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Old Mazatlán : Compiled Info : Sightseeing, Maps & Getting Around on your own

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I have done some research by compiling info from various threads here and from other sources, as I am dreaming about a MR cruise, hopefully soon. A big thank you to everyone who has contributed, I have learned so much already. Please help me edit this info for accuracy, as I have never been to Mazatlan. Please feel free to add any useful information that I may have missed.

 

Mazatlán – Pearl of the Pacific

 

Mah-Saht-LAHN has 16 gorgeous miles of public beachfront, the longest stretch of uninterrupted beach in all of Mexico. The city is internationally known as the Pearl of the Pacific. It nicely balances its double identity as México's largest commercial port while being one of the country's most popular beach resorts.

 

Mazatlan means "land of deer" in Nahuatl, the ancient language of the Aztecs, after the herds of white tail deer that once migrated along the beautiful countryside. The local baseball team is called the Venados, Spanish for deer. Mazatlan, with a population of 600 000 is Mexico’s second largest coastal city after Acapulco. There are no ruins nearby. A pyramid was discovered south of Mazatlan a few years back. It’s the closest major Mexican resort to the US, 745 miles south of Arizona and 1,078-km (674 miles ) northwest of Mexico City. Situated at the mouth of the Sea of Cortez, almost directly across from Cabo San Lucas. An overnight vehicle and passenger ferry leaves from La Paz and arrives in Mazatlan the next morning, a 17 hour trip. It is on a railroad between the US and Mexico City. Mazatlan has Mexico’s largest natural deep water harbour. Rafael Buelna International Airport is 14 miles southeast of the hotel area.

 

Set at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains, on a peninsula overlooking Olas Altas Bay, Mazatlan is 22 kms south of the Tropic of Cancer, virtually parallel with Hawaii. The prevailing climate in this north-western corner of the state of Sinaloa, is subtropical. For 7 months of the year, Mazatlan is very dry. The hot, rainy season lasts from July through October. January through March is cooler, while July thru Sept tends to be hot and humid. Time zone is the same as the Central US.

 

Port - Cruise ships dock at the busy cargo dock. For safety reasons, you are taken on a free shuttle to the terminal, which runs every 5 minutes and takes 3 minutes. Here you'll find a festive atmosphere with many shops, a restaurant, bar, shops, restrooms, long distance phone/internet, a flea market, postal booth for stamps, and a pharmacy. Time share reps will offer you a free all-inclusive (food, drink, and facilities) day pass and free round-trip taxi, in exchange for you attending their time share presentation.

 

Maps : http://www.allaboutmazatlan.com/areamaps.htm

http://www.frommers.com/images/destinations/maps/jpg/141_mazatlanarea.jpg

http://books.google.com/books?id=cAhRmoMxN40C&dq=mazatlan+cannon&jtp=169#PPA175,M1

http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?location=CUcbBJ93Ky30Hkw2y5yzSBIGYcIsG3o0T0WhX0C1Z9%2fRJjP%2fx4qxkLicIRi5viJDDvLzUTtcLZE%3d&address=&city=mazatlan&state=&country=MX

Central /downtown streets/sights marked: www.pacificpearl.com/Images/map3.jpg

Walking Tour Old Mazatlán : http://www.spanishlink.org/study/walking.html

Walking tour : http://www.mazconnection.com/pages/mapwalk.htm

El Centre + Golden Zone : http://www.advantagemexico.com/mazatlan/map.html

DownTown Mazatlan: http://www.maztravel.com/maz/mapcentro.html

http://www.maps-of-mexico.com/mazatlan-map-interactive/panoramas/mazatlan-mexico-map-C7.shtml

http://www.maps-of-mexico.com/mazatlan-map-interactive/panoramas/downtown-mazatlan-mexico-map-B1.shtml

Google earth : http://cruisetip.tpkeller.com/maps/portmaps.php?mapid=mxmzt

 

Getting Around - Mazatlan has two distinct centers: To the north is the tourist zone, the Golden Zone and the other is El Centro (Old downtown) that are linked by Avenue Del Mar (Malecón/ the Strip) a 17 mile scenic beachfront avenue, that curves along the waterfront. It's a one-mile (20 minute) walk to Old Mazatlan. The roads are confusing because none of the streets run parallel, print a map before you go. Walkers should be aware that drivers aren't very pedestrian-cautious and the curbs in Old Mazatlan are quite high. It’s an older city, it was built to cater to foot traffic, not cars. To Old Mazatlan $5 for the taxi, not per person. You will need a cab to get to the Golden Zone (four miles from the pier) where most tourist hotels are located. The best time we had, was to hire an open air taxi right at the dock. He charged $100 for the entire day, took us anywhere we wanted to go for about 8 hours. A quick city tour in one of the Pickup truck 'taxis' $30 per hour for (8) of us. The first time we took a pulmonia to Plaza Machado, toured Old Town and walked back. Last time we walked to Old Town and back.

 

Taxis/Pulmonias/Busses - At the terminal building a big sign gives you the suggested rates of the taxis to the different areas. They do not have a meter, so they charge as they want. Ask how much first, and agree on the price before you get in. If you think it’s too high, hail another taxi and your driver will usually come to his senses. Don’t be afraid to negotiate, as this is part of life in Mexico. Respond with a lower amount. Don't get in, until you both agree on a price. You can tip about 10%, but it isn't required. From the ship to the Golden Zone : takes 25 mins, $10. Regular taxis are painted green/white or red/ white and are cheaper than Pulmonia’s.

 

Pulmonia’s - open-air golf cart VW’s, with no doors and no seatbelts, takes 4 passengers, and are unique to Mazatlán. Pulmonia means pneumonia in Spanish, a reference to the vehicle's breeziness, this is what you could get after riding around in one when its cold. They started putting them together in the 1960´s, originally brought in from the US and were Cushman and 3 wheels. In the 1970´s as the dollar went up so high, they could not import anymore, so they started making their own version out of the old Volkswagens, that is when they changed to 4 wheels. Aurigas, are red Nissan pick ups with a roof in the back and benches, seats 9 people. You'll find the drive along the ocean-side boulevard wonderfully scenic. We chose a Pulmonia and negotiated a 2 hour tour of the Malecon/ Gold Zone/Old Mazatlan for $40.

 

The bus system is great: cheap, uncrouded, air conditioned, and easy to figure out. The bus drivers will make change and will also stop to pick you up or let you off anywhere you'd like. The Sabalo Centro line runs from the heart of Old downtown, through the Golden Zone, and continues to the North, with stops at the Cathedral and the Mercado market. The Playa Sur line will take you all the way down to the lighthouse. Try to carry change with you when you board. To catch a bus, either wait at one of the designated bus stops or hail the bus by waving your arm when the driver is about a block away. Normally they will stop for you. For a cheap city tour, pick a bus line and ride to the end of the line and back again. Drivers are obligated to issue a ticket to each passenger. Busses are the cheapest means of transportation, fares range from 4 to 8 pesos. Routes and stops are generally written on the front of the bus at the top, or on the windshield. Most tourist destinations are easily accessible.

