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Old November 17th, 2004, 09:02 PM
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Default Mazatlan: Selecting Between Two Sierra Madre Tours

Hi Everyone,

Princess offers two similar tours (1) Colonial Villages and Papantla Flyers (5 hours) which goes to Malpica and Concordia, and (2) Sierra Madre tour (7 hours) which goes to Concordia, Copala and makes a brief stop in the Golden Zone. Here?s my dilemma: I wanted to visit the Sierra Madre, but still have a little time to visit the old part of Mazatlan (not the Golden Zone), which I have never seen. Perhaps I am trying to do too much in one day? I am thinking that this is probably impossible to do with the second tour, given that it is 7 hours (and the ship is in port 7am ? 5 pm). If I choose the first tour, I am thinking I?ll have a better chance of seeing downtown Mazatlan, but I?m not sure if I would be missing more by not going to Copala. (and the Papantla flyers weren?t really high on my list anyway).
Has anyone taken either tour, and if so, could you offer your impressions? Thanks!
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Old November 18th, 2004, 12:50 AM
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Default Re: Mazatlan: Selecting Between Two Sierra Madre Tours

Hi,

We have throughly enjoyed the sierra madre tour to Concordia and then onto Copola.
In l991 my wife went on this tour while I went deep sea fishing. This past spring I decided to go with my wife as she has raved for years about how wonderful this tour was. When she went in l99l the tour made a short stop in Concordia and other than the church they really did not look at much there. When we were in Concordia this past spring they also had a huge outdoor market as it was during a special festival. We wondered thru the town square and had our picture taken on this huge chair (makes you feel like a child again, good for a laugh), we also went to city hall, so small compared to our and of course thru the church built in the l500's. We then drove onto Copola a silver mining town also with a church dating from the 1500. During my wifes first trip she had purchase a unique leather mask from a man selling his handmade crafts under a huge bouganvilla tree in front of the church. She has a collection of masks and was interested in finding another mask created by the same person. We approached the church and there was a young man selling wooden carving of the church and building in the town, they are made from the bark of a tree, very light and the wood is very soft. The carvings are only about 3 or 4 inches tall and range from 4 inches long to over 1 foot. But this was not the man she had purchased a mask from before. She was dissapointed that the man was not there but it was l3 years since she had been here. As we wandered down the very short street in Copola and checked out each store she found a shop that specialized in masks. She felt that the masks bore a resemblence to the one she had at home. Upon conversing with the gentleman (who is mute) she was thrilled to discover that it was the man from under the tree in front of the church and she added more than one mask to her collection. It was such a thrill for her to see how this person had developed his artistic career and now owns a small store and even has a web sit today. In January of 2005 we are again going on cruise to PV and will be again going on this tour. We would recommend this tour they have added lunch to the program for January. Last year lunch was not included and we were able to do some shopping in PV before returning to the ship. With lunch the tour will be longer. It was very interesting to see the country side and small communities along the tour route.

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Old November 18th, 2004, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: Mazatlan: Selecting Between Two Sierra Madre Tours

Let me tell you about Luis the artist that makes the masks. He is a friend of mine and he used to be outside the cchurch as your wife says. Now he has a little shop decorated beautiful. These masks are made of leather (goat and cow hide) also he mixes in fish skin now. It looks like snake but it is fish. Part of his new tecnique is adding sea shells and fish fins. He is always doing something new. The days he opens his gallery is when the cruiseships come to Mazatlan. When there is no cruiseship he does not open. If I can be of any assistence email me direct as I do not check the boards everyday. I do the Copala tour around 3 times a week and I can contact him if you need this. Have a nice weekend!
Frank
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Old November 20th, 2004, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: Mazatlan: Selecting Between Two Sierra Madre Tours

I have seen the flyers and "done" oldtown Mazatlan each more then once so I may be jaded. I thoroughly enjoyed the longer trip with Copola included. But, you must understand that there are many little things that I see which makes this tour very special to me when it may be boring to others. I liked buying the handmade painted tiles of which I have 3. I enjoyed conversing in my broken Spanish with a young boy on his mule. I enjoyed the Mexican lunch. I enjoyed the freshly baked pastry from one of the few if not the only commercial oven in town. I enjoyed the furniture making. It took me out of the tourist areas and showed me real and unique parts of both Indian and Mexican culture.
The decision is all of what is interesting to you.

Steve Hayes
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Old November 20th, 2004, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Mazatlan: Selecting Between Two Sierra Madre Tours

I concur totally with what Steve said. This is one of my favorite tours. We have done it through the ship, as well as privately through Frank (above). Of course, the private tour was much better ... I know Frank can sometimes group you with others in the van, and that brings the price down immensely. The towns are great, and all the sights Steve mentioned really make for a fantastic day.

Harry

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Old January 16th, 2005, 09:32 PM
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Default Re: Re: Mazatlan: Selecting Between Two Sierra Madre Tours

Frank,
Are you the tour guide for the copala tour? What does this tour entail?

