Things to do in Topolobampo & Los Mochis, Sinaloa
Los Mochis, like Chihuahua, is a terminal city for the Chepe railway through the Copper Canyon. Most people visiting the canyons will find themselves here either at the beginning or the end of their Copper Canyon journey.
The seaside town of Topolobampo is the best place to go while in the area. It’s where you’ll find the best beaches, the most wildlife and the top things to do.
The town of Topolobampo and the city of Los Mochis are so close to each other that we’ll cover both in this article.
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Introduction to Los Mochis & Topolobampo
Topolobampo and Los Mochis were both founded by Americans in 1893. A civil engineer by the name of Albert Kimsey Owen saw a lot of potential for a Pacific trading port where Topolobampo sits today. He and a few followers originally founded Topolobampo as a utopian socialist community.
Shortly thereafter, a businessman by the name of Benjamin F. Johnston, attracted by Owen’s visions for a port, found himself in what is now Los Mochis. He too saw a lot of potential in the region, but more specifically in sugarcane cultivation.
By the turn of the century, Johnston had built a sugar mill in Los Mochis and the city grew rapidly around it.
To this day, Los Mochis’ economy depends heavily on agriculture, though it has diversified a bit. In fact, the region is one of the top mango producers in all of Mexico.
Climate Around Los Mochis, Sinaloa
Los Mochis and Topolobampo sit at sea level and both have a semi-arid climate. The temperature is usually warm or hot year-round.
- April – October: daytime highs usually range from 32 to 38°C (90 to 100°F), night-time lows from 15 – 25°C (59 – 77°F). The rainy season is from July through September and the cities have occasionally been hit by hurricanes.
- November – March: daytime highs range from 26 to 30°C (79 to 86°F), while nightly lows are between 11 and 15°C (51 and 59°F).
The best time to go is in October as the landscape will be lush after the rain. However, as the weather is warm year-round, it’s easy to enjoy outdoor activities most of the year. It’s probably best to avoid July and August due to extreme temperatures and heavier rains.
Where are Los Mochis and Topolobampo?
Los Mochis and Topolobampo are in the north-western region of the Mexican state of Sinaloa. The two towns are only about 25 km (15.5 mi) from each other, and Topolobampo is situated on the coast of the Gulf of California.
Los Mochis is the end of the line (or beginning) for El Chepe, so most visitors to the Copper Canyon will find themselves there at some point.
The map shows the major transportation hubs (mentioned below), as well as the major sites mentioned in the Things to do section
How to get to Topolobampo and Los Mochis, Sinaloa
Los Mochis is more accessible than most of the other towns along the Chepe route with the exception of Chihuahua. It can be reached by plane, boat, bus and of course, train.
Please be aware that there are planned changes to train fares and schedules as of January 10th, 2020.
This site will be updated shortly after the new details are released.
How to get to Los Mochis, Sinaloa by Plane
Only a handful of airlines service Los Mochis airport (LMM) and only for domestic flights. To fly internationally from LMM, Aeroméxico will be your best bet but it will require a connection in Mexico City.
Calafia Airlines is a great option for hopping over to Baja California, or for getting back to Chihuahua. Volaris is another low-cost option with a couple of destinations from Los Mochis.
You can take an Uber or taxi to the airport or catch an Azules del Noroeste bus from their station (see map above). Buses depart for the airport 5 times per day.
How to get to Los Mochis, Sinaloa by Bus
There are two bus companies that can connect you to either Topolobampo or El Fuerte from Los Mochis. These companies are Azules del Noroeste (blue buses) and Transportes Norte de Sinaloa (ANS, green and white buses).
Los Mochis to El Fuerte
Most travellers through the Copper Canyon actually prefer to take a bus between El Fuerte and Los Mochis as the schedule is more flexible and the cost is lower.
Azules del Noroeste buses depart for El Fuerte at least once per hour between 5 am and 8:15 pm. The ride is about 2 hours and costs 80 MXP per person. See the map above for the location.
ANS buses run about every 20 minutes from the ANS station (see map above). The cost is 60 MXP per person and the ride is about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
For details on how to get to Los Mochis from El Fuerte click here to see our El Fuerte page.
