Taking the TMC Ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan
We were house sitting a beautiful place in San Jose del Cabo and the time had come to leave. We packed up and were ready to go to catch a ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan. This would be our first time taking the ferry and we had many questions about the process.
There are two ferry companies, Baja Ferries and TMC. We are traveling with our dog Lou and heard you have to quarentine your dog for the whole 15 HOUR TRIP. This is NOT the case with TMC. Baja Ferries makes you quarentine them in your own dog crate.
We obviously went with TMC.
The ferries are located in Pichilingue past La Paz, near the Balandra Beach. (Go to that beach, it’s amazing.) We arrived around 3:00 the TMC Ferry departs at 6:00 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We arrived with plenty of time to spare. We were there Wednesday, Jan 2nd with no line or anything.
The process is easy. We already got our 6 month car permit when we crossed the border in Tecate. If you do not have it, there is a place at the ferries to get it. I recommend at the border when you get your tourist card.
When you arrive you go through a gate, then go to your right. You’ll be waved through for an inspection of your vehicle and proof that you have your vehicle permit. Once through, continue straight to the workers in the red vests. They will get your info on the car, your name, etc., then measure your vehicle. They record all of the info on a slip of paper, hand it back to you and then you park your car near the small TMC building on the right. Take your slip in the TMC building and pay the fee. You’ll get your ticket for the ferry, dinner and breakfast meal tickets and all kinds of receipts. We waited for all the trucks to load up, then it was the tourists’ vehicles turn. We drove to the top of the ferry, did a 180 and parked.
COSTS & RESERVATIONS
We did not need a reservation, but it’s not a bad idea. Below are phone numbers and e mail addresses to contact for reservsations or other questions. Costs for vehicles and passengers is on the right.
We have a 20 foot length van. It’s 9 feet tall, but, the height does not matter because you are going to be traveling on the top deck. So the costs for the vehicles comes down to the length.
Our van is right at 6 meters, 1 driver, 1 passenger, 1 good dog (free). So, Tourist vehicle: with driver $3600 pesos + Passenger $1197 pesos = $4797 pesos. ($250 usd roughly) Not too bad considering gas prices and time to drive all the way around.
TMC allows dogs up above the main parking. I do not recommend dogs up that high. The steps are very steep and on the outside of the boat. We were allowed to stay in our camper van with our dog, Lou. The wind was high as well as the waves! Going to sleep at first was unsettling, but, we got used to it. There is a cabin on the main deck if you feel sea sick or you would like to hang out, not in your vehicle. I did not see any beds, but a few bathrooms. Be careful not to go in to the living quarters of the crew. Signs are posted, but not everywhere. Bring a good jacket or sweatshirt, out at sea can be cold!
Enjoy the pictures below and please ask us any questions!