The first, and only other time I’ve done this I said it would be the last time. I was wrong. I did it again. I don’t know why; perhaps it was watching YouTube videos of other people doing it. So today I did it. I put my backpack on, grabbed two bottles of water, and headed out.
My walk took me past the gate to the Embarcadero Playa Sur where you can catch a panga to La Isla de la Piedra (Stone Island) for 30 pesos. I snuck over there on Tuesday, and noticed that the inflatable water equipment that had been off Playa Norte for a while was now over by Restaurant Cerro los Chivos. It’s called ‘AWAX’ and their website is here: awax.mx. Looks like they want $200 pesos per hour to play on the equipment. Probably not a bad idea when the adults want a little adult beverage time while the kids are distracted.
My feet kept walking. Past the embarcadero. Past the ferry to La Paz. Then I didn’t turn on Paseo del Centenario like I typically would. Walking. Past the vendors trying to get me to buy a sombrero (there’s one on my backpack, but thanks). Past the tour guys selling trips to Stone Island. Past the sewage treatment plant.
There’s a new setup at the gate to El Faro. There are baños to the right, and a ticket booth to the left. Admission is $20 pesos now. If they actually use the money to maintain things it’s worth it. No discount for INAPAM card holders. And now the workout begins. From what I understand, it’s 515 feet from the bottom to the top. The first half is a steep gravel and cement path with multiple vantage points where you can stop, get your breath, then have it taken away by the view. There are quite a few feral cats that live here, and people leave them food and water. You can usually see a few kitties on the trip, so if you need to take another break you can pretend you’re talking to a cat, or taking a picture of one!
The second part of the journey is made up of slate steps. There are 336 of them, and someone has painted the number on every 30th step! From the bottom to the top, it took me just under half an hour. And that included stopping at all the viewpoints, and talking to a few cats along the way! It wasn’t as steep as I remembered, and I wasn’t nearly as winded when I got to the top. I think just knowing what’s in store made it easier, as well as slowing down and not treating it as a marathon. The glass lookout point was either included in the admission price, or another $20 pesos. I didn’t find out – I just asked how much, and handed the guy $20 pesos to go in. Remember – no shoes!!! Take them off! Last time they gave me booties, but this time they had a storage setup for the shoes.
Here are enough photos to give you an idea of what you’re in for if you decide to take the hike – or just to admire the view if you decide you’ll live vicariously through others!
I decided that after the climb, I needed a treat. In all the time I’ve been coming to Mazatlán I’ve never been to La Puntilla. I have heard the food is good, but they’re next to the Embarcadero Playa Sur – so it’s either too early to go when I’m on my way over to Stone Island, or I’ve already eaten when I come back. Today I treated myself to a little ceviche de camarón y pulpo – and the obligatory Negra Modelo. Both the food and service were good, and the beer was cold. I’m not burping from the cucumbers, so they must have removed the seeds. Ceviche and beer came to $225 pesos (a little over $11 usd), so fairly typical as far as prices for mariscos go. Yes, I did eat it all! And then I took a 2 hour nap when I got home!