Nothing quite says Mazatlán like riding down the Malecon in a Pulmonia or Safari Car. The wind in your hair, the banda music blasting and feeling like you're just about the coolest person in the world. One of the best ways to experience the famous open air taxis is a Safari Car or Mazatlán Pulmonia Tour.
Since moving to Mazatlán in October of 2019, we've been able to experience Pumonias and Safari Cars in all their glory on mutiple day trips and tours. We came to realize quickly that not all Pulmonias are built alike and the prices and tours vary greatly. There are also different kinds of vehicles called ‘Safari Cars' as well
Whether your in Mazatlán on vacation, or a cruise ship port day, we've done all the work interviewing drivers and getting the low down on Pulmonia tours and Safari car tours so you can sit back and enjoy the ride!
The difference between a Safari Car and Pulmonia
A Safari car will have doors, seatbelts and can leave the city onto highways. A Pulmonia is the original version with no doors and looks more like a golf cart rather than a car.
Top 5 Things To Consider When Booking a Safari Car or Mazatlán Pulmonia Tour
1. Cost & Prices For Mazatlán Pulmonia Tours
The hourly prices for tours vary drastically. You also get what you pay for in many cases but there is also a limit to how much you should be be paying. For a fluent english speaking driver in a Safari car with doors, seatbelts, comfortable seats plus free bottled water, the hourly price shouldn't go over $750 MXN ($40 US).
For a non-english speaking driver in an original style Pulmonia you may see prices around $400 MXN ($22 US) per hour.
Supply and demand may also drive prices up and down so if you're visiting during high season such as Christmas, New Years or Carnival, prices can really skyrocket.
2. Safety – Does The Pulmonia or Safari Car Have Seatbelts?
Most Pulmonias as of 2020 do not have seatbelts or doors, however there is new version called the Safari car starting to emerge that has both. WIth more and more passengers concerned about safety, some drivers are making the switch. The only Pulmonias allowed to leave the city to lookout points and surrounding attractions are those with doors and seatbelts.
3. Does The Driver Speak Fluent English?
There is a big difference between fluent english and some english. When booking your Safari Car or Pulmonia tour, ensure that the driver can speak proper english which will make for a more interesting day.
4. Will The Tour Include Interesting Facts & Explanations
Many Pulmonias and Safari cars around Mazatlán will offer “city tours” but they are just a drive around the city without any information about the attractions you visit. Ensure you have a driver/tour guide that has great knowledge on the city and can explain it's history and culture.
5. Does The Safari Car or Pulmonia Tour Feature Authentic And Off The Beaten Path Locations
Ask if the tour features more than just the usual tourist spots. Experienced drivers will take visitors beyond the touristy spots to see the real culture and truths about Mazatlan that most visitors miss. Tours should also be customizeable to what you want to see. The driver should allow you to stop and walk around at any location as long as it is safe. There is no rush and this is your chance to enjoy everything Mazatlán has to offer!
We found a driver named Christian and his tour was definitely our favorite! He is a super kind and a safe driver with the new style Safari Car that features seat-belts and doors. Being a local, he has tons of knowledge about Mazatlán and teaches you things you definitely can't read online. He will let you customize the tour and it includes cold water. His cousin Julio joined us with his Safari car as well when we had a group of 7 people in town! After getting awesome service from both guys we are happy to connect our readers with Christian's Tour.