Bus route map : http://www.maztravel.com/maz/mapbus.html

 

The Virgin of the Point monument - At the harbour, between the cruise ships and the La Paz ferries, a golden, serene-looking Madonna figure stands out in the skyline, always surrounded by fresh flowers. An inscription at her feet reads : "Mother of the church and queen of the sea and universe."

 

Near the cruise ship dock rises Mazatlán’s tallest hill, Cerro Creston, topped by the El Faro lighthouse. It's the second highest natural elevation functioning lighthouse in the world (Gibraltar's is higher, but not in operation currently), towering 515-foot (157 meter) over the harbour. Work performed on Creston Island in the 1930’s linked the island with the city by use of an elaborate breakwater. Along the jetty/landfill that connects Cerro Creston to the mainland, lay the docks and anchored boats of the sport fishing fleets. Originally built to help spot pirates, the red and white lighthouse can been seen 45 nautical miles out into the ocean. The lamp had been handcrafted in Paris, France, and it was formed by a big oil lamp with mirrors to enhance the light. It began to shine in 1879. Since it was static, on a distance, it was often mistaken as a star. By 1905 the lamp was changed to a revolving lamp. The lighthouse is equipped with the latest modern technology, including two backup generators, a spare light, and a system which transmits a detailed graphic image of the harbour to a ship's radar.

 

Climb up there for a spectacular view of the city and coast. No charge. From the terminal it’s an easy 35 min walk to the base of the hill, 10 blocks away. As you exit, you turn left to the end of the road (about 3 blocks) then turn right and walk past the ferry terminal, past a school and a left turn onto the small road that passes by the sport fishing fleets to the end of the street & where the pavement ends. Or take a taxi to the base of the hill, 40 pesos ($4), 5 min trip. From there you will see a dirt road that goes to your right. Half the walk is a gravel road and the other half, steps. A very good trail with cement/stone steps, at the corners of the switch backs near the top. 30 minutes to hike to the top and around every turn is really beautiful views of the entire area. Back down takes 15 min. Refreshment stand at the foot of the hill. Take water. Go early, its hot. La Gruta del Crestón, directly beneath the lighthouse, is a cave that was supposed to be a pirate treasure trove.

 

The Malecón, the city’s main artery, is Mexico's longest and prettiest waterfront promenade, following the coast for 17 kms from Old Mazatlan past the Golden Zone to Cerritos Beach. A wide attractive waterfront boulevard that follows the curve of Mazatlan's large bay, adorned with colourful stonework, benches and monuments. It changes name five times as it winds northward. From beneath the rugged perch of the El Faro Lighthouse, the malecón curves past the hotels and sidewalk cafés of the Olas Altas neighborhood. From there it snakes along a succession of rocky points and sandy beaches, continuing through the glitzy line-up of the Golden Zone and further north. Its one continuous smooth sidewalk with no intersections to cross. From the ship to where you could start at Olas Altas, a 10 minute taxi ride for around 60 pesos - $6.

 

El Centro/Old Mazatlán /Downtown – Walking from the ship take 25 minutes. Real easy, enjoyable walk as you are going through neighbourhoods and can see how people live, with mansions and rundown houses close to each other. Old Mazatlan is 10 mins by taxi from the ship, $6. This is the nicest part of the city. Mazatlán is home to one of Mexico’s oldest and largest historical districts, with a surprising number of 19th century neoclassic architecture. Old Mazatlán is a 180-block district, containing 479 buildings, all designated historical landmarks with inspiring European architecture. Today it’s under consideration for designation as a UN World Heritage Site. Old Mazatlan is configured in the same manner as a Spanish colonial town with numerous small squares, old buildings with inner courtyards, and narrow streets. The construction styles include a noticeable Spanish, French and German influence.

 

1. The Market (El Mercado) - Start your tour of downtown here at a typical Mexican flea/street market, at Juarez and Ocampo Streets. This market boasts the largest offerings of fresh fruit and meat on the west coast, its one square block of stalls offering vegetables, fish, meat, groceries, souvenirs, arts and crafts, leather, jewellery, and clothing in old Mexican style. The ambience is colonial with historic buildings and sidewalk cafes nearby. The market was opened in 1899. The Victorian big tin-roofed market is modeled after the work of French architect Alfred Eiffel (yes, that Eiffel). There are small restaurants in the upper level surrounding the market, however better restaurants are within 1 block on both sides (west & east). Venture a few streets south to the restored colonial section of town to view colourfully painted homes with wrought-iron trim that line the streets. Bargaining is encouraged. Locals shop here, where one can admire the produce of the country side, old structures and local ironwork. Taxi from the ship $5, 10 minutes.

 

2. From the Mercado, walk 1 block southwest to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception - Corner Juárez & de Marzo Streets. The old quarter’s centerpiece is the Basilica with an interesting mix of Spanish, Moorish, Neo-Gothic, Baroque and Neo-Classical architectural styles. The two blue and gold towers with Moorish motifs are covered by yellow tiles. The most important building, in all of Mexico’s old cities was the Cathedral. This one is considered the most beautiful cathedral in the northwest of Mexico.

 

The Cathedral is the world's only Roman Catholic Church with the Star of David displayed in each of its 28 stained-glass windows, making it architecturally one of Mexico's more unusual churches. During the course of construction, money was getting low. Jews from Germany donated a large amount of money to help. In honour of this group, the church placed 28 Stars of David over the windows of the church, to represent 28 days in the Jewish month. Construction begun in 1856, the cathedral was built on the filled lagoon site of an original Indian temple. Mazatlán’s turbulent history delayed its completion until 1899 and final elevation in 1937 to the status of a basilica. The facade is divided by pillars, with tiles decorating the inner doorway.

 

Inside, the interior is of baroque style. There are numerous breathtaking statues and murals of marble angels. In its main facade, is a cosy porch, something unusual for Mexican cathedrals. The image of the city’s patron saint, the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception stands over the glided, hand-carved baroque triple altar, while overhead the ceiling has ornate round gold-vaulted Renaissance domes and pious, pointed gothic arches. Two of the altars are to the sides of the main altar and both rest on the flanks of the main entrance altar, with the tomb of the first Bishop who had the diocese of Mazatlán. Along the sides are murals with religious scenes of angles and small altars. The Pipe organ is more than a 100 years old. Only 2 of these exist in the world, the other one is in a German museum and cannot be repaired. On the left, as you exit, is the shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe. Visit for free, donations towards restoration are welcomed. No shorts allowed, respect those that are there to pray. Open 6 am -1 pm. and 4-8 pm. Taxi from the ship 10 minutes, $ 6.

 

3. Across the street (de Marzo and Benito Juarez) and in front of the Cathedral is Plaza Principal/Plaza de la Revolucion /Plaza Republica, the oldest plaza in town. This is the city’s main town square and central gathering place. A wrought-iron elevated bandstand/ gazebo graces its center. This small landscaped park is surrounded by gardens and benches with vendors offering food, art and crafts. There are two large fountains and Victorian iron benches, perfect for people-watching. The plaza has a gazebo that looks like a 50’s diner on the bottom and an impressive Victorian wrought-iron bandstand on top with lush trees around. The plaza is bigger, busier and has less charm than Plaza Machado.

