It’s hard to be clueless heading Mazatlan the first time so here is our Mexico travel advice!
There are many different ways to get to Mazatlan. The most convenient of course is to go by air.
Flights to Mazatlan are not as frequent compared to the schedules made out to other Mexican resorts, best Mexico travel advice that we can give is to have your tickets booked early.
The airport is located approximately 27 kilometers from the main city, which is part of Mexico’s extensive network. In fact, the country features about two million kilometers of airspace. Travelling by plane to Mazatlan is the preferred mode of travel by most of our patients because of its convenience and short span of Mexico travel time.
Once on the ground, an airport shuttle can be taken. This service is available from and can be reserved in advanced. Advice the Mexico travel agents you are in touch with to make the bookings on your behalf. There is usually a choice between the standard and the VIP level.
For standard shuttles, the van will seat approximately 10 people and be able to transport their luggage comfortably. VIP services are exclusive and go directly to the hotel. Such convenience can be arranged and still stay on budget when you're getting a great deal and here are some tips.
Another way to get to Mazatlan is by luxury bus from Mexico City or Guadalajara. The trip takes about 20 and 10 hours, respectively.
The bus rides are comfortable and convenient although it would be helpful if you know a bit of Spanish.
Taking a bus is our Mexico travel advice for patients traveling on a budget because it will be a less expensive choice while you get to enjoy the different sights while you’re onboard the bus.
Travelling by bus to Mazatlan is generally safe. But just like in any traveling opportunity, there are some precautions that should be observed.
The bus stations are provided with security staff. Even then, keep a close eye on personal belongings at all times. When in transit, be careful of pickpockets and people who may snatch the bags (this happens anywhere) so precautions should be taken. Valuables should be kept on sight, casual clothes are recommended.
If you're looking to a more comfortable means of travelling on land without driving yourself, we advice that you take a train travel in Mexico. It is recommended to pay for the highest class possible.
For day trips, go for the Especial class while overnight trips are suitable for the Pullman compartments. The Pullman service has sleeping compartments that can house up to two people.
Another popular way to travel Mexico to get to Mazatlan is by car. From the United States, the car trip will typically take 10 hours. The route to take is through Highway 15.
Once Puerto Vallrata is reached, the road becomes mountainous and the views exquisite. There are road signs that can be followed although it is best to get Mexico driving directions beforehand.
When taking your own car, there are some special situations that should be known when driving to Mazatlan.
For non-Mexican plated cars, there is no need to obtain a temporary vehicle permit if staying within the Free Zone. The Free Zone is approximately 35 kilometers from the land border. However, all those roads that go to the south and have guarded check points should purchase a permit for the car. Tourists are allowed to bring one car.
The temporary vehicle import permit is valid for the duration of the visa. For example, tourist visas are given 180 days.
In order to get the permit, there are certain documentary requirements that need to be fulfilled. These are: proof of nationality such as a passport, Mexican visa or tourist car, proof of vehicle ownership, and driver’s license.
If you want to drive but don't want to bring your own car, there is the convenient option of renting a vehicle.
It provides the flexibility of getting to places without waiting for public transportation. Make sure to take a Mexico travel map to help you get around. There are many car rental service companies that can be used when going to Mazatlan. It's best to stick with the established and reputable ones such as Hertz to have access to the best rates and vehicle options.
When renting a car, we advice that you reserve in advance and way ahead of your schedule to visit Mazatlan. This is especially true during peak seasons. Booking early will avoid the inconvenience of having to find out that there are no vehicles left to rent or being stuck with a car you do not like.
Taxis can be an option when going to Mazatlan. In most of the destinations, the taxis are metered but you can agree and negotiate on the price before getting in. Again, knowing some basic Spanish can be an advantage when taking this route because it gives you the opportunity to negotiate cheap price with the taxi driver.
Of course, the rates are more affordable in Mexico, especially when compared to the fares in the United States, Canada, and European countries. The low fares mean that they are viable modes of transportation.
For safety and convenience though, have your hotel make the taxi arrangements. Although the hotel rates are a bit higher compared to taxis hailed off the streets, they offer more convenience especially if you’re not equipped with the Spanish Language.
