Sailing on Bula is a great way to spend a relaxing day in Mazatlan. Bula, owned by Gilberto Hulse Pena, is a 42' catamaran with a friendly local crew who goes out of their way to accomodate you.
Freshly prepared sandwiches, local fruit and any drink you can imagine are all included in this day trip to Deer Island where you can kayak, snorkle, play vollyball or just kick it on the beach. Boat Captain Victor and his son Victor Manual speak very good English and along with a third crewmember, they are at your service the whole time and cater to any reasonable request from the guests.
My family and I have been to going to Mazatlan for over a dozen years and always make a point to take at least two trips on Bula during our 2 week stays. We've taken so many trips to the Islands that I've almost become an expert on the history and really enjoy sharing my knowledge of the area with the other passangers, young and old.
Sailing on Bula is so much more personable than some of the other boats offering the same trip. You are free to roam around and meet the other passangers and it can be a real bonding experience because you are not crammed on the boat like sardines. And Bula actually sails to and from Deer Island whereas some of the others just motor their way over and back. If you're expecting a 'sailing adventure' then you should actually sail in my book.
There is very tranquil atmosphere on Bula and you feel at ease in no time. Victor and Victor Manual go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and it all leads to a very enjoyable way to spend a day in Mazatlan.
Before you go for an Island trip on Bula, there are a few things you have understand ahead of time and I mention these in no particular order:
1) When Gilberto says Enrique will pick you up at a designated time at your hotel, usually between 9-9:30 am, be ready with towels, sunscreen and whatever else you'll need for a full day in the sun.
2) Be prepared to make friends with people you would never ever think you would meet or be friends with in your own world back home. There will be newly weds and nearly deads and everybody in between on Bula and it's really very interesting and fun.
3) Don't be afraid to ask for help if you're not feeling well. Bula is well equiped with Sea Bands and other natural remedies like ginger to deal with temporary sea sickness and they really do work, so trust them so you can fully enjoy the trip.
4) I don't think there are any actual deer on Deer Island anymore but there is plenty of other wildlife like a couple of locals, a bunch of birds and some dogs that are really friendly. We did see a goat one time, but that's about it. The ocean and the beauty are the main attractions.
5) Finally, be sure to tip the crew of Bula when your day trip is over. Victor and his son will have gone out of their way to make your trip a memorable and lasting experience and they deserve your generosity. A day on Bula is perhaps the best value in all of Mazatlan and will always be my family's favorite thing to do.
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