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Mexican Riviera

Topolobampo Mexico Cruise Port Guide

Topolobampo joins three other Mexican Riviera cruise ports that don't have many visiting ships.

But less active ports that don't have a massive number of visitors are sometimes appealing in a different way. They are more authentic and less commercialized. They aren't filled with the usual souvenirs shops that sell mostly T-shirts, jewelry and electronics that visitors can buy in any other port.

There are a few downsides to these ports Mexican Riviera ports. English-speaking visitors will find that far fewer locals speak English. Major attractions and especially guided shore excursions aren't as common.

Norwegian and Holland America are the only cruise lines that visit this small city of about 6,000 people in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. Cruise ships usually visit the port only on 10- and 12-night cruises to the Mexican Riviera.

Where is Topolobampo?


Topolobampo is on the west coast of Mexico and faces the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez). It is 235 miles northwest of Mazatlán and about 200 miles southeast of Guaymas, another small cruise port in the Gulf of California.


Attractions and Shore Excursions


The small size of the port and the small number of cruise ships that visit it means there are a limited number of shore excursions. The excursions are also more expensive on average than most Mexican Riviera ports.

One common option is the Copper Canyon train ride for hard-core travelers. The journey is six hours each way and the total trip is 17 hours. Passengers will take a 90-minute shuttle ride to the town of El Fuerte, where they board the Chihuahua Pacifico train.

From there, they travel through the Sierra Madre mountain range until reaching Copper Canyon. The train goes through tunnels, over bridges and climbs 7,200 feet above sea level. The trip includes breakfast, lunch, entertainment and time in Copper Canyon. Prices start at $550 per person.

Anyone who doesn't want to spend that much money and time on a shore excursion has only a few other options, which mostly emphasis local culture.

A regional tour for $100+ will take cruise passengers to the prominent nearby city of Los Mochis. Tour highlights include a visit to a hacienda, authentic local cuisine, the regional museum, a 35-acre garden and a walk around Los Mochis.

A more expensive cultural tour starting at $199 includes the Mayo Indian village of Capomos, a 16th century adobe mission, a folklore dance, 18th-century Baroque-style cathedral and the town of El Fuerte, birthplace of Zorro.

Cruise Weather


Average daytime temperatures range from the low 80s Fahrenheit in the winter to the high 90s in the summer, according to the Mexican government meteorology service.

The city has a dry season that goes from October through June every year and a rainy season that lasts from July through September.

The dry season usually averages less than an inch of rain and only a few days with rain every month, according to historical data from the Mexican government's meteorological service.

Average rainfall jumps to six inches in July, eight inches in August and five inches in September during the annual Pacific hurricane season.

The best time to visit Topolobampo on a cruise is December through April.

Topolobampo Cruise Port Map

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