 

4. On the east side of the Plaza is the Palacio Municipal (City Hall), built in the 1850’s. Overlooking the square, on the eve before Independence Day, September 16, the mayor shouts from the balcony the traditional Grito. The ceremony commemorates the call of arms made by Hidalgo in 1810 that finally lead to independence. The Post Office is nearby.

 

5. From there walk 2 blocks southwest to the impressive Angela Peralta Theatre, (corner Carnival & Constitución Str ) named after one of the world's great opera divas. Now a national monument, it occupies one side of the attractive Plazuela Machado square.

This was the dream of Manual Rubio who started the construction. He tragically drowned when the ship he was traveling on sank. His widow had the building finished. Surrounded by tree-lined streets this Italian-style movie theatre/opera house, was built between 1865 and 1874. Featuring a Neo-Classical facade and rows of balconies overlooking the main stage, this is the oldest theatre in Mazatlan and the city’s principle cultural venue. Inside this opera house are marble statues, elegant woodwork, loges, and sumptuous red velvet curtains. Massive doors, set between stone columns, lead through thick adobe walls into a marble-floored lobby with an ornate dome. The 841-seat Italian-style theatre has three levels of balconies, two facades, and, in true tropical style, a lobby with no roof.

 

The opera company of the renowned diva, Angela Peralta, the Mexican Nightingale, arrived in 1883 in Mazatlan and gave a number of enthusiastically received recitals. Coming from Europe and carried to her hotel by her Mexican fans, she sang from her balcony to a large crowd. Although she was scheduled to give a formal performance, she succumbed to yellow fever and died before the performance, at the age of 38. Tragically, Peralta and 30 members of her company fell victim to a disastrous yellow fever/ cholera epidemic, which claimed more than 2,500 Mazatlán lives.

 

Throughout the years, it served as an opera house, theatre, boxing match venue and was a movie cinema since the 1960´s. After that the building was not used for many years. It was in such bad shape from storm damage that a ficus tree was growing where the stage was supposed to be, with trees and vegetation growing inside. In 1975 Hurricane Olivia tore down the roof and almost entirely destroyed the inside. Workers recovered most decorations and re-created the original design. Long a ruin, it was painstakingly restored. The President of Mexico conducted its second inaugural opening in 1992.

 

The theatre continues to operate hosting ballets, opera, jazz concerts, folkloric/modern dance, symphonic, musical and theatrical performances. Its home to Delfos, one of the most important contemporary dance companies in Mexico. Also the Mazatlán Professional School of Contemporary Dance, is housed here and draws students from all over the world. Hailed at one time as the most luxurious theatre west of Paris, the auditorium plays host to regular performances by the Sinaloa Orchestra of the Arts and the Ballet Folclorico de Sinaloa, the folklore ballet of Sinaloa, as well as numerous guest artists. The election of the Carnival Queen is held here very year as well as parades and balls. A museum on the upper floor has old photographs and displays chronicling the theatre’s history. The opulent interior is open daily. Admission $1.30 towards maintenance of the building.

 

The oldest church in town is the small, nice Church of San Jose, (Calle Neveria & La Campana) Built in 1835.

 

6. Close and south of the theatre is Nidart Leather Gallery - corner of Carnival & Libertad Streets, selling wonderful hand made art in leather including masks, faces, bodies and pins, pottery, sculptures, dolls, and paintings. A highlight of Old Mazatlan for us, were visiting here, see the old house walls painted with incredible figures. Admire the Indian Princess made with clay which is a fountain in the middle of the house. Unique to Mazatlan. The gallery is also the artist’s house, they will give you a map to other artisan shops within walking distance. The leather masks make unique gifts.

 

7. Next to the Theatre and 4 blocks southwest from the Cathedral is the small attractive Plaza Machado, located at Avenues Constitucion and Carnaval, a 25 minute walk from the ship and two blocks away from the beach, a shady, bench-lined town square in the historic heart of Mazatlán. The immediate area around the square have restaurants, sidewalk cafés, museums, street performers, stately old balconied buildings, galleries, cobbled streets, colourful homes and towering trees. The plaza also serves as the site for music and dance fests with live music in the evenings. Cafe Pacifico on the corner, it reeks rough history with a bear skin wall hanging. The oldest town bakery is located here. At the west end of the Plaza, along Calle Heriberto Frías, walk beneath the lovely arches of Portales de Cannobio, an arcade of the old estate house of Italian apple grower Luis Cannobio. There are many restored historical buildings that date back to the late 1800's in this area with huge windows in arch neo classic style.

 

Built on marshy, reclaimed land, this plaza is named after the Filipino shipping and banking magnate, Juan Machado, who donated the land to build what is now the city’s second oldest plaza. He came to Mazatlan in 1828 as a merchant who made a fortune in silver and gold mining.

 

Plaza Machado is also the traditional site of Carnival. Before the big party begins, the famous Papaquis (people in cars playing lively music) are carried out to liven up the people and get ready for the big party. The Quema del Mal Humor (Bad Temper Burning), including the crowning of the Queen, and a great variety of cultural events gather here for this famous festivity every February. This is the one time of year when the party crowds from the Golden Zone descend onto Old Mazatlán, the energy is considerably ramped up as the square and surrounding streets fill with elaborately costumed revellers carousing well into the early morning. Four blocks away is Playa Olas Altas beach. From Plaza Machado to the cliff divers are a pleasant 20 minute walk.

 

The oldest building on the square is the Casa Machado Museum – The entry door is on the right-hand side of Calle Constitucion 79, a one-way street, in the block just before it reaches the Plaza Machado. There is no sign to identify the place, just the open door with a carpeted stairway beyond it. Admission fee of 10 pesos at the desk just inside the door and climb the stairs. Above a block of imposing arches enclosing commercial storefronts, this is a handsome 19th-century mansion that has been turned into a museum. This historic home, built in 1864, was the home of Juan Machado. At the top of the stairway, several rooms are furnished as they would have been 100 years ago. It shows how the wealthy mercantile class lived in the late 19th century. Looking over Plaza Machado from the second-floor windows, you can easily imagine yourself back in the late 1800s. The red pine ceiling beams came from California's forests. Casa Machado's provincial French antique furniture, canopied brass and iron four-poster beds, kitchen utensils, work tools and clothing offer a glimpse into the life of Mazatlán's 19th century elite. Tall, shuttered doors in the back lead to a wide balcony, its original red, yellow and black tile floor still barely scuffed, that overlooks the square.

 

Inside are photos of Mazatlan's history. The Mardi Gras Parlor room pays tribute to Carnival queens going back to 1900. It contains a few of the costumes worn over the years by various queens and kings. Besides the intricate nature of the gowns, what will leave the viewer agog is the question of how carnival royalty managed to survive the weight of such (fake) jewel-encrusted finery. Nautilus Galeria is located in Casa Machado.

