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  1. #1
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Ferry route cancelled from la paz (baja calif.) to mazatlan (continental mexico)

    If you know someone who's traveling through Baja with the hope of catching the ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan (or viceversa), let them know that the ferry has cancelled this route as of this week indefinitely. Your options are:

    1. Take the ferry from La Paz to Topolobampo (about 500 Kms north of Mazatlan) - The good thing about this is that you can catch the CHEPE train to visit the Copper Canyon area right from Topolobampo. If you're not familiar with Copper Canyon, apparently it is much larger (not deeper though) than the Grand Canyon. Shouldn't be missed in your itinerary through Mexico.

    2. Fly from La Paz to Mazatlan. I checked with VIVA Aerobus - They have larger planes (737). They fly about 3 times per week. They accomodate sports equipment (including bikes) as long as they are 25 Kgs and 158 linear cms. at no extra charge. You can carry more but the extra charges apply:

    159 cms. - 319 cms. MAX = $275 pesos flat (about USD $22)
    Per EACH addtl KG. extra = $275 pesos (yes, per Kg!)
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  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    How about #3 .. OK, Not regularly scheduled ,
    hire a local fisherman to take you across in their boat?

    anyone sorted that out?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    How about #3 .. OK, Not regularly scheduled ,
    hire a local fisherman to take you across in their boat?

    anyone sorted that out?
    Hmmm... looks like a short distance on a map but the reality is that it's an 18-hour trip from La Paz to Mazatlan on ferry or boat. Most fishermen simply come back daily to their port of origin on either side of the gulf.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Up here the fishers go out to sea a ways , to AK if thats where the fish are.

    Not enough traffic during the recession to make the Ferry break even?
    is this part of the Mexican transportation ministry?
    or just a private company that lives or dies on fares sold?

  5. #5
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    incidentally, the lapaz/topolobampo ferry no longer runs overnight. The ferry arrives in TPB at about 10 pm, and the only motel I know of rents rooms by the hour and has stripper poles in the rooms.

    free mexican porn though... FWIW

  6. #6
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Some good news... I just found out that the same company that runs the passenger ferry also has a cargo ferry between La Paz and Mazatlan (and the other way around.) The good news is that the cargo ferry also has the ability to carry a limited amount of passengers.

    For those who asked why they did that. They (Baja Ferries) canceled their passenger ferry to Mazatlan because they were running at less than 80% capacity during the high season (now!) Also the Port Authority here in MZT also raised their fees recently (stupid move!) That's one of the main reasons you may have read that a number of major cruise lines have canceled MZT as a port of call, just this week. I think they're using this as a major bargaining chip for the port authority to reconsider their fees. Cruise lines, however, cited increase in violence in Mazatlan to the media. Believe me, this is not any more dangerous than any other large city anywhere.

  7. #7
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    Oh gosh - they can't cancel that ferry!! Cycling Baja is a highlight for many of us and then it was wonderful to be able to cross to the mainland. Darn!
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  8. #8
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nancy sv View Post
    Oh gosh - they can't cancel that ferry!! Cycling Baja is a highlight for many of us and then it was wonderful to be able to cross to the mainland. Darn!
    As I said, Baja Ferries also has a "cargo" ferry and they haven't cancelled that line between La Paz and Mazatlan (phew!) They do allow passengers. I'd just recommend making reservations in advance (if possible) since that particular ferry has more limited seating. It sails overnight and arrives in MZT around 10 AM.

  9. #9
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
    As I said, Baja Ferries also has a "cargo" ferry and they haven't cancelled that line between La Paz and Mazatlan (phew!) They do allow passengers. I'd just recommend making reservations in advance (if possible) since that particular ferry has more limited seating. It sails overnight and arrives in MZT around 10 AM.
    I'd choose a 10am arrival into any city over 10pm any day.
    mmmm coffeee!

