouldering than hiking on a real trail. At the top, you get a 360-degree view which was amazing. We could see our campground, the ocean, the beach, and Mazatlan all at once. The hill didn’t have any goats but about 100 vultures that flew away as we approached the top. It was a nice little hike. From the top, we could see a cute beach below us, and when we got down explored it. It was mostly deserted or maybe we were too early. This is where we saw the goats.
We spent the rest of our day on our beach right by our campsite. Since it was our last night, Bonnie and Geri wanted to have dinner with us. We found a nice restaurant on the beach that they had heard about and wanted to try. I had 2 very bad margaritas there but they had enough tequila that I didn't mind. We got to know a little more about Bonnie and Geri. They are Canadians from the Kelowna Valley escaping the cold winter. Geri is a retired high school teacher and Bonnie does courier work. They have been together for over 38 years! I believe this was their first winter away from the snow. Bonnie has a huge heart, especially for animals. They rescued a stray dog that was running across the highway on their way to Mazatlan and named him Diego! We really enjoyed their company. We also have an invitation to visit them if and when we pass through Kelowna again, possibly this summer. They have room for our Airstream in their driveway. Bonnie even sweetened the deal by telling me she has a swimming pool. I’m sure this isn’t the last visit with these lovely ladies! Walking back on the beach, I got eaten alive by sand fleas...it was so sad. Luckily, the crabs on the beach distracted me a bit from the bites!! Lol. One big crab tried to get away from me by digging into the sand but I just dug in deeper and grabbed that little sucker! Bonnie and Geri were both shocked and impressed by my mad crab-catching skills. I was shocked and impressed too. What a great time on Isla de la Piedra. I’m glad we found this little gem.
Next, stop La Penita…….here we come!