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Old 01-25-2009, 02:38 PM
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Hokujin Hokujin is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 5
My husband and I visited Mazatlan in Dec 08 on HAL and had not booked any tours through the ship. We decided to get off the ship and just see what we could find to do. After running the gauntlet of VERY aggressive vendors inside the Port building we exited to the outdoor shops. We spoke with a tour operator that was offering 2-3 hours in an air-conditioned van for $10 per person and he would take us where we wanted to go. None of the 3 couples in the van were really interested in shopping so he took us sight seeing, stopping anywhere we wanted to get out and take pictures. He drove us through Old Mazatlan giving us lots of history and photo opportunities. We stopped for a bathroom break at a friends business where we were offered free beer, soft drinks or water, and absolutely no pressure to buy. He took us to a huge market place, where the locals shop, containing lots of clothes, food, and knick knacks. From there he took us by the cliff divers and offered to get someone to dive if we wanted to "donate" to the cause. We all chose not to. From there he continued on to the Golden Zone where he again offered us time to shop if we wanted (none of us did). He ended the tour by taking us through a gated community for the very wealthy, showing us multi-million dollar homes, before heading back to the cruise terminal. All in all this was very much worth the $10. A far cry from what some of the other tour operators were offering at $35 per person and on their schedule not ours. My suggestion is to talk to a few operators before choosing what you want to do as well as waiting a little while until the bulk of the passengers are off the ship and on their way. That way the operators that are left are a little hungrier for business and more willing to negotiate on prices and itinerary.