Regardless of your chosen mode of transportation, equip yourself with travel insurance when making your way to Mazatlan. Some of the essential features it should include are medical expenses that includes the cost of repatriation should it be necessary, personal accident cover, theft, and third party liability. It is also recommended to seek an insurance plan that offers travel assistance. Assistance allows you to get in touch with local doctors and lawyers should they be needed.
The best we have seen is through Insure My Trip. We recommend MH Ross or Travel Guard. They offer trip cancellation, baggage, medical, dental, emergency evacuation, 24 hour traveler assistance, baggage delay, travel delay, and accidental death coverage.
Some policies also have options for collision/damage coverage for rented cars, flight insurance (a form of accidental death coverage while flying only) and added emergency evacuation insurance. Some package policies include coverage for children at no extra charge.
The trip cancellation is important if you need to cancel your trip for any reason. It must be bought with 15 days of the first payment for you trip, and you need to let the insurance company know at least 48 hours prior to your cancellation.
If you are leaving tomorrow, and today decide to cancel your trip, then your claim will be denied. You need to let them know at least 48 hours before departure.
The trip cancellation or interruption part of these policies, do not cover you when you are already on your trip, unless there is a death, accident, or sickness in the family.
If you need to extend your trip anytime when you are already in Mazatlan, then you will need to pay whatever fees apply to your airfare ticket, usually from $50 to $150 per person, and whatever extra your hotel will charge for the extra nights.
Airline companies have different policies regarding changes in travel dates, so you need to check this out in advance.
In some cases, when you book an air and hotel package on certain websites, then it is very difficult and expensive to change the travel dates. Please check this out in advance as well.
Here is a large overview of where Mazatlan is in Mexico; you can see the U. S. border in relation to where our clinic is located:
Here is a Mazatlan map itself; it shows an overview of the city with some of the major streets outlined.
Below is a detailed view of Mazatlan city map and shows you where our office is located.
Before heading to Mazatlan for your dental tourism though, please read this important notice from the U.S. Department of State Website:
"The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requires that by January 1, 2008, travelers to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada have a passport or other secure, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States. In order to facilitate the implementation of this requirement, the Administration is proposing to complete it in phases following a proposed timeline, which will be published in the Federal Register in the near future.
In the proposed implementation plan, which is subject to a period of initial public comment, the Initiative will be rolled out in phases, providing as much advance notice as possible to the affected public to enable them to meet the terms of the new guidelines. The proposed timeline will be as follows:
December 31, 2006 - Requirement applied to all air and sea travel to or from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.
December 31, 2007 - Requirement extended to all land border crossings as well as air and sea travel.
This is a change from prior travel requirements and will affect all United States citizens entering the United States from countries within the Western Hemisphere who do not currently possess valid passports. This new requirement will also affect certain foreign nationals who currently are not required to present a passport to travel to the United States. Most Canadian citizens, citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda, and to a lesser degree, Mexican citizens will be affected by the implementation of this requirement."
Once in Mazatlan, you can checkout Casa De Leyendes, a bed and breakfast located 1/2 a block from the beach, and 3 blocks from our clinic. It has a warm, cozy feel to it, and is perfect for any of our patients to stay while getting their dental work done!
Another bed and breakfast to note is The Loro de Oro Bed and Breakfast. It’s located at the heart of Mazatlan’s historic Old Town District and is also walks away from the beach and our clinic.
Yet another accommodation from which you can get a great deal even for a full week's stay is Mazatlan Timeshares which is full of amenities that makes you feel like home.
Aside from the directions, travel deals and recommended accommodations. The best Mexico travel advice that we can give any traveller is to always stay safe throughout your vacation period. This wouldn't only apply to your Mexico travel but to any travel destinations that you may visit in the future.
The peace and order situation in any place that we visit is of course one of the most important things to take into account so it's also best to learn ahead of time if whether or not Mexico is a safe place for your dental tourism.
Of course, you wouldn't know if you haven't been to the place and if you're hesitant due to some false stories that you may have heard about Mexico. Take it from someone who's travelled through and from Mexico for almost a decade. You'll be surprised to find more gracious and courteus people in Mexico. Here's my personal evaluation of the peace and order situation in Mazatlan, Mexico. But just don't take it from me, come and see for yourself! I'm sure you'll love it.
That wraps up our Mexico travel advice, you can choose any of the options that suits your budget!