Getting Around Mazatlan, Mexico
When living in or vacationing in Mazatlan many points of interest and destinations through the city are within walking distance. If up to it, you can walk through the entire Golden Zone, stroll the Malecon and walk through Centro Historico. However if walking is not your thing there are multiple sources of transportation that you can rely on that are all much more affordable than sources of transportation in Canada or the United States.
Transportation from the Airport
Once you arrive to the airport and get your luggage, next to the exit you will find the taxi booth where you can get tickets for a private taxi or a shuttle bus. The Taxi is a good option, it can take up to 4 people and will charge only 30 or 35 dollars per trip and will go straight to your destination, the shuttle is less expensive and will make a few stops before arriving to your destination, which is a good option if there is only one or two persons in your party. These airport taxis and shuttles can only take you from the airport and cannot pick you up to take you back to the airport.
Pulmonias are a unique form of transportation that can only be found in Mazatlan. These open air cabs look like over-sized golf carts and are easy to catch, can take you to just about any destination in Mazatlan and can be found throughout the city at all hours of the day and night. Riding in a pulmonia is quite the adventure with the wind flying through your hair and the selection of music that they play.
The taxis here in Mazatlan are all called Eco-Taxis and are white with either red or green stripes. Taxis just like pulmonias, can be found at all hours throughout the city and can take you to all the main destinations. Taxis are able to take you to the airport where as pulmonias cannot.
Red trucks are pickup trucks that have covered roofs and benches on either side that can fit up to 8 people. Oregas are your best option when you are in need of transportation for more than 4 people. Oregas can be found just about anywhere in the city but are sometimes a tad harder to find than a pulmonia or taxi.
In Mazatlan, public city buses provide good services and can get to just about any area you would want to go. The buses run non-stop from 6:00am to 10:00pm everyday and come by just about every 10 minutes. There are a few marked bus stops where you will see people waiting but for the most part you can just stand anywhere on the street and raise your hand when you see the bus you are waiting for. On each bus, either on the top or in the window you will see the name of the bus. Here are some of the most common buses you will see:
Sabalo Centro: It is a big green bus with air conditioning, fare is 10 pesos (80 cents USD) it runs across the City from La Puntilla (in old town) to Cerritos point (new Mazatlan). This is the bus to take if you want to go to downtown, Cathedral, Historic Center, Central Market, Theater, Light house, Golden Zone, and along the seaside boulevard.
Cerritos Juarez: This is the bus that most workers take and the heavy hours are before 8:00 A.M and 6:00 P.M the rest of the day it is normal traffic. You will take this bus if you want to go to MEGA (grocery store) or SAM'S CLUB or Shopping mall GRAN PLAZA. Fare is 6 pesos.
Sabalo Cocos: This is also a big green bus with air conditioning and fare is also 8 pesos, this bus goes from downtown to golden zone and back but goes into town, you will take this bus to go to Soriana and Wal-Mart (grocery stores).
Bus routes can be found here, but as a quick reference, these are some of the major routes and stops. This is assuming you're catching the bus in the Zona Dorada and that the bus is heading southbound, towards Centro.
Angela Peralta Theater
Central Bus Station
Old Plaza Ley
Plaza Las Americas Cinemas
Gran Plaza Shopping Mall
Want to know more about busses? There are over 350 of them in the city, and each is owned by its driver and driven along established routes set by the union, which oversees the busses. Drivers buy books of tickets 650 at a time, and are obligated to issue a ticket to each passenger that gets on the bus. Drivers get to keep 20% of the fares, with the remaining 80% going to the union. Occasionally, a union inspector will get on the bus to confirm that each passenger has a ticket, just to make sure the union is getting its 80%. In dollar terms, you are paying the driver less than a dime for the ride.
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