Mazatlan, one of the most important
ports and second largest costal city (after Acapulco) on the
Pacific coast. Located in the southern region of the state of
Sinaloa, 212 km (131 mi) southeast of state capital Culiacan,
Mazatlan has the largest port facility between Los Angeles and
the Panama Canal and is know as the Shrimp capital of the world.
The climate is warm with an average year-round temperature of 25
degrees C (77 degrees F). Known as the Pearl of the Pacific
because of its beautiful beaches and its abundant marine life,
it has become an important site for international fishing
tournaments such as the Bisbee's Billfish Classic.
This destination combines traditional architecture in its Historic
Center, known as Old Mazatlan, with modern hotels and
restaurants in the Zona Dorada, a 10 km (6 mi) strip with
beautiful beaches such as Playa Norte, Playa Gaviotas and Playa
Venados. These areas are ideal for surfing, diving and sailfish
or marlin fishing. In Old Mazatlan, you can visit la Catedral de
la Immaculada Concepcion (The Cathedral of Immaculate
Conception) and walk down beautiful streets lined with
Mazatlan is one of the few resorts in Mexico that offers
ultramodern deluxe resorts alongside budget beachfront hotels.
Its long, wide sandy beaches with rolling surf (quite similar to
the beaches of Southern California) are lined with fun, open-air
bistros, bars and strolling vendors hawking their wares.
Here you'll also find natural treasures such as el Cerro