My boyfriend and I went on the Stone Island tour (which is not an island by the way, but rather a peninsula), hoping for a taste of lots of activities. We were beyond disappointed. The ride to the tour location was very long through the smoggy streets in the back of basically a pick-up truck with seats and an awning. There were 11 of us in total in the back - so cramped to say the least. When we arrived at the pier, we road a boat around to hear stories of the rock formations, except, as the only English speakers on the boat, we mostly heard 10-minute stories in Spanish, followed by one sentence in English. We mostly shrugged this off since we knew Mazatlan was less touristy than other areas in Mexico.
When we arrived at the tour location, the guide explained in Spanish how the activities and food situation would work, so we had to approach him to get the information in English. We then proceeded to do our first activity - banana boats. This was far different from what I have done in the states. In the states, at least in my experience, the point of banana boat rides is to cling on for dear life as the driver whips the riders around the ocean for a good amount of time. Not on this tour though - instead, we climbed on the raft and the driver of the boat slowly and steadily took us out about 1 minute, then as slow as he possibly could, the driver gently turned us around, and then steadily drove us back to the shore. The total activity took 3 minutes at the very most.
After our banana boat ride, we did the ATV portion of our tour - we paid extra for 30 minutes on the ATV. There is no way of tracking your time - we were fairly certain that we could have taken the thing all day and they would have never known. Sadly, we didn't even do the full 30 minutes because outside of the portion of the beach that was dedicated to the tour, the beach was extremely disgusting. It was littered with everything from pop bottles, to mini fridge doors, to large tree branches and even dead pelicans. I road on the back so I could just look out at the ocean, but my boyfriend had to navigate the garbage the entire time.
After our disappointing banana boat and ATV rides, we considered our other activity options:
- Boogie boarding: in our minds did not seem like an "activity," but we figured lots of families have kids, so that is a good option for them.
- Snorkeling: ridiculous! They have a roped off section of the ocean to keep people just hanging out in their portion of the beach, but this is also where the snorkeling takes place. So basically, if you sign up to snorkel, only expect to see kicked up sand from the large waves, and tons of people playing in the area.
- Kayaking: only a few people did this, we did not, so it perhaps is good, not sure.
- Horse back riding: we originally planned to do this, but we assumed the horseback riding was down the beach and after weaving in and out of garbage on the ATVs and by looking at the sad, skinny horses, we decided to just call it a day and forgo our second included activity. However, we did talk to other people who did this tour later in the week and heard the horseback riding was a good time, so if you do this tour, I'd recommend the horseback riding.
When we gave up on the activities, we decided to try to drink our money's worth at the bar. This was a failed attempt. We are fairly certain they water down the liquor because after 5 drinks, all I felt was sick from too much juice and I am a light-weight. Also, the food was only so-so, which would have been easy to overlook if the tour was good, but sadly it was just another failed aspect.
In the end, our favorite part of the tour was simply hanging out in the ocean. We should have saved our money and just hung out in the ocean at our hotel.
And the worst part of the tour - not only did we waste our day and money, but we likely got sick because of it. While the water at the bar is from bottles, looking back I am assuming the ice was not made from bottled water. We both felt terrible all day the following day. We both still felt on and off sick throughout the rest of the week, and I amazingly still felt on and off sick the week we came home. This is by far the worst tour I have ever done in my life.
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