 

8. Head 2 blocks west toward the ocean along Calle Sixto Osuna. On the right, you will find the archaeological museum. It blends gothic exterior architecture, on the facade, with neoclassic and baroque influences. This interesting old small museum has exhibits of petroglyphs, human and animal figurines, distinctive red and black glazed ancient Mexican polychrome pottery, sports equipment, arrowheads, many pre-Columbian relics, exhibits of Sinaloan history and culture, several pottery displays which includes the burial ornaments and pottery left behind by the Tolarames Indians. A collection of photos from as early as the 1860s, among them is a selection of scenes from revolutionary times (1910-1914), as well as a turn-of-century victim of the bubonic plague, apparently brought by ship from San Francisco. Perhaps most interesting is a display which contains human remains, including 3 skulls which illustrate the flattened foreheads that were so fashionable centuries ago. A small courtyard in the back of the museum is home to a sparse metal sculpture garden. Boulevard Olas Altas is half-block away. Across the street, is the Casa de la Cultura (Art Gallery) Its exhibits include art, music and photography exhibits.

 

Just west of downtown and 4 blocks from the Marchado Plaza, is the historic area of Olas Altas (Big waves) with spectacular ocean front scenery, situated at the start of the Malecon. This beach is within walking distance of the ship. Taxi : 30-50 pesos. 8 blocks to the west from the cathedral. Playa Olas Altas beach is where Mazatlan's tourism began in the 1950s. The seafront road has a few faded '50s hotels. Olas Altas, on a deep cove, is uncrowded, a popular spot for surfers, but not good for swimming because of crosscurrents. A mystery associated with this narrow beach, is that its sands shift according to season. At times the sand is found at the extreme north end of the beach, and six months later it may be concentrated at the southern end, with the exposed rocks on the opposite side. A highly recommended gift shop in this area with a great variety of souvenirs, silver and Mexican hand-made art crafts, is Casa Antigua.

 

Worth a look is historic Hotel Belmar. Its painted tiles, old bullfight posters and dark-wood interiors date back to the turn of the 20th century. It's worth going to the roof of the Best Western Hotel Freeman for a great view of the city. Take the elevator as far up as it goes and then climb a few flights of stairs to the roof. A nice restaurant in this area and close to the terminal is the Shrimp Bucket, part of the Carlos n Charlie’s chain, very good but more expensive, it’s an inside & outside sidewalk café near the Deer Monument & Fondo St. I do not think it was very good at all, rather find a good Mexican restaurant.

 

Where the Malecón becomes Paseo Claussen (Named for the rich German immigrant who financed the blasting of the scenic drive) - Back downhill and Av. Olas Altas pass the Statue of the Deer in the middle of the intersection, between the malecón and the Shrimp Bucket). Many craft and art stores, such as Indios, with exquisite silverwork. in this area.

 

City and State Shields of Sinaloa and Mazatlán monument, is located at the end of Olas Altas road, in front of the distinguished 1889 school building at the foot of the steep hill. One side of the monument shows the Sinaloan crest, while the other side shows the Mazatlecan crest, both dates back to 1831. The Sinaloan shield depicts four important historical cities of the state: Culican, El Fuerte, Mazatlán and El Rosario. On the reverse side of the structure is Mazatlan’s shield, depicting an anchor to symbolize the port, a crab because Mazatlán is on the Tropic of Cancer, islands called the "Two Brothers," a sun representing Mazatlán's climate and two mermaids. One mermaid holds a mask to symbolize Carnaval Mazatlán and the other holds flowers, representing the Flower Games. "

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Very nicely compiled. We've been to Mazatlan twice and never made it far from the Old Town. We loved walking around and exploring there. Nidart (Nest of Artists) is indeed a great place. We've bought five of their leather masks for ourselves and as gifts. We've also bought clay masks and other art there. On our second visit it was our #1 destination.

 

A local artist that we met at the Theater where she was exhibiting her works told us about the Hotel Freeman across from Olas Altas. The view is amazing.

 

Thanks for your compilation.

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Just came across your post and I am printing it out now for my upcoming cruise on the Carnival Pride in July. Thanks for all your hard work and research.

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Beautiful report. I have been to mazatlan many times. Reading your directions and descriptions Was exactly like being there. A couple of things I would like to add are that the marketplace area is a very good place to purchase fabric, and leather goods very inexpensively. Also when we were at the theatre, a ballet was in rehersal so we were not allowed inside.

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Thank you so much for taking the time and effort in putting so much info in one place! It is much appreciated since I am starting my 'research' about the various ports that we will be visiting on our upcoming cruise!

Wishing you happy sailings always!

 

Betty

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Thanks for taking the time to assemble this great information. It will make my first trip to Mazatlan much more enjoyable. One question. What streets do I take from the cruise ship terminal to walk to "Old Mazatlan"?

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Nidart Leather Gallery - corner of Carnival & Libertad Streets, selling wonderful hand made art in leather including masks, faces, bodies and pins, pottery, sculptures, dolls, and paintings.

 

Do you know how the dolls are made? DW is an avid doll collector and wants quality hand made objects.

Thanks

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Thank you so much for this posting and taking the time to comile all that. It's been a big help. :)

 

[Now, if I could just find one for Puerta Vallarta and Cabo! :P ]

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Thank you so much for this. I was having a hard time finding an excursion that I would like to do when I go in July but I think you have me convinced to just walk and explore. This was great and extremely helpful!!! :D

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If we take a taxi into town where should we be asked to be dropped off - near or in Old Town??

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Mazatlan is a large working Mexican City, and not typically a favorite port of call. It is very popular with senior citizen snowbirds from December thru February, as it is cheap, and it's weather is near perfect during that period.

 

If there was one place that I would suggest being dropped off at, it would be the golden zone. From there you could browse fine jewelry and all sort of other trinkets; and hit a beachfront hotel with it's beach, pool and bar, on foot; thus 2 birds with one stone.

 

The downtown area is older and congested, and spread out; basically "down & dirty" shopping with the locals. The Malacon beach is very long, and just a beach. From the golden zone it is only a few miles north to the El Cid resort for some more beach and resort, or you could head back south via cab. There is also a costco near the golden zone. We have bought good quality mexican gifts there, like exotic tequila cheap.

 

An open air taxi to see some sights, and then finish off at stone island with a beachfront relax is about as good as it gets in a budget $ Mazatlan experience.

 

We will go 5/10, rent a golf cart, and visit; the sprimp market & fleet; central locals market; famous taco stands spread over downtown; beach fish market; 20+ miles up north to the El Bruja beach, rv parks, and new RUI; then back to explore the northerly marina, then back to the rv parks near el cid, then el cid pools, beach, senor frogs, & deer island view. Then down to golden triangle shops and beach area; then back down to Malacon beach palapa beer & taco, then back down to stone island for more beer & taco; then finish up at the cruise terminal bar with it's tequilla'd sights.

 

Mazatlan might be a good port to do an interesting $$$ ship tour, as those not used to Mexico, might be a little startled with the dynamics of a large Mexican working city.

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I have done some research by compiling info from various threads here and from other sources, as I am dreaming about a MR cruise, hopefully soon. A big thank you to everyone who has contributed, I have learned so much already. Please help me edit this info for accuracy, as I have never been to Mazatlan. Please feel free to add any useful information that I may have missed.