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  10. #10
    Ride & Smile
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    Hopefully the cancellation of the passenger ferry is a temporary thing and would be resumed in the near future. They've cancelled it for a short time for repairs and such before. As for the train to Copper Canyon, does the train take bicycles? At least in 2007 they did not allow bikes on the train.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by napoleoninrags View Post
    Hopefully the cancellation of the passenger ferry is a temporary thing and would be resumed in the near future. They've cancelled it for a short time for repairs and such before. As for the train to Copper Canyon, does the train take bicycles? At least in 2007 they did not allow bikes on the train.
    I don't think riding on the CHEPE train with bikes is still possible. Everyone I know leave their bikes at their lodging in Los Mochis for a few days to visit the Copper Canyon. Most family-run motels are quite accommodating. Agree that riding from Los Mochis to Mazatlan afterwards must be a real drag.
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  12. #12
    Ride & Smile
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    Any news on the ferry situation? Is the passenger ferry still cancelled? The Baja Ferries website doesn't seem to have been updated in a while.

    Thanks!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    They're still running the cargo ferry only, not the nice passenger ferry. As I said before, the cargo ferry also carries passengers but spaces are limited. They do have some private berths if you want to get a good night sleep. For that, however, you need to book your ticket(s) in advance.

  14. #14
    Ride & Smile
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    Thanks, Chris, really appreciate your info. I am planning to take the ferry ~ end of June/early July.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by napoleoninrags View Post
    Thanks, Chris, really appreciate your info. I am planning to take the ferry ~ end of June/early July.
    Will you be bike touring around this neck of the woods around that time? You are a die-hard, especially if you're thinking of riding through Baja.

  16. #16
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nancy sv View Post
    Oh gosh - they can't cancel that ferry!! Cycling Baja is a highlight for many of us and then it was wonderful to be able to cross to the mainland. Darn!
    I go to the Baja most winters. Even helped a friend get herself and her bike a ticket on that ferry. I still for the life of me can't figure out why anyone would want to leave the Baja! I'd rather spend the ferry ticket cost on a week long beer and taco binge...
    safe riding - Vik
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  17. #17
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    How about #3 .. OK, Not regularly scheduled ,
    hire a local fisherman to take you across in their boat?

    anyone sorted that out?


    This is the typical fishing boat locals use in Baja ~20-25' long with an outboard.
    safe riding - Vik
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  18. #18
    Ride & Smile
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
    Will you be bike touring around this neck of the woods around that time?
    I think I'll be down there during that time. That's my estimate anyway

    You are a die-hard, especially if you're thinking of riding through Baja.
    Is that a polite way of saying "Are you stupid enough to ride in that heat through the desert? I didn't plan on it, but the time lines just worked such that I would end up in Baja at the height of summer.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by napoleoninrags View Post
    Is that a polite way of saying "Are you stupid enough to ride in that heat through the desert? I didn't plan on it, but the time lines just worked such that I would end up in Baja at the height of summer.
    Just be careful out there. As you know, it's the height of the heat with horrendous daytime temperatures through the desert. From what I understand, in Baja, you will also have very long stretches without water. People carry tons of water in the winter. I just can't imagine what it must be like in the summer.

  20. #20
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
    Just be careful out there. As you know, it's the height of the heat with horrendous daytime temperatures through the desert. From what I understand, in Baja, you will also have very long stretches without water. People carry tons of water in the winter. I just can't imagine what it must be like in the summer.
    You don't need tons of water to bike tour in Baja in the winter. There are services along the highway at regular intervals. 3 large water bottles will be fine. I would grab a bit extra occassionally so I could bath in camp and cook.

    In the summer it could be 40-50 deg C+ so you'll need more water and some of services are tourist dependant so they won't be open. However, there is only one main highway in Baja and all traffic is going up or down it so you won't die if you run out of water. Just hold up an empty water bottle and a passing Mexican will take pity on you.
    safe riding - Vik
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  21. #21
    Ride & Smile
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    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    In the summer it could be 40-50 deg C+ so you'll need more water and some of services are tourist dependant so they won't be open.
    Ouch! Here's hoping for a less hot La Nina summer in Baja. Was this winter cooler, hotter or the same compared to your previous visits?

  22. #22
    Ride & Smile
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
    Just be careful out there. As you know, it's the height of the heat with horrendous daytime temperatures through the desert. From what I understand, in Baja, you will also have very long stretches without water. People carry tons of water in the winter. I just can't imagine what it must be like in the summer.
    Thanks, wilco.

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