There are more full-service RV parks in the middle Pacific Coast than anywhere else. The middle comprises Sinaloa state. If you’ve been following these blog entries, you’ve already driven your RV or 5th wheel as far south as Alamos, Sonora. The atmosphere and attractions transform as you motor south. The land sheds its desert jacket and puts on a tropical guayabera.
Celestino Gazca Villaseñor, Sinaloa
This relatively unknown spot on the Pacific between Culiacán and Mazatlán is home to four RV parks. You have to be looking for the exit from MEX-15D 7 miles (11.2 KM) from the exit for Ceutla / La Cruz. You may find it easier to remember 97.27 MI / 156.5 KM from the beginning bypass of Culiacán.
Coming from the north, between KM 79 and KM 78, look for a sign for Santuario followed by blue signs for beaches and fish. One-half mile farther is a small green sign for Celestino Gasca. The exit is just before the overpass and is dirt. Coming from the south you will pass a truck weigh station on the right. There are no signs. After ½ mile, just before the overpass, you’ll see a dirt road. Exit there, go up and make a U-turn on the paved highway and come back over the overpass. The parks are Celestino RV Resort, Villa Celeste Resort and Villas Tortuga Cabañas & RV Park. The Punta San Miguel is the farthest out of town on the beach. The Celestino is in town and the other two are on the beach.
This is a tiny town. But the natural beauty keeps people coming back. English is at a premium so be prepared to learn at least minimal Spanish, which could be a wonderful thing. This tiny town is not for everyone, but there are those who consider it a rare jewel in the rough. Others see just a rock.
Mazatlán differs from most beach towns in Mexico. It is certainly different from the ones in Sonora. It is a city, fishing and cargo port. There is a brewery and a coffee roasting plant–quite the combination. Even if foreign tourism stopped coming to town, Mazatlán would survive. Prices are more reasonable than at other beach resorts, both for hotels and RV parks. Seafood and eating out is easier on the budget.
Mazatlán is a big draw for RV’s. It has the most RV or trailer parks (as they are known in Mexico), of any one town (5). A fire destroyed an old favorite, Punta Cerritos this spring. It was popular with annual lessors and expats. Whether it will reopen, we don’t know yet.
Most of the trailer parks are along Sábalo Cerritos (north of Marina El Cid) or Camerón Sábalo (south of the marina). Las Jaibas is neat, has a nice owner and a pool. Big rigs are okay. The Mar-A-Villas is on the other side of the street but easier access. The Mar Rosa is right by the Marina El Cid and golf course, which might attract some. The California Trailer Park is closer to the “action” as in nightclubs and restaurants. That equates into a little noisier too. The Tres Amigos is by Isla de la Piedra, on the other side of town across from the ferry dock. It is ideal if you plan to take the ferry to La Paz. The San Fernando Trailer Park at Av del Tiburón 1916, Sábalo Country has a pool and is very nice. I read about a low-priced park, Baraka RV Park, north of town near the bypass. It is on the beach, has full hookups, BUT reviewers consistently say that it is noisy from party spots nearby. It is priced about 50% of the other parks.
Many foreigners come back to winter here year after year. If you like shrimp, many say they catch the best shrimp in Mexico off its shores. There is a diverse ex-pat community is you feel the need to congregate with your countrymen. If you don’t, even in the Golden Zone (the hotel and nightclub strip), there are enough Mexican tourists that you still hear more Spanish than English spoken. That’s different from San Carlos.
If you’re a deep-sea fisherman, Mazatlán claims to be the billfish capital of Mexico. On the other side of the Gulf of California, so does Cabo San Lucas. I can’t say who’s right, but do know that fishing charters cost less from Mazatlán than from Cabo. Heck, everything costs more in Cabo.
If you venture a few blocks from the beach, you’ll find yourself in a real Mexican city of the Goldilocks size–not too big; not too small. If you go downtown, it is thriving and mostly Spanish is spoken. The Angela Peralta Theater is still in service and as opulent as an opera house should be. Dance, theater, and performing artists from around the globe perform there. There is a very good aquarium.
If you crave mountains (and who doesn’t now and then?), Concordia is about an hour away. It’s famous for wood carvings and furniture. Not much farther is Copala, an old mining town with cobblestone streets and colonial-style buildings that would be home in central Mexico.
If you keep driving for a few more hours, you’ll cross the Puente Baluarte (a famous bridge with spectacular views). From there you could go to waterfalls, alpine cabins, exquisite birding, and hiking. Or you could go on to Durango.
So, Mazatlán offers much and is near to more for those who seek variety. Give Mazatlan a visit. You’ll be glad you did.
“Mexico” Mike Nelson has been writing about Mexico for forty years. He currently offers road logs (guidebooks) for drivers and personalized trip-planning from his website, https://www.mexicomike.com
Taking your U.S. or Canadian RV to Sinaloa RV parks can be a memorable, remarkable experience. Just don’t forget to get your Mexico RV Insurance.