We did not take a tour in this port. We tendered to this port. We stopped at the dolphin park a short walk from the dock. We were able to enter and watch those that paid to swim with the dolphins without charge. That was kind of fun. We took a long walk along the marina until we saw no more tourists and decided to head back. We stopped along the marina for a bucket of beer and chips and guacamole, which was excellent. After a little shopping, we headed back to the tender line (very short) and back onto the ship.
This has never been my favorite port and we were just going to stay on the ship but read that Stone Island was a good option so booked this tour through the ship. This really was a good tour to take to turn my opinion around regarding Mazatlan. The tour included an open bar, lunch (which was quite good) as well as transportation to the private beach area on the opposite side of the island. There were beach vendors that weren't too aggressive and tables of Mexican souvenirs set up within the boundaries of the restaurant. There was a pool that was disgusting but obviously not intended for use and a small bathroom area, typical for Mexico. The beach was actually beautiful and we walked almost back to the side of the island where we could see the ship. I believe you could rent horses down at this end of the beach and it looked like those that chose this option were having a blast. There was a volleyball net that was set up but nobody seemed interested in playing. A few activities would have been nice, but it was a fine day in a port that I never really cared for before. Upon our return, we shopped a bit right there at the port and then took the required shuttle back to the ship. I think the vendors in the shops were tired by this time because they are usually very aggressive here but seemed subdued. Saw some taking their siesta so will wait until the afternoon every time I hit Mazatlan from here on out.
Usually my favorite port and this time did not disappoint. We booked a tour to an all inclusive resort -- the La Jolla De Mismaloya, which I have always wanted to visit. We had a great bus tour there, very informative, and got our wristbands once we arrived. We were lucky to get a chair down on the beach and the service was good. We talked to some that never did get chairs to sit in...so maybe sold a bit too many spots as it was spring break. We had a snack in restaurant and were approached by a couple of beach vendors again...but not too aggressive. Actually got a beautiful table cloth for a steal while I was enjoying my cold beer and fish tacos. We talked to some people that were staying there and they warned us that quite a few people had gotten sick at the resort and were stuck in their rooms. We decided to be very careful in our dining choices after hearing that. They also told me about a good massage place down the beach. There was a hut built up on top of the rock at the end of the beach with a cobblestone stairway up to the front desk. I had the most amazing 1 hour massage to the sound of the waves crashing upon the rock that was the foundation of the hut. I believe it was a $35 fee for this most wonderful treat. Tip: you cannot be too modest as the changing room is not really private...it is located on a trail that people were waling on. Oh well...they will never see me again and you are too relaxed to care. I made it back to the resort for one more beer and a small basket of chips with guacamole before having to head back to the bus.
This port of call has been less desirable than Mazatlan so we decided not to get off the ship here. We have been many times before and the threat violence in the area has increased immeasurably, so why tempt fate? We did notice a new Acapulco Charlie's on the pier from our balcony and went down for a cold beer, which ended up being 3 cold beers. We actually had fun watching the crowds below as we got a nice corner table. We saw someone put $5 down to pay the bill...and watched the server run after them as the beers were $4 each, so $5 wouldn't cover their two drinks and a tip. Clueless...or maybe not...maybe just cheap. So, even though we don't care for this port, we ended up having fun just people watching.
I really like this port of call and chose a return trip to Isla Ixtapa. I haven't been there is over 20 years, so saw a lot of changes to this most beautiful island. There were not enough beach chairs for the number of guests on the tour...but we ended up walking over to the other side of the island and found a spot that was little treasure over there. There were some hammocks we were allowed to use and this was so relaxing. We swam in the ocean on the other side as the water was calmer and found some most beautiful shells. It was very crowded on both sides of the island -- again, spring break, but returned for a very good lunch with the tour group. We were taken back to Zihautanejo and walked down the tourist area and stopped for a cold beer at one of the restaurants on the beach. We find that this is the area where people are the most aggressive in terms of asking for tips and it hasn't changed at all. The guy that helps you into the boat, 'where's my tip?', the guy helps you out of the boat, 'where's my tip?', the guy that brings your beer, 'good price on beer, so be sure to leave me a big tip', the band is playing, 'did you enjoy the music, give me a tip'. Well, we know what to expect but still really love this port and this time didn't disappoint.