 

Mazatlán – Pearl of the Pacific

 

Mah-Saht-LAHN has 16 gorgeous miles of public beachfront, the longest stretch of uninterrupted beach in all of Mexico. The city is internationally known as the Pearl of the Pacific. It nicely balances its double identity as México's largest commercial port while being one of the country's most popular beach resorts.

 

Mazatlan means "land of deer" in Nahuatl, the ancient language of the Aztecs, after the herds of white tail deer that once migrated along the beautiful countryside. The local baseball team is called the Venados, Spanish for deer. Mazatlan, with a population of 600 000 is Mexico’s second largest coastal city after Acapulco. There are no ruins nearby. A pyramid was discovered south of Mazatlan a few years back. It’s the closest major Mexican resort to the US, 745 miles south of Arizona and 1,078-km (674 miles ) northwest of Mexico City. Situated at the mouth of the Sea of Cortez, almost directly across from Cabo San Lucas. An overnight vehicle and passenger ferry leaves from La Paz and arrives in Mazatlan the next morning, a 17 hour trip. It is on a railroad between the US and Mexico City. Mazatlan has Mexico’s largest natural deep water harbour. Rafael Buelna International Airport is 14 miles southeast of the hotel area.

 

Set at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains, on a peninsula overlooking Olas Altas Bay, Mazatlan is 22 kms south of the Tropic of Cancer, virtually parallel with Hawaii. The prevailing climate in this north-western corner of the state of Sinaloa, is subtropical. For 7 months of the year, Mazatlan is very dry. The hot, rainy season lasts from July through October. January through March is cooler, while July thru Sept tends to be hot and humid. Time zone is the same as the Central US.

 

Port - Cruise ships dock at the busy cargo dock. For safety reasons, you are taken on a free shuttle to the terminal, which runs every 5 minutes and takes 3 minutes. Here you'll find a festive atmosphere with many shops, a restaurant, bar, shops, restrooms, long distance phone/internet, a flea market, postal booth for stamps, and a pharmacy. Time share reps will offer you a free all-inclusive (food, drink, and facilities) day pass and free round-trip taxi, in exchange for you attending their time share presentation.

 

Maps : http://www.allaboutmazatlan.com/areamaps.htm

http://www.frommers.com/images/destinations/maps/jpg/141_mazatlanarea.jpg

http://books.google.com/books?id=cAhRmoMxN40C&dq=mazatlan+cannon&jtp=169#PPA175,M1

http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?location=CUcbBJ93Ky30Hkw2y5yzSBIGYcIsG3o0T0WhX0C1Z9%2fRJjP%2fx4qxkLicIRi5viJDDvLzUTtcLZE%3d&address=&city=mazatlan&state=&country=MX

Central /downtown streets/sights marked: www.pacificpearl.com/Images/map3.jpg

Walking Tour Old Mazatlán : http://www.spanishlink.org/study/walking.html

Walking tour : http://www.mazconnection.com/pages/mapwalk.htm

El Centre + Golden Zone : http://www.advantagemexico.com/mazatlan/map.html

DownTown Mazatlan: http://www.maztravel.com/maz/mapcentro.html

http://www.maps-of-mexico.com/mazatlan-map-interactive/panoramas/mazatlan-mexico-map-C7.shtml

http://www.maps-of-mexico.com/mazatlan-map-interactive/panoramas/downtown-mazatlan-mexico-map-B1.shtml

Google earth : http://cruisetip.tpkeller.com/maps/portmaps.php?mapid=mxmzt

 

Getting Around - Mazatlan has two distinct centers: To the north is the tourist zone, the Golden Zone and the other is El Centro (Old downtown) that are linked by Avenue Del Mar (Malecón/ the Strip) a 17 mile scenic beachfront avenue, that curves along the waterfront. It's a one-mile (20 minute) walk to Old Mazatlan. The roads are confusing because none of the streets run parallel, print a map before you go. Walkers should be aware that drivers aren't very pedestrian-cautious and the curbs in Old Mazatlan are quite high. It’s an older city, it was built to cater to foot traffic, not cars. To Old Mazatlan $5 for the taxi, not per person. You will need a cab to get to the Golden Zone (four miles from the pier) where most tourist hotels are located. The best time we had, was to hire an open air taxi right at the dock. He charged $100 for the entire day, took us anywhere we wanted to go for about 8 hours. A quick city tour in one of the Pickup truck 'taxis' $30 per hour for (8) of us. The first time we took a pulmonia to Plaza Machado, toured Old Town and walked back. Last time we walked to Old Town and back.

 

Taxis/Pulmonias/Busses - At the terminal building a big sign gives you the suggested rates of the taxis to the different areas. They do not have a meter, so they charge as they want. Ask how much first, and agree on the price before you get in. If you think it’s too high, hail another taxi and your driver will usually come to his senses. Don’t be afraid to negotiate, as this is part of life in Mexico. Respond with a lower amount. Don't get in, until you both agree on a price. You can tip about 10%, but it isn't required. From the ship to the Golden Zone : takes 25 mins, $10. Regular taxis are painted green/white or red/ white and are cheaper than Pulmonia’s.

 

Pulmonia’s - open-air golf cart VW’s, with no doors and no seatbelts, takes 4 passengers, and are unique to Mazatlán. Pulmonia means pneumonia in Spanish, a reference to the vehicle's breeziness, this is what you could get after riding around in one when its cold. They started putting them together in the 1960´s, originally brought in from the US and were Cushman and 3 wheels. In the 1970´s as the dollar went up so high, they could not import anymore, so they started making their own version out of the old Volkswagens, that is when they changed to 4 wheels. Aurigas, are red Nissan pick ups with a roof in the back and benches, seats 9 people. You'll find the drive along the ocean-side boulevard wonderfully scenic. We chose a Pulmonia and negotiated a 2 hour tour of the Malecon/ Gold Zone/Old Mazatlan for $40.

 

The bus system is great: cheap, uncrouded, air conditioned, and easy to figure out. The bus drivers will make change and will also stop to pick you up or let you off anywhere you'd like. The Sabalo Centro line runs from the heart of Old downtown, through the Golden Zone, and continues to the North, with stops at the Cathedral and the Mercado market. The Playa Sur line will take you all the way down to the lighthouse. Try to carry change with you when you board. To catch a bus, either wait at one of the designated bus stops or hail the bus by waving your arm when the driver is about a block away. Normally they will stop for you. For a cheap city tour, pick a bus line and ride to the end of the line and back again. Drivers are obligated to issue a ticket to each passenger. Busses are the cheapest means of transportation, fares range from 4 to 8 pesos. Routes and stops are generally written on the front of the bus at the top, or on the windshield. Most tourist destinations are easily accessible.

Bus route map : http://www.maztravel.com/maz/mapbus.html

 

The Virgin of the Point monument - At the harbour, between the cruise ships and the La Paz ferries, a golden, serene-looking Madonna figure stands out in the skyline, always surrounded by fresh flowers. An inscription at her feet reads : "Mother of the church and queen of the sea and universe."