Thank you
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Old January 17th, 2005, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Mazatlan: Selecting Between Two Sierra Madre Tou

Jeana
I was thinking the same as Harry. You could probably do the same as the longer tour with Frank on a private van tour and still do it in a shorter time. We did this longer tour with RCCL several years ago and it seems like we did take longer than necessary at several places, including lunch. So that may be doable if you still want time for old Mazatlan.
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Old January 18th, 2005, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: Mazatlan: Selecting Between Two Sierra Madre Tours

You definitely have a stop in the Golden Zone for lunch and shopping, so no worries there.

Frank is the tour guide, and from what I recall, here are the stops:

* Picked up at the pier terminal

* Stop at adobe brick making site for a demo

* Drive through the outskirts of Mazatlan to a small town (I forgot the name) to a place making hand done tiles, then to a bakery.

* Back on the van to Concordia, which is a beautiful old town. Sight-seeing there, and an incredible stop at a 300-year-old rancho to meet with a local family and tour their home (try and do that on a cruise tour!)

* Back into town and out to the Golden Zone for lunch along the beach (not included in price, but inexpensive) then some shopping time in town if you like.

Harry

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Old January 22nd, 2005, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: Mazatlan: Selecting Between Two Sierra Madre Tours

Gracias Harry, I have not been here for a few days, but all your information is correct. The town with the bakery is Malpica. The tour you are mentioning is the Colonial tour. The Sierra Madre tour is the same but with one more stop, Copala. Apart from visiting the town, you have lunch there (included) and as desert a piece of the famous banana coconut cream pie, mmmmm.

Nice to hear from you Harry, please say hello to Art.

MazatlanTourGuide
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Old January 23rd, 2005, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: Mazatlan: Selecting Between Two Sierra Madre Tours

Will do Frank ... Shar told me she saw you on their cruise they just got back from. By the way, please tell Randi the article is still on my "to do" list. :-)

Harry

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Old January 23rd, 2005, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: Mazatlan: Selecting Between Two Sierra Madre Tours

I will see Randi on Wednesday and will tell her. Have a great week!

Mazatlan Frank
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Old January 25th, 2005, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: Mazatlan: Selecting Between Two Sierra Madre Tours

Just want to say thanks to everyone for their helpful advice. Just got back from my solo cruise - it was wonderful, to say the least! I did go to Copala/Concordia - and Frank, just so you know, Irma was my guide and she said your mom Maria is her cousin. She was wonderful.
Again, thanks to everyone for all your help!
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Old January 25th, 2005, 11:35 PM
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Default Re: Mazatlan: Selecting Between Two Sierra Madre Tours

Hola Jeanna
You posted faster then me. Irma told me about you. I am glad that you had fun with her and yes, Maria is my mother. Maybe next time you come down I can take you on a tour. Keep my email handy! Have a great week!

Mazatlan Frank
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Old February 9th, 2005, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Mazatlan: Selecting Between Two Sierra Madre Tours

I almost always hire a private driver or take a van with other friends in each port. I have been on 15 cruises and 12 times to Mazatlan. I have never done a Sierra Madre tour though. I plan to do one in April while on the Oosterdam. But to be honest, I am concerned about a private tour so far from the ship. My worst fear is a breakdown or flat tire and then missing tye ship. I probably will just take a ship's tour.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: Re: Mazatlan: Selecting Between Two Sierra Madre Tours

Hello Frank:

I have been reading about you on the Cruisemates web-site and am interested in the Sierra Madre Tour.

Do you have a website, or how do I make arrangements.

2 people - both of us in our 60's.

Coming in on HAL Ryndam. Will be in Mazatlan on Friday April 29th, 2005.

We have been on several cruises, but this will be our first shore excursion booking separate from the ships tours. Everyone keeps telling us we are missing the boat by not going with a local tour over a ship tour. More flexible, etc.

Is it too late to book? Can you give me any details via email, etc.

Thanks - Henry (Michigan)
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Old April 13th, 2005, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: Mazatlan: Selecting Between Two Sierra Madre Tours

Henry, Frank's web site is www.mazatlan-tours.com

Harry

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Old April 19th, 2005, 11:52 AM
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Default Mazatlan Frank

Regarding your post:

Author: frank black
Date: 02-09-05 15:32

I almost always hire a private driver or take a van with other friends in each port. I have been on 15 cruises and 12 times to Mazatlan. I have never done a Sierra Madre tour though. I plan to do one in April while on the Oosterdam. But to be honest, I am concerned about a private tour so far from the ship. My worst fear is a breakdown or flat tire and then missing tye ship. I probably will just take a ship's tour.

Have no fear! Mazatlan Frank will get you back to the ship with plenty of time to spare. We did the Copala tour with him and it was an amazing day! If something were to happen to Frank's van, he has plenty of friends who could provide transportation. By the way - he DOES take car of his vehicles :o)

We've been on two of Frank's tours and consider him our friend and one of the best guides in the business - (hola, Frank!) - He instilled in us a great love of Mazatlan that couldn't have happened doing one of the bus tours. And yum! That banana pie is excellent!!

Shar
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