|Adult||410 pesos||780 pesos|
|Child 3-11||205 pesos||390 pesos|
|Child under 3||No charge|
|Auto/Pickup less than 5.4 meters||2,000 pesos|
|Double rear axles less than 7 meters||4,620 pesos|
|7 to 10 meters||6,400 pesos|
|10 to 20 meters||12,670 pesos|
Guaymas: 01 (622) 222-8486 (From Mexico)
Santa Rosalía: 01 (615) 152-2200 (From Mexico)
The ferry operation went "private" in 1989. After years of the government running the system at a great loss, private interests have purchased the system and are trying to run it at a profit. This has meant a large increase in prices, and the discontinuation of some routes. However, it hopefully also means that the system will run more efficiently for the user. The ferries should be running on time and the personnel should be more helpful (if all works as it should). The system operates under the name "Grupo Sematur".
The best way to book passage on the ferry system is via a Mexican travel agent. I have been on most of the ferries, but only once did I make a reservation (Easter week and I was pulling a trailer to La Paz). The reservation was made through a travel agency in Los Mochis, the large city near Topolobampo. Sorry, but I don't recall the name of the agency. On the morning of the sailing a travel agent met me at the dock with all necessary tickets. Excellent service! The cost will be slightly higher, but it is really worth it.
The only problem we had at that time was that my wife (Marilyn) had to change her plans to go along and a friend from La Paz rode south with me. The ferry people would not honor a passenger ticket made out to "Marilyn ..." but carried by a man (Juan). Our solution was to change "Marilyn" to "Marilyno" on the tickets and we had no further problem. Moral: Be careful of any changes in the people on the trip and those listed on the tickets.
We once were taking the ferry from Cabo San Lucas to Puerto Vallerta on the mainland and were unable to book a "cabin" (the crossing was 18 hours). There were available "tourist cabin" accommodations: four people to a room with the sexes being separated. My wife did not want to travel in a cabin with three strangers and so we were planning on going salon class (sit-up). A friend explained what to do: buy a tourist cabin for four people and the two of us use it by ourselves. It worked like a charm, and the additional cost was minimal (to show how low the costs used to be, in 1983 we paid for 2 people, 1 motorcycle, 4 bunks in a tourist cabin: $16US total).
For Baja Ferries:Isabel la Catolica and Navarro (about one block from the McDonalds on 5 de Febrero) La Paz, BCS 23000 Voice: (612) 125-7444, 125-7443, 128-6822 Toll-free within Mexico: 01-800-122-1414 FAX: (612) 125-7533 Instalaciones API y Muelle de Contenedores, CP 81370, Topolobampo, Sinaloa (20 minutes from Los Mochis) Voice: (668) 862-1004 FAX: (668) 985-0471
Calls made from the US should be preceded by:011-52 ^ ^ ^ ^^ Mexico Code ^^^^^^ International Code (from the U.S.)
There is a web page for the Sematur ferry service which provides some information, but not all most travelers would like to have. This situation may improve with time. The page may be found at:
There is a form for making reservations on the web site, but I've had no report from anyone using it.
For the Sematur boats:Salon: Reclining seats Turista: Roomette with four bunks and washbasin (rooms are assigned to all males or all females) Cabina: Two bunks and bath Especial: Two beds, lounge and bath
Some boats are loaded "in the front and out the back" (or the reverse) - this type of vessel is sometimes referred to as a "RORO" - Roll On / Roll Off. This makes it easy to load the larger vehicles. Some of the boats have a loading platform only at the back of the boat - this requires that, at least, larger vehicles be backed either on or off the boat.
Santa Rosalia: The ferry dock is located in the city.
La Paz: The ferry docks are located at Pichilingue, about 10 miles north of the city.
Guaymas: The ferry docks are located just south of the city center.
Topolobampo: The ferry dock is located just west of the small town of Topolobampo. The major city nearby is Los Mochis.
Mazatlán: ???? (This is the one ferry I have not taken.)
Information provided by Stephanie Jackter - July '03 (all prices are in pesos):Topolobampo <--> La Paz Time of crossing: 5 hours Tourist Class (comfortable seats): 580 Children (3 to 11): 290 Cabin (1 to 4 people): 710 All passengers must purchase a Tourist Class ticket. The cost of a cabin is over and above that of a basic ticket. Autos and pickup (under 5.40 meters): 870 one way 1600 round trip Autos with trailers (under 9 meters): 3,280 Autos and pickups with trailers (between 9 meters and 17 meters): 5,980 The price includes a meal at the buffet.Santa Rosalia <--> Guaymas Tourist Class: 410 one way 780 round trip Children (3 to 11): 205 each way Auto (under 5 meters): 2000 (includes ticket for driver) Per extra meter, add 635
From an old Sematur brochure obtained (October '95):Mazatlán <--> La Paz Time of crossing: 18 hours Passenger classes: La Paz <-> Mazatlán Wed: Salon only Others: All classes Mazatlán <-> La Paz Thu: Salon only Others: All classes Vehicle classes: La Paz <-> Mazatlán Wed: Cargo trucks Others: All classes Mazatlán <-> La Paz Thu: Cargo trucks Others: All classes Schedule: Lv La Paz Daily 1500 Ar Mazatlán 0900 Lv Mazatlán Daily 1500 Ar La Paz 0900
(Passenger fares - November '98; Vehicle fares - February '97)
- All prices are given in pesos.
- All lengths are in meters.
- The prices for motorhomes correspond, I believe, to the prices listed for "camiones" (trucks) in the brochure.
- Prices are for one-way travel. There is no discount for round-trip travel.
- Children under 2 travel free, and those between 2 and 12 travel at half-price.
- Pregnant women are not allowed to travel on the ferries.
Class La Paz
Passengers Salon 183.00 123.00 123.00 Turista 363.00 243.00 243.00 Cabina 544.00 363.00 363.00 Especial 726.00 483.00 483.00 Vehicles Auto to 5m 1694.95 1035.95 1191.70 5 to 6.5m 2203.20 1343.50 1548.15 Auto with trailer to 9m 3049.55 1860.00 2140.70 9m to 17m 5753.95 3504.05 4034.40 Truck (Motorhome) to 10m 3484.50 2158.56 2314.6 10m to 13m 4528.85 2804.35 3005.20 13m to 15m 5223.75 3232.20 3468.30 15m to 19m 6613.65 4096.70 4390.70 Motorcycle 376.40 229.70 301.00