BIENVENIDOS

After months spent on the relaxed beaches and in the small towns of Baja, we were overwhelmed when we first arrived in Mazatlán. This sensation may have been heightened since the first thing we did was head to Mercado Pino Suarez, a bustling, vibrant market full of everything from steaks to sandals.

After a few hours walking around the city, we decided we'd be better off finding camping elsewhere, so we headed south.

SAYULITA (AKA PARADISE)

Our first stay on the mainland was in Sayulita, and it was perfect. While camping was pricy, the beachfront location made it worth it. It also turned out that we were away from the more congested, tourist areas, so the beach was more chill and less crowded.

As an added bonus, the day we arrived, a few other overlanders pulled in as well. It was great to meet other travelers at different stages of very different journeys.

FOLLOWING THE COAST

After extending our stay several times in Sayulita, we finally headed south to Barra de Navidad to meet up with Wayne and Katie, one of the couples we'd met at the campground.

We stopped along the way and camped in a woman's backyard, which happened to be a beautiful, peaceful beach, and then continued south the next morning. After arriving in Barra de Navidad we spent the day walking around the town and then headed to our new friend's place that evening for steak tacos. Their balcony turned out to be an ideal spot to watch the locals skimboard at sunset.

COLIMA

The drive from Barra de Navidad to the city of Colima was a blur of palm forest and fruit stands. We rode into the city in the afternoon and visited Jardín Libertad and fell in love with the bright building facades along the side streets.

That night, we camped near an old airstrip on a friendly family's land. The kids were especially friendly and curious about our tent and camping gear, and we were curious about the old cars and airplanes on the property.

The next morning we awoke to the sounds of the family trying to get an old airplane off the ground. As we were pulling out, we saw they had just taken off.

LA CAMPANA

Before leaving Colima, we headed to Zona Arqueológica La Campana to see the ruins and the view of Volcán de Colima. Unfortunately, the weather was overcast, so the volcano wasn't visible, but the ruins delivered.

THE HIDDEN VOLCANO

From Colima, we headed to La Yurbebeuna, a very small town, near the volcano. Again, we hoped to see the volcano, but the weather had other plans. We'd catch a glimpse of the volcano's shadow now and then, but for the most part, it was shrouded in clouds or smoke—we were never quite sure which.

With or without the volcano view, we enjoyed the landscape. From our camp we walked along a lake, crawled through rock tunnels, and visited the local coffee shop where the owner grows, roasts, and brews the coffee on-site.


CAMPING

La Maria Laguna,$50 MXN/person
[19.46355, -103.70889]

Colima Camping, Pay what you want
[19.22563, -103.72557]

Melaque Paradise, San Patricio, $100 MXN
[19.22363, -104.69751]

Red Snapper RV & Campground, Perula, $200 MXN
[19.58828, -105.12338]

Sayulita Trailer park and Bungalows, Sayulita, $350 MXN
[20.87126, -105.43714]

FOOD

Tacos el Ivan, Sayulita, $
[20.86935, -105.43959]

La Rustica, Sayulita, $$
[20.86943, -105.44046]

Cafe El Espresso, Sayulita, $
[20.8689, -105.44102]
good wifi

Yerbabuena Coffee, $

[20.8689, -105.44102]
great coffee!

SIGHTS

Plaza Republica, Mazatlán
[23.20021, -106.42177]

Mazatlan's Cathedral Basílica de la Inmaculada Concepción, Mazatlán
[23.20073, -106.42184]

Plazuela Hidalgo, Mazatlán
[23.19974, -106.42503]

Malecón Barra de Navidad
[19.2081, -104.68269]

La Campana Zona Arqueológica
$50 MXN/person
[19.26782, -103.72565]

Nuñez Garden, Colimna
[19.23986, -103.72463]

Nuñez Garden, Colimna
[19.23986, -103.72463]

Laguna La Maria
[19.463, -103.70815]