The name Mazatlán actually originates from the indigenous Nahuatl language meaning “place of the deer.” So it’s no surprise the coastal destination calls one of its offshore islands “Deer Island” Unlike a similar Mazatlán beach excursion, Stone Island, this destination requires one arrives by boat.
My journey began at the El Cid Marina Hotel where I boarded a catamaran and headed to sea. Even before we left the marina the first mate of the ship (and your activities coordinator) set the mood offering drinks. Boat drinks. I settled in for a rum punch. Mood set. And yes, even when in Mexico, if I am at sea – I set sail with rum (not tequila).
The island itself is visible from the golden zone beaches and can be a short ride, but part of the excursion is the ocean voyage. So, just as with life, it’s not only the destination, but really the journey.
And the time at sea remains a highlight of the entire day. We headed up and down the coast, viewed the Mazatlán skyline and cruised by a few rock formations in the bay to look for seals. We found some.
As with any beach day, there is never a rush. After a second rum punch, relaxed, we eventually arrived and waded to shore for lunch and some beach activities. The activities are included in the excursion and options include snorkeling, kayak, volleyball, and banana boat riding.
I spent some time in the water with my fins and mask searching for tropical fish and then took my first ever ride on the yellow express – the banana boat. An enjoyable experience and I never fell off. And although proud, somehow, I think part of the fun is falling off. Well, maybe next time.
The day trip costs a few dollars more than Stone Island, but you are paying for more exclusivity of the beach, smaller group, and the catamaran experience. So the decision depends on your price point and desired boat.
Either will make for a great day, an excursion at sea and a highlight of any trip to Mazatlán.
stay adventurous, Craig