 

Near the cruise ship dock rises Mazatlán’s tallest hill, Cerro Creston, topped by the El Faro lighthouse. It's the second highest natural elevation functioning lighthouse in the world (Gibraltar's is higher, but not in operation currently), towering 515-foot (157 meter) over the harbour. Work performed on Creston Island in the 1930’s linked the island with the city by use of an elaborate breakwater. Along the jetty/landfill that connects Cerro Creston to the mainland, lay the docks and anchored boats of the sport fishing fleets. Originally built to help spot pirates, the red and white lighthouse can been seen 45 nautical miles out into the ocean. The lamp had been handcrafted in Paris, France, and it was formed by a big oil lamp with mirrors to enhance the light. It began to shine in 1879. Since it was static, on a distance, it was often mistaken as a star. By 1905 the lamp was changed to a revolving lamp. The lighthouse is equipped with the latest modern technology, including two backup generators, a spare light, and a system which transmits a detailed graphic image of the harbour to a ship's radar.

 

Climb up there for a spectacular view of the city and coast. No charge. From the terminal it’s an easy 35 min walk to the base of the hill, 10 blocks away. As you exit, you turn left to the end of the road (about 3 blocks) then turn right and walk past the ferry terminal, past a school and a left turn onto the small road that passes by the sport fishing fleets to the end of the street & where the pavement ends. Or take a taxi to the base of the hill, 40 pesos ($4), 5 min trip. From there you will see a dirt road that goes to your right. Half the walk is a gravel road and the other half, steps. A very good trail with cement/stone steps, at the corners of the switch backs near the top. 30 minutes to hike to the top and around every turn is really beautiful views of the entire area. Back down takes 15 min. Refreshment stand at the foot of the hill. Take water. Go early, its hot. La Gruta del Crestón, directly beneath the lighthouse, is a cave that was supposed to be a pirate treasure trove.

 

The Malecón, the city’s main artery, is Mexico's longest and prettiest waterfront promenade, following the coast for 17 kms from Old Mazatlan past the Golden Zone to Cerritos Beach. A wide attractive waterfront boulevard that follows the curve of Mazatlan's large bay, adorned with colourful stonework, benches and monuments. It changes name five times as it winds northward. From beneath the rugged perch of the El Faro Lighthouse, the malecón curves past the hotels and sidewalk cafés of the Olas Altas neighborhood. From there it snakes along a succession of rocky points and sandy beaches, continuing through the glitzy line-up of the Golden Zone and further north. Its one continuous smooth sidewalk with no intersections to cross. From the ship to where you could start at Olas Altas, a 10 minute taxi ride for around 60 pesos - $6.

 

El Centro/Old Mazatlán /Downtown – Walking from the ship take 25 minutes. Real easy, enjoyable walk as you are going through neighbourhoods and can see how people live, with mansions and rundown houses close to each other. Old Mazatlan is 10 mins by taxi from the ship, $6. This is the nicest part of the city. Mazatlán is home to one of Mexico’s oldest and largest historical districts, with a surprising number of 19th century neoclassic architecture. Old Mazatlán is a 180-block district, containing 479 buildings, all designated historical landmarks with inspiring European architecture. Today it’s under consideration for designation as a UN World Heritage Site. Old Mazatlan is configured in the same manner as a Spanish colonial town with numerous small squares, old buildings with inner courtyards, and narrow streets. The construction styles include a noticeable Spanish, French and German influence.

 

1. The Market (El Mercado) - Start your tour of downtown here at a typical Mexican flea/street market, at Juarez and Ocampo Streets. This market boasts the largest offerings of fresh fruit and meat on the west coast, its one square block of stalls offering vegetables, fish, meat, groceries, souvenirs, arts and crafts, leather, jewellery, and clothing in old Mexican style. The ambience is colonial with historic buildings and sidewalk cafes nearby. The market was opened in 1899. The Victorian big tin-roofed market is modeled after the work of French architect Alfred Eiffel (yes, that Eiffel). There are small restaurants in the upper level surrounding the market, however better restaurants are within 1 block on both sides (west & east). Venture a few streets south to the restored colonial section of town to view colourfully painted homes with wrought-iron trim that line the streets. Bargaining is encouraged. Locals shop here, where one can admire the produce of the country side, old structures and local ironwork. Taxi from the ship $5, 10 minutes.

 

2. From the Mercado, walk 1 block southwest to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception - Corner Juárez & de Marzo Streets. The old quarter’s centerpiece is the Basilica with an interesting mix of Spanish, Moorish, Neo-Gothic, Baroque and Neo-Classical architectural styles. The two blue and gold towers with Moorish motifs are covered by yellow tiles. The most important building, in all of Mexico’s old cities was the Cathedral. This one is considered the most beautiful cathedral in the northwest of Mexico.

 

The Cathedral is the world's only Roman Catholic Church with the Star of David displayed in each of its 28 stained-glass windows, making it architecturally one of Mexico's more unusual churches. During the course of construction, money was getting low. Jews from Germany donated a large amount of money to help. In honour of this group, the church placed 28 Stars of David over the windows of the church, to represent 28 days in the Jewish month. Construction begun in 1856, the cathedral was built on the filled lagoon site of an original Indian temple. Mazatlán’s turbulent history delayed its completion until 1899 and final elevation in 1937 to the status of a basilica. The facade is divided by pillars, with tiles decorating the inner doorway.

 

Inside, the interior is of baroque style. There are numerous breathtaking statues and murals of marble angels. In its main facade, is a cosy porch, something unusual for Mexican cathedrals. The image of the city’s patron saint, the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception stands over the glided, hand-carved baroque triple altar, while overhead the ceiling has ornate round gold-vaulted Renaissance domes and pious, pointed gothic arches. Two of the altars are to the sides of the main altar and both rest on the flanks of the main entrance altar, with the tomb of the first Bishop who had the diocese of Mazatlán. Along the sides are murals with religious scenes of angles and small altars. The Pipe organ is more than a 100 years old. Only 2 of these exist in the world, the other one is in a German museum and cannot be repaired. On the left, as you exit, is the shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe. Visit for free, donations towards restoration are welcomed. No shorts allowed, respect those that are there to pray. Open 6 am -1 pm. and 4-8 pm. Taxi from the ship 10 minutes, $ 6.

 

3. Across the street (de Marzo and Benito Juarez) and in front of the Cathedral is Plaza Principal/Plaza de la Revolucion /Plaza Republica, the oldest plaza in town. This is the city’s main town square and central gathering place. A wrought-iron elevated bandstand/ gazebo graces its center. This small landscaped park is surrounded by gardens and benches with vendors offering food, art and crafts. There are two large fountains and Victorian iron benches, perfect for people-watching. The plaza has a gazebo that looks like a 50’s diner on the bottom and an impressive Victorian wrought-iron bandstand on top with lush trees around. The plaza is bigger, busier and has less charm than Plaza Machado.

 

4. On the east side of the Plaza is the Palacio Municipal (City Hall), built in the 1850’s. Overlooking the square, on the eve before Independence Day, September 16, the mayor shouts from the balcony the traditional Grito. The ceremony commemorates the call of arms made by Hidalgo in 1810 that finally lead to independence. The Post Office is nearby.

