Stone Island in Mazatlan
Stone Island, Isla De Las Piedras, is a beautiful peninsula located off the south shore of Mazatlan. It can be accessed by car, but your best bet is to take one of the water taxis over for approximately $1.50 US.
From the Golden Zone in Mazatlan, you can take the Sabalo Centro bus, or ask a taxi driver to take you to the Stone Island water taxi area.
OR you can take a boat tour. King David Tours will pick you up at your hotel. The tour begins on the shore and carries you around the islands with interesting information about the area. Lunch is included along with two activities once you reach the island. We have done the tour and found it informative for first-timers, but now prefer to go explore on our own.
When we arrived, we were greeted by young boys carrying several large iguanas. You can hold one and take your picture for a couple of dollars. My advice? Be sure to wash afterwards because while it's rare, lizards in general CAN carry Salmonella. (We own a Leopard gecko and still practice handwashing after playing with him.)
You can then take a taxi or tractor to the beach, or simply walk there. You will find a beautiful expanse of beach, with palapas and open air restaurants to choose from. Many people are partial to Lety's restaurant. Lety is a lovely woman who is "Mom" to everyone. Grab a table or hammock, order a cool drink and some appetizers, and sit back and watch the waves.
There are folks who run Banana Boat rides, but be prepared to take a swim halfway through, when the boat driver takes a sudden turn and throws everyone into the water. Life jackets ARE required though, so you'll just bob around until you climb back on for the return trip to the shore.
Horseback riding is also available, and ATV rentals are a popular attraction.
The beach vendors are numerous, and you'll find many handcrafted items to take home, from hammocks to jewelry, hats and more. We always buy woven bracelets to take home as gifts and generally pay no more than a dollar each. If you are not interested in buying, when approached, simply say, "No gracias," and the vendors will move on. Be aware, however, that this is how many Mazatlecos make their living. They are hard workers who toil long hours in the Mexican sun to take care of their families. Be courteous and kind. I have had many wonderful conversations with vendors who treated us with the utmost respect, as we did they. You are expected to barter with vendors, so when they give you an opening price, counter nicely with about half. Then go from there. Most of the restaurants do not allow the vendors to come onto the restaurant property itself, so if you'd like a break from bartering, simply go have lunch.
The food is fabulous! From tacos to shrimp, to guacamole and salsa, the prices are amazing and the food made fresh. DO watch out for the birdies who will swoop in and grab food if you leave it unattended.
One thing to know about the bathrooms on Stone Island...they have less than adequate sewer systems on the island and may request you do not flush toilet paper. You will find trash cans in each stall with....might I say....unusual contents. Grin and bear it, and do your buisiness quickly.
Stone Island is one of my favorite places. It's a step back in time, with chickens and iguanas running across the dirt roads and gracious people ready to welcome you to Mazatlan.