Cabo San Lucas is an anchor port for all cruises sailing on Mexico's Riviera and Sea of Cortez itineraries, and as such it's experiencing quite a tourist boom. This party town, population 100,000 and growing (mostly with Americans), has been dubbed the Cozumel of Mexico's West Coast, and is duly replete with duty-free shops and tacky trinket stores -- though it is raising the level of its shopping options.
One of the downsides for most travelers whose ships sail here: All must anchor and tender passengers in to the port itself. That means -- especially for those folks sailing on 2,000-plus behemoths -- you'll need to factor in extra time getting to and from your ship. Even odder in this quite multi-faceted place is the fact that some ships only stop for half-day visits, which means that actual on-land time can be extremely limited.
Ferry service is available daily to and from La Paz to Mazatlan and Topolobampo on the Mexican mainland. The Ferry Dock is located at Pichilingue Terminal, west of La Paz City, two-hours north of Los Cabos by road.
The ferry to Mazatlan (SEMATUR) departs daily at 3:00 p.m. and arrives in Mazatlan at approximately 8 a.m. The return ferry departs Mazatlan at 3 p.m. daily and arrives in La Paz at approximately 8 a.m. The uncomfortable trip is about 15 to 17 hours depending upon wind, weather, and currents. Once your vehicle is stowed below, you will not be allowed access, so bring your important belongings on deck with you.
From Topolobampo (BAJA FERRIES)
To La Paz, the trip is a just over five hours, leaving Topolobampo at midnight. The return ferry departs La Paz at 4 p.m. and sails back to Topolobampo. This is a newer and faster ferry. Like SEMATUR once your vehicle is stowed below, you will not be allowed access, so bring your important belongings on deck with you.