 

5. From there walk 2 blocks southwest to the impressive Angela Peralta Theatre, (corner Carnival & Constitución Str ) named after one of the world's great opera divas. Now a national monument, it occupies one side of the attractive Plazuela Machado square.

This was the dream of Manual Rubio who started the construction. He tragically drowned when the ship he was traveling on sank. His widow had the building finished. Surrounded by tree-lined streets this Italian-style movie theatre/opera house, was built between 1865 and 1874. Featuring a Neo-Classical facade and rows of balconies overlooking the main stage, this is the oldest theatre in Mazatlan and the city’s principle cultural venue. Inside this opera house are marble statues, elegant woodwork, loges, and sumptuous red velvet curtains. Massive doors, set between stone columns, lead through thick adobe walls into a marble-floored lobby with an ornate dome. The 841-seat Italian-style theatre has three levels of balconies, two facades, and, in true tropical style, a lobby with no roof.

 

The opera company of the renowned diva, Angela Peralta, the Mexican Nightingale, arrived in 1883 in Mazatlan and gave a number of enthusiastically received recitals. Coming from Europe and carried to her hotel by her Mexican fans, she sang from her balcony to a large crowd. Although she was scheduled to give a formal performance, she succumbed to yellow fever and died before the performance, at the age of 38. Tragically, Peralta and 30 members of her company fell victim to a disastrous yellow fever/ cholera epidemic, which claimed more than 2,500 Mazatlán lives.

 

Throughout the years, it served as an opera house, theatre, boxing match venue and was a movie cinema since the 1960´s. After that the building was not used for many years. It was in such bad shape from storm damage that a ficus tree was growing where the stage was supposed to be, with trees and vegetation growing inside. In 1975 Hurricane Olivia tore down the roof and almost entirely destroyed the inside. Workers recovered most decorations and re-created the original design. Long a ruin, it was painstakingly restored. The President of Mexico conducted its second inaugural opening in 1992.

 

The theatre continues to operate hosting ballets, opera, jazz concerts, folkloric/modern dance, symphonic, musical and theatrical performances. Its home to Delfos, one of the most important contemporary dance companies in Mexico. Also the Mazatlán Professional School of Contemporary Dance, is housed here and draws students from all over the world. Hailed at one time as the most luxurious theatre west of Paris, the auditorium plays host to regular performances by the Sinaloa Orchestra of the Arts and the Ballet Folclorico de Sinaloa, the folklore ballet of Sinaloa, as well as numerous guest artists. The election of the Carnival Queen is held here very year as well as parades and balls. A museum on the upper floor has old photographs and displays chronicling the theatre’s history. The opulent interior is open daily. Admission $1.30 towards maintenance of the building.

 

The oldest church in town is the small, nice Church of San Jose, (Calle Neveria & La Campana) Built in 1835.

 

6. Close and south of the theatre is Nidart Leather Gallery - corner of Carnival & Libertad Streets, selling wonderful hand made art in leather including masks, faces, bodies and pins, pottery, sculptures, dolls, and paintings. A highlight of Old Mazatlan for us, were visiting here, see the old house walls painted with incredible figures. Admire the Indian Princess made with clay which is a fountain in the middle of the house. Unique to Mazatlan. The gallery is also the artist’s house, they will give you a map to other artisan shops within walking distance. The leather masks make unique gifts.

 

7. Next to the Theatre and 4 blocks southwest from the Cathedral is the small attractive Plaza Machado, located at Avenues Constitucion and Carnaval, a 25 minute walk from the ship and two blocks away from the beach, a shady, bench-lined town square in the historic heart of Mazatlán. The immediate area around the square have restaurants, sidewalk cafés, museums, street performers, stately old balconied buildings, galleries, cobbled streets, colourful homes and towering trees. The plaza also serves as the site for music and dance fests with live music in the evenings. Cafe Pacifico on the corner, it reeks rough history with a bear skin wall hanging. The oldest town bakery is located here. At the west end of the Plaza, along Calle Heriberto Frías, walk beneath the lovely arches of Portales de Cannobio, an arcade of the old estate house of Italian apple grower Luis Cannobio. There are many restored historical buildings that date back to the late 1800's in this area with huge windows in arch neo classic style.

 

Built on marshy, reclaimed land, this plaza is named after the Filipino shipping and banking magnate, Juan Machado, who donated the land to build what is now the city’s second oldest plaza. He came to Mazatlan in 1828 as a merchant who made a fortune in silver and gold mining.

 

Plaza Machado is also the traditional site of Carnival. Before the big party begins, the famous Papaquis (people in cars playing lively music) are carried out to liven up the people and get ready for the big party. The Quema del Mal Humor (Bad Temper Burning), including the crowning of the Queen, and a great variety of cultural events gather here for this famous festivity every February. This is the one time of year when the party crowds from the Golden Zone descend onto Old Mazatlán, the energy is considerably ramped up as the square and surrounding streets fill with elaborately costumed revellers carousing well into the early morning. Four blocks away is Playa Olas Altas beach. From Plaza Machado to the cliff divers are a pleasant 20 minute walk.

 

The oldest building on the square is the Casa Machado Museum – The entry door is on the right-hand side of Calle Constitucion 79, a one-way street, in the block just before it reaches the Plaza Machado. There is no sign to identify the place, just the open door with a carpeted stairway beyond it. Admission fee of 10 pesos at the desk just inside the door and climb the stairs. Above a block of imposing arches enclosing commercial storefronts, this is a handsome 19th-century mansion that has been turned into a museum. This historic home, built in 1864, was the home of Juan Machado. At the top of the stairway, several rooms are furnished as they would have been 100 years ago. It shows how the wealthy mercantile class lived in the late 19th century. Looking over Plaza Machado from the second-floor windows, you can easily imagine yourself back in the late 1800s. The red pine ceiling beams came from California's forests. Casa Machado's provincial French antique furniture, canopied brass and iron four-poster beds, kitchen utensils, work tools and clothing offer a glimpse into the life of Mazatlán's 19th century elite. Tall, shuttered doors in the back lead to a wide balcony, its original red, yellow and black tile floor still barely scuffed, that overlooks the square.

 

Inside are photos of Mazatlan's history. The Mardi Gras Parlor room pays tribute to Carnival queens going back to 1900. It contains a few of the costumes worn over the years by various queens and kings. Besides the intricate nature of the gowns, what will leave the viewer agog is the question of how carnival royalty managed to survive the weight of such (fake) jewel-encrusted finery. Nautilus Galeria is located in Casa Machado.

 

8. Head 2 blocks west toward the ocean along Calle Sixto Osuna. On the right, you will find the archaeological museum. It blends gothic exterior architecture, on the facade, with neoclassic and baroque influences. This interesting old small museum has exhibits of petroglyphs, human and animal figurines, distinctive red and black glazed ancient Mexican polychrome pottery, sports equipment, arrowheads, many pre-Columbian relics, exhibits of Sinaloan history and culture, several pottery displays which includes the burial ornaments and pottery left behind by the Tolarames Indians. A collection of photos from as early as the 1860s, among them is a selection of scenes from revolutionary times (1910-1914), as well as a turn-of-century victim of the bubonic plague, apparently brought by ship from San Francisco. Perhaps most interesting is a display which contains human remains, including 3 skulls which illustrate the flattened foreheads that were so fashionable centuries ago. A small courtyard in the back of the museum is home to a sparse metal sculpture garden. Boulevard Olas Altas is half-block away. Across the street, is the Casa de la Cultura (Art Gallery) Its exhibits include art, music and photography exhibits.

