26 November, 2019

Today’s Topic: Buses, part two

Last April I made a post about buses in México. I should have titled the post “Long Haul Buses”, as I only covered the bus system as it applied to my trips between cities, but I didn’t. So here’s a little info on the local buses in Mazatlán, and the collectivos to the nearby cities.

The most popular bus with tourists, snowbirds, and ex-pats is the Sabalo Centro bus. It’s almost always green or green/white. I have seen it different colors on occasion, so always check the sign in the front window. The Sabalo Centro bus is currently eleven pesos and terminates a little past the marina to the North and almost at El Faro to the South. The buses on this route are newer, and air conditioned (the reason for the higher fare). For a bit of the ride you’ll be on Avenida Del Mar, and have a great view of the boardwalk and ocean. This is the bus that will take you through the Zona Dorada (hotel zone), Playa Norte, to the Mercado Pino Suarez, and the Embarcadero Playa Sur. If your destination is Las Changueras (the shrimp ladies), get off when the bus turns on Aquiles Serdan – it usually turns within a block of them. When you ride the Sabalo Centro bus, you can catch it anywhere along its route by holding your hand out. Have your pesos handy! From El Centro, you catch it at the Mercado Pino Suarez. If you want to travel South, board on the Aquiles Serdan side of the mercado. If you’re going North, board on the Benito Juarez side. Note that there is a popular map provided by Mazatlan Life. They’ve added a warning that the map is old – believe them. For example, the Sabalo Centro bus no longer goes through Olas Altas on it’s way back to the mercado. If you’re waiting for it there, you’ll be waiting for a very long time.

There are other city buses you can take that go to places like Cerritos, the gallerias mall, and the weekly outdoor market in the Juaréz neighborhood. I haven’t taken these buses yet (although all of the Juaréz buses go past my apartment), and will update when I do. I believe these buses are nine or ten pesos at the time of this post, as they are older and don’t have air conditioning (well, they have the old fashioned kind of air conditioning – open your window). Most of these buses will have their destinations written either on the front windshield or on a window next to the door. Just make sure to ask where you need to be when you want to return, or have your Uber app handy!

There are also buses that go to the cities just outside Mazatlán, like Cosalá, Copala, and El Quelite. Frankly, all the other articles I’ve read about these buses just confused me. They tell you to go to the bus station BEHIND the circular intercity bus station. This is misleading. I have walked around the main bus station on several occasions and never saw a second one, or any indication that it may have once existed. My problem was that while this second station does exist, it is INSIDE, and at the back, of the main station. To reach it, you need to enter the boarding area for the main terminal, turn to your right, and walk until you get to the second line of buses and small terminal. If the guard at the door to the boarding area asks you for your bus ticket, just tell him you want the other station. I have yet to ride one of these buses, but do plan on a trip to El Quelite shortly after I get home from my current trip – so will include that in my update! I have a fondness for the food at El Mesón de Los Laureanos in El Quelite and need to find a better way of getting there than the day tours.

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