Los Mochis to Topolobampo
Azules del Noroeste buses head to Topolobampo every 20 minutes between 6 am and 8 pm. The 30-40 minute ride costs 23 MXP per person and departs from their station in Los Mochis (see map above). The reverse schedule is the same.
As the distance between these two towns is so small, taking a taxi or an Uber is very doable. It should cost somewhere between 170 and 250 MXP.
How to get to Los Mochis, Sinaloa, by Boat
Los Mochis doesn’t actually have a coastline but nearby Topolobampo does. Baja Ferries run between Topolobampo and La Paz, Baja California Sur, on a seasonally variable schedule. Check out their website for details and prices.
How to get to Los Mochis, Sinaloa, by Train
Both the Chepe Regional and Chepe Express begin and end their routes in Los Mochis.
The Chepe Regional departs Los Mochis on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 6 am. It returns from Chihuahua on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 9:30 pm.
Chepe Express departs Los Mochis on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:30 am. It returns from Creel on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 4:35 pm.
For more information about how to buy Copper Canyon train tickets, the differences between the Chepe Regional and the Chepe Express, Chepe ticket prices and train schedules, click here to visit our page: How to Visit Copper Canyon by Train.
Things to do Around Los Mochis, Sinaloa
The city of Los Mochis may not offer a whole lot to travellers but Topolobampo is so close that it’s very easy to head over there for the day. Alternatively, you can stay a night or two in Topolobampo to take in all it has to offer.
Below is a list of the main attractions and things to do in Topolobampo and Los Mochis, Sinaloa.
Hotels in Los Mochis
Although most travellers to Los Mochis are only passing through on their way to the airport, the city does have a lot of options when it comes to accommodations. And seeing as Topolobampo really only has one option, sometimes it’s more preferable to stay in Los Mochis.
Here are a couple of options for different budgets:
Hotels in Topolobampo
Topolobampo is a tiny little port town and accommodation options are therefore very limited. In fact, there’s really only one hotel in Topolobampo that can be booked online:
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Additional Information for Los Mochis, Sinaloa
Below are some general tips from personal experience. If you have travelled in Mexico or Copper Canyon and have any other tips please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page!
Itineraries for Topolobampo & Los Mochis, Sinaloa
How long should you stay in Los Mochis? Most people who end up here are either just starting or just finishing a trip through Copper Canyon. However, it’s actually preferable to start or end the train portion of the journey in El Fuerte, about 2 hours away. If you choose that option, you’ll have more flexibility with your time in Los Mochis. You can learn more about El Fuerte by clicking here.
If you’re interested in seeing Maviri Beach or Topolobampo, you’ll need at least one full day in the area. Below is an itinerary to fill up one or two days in the region.
- Arrive in Los Mochis late morning.
- Catch a bus to Topolobampo.
- Head to the pier as soon as possible to book a same-day boat tour.
- Enjoy the afternoon and early evening on a boat tour.
- Return to the pier for a super fresh seafood dinner.
- Stay the night in Topolobampo, or take a taxi back to Los Mochis.
- Get an early start and head over to Maviri Beach (buses can take you there from either Los Mochis or from Topolobampo, click here for details).
- Enjoy the morning and lunch at the beach.
- Head back to Los Mochis in the early afternoon (bus, taxi or Uber).
- Visit the Jardín Botánico in the late afternoon. It’s open until 8 or 9 pm depending on the day.
- For dinner, dine on some of the best seafood in Mexico.
Sorry it took me so long to get back to, but my memory isn’t as good as it used to be.
I know there are no RV parks, in Topolobampo, but I was wondering if there is any place, where an RVer, could park for the night. There is a town north, a few miles, where one of the restaurants, would let you park on their property, if you bought your meals from them. That would be a super idea, as it can be a lot of trouble driving a large motorhome in the cities.
But, anyway, I thank you for your answer, and I will be around the area, for sometime, as I have a house in Bacubirito, Sinaloa.
Thanks so much for the RV tips, Peter!
Is there any RV overnight parking or RV parks, anywhere near Topolobampo?
That’s a great question but I, unfortunately, don’t have an answer for you. If you do find an RV park, please feel free to post here for future readers with RVs.