 

Just west of downtown and 4 blocks from the Marchado Plaza, is the historic area of Olas Altas (Big waves) with spectacular ocean front scenery, situated at the start of the Malecon. This beach is within walking distance of the ship. Taxi : 30-50 pesos. 8 blocks to the west from the cathedral. Playa Olas Altas beach is where Mazatlan's tourism began in the 1950s. The seafront road has a few faded '50s hotels. Olas Altas, on a deep cove, is uncrowded, a popular spot for surfers, but not good for swimming because of crosscurrents. A mystery associated with this narrow beach, is that its sands shift according to season. At times the sand is found at the extreme north end of the beach, and six months later it may be concentrated at the southern end, with the exposed rocks on the opposite side. A highly recommended gift shop in this area with a great variety of souvenirs, silver and Mexican hand-made art crafts, is Casa Antigua.

 

Worth a look is historic Hotel Belmar. Its painted tiles, old bullfight posters and dark-wood interiors date back to the turn of the 20th century. It's worth going to the roof of the Best Western Hotel Freeman for a great view of the city. Take the elevator as far up as it goes and then climb a few flights of stairs to the roof. A nice restaurant in this area and close to the terminal is the Shrimp Bucket, part of the Carlos n Charlie’s chain, very good but more expensive, it’s an inside & outside sidewalk café near the Deer Monument & Fondo St. I do not think it was very good at all, rather find a good Mexican restaurant.

 

Where the Malecón becomes Paseo Claussen (Named for the rich German immigrant who financed the blasting of the scenic drive) - Back downhill and Av. Olas Altas pass the Statue of the Deer in the middle of the intersection, between the malecón and the Shrimp Bucket). Many craft and art stores, such as Indios, with exquisite silverwork. in this area.

 

City and State Shields of Sinaloa and Mazatlán monument, is located at the end of Olas Altas road, in front of the distinguished 1889 school building at the foot of the steep hill. One side of the monument shows the Sinaloan crest, while the other side shows the Mazatlecan crest, both dates back to 1831. The Sinaloan shield depicts four important historical cities of the state: Culican, El Fuerte, Mazatlán and El Rosario. On the reverse side of the structure is Mazatlan’s shield, depicting an anchor to symbolize the port, a crab because Mazatlán is on the Tropic of Cancer, islands called the "Two Brothers," a sun representing Mazatlán's climate and two mermaids. One mermaid holds a mask to symbolize Carnaval Mazatlán and the other holds flowers, representing the Flower Games. "

Great Information:) Thank you !

 

I spent some holidays here as a child but didn't return until our DP cruise. After years spent enjoying PV I did not like Mazatlan (except for Stone Island). We had asked a taxi driver to drop us off at the Golden Zone but the only Golden that we saw was that of Micky D's arches.....not an enjoyable experience....

 

After seeing this I know he dropped us off anywhere but there.....

 

Next cruise I am taking this thread with me :)

Edited by quincytoo

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This is all great info. Talking about a working city, I was wondering about the Pacifico factory if anybody has done it or has any info. I see it is pretty close to where we dock at and I've heard that they give free tours with samples. Sounds like something I would like to do but don't know if you need reservations or anything like that.

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yep, just added the Leather Gallery to our list of stops. I did read that the Pacifico Factory was nice, fun, and a free beers adventure. You can see it in the pic below (center of pic, tower w/blue dot).

IMG_7832.jpg

 

The map we will carry next month for sights downtown is below. 1 & 2 are famous locals taco stands, 3 is the Leather Gallery, and you can see the Central Market (mkt) and the Shrimp docks with the shrimp market nearby. We have seen enough older Mexico urban to view the rest while driving a golf cart, and all that walking the author did must have been done in mid winter cooler. May is gonna be HOT WEATHER!

MazatlanMap.png

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We've added another point of interest on our Downtown Mazatlan map. The Hotel Freeman has a rooftop bar that is inexpensive and has a great view. Pic & map change below.

 

1146119.jpg

 

IMG%5D

1146119.jpgMazatlanMap-1.png

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Hello: I am hoping that you still check this thread. I am impressed by all the info that you have gotten together for Mazatlan. I have a question for you....Would a person be able to use a mobility scooter on the walk that you describe? My husband can't possibly walk very far...but I can!

 

If anyone else knows the answer to my question....please get back with me.

 

Thank you....

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Hello: I am hoping that you still check this thread. I am impressed by all the info that you have gotten together for Mazatlan. I have a question for you....Would a person be able to use a mobility scooter on the walk that you describe? My husband can't possibly walk very far...but I can!

 

If anyone else knows the answer to my question....please get back with me.

 

Thank you....

 

Hi, I used this guide and maps of the town (one from the link here and another 1 that i got as I walked out of the cruise) and did my own walking tour. I just came back from my cruise trip this past Sunday!

 

It was definitely very easy to navigate after you get yourself to one of the landmarks in Old Mazatlan. If you start off at the Cathedral..then it's VERY easy walk to all the other sights as indicated. I think a scooter probably won't have much of a problem going thru. There're sidewalks. :)

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This is all great info. Talking about a working city, I was wondering about the Pacifico factory if anybody has done it or has any info. I see it is pretty close to where we dock at and I've heard that they give free tours with samples. Sounds like something I would like to do but don't know if you need reservations or anything like that.

__________________/QUOTE]

Mazatlan. On one visit, we walked the approximately one mile to the Pacifico/Corona brewery, where we were given a very inclusive tour, followed by a beer at the "top of the tower" lounge. They also gave each of us a small momento brochure with our picture included. Cost ..........zero, plus some good exercise. In a prior visit, we just walked to the cathedral for a self-tour, followed by some local window shopping. The Princess ships seems pretty liberal in allowing passengers to bring beverages purchased ashore back onto the ship. One man in our brewery tour hauled four quarts of Pacifico back to the ship. We only took one.

On our most recent trip we walked westerly out of the dock area (crossing the divided road just outside the dock). We just headed southwest to the hill that we could see about 1/2 mile away. It got much less crowded immediately. We walked past two of three schools that were in session, encountering the old custom house. We then walked southerly to the end of the port area (only a couple of blocks), until we found the surf zone of the coast. Very scenic. Nice homes on the hillside. We then followed the coast road around the hill to the old town of Mazatlan. A nice art museum, museum of archeology, internet cafes, non-expensive restaurants and bars. We bought some jewelry; and, then had a couple of 15 peso beers before walking back to the ship. There was much more to see in that area that we didn't have time to visit. We'll save that for our next visit. We used to think that Mazatlan was not worth leaving the ship for; but, have changed our minds.

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