The Baja Peninsula is separated from mainland Mexico by the Sea of Cortes. Travelers wishing to cross from one side to the other have limited options. There are numerous flights between Los Cabos and Mexico City. Baja Ferries offers ferry service between Baja California Sur and mainland Mexico, and is a good option for those traveling by car to get their vehicle across the Sea of Cortes rather than driving almost all the way to the border.
Baja Ferries offers two routes, both run between La Paz, the capital city of Baja California Sur state and cities in the state of Sinaloa on mainland Mexico. One route goes to Topolobambo and the other to Mazatlan. The La Paz to Topolobambo route is much shorter; it takes about 8 hours, whereas the La Paz to Mazatlan route can take up to 18 hours.
Topolobambo is very close (about 30 minutes drive) to Los Mochis, the starting point for El Chepe, the Copper Canyon railway. You can purchase tickets for the train at the Baja Ferries offices in La Paz, Los Mochis and San Jose del Cabo.
The passenger fare includes taxes, boarding right and meals (one meal for La Paz to Topolobambo route, two for the La Paz to Mazatlan route). Children under three travel free of cost, but you should request a ticket for them when booking. There are extra charges to board a vehicle, to reserve a cabin or to travel with a pet. Make arrangements for these when booking your ticket.
Tips for taking the ferry:
- You will need to show ID and it must have the same name as appears on your ticket. Exchanges are not permitted.
- You will go through security and customs. You must have all the required papers for your vehicle (if traveling with one) to show it is properly registered and you have permission for it to be in Mexico.
- The service offered by Baja Ferries is comfortable as far as ferries go, but this is not a pleasure cruise, so keep your expectations low.
- Do book the ferry service in advance (one or two weeks before travel should be sufficient) and pre-book a cabin or they may be all full.
- It is well worth it to book a cabin, especially on the longer La Paz to Mazatlan route. Cabins have four beds, air conditioning, private bath with a shower and hot water. Towels are provided.
- Meals are included with the cost of the fare and there is a snack bar, but options may be limited, so it's a good idea to bring some snacks.
Check the Baja Ferries website for updated information on rates and schedules: bajaferries.com.mx
Read about more ways to get around Mexico: Transportation in Mexico