Islas Marías is preparing for its first vacation season since its opening at the end of last year. The tourist complex, which had an investment of more than 1,400 million pesos, received 328 visitors last December, and it is estimated that approximately 2,800 national and foreign tourists will arrive by 2023.
This new tourist center offers attractions such as hiking, vehicle rides to the outskirts of Puerto Balleto, bicycle tours and the observation of endemic species.
For this Easter holiday season, the authorities announced discounts, only in transportation, ranging from 10 to 30 percent for students, active military, senior citizens and retired military.
The municipal president of San Blas, José Barajas López, optimistically assured that there are more people in the port of that town, which is where most visitors leave from, and that the ferries are at 80 percent of their capacity, that is, an average of 160 passengers per unit that will now sail every Thursday (before it was on Fridays) and return on Sunday.
To reach this paradisiacal place, designated since 2010 by UNESCO as a Natural Protected Area Biosphere Reserve, you can take the ferry that sails from Mazatlan, Sinaloa, whose transfer takes four and a half hours, or you can do it from San Blas, Nayarit, from where the trip has an estimated time of four hours.
The distance from the port of San Blas, Nayarit, to the Islas Marías is 130 kilometers and from Mazatlán, Sinaloa, it is 180 kilometers. It should be remembered that the largest island of the archipelago, Maria Madre, is the only one of the four that was inhabited from 1905 to 2019, being part of the Mexican prison system.
Ferries depart every Thursday in April and May, and the first weekend of June, and return on Sundays, that is, the stay is three nights and four days.
It is important to remember that a little more than 1,400 million pesos were invested in the tourist center, not including the ferries.
The most economical package to the aforementioned island, whether departing from Sinaloa or Nayarit, is 5,400 pesos per person, which includes round trip sea transportation in tourist seat, tours and buffet lunch. It is necessary to clarify that food and beverages cannot be brought in.
Lodging reservations are additional to said cost, for which there are three options: double house with kitchenette, three thousand pesos (capacity for six people); single house with kitchenette, two thousand 700 pesos (for four people), and hostel without kitchenette, two thousand 400 pesos (for four people). All spaces have a minibar, coffee maker, air conditioning, full bathroom, hot water and patio. In other words, the cost per day is equivalent to what would represent almost a fortnight’s work for someone who has an income of one minimum wage (12 to 14 minimum wages).
The boat also offers a tourist seat that costs three thousand 500 pesos per person; it also has an executive seat for three thousand 800 pesos, and a private cabin seat for four thousand pesos. The buffet meal per person is 1,900 pesos when purchased online.
Senior citizens have a 30 percent discount on maritime transportation from April 3 to 14, as well as retired military personnel, while students and teachers get a 10 percent discount and active military personnel a 20 percent discount.
The activities offered by the island are diverse, among these, hiking, vehicle ride to the outskirts of Balleto, bicycle tour and observation of endemic species that is another attraction for visitors, because in this tour they will see the different species that inhabit the Maria Madre Island for years and that will not be found anywhere else.
For those who prefer something quieter, you can walk along the seashore, and at night go to Balleto to watch the sunset in the cultural center and enjoy the verbena in the old gastronomic space of this camp.
Among the places of interest in the Islas Marías are the Mandela Arch, Handicrafts Shop, Guadalupe Temple, Site Museum, Puerto Balleto Pier, Cristo Rey, Henequenera, among others.
It is worth mentioning that at the end of January, the vice-president of Communication of the Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce, Services and Tourism (Concanaco-Servytur) informed that the Secretary of the Navy (Semar) notified them that during December, when the destination was opened, they received 328 visitors, and that for 2023, given that it is a new space that is in evolution, it is expected that approximately 2,800 national and foreign tourists will arrive. For the time being, the Semar has not provided any further information on the matter.
These trips were made at the aforementioned prices, which by the way, in spite of being high season, did not go up; on the contrary, discounts were announced just this Friday.
The municipal president of San Blas, José Barajas, acknowledged to El Occidental that his port is currently the most visited, which has become the preferred departure point to the Islas Marías.
“We have consolidated ourselves because San Blas is the closest window that exists in the Islas Marías and, therefore, it is the one that has brought the most tourists to that area. So, San Blas is a high point of entry and exit for this tourist adventure,” added the mayor.
Barajas Lopez acknowledged that before the departures scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays were not the best option, but thanks to the efforts of Governor Miguel Angel Navarro, the departures will be on Thursdays and the stay will be extended one more day, so they will return on Sundays, as an additional attraction for visitors.
The mayor indicated that for now they do not have the number of tourists that have left San Blas since its opening due to the fact that the Secretary of the Navy has not given them the information; however, they understand that the ferries on each trip go at 80 percent of their capacity, which is equivalent to 160 passengers.
The municipal president added that this tour has brought more visitors to San Blas, which forces to improve the conditions and public services, for which he recognized that it was a good decision to launch this new route.
San Miguel Times