Isla de la Piedra Journals

Rural, empty beach a boat ride from "civilization"

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Isla de la Piedra by El Gallo

Stone Island Beach Cabins Photo, Isla de la Piedra, Mexico More Photos
Quote: Isla de la Piedra is no longer just the "Stone Island" day trip from Mazatlan--it's become a primary destination for backpackers, hippies, skinny-dippers, and seekers of calm.

Rural, empty beach a boat ride from "civilization"

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
Best thing to do: nada
Or walk 15 miles of palm-lined, no-buildings beach. Sip a beer in a thatch beachfront bar with hammocks instead of chairs. Build a shack up the beach and hang loose. Go swimming. Eat seafood.

Quick Tips:

The thing is, it's a very rural place with chickens and pigs and horse-drawn taxis--but just a quick boat trip away from the fleshpots of Mazatlan.

Best Way To Get Around:

Arrive by motor launch, walk over to the beach. Or take a horse wagon, or pulmonia. Rent horses (if you are a total turista.) Hit the beach and WALK. If that's too boring, SWIM>
Stone Island Beach Cabins Photo, Isla de la Piedra, Mexico
Quote:
These new cabins are an excellent compromise between the rougher accommodations on Isla and the luxuries of the real world. The owners, Trini and Isabelle, recently built them to augment the income of their home-built, igloo-like driftwood-fired pizza oven. They are just a few sandy steps away from the beach--turn right to the palapa restaurants and ferry to Land of Maz, turn left to walk 12 miles up tropical beach with no buildings, just coconut palms. There is a kitchen, private toilets, even HOT WATER! A completely family atmosphere--the family speaks French, Spanish, and English. Excellent company and service, steps from restaurants, horseback riding, or major goofing off. Their webs...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 1, 2004

Stone Island Beach Cabins

Isla de la Piedra, Mexico
none

Twin Towers

Hotel

Twin Towers Photo, Isla de la Piedra, Mexico
Quote:
This is the closest Mazatlan has to a hostel. . . and it's as close as a five-minute ferry ride. People have called Twin Towers, a hand-built hotel, all sort of things: a posada, a hostel, a community, a happening. It’s a very cheap place to crash and eat while hanging out on a long stretch of empty tropical beach. You can take tourist rides and horseback and such right in front, or completely withdraw from any other society other than the backpackers and old friends who hang out in the hammocks and around the bonfires of the Towers. In fact, you can COMPLETELY withdraw. . . there's a Zen center next door. There is a communal kitchen, toilet, shower, even a steam lodge!! Nights feature chess (if...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 1, 2004

Twin Towers

Isla de la Piedra, Mexico

Trini's Pizzas

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Restaurant

Quote:
Well, it's not really a restaurant, just a sort of jumble of palm thatch huts with a scraggly assortment of people milling around, living there. They have an outhouse and you can sit on something. Take out works, too. The oven is a big clay igloo on top of a big rock 'table.' Trini (who looks like a totally evil drug-dealing Columbian Indian shaman assasain, but is only some of those things and a decent guy) and his wife Isabel (French Canadian hippie trapped into the squaw life and raising her tri-lingual kiddos) make the pizzas from scratch and cook them carefully in the oven, which has a fire inside, off to the the side. They often use the oily dried husks of coconuts to fire it, or whatever w...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 2, 2000

Trini's Pizzas
Where Village Road hits Beach
Isla de la Piedra, Mexico

Victor's

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Restaurant

Quote:
There are about 20 restaurants along the north end of the beach--and NOTHING south of them. Victor's is the last one as you walk south from the beach pier, the first you'll hit if you came over to the village pier. Walking south you'll have to break a few tackles from the obese but determined Lety and her minions--they'll drag you right in and start fattening you up. Keep on trucking, Victor's is worth it--he's got a sign out front saying "Victor's Viejo Viento". Many of the other palapas have big sound systems playing rap and crap. If you want that, fine. And many are full of drunken gringos. Victor has a stereo, but tends to like sixties music, jazz, and non-obnoxious Mexican music. He...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 1, 2000

Victor's
Southernmost Palapa in the Row
Isla de la Piedra, Mexico

Osuna's

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Restaurant

Quote:
This is the only significant non-beach resaurant on the Island, located not on the shore but over in the village. You'll see it if you arrive from the embarcadero boats--and if you leave the island after about 5 PM, when the village dock is the only way off. It's just a thatch roof with tables a few hammocks, and a TV where everybody watches their favorite telenovela. If you're overdosed on seafood, or just wnat to eat a little cheaper, slip into Osuna's, grab a pop out of the frig, and get tacos, quesadillas or whatever. But the best bet are the tortas, meaning a sandwich on a sourdough roll. I really recommend going all out here--the "especial" is the whole nine yards...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 1, 2000

Osuna's
North of the Village Pier
Isla de la Piedra, Mexico

Where to stay?

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Story/Tip

Quote:
The isla has always been a day trip, not a destination--but with more and more Americans and Europeans seeing it as a destination, it's starting to accomodate. There are no hotels, and probably never will be thanks to ejido law, which is to complex to get into here. But there are getting to be more and more little rooms-out-back to rent, and camping is extremely doable. The nicer places get grabbed up for the season, of course, but if you poke around you turn something up. Best bet is NOT to just show up on the island looking for a bed, like so many backpack types are doing. Best bet is get a cheap room in Mazatlan (where there are LOTS of cheap rooms) and come over for a day of swimmin...Read More

Getting there

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Technically, Isla de la Piedra isn't an island. You can drive there if you don't mind a couple of hours of insanely terrible road. But practically speaking, you get there by motor launch, the typical local fishing boats called pangas. The trip across the river, which isn't technically a river, either, but an esturary, is nice, good view of the Pacifico brewery, and the waterfronts. Very pleasant in the evening and night. There are essentially two ways to get over: the ferry terminal, and the embarcadero. For most day trippers the ferry dock is much better, though it costs like 4 pesos instead of 2 (so 40 cents instead of 20). For one thing, the terminal is easier to get to from ...Read More

Beach Light, Pts. I, II, and III

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Story/Tip

Quote:
The rising north wind is chilling the beach, and chasing the waves over the flats, piling up riffles high enough to catch and block the low pink rays of the sunset. The wind-piled ripples are sharper, more triangular in profile than the gentler shapes of the wave-created ripples, and they fan due south, parallel to the beach and across the grain of the foaming wave runs. Whenever a depression in the flats forms a shallow pool, the surface dances with the windrows, each ridge a prism projecting slashes of pink light onto the bottom, only inches below. The parallax projects the pink slashes below the wavelets where I see them through the waves themselves. The instant impression is that leeward...Read More

About the Writer

El Gallo

El Gallo
Monkey Junction, Afghanistan