Ferries in Mexico: the Pacific coast 2009 update

articles Travel & Destinations

For many travelers, driving down the Baja Peninsula, taking a passenger/vehicle ferry across to Mexico’s mainland and then exploring the interior is a pleasant way of experiencing a wide variety of topography.

This Page provides basic ferry information to assist travel in either direction.


Reservations are recommended any time of year. Many prefer to make reservations directly at the Ferry offices. However, during peak seasons, it is best to book from one week to one month in advance.

Basic Information

Baja Ferries have modern ships with restaurant, bar, and cabin lodging with private baths.

The fare includes:

  • The right to travel.
  • Taxes (I.V.A. Value Adde Tax)
  • Access to the Port terminals (A.T.P.) No other port rights included

Dispositions are subject to change and restrictions

Fares are subject to change

December through March, whales can be seen in the Gulf of Cortes, making the ferry a very popular travel option.


The Chihuahua Star permits pets in an area with 16 cages. Please request this service at the time you buy yor ticket.


Baja ferry routes
Map of Baja ferry routes

La Paz – Mazatlan (18 hours)

  • Mazatlan – La Paz: Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:00 p.m.
  • La Paz – Mazatlan: Sunday at 5 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday at 8 p.m.

La Paz – Topolobampo (Los Mochis) (6 hours)

  • Topolobampo – La Paz: – Sunday to Friday 11:00 p.m.
  • La Paz – Topolobampo: – Monday to Friday 3:00 p.m.,  Saturday 11 p.m.

Helpful Hints

  • Itineraries are subject to change with no further notice.
  • Please verify your itinerary once you have defined your travel date.
  • Children under the age of 3 don’t pay a fare.
  • Children aged 3 to 11 pay half fare.
  • Minors traveling alone are not allowed.
  • Cabin class features 2 bunk beds and bathroom
  • Tourist class features 4 bunk beds without a bathroom
  • For your car and/or trailer/camper: have your car temporary import papers prepared at the BORDER when you enter Mexico.
  • Arrive at the ticket office as soon as it opens (ask when it opens, as hours often vary from place to place).
  • If you are buying “Salon” tickets (see below) queue up before the window opens, as they sell out quickly.
  • Ask the Guard on duty where to park your car to be weighed, as this is usually not near the ticket counter. The scale is called “La Balanza.”
  • You need to have your vehicle weighed BEFORE you buy your ticket. You will receive a weight voucher indication your vehicle classification.
  • Your car tickets and seat tickets are sold separately, so you’ll need to stand in two different lines.
  • BE FOREWARNED – when you drive down the Baja, the peninsula enjoys a special trade zone status, so that you do not pass through customs on the way down.

    HOWEVER, when you cross to the mainland, you will be formally entering Mexico proper. You will have to go through Customs before boarding the ferry. There have been instances where large duty fees have been demanded and people have had to either pay them, miss the ferry, or drive back up the peninsula.

Ferry Ticket Offices

La Paz

  • Tel. (612) 125-7443 or 123-1313
  • Toll Free 01 (800) 122-1414
  • Allende esq. Marcelo Rubio
  • Col. Centro
  • La Paz, Baja California Sur

Los Mochis

  • Tel. (668) 817-3752 or 817-38 64
  • Toll Free 01 (800) 012-8770
  • Plaza Encuentro, Local 5
  • Los Mochis, Sinaloa

Terminal Pichilingue

  • Tel. (612) 123-0208
  • Fax (612) 123-0504
  • Interior Muelle de Altura
  • API Lote 1 Manzana F
  • La Paz, Baja California Sur

Terminal Topolobampo

  • Tel. (668) 862-1003
  • Fax (668) 862-1005
  • Toll Free 01 (800) 718-2796
  • Instalaciones API y Muelle de Contenedores
  • Topolobampo, Sinaloa
Published or Updated on: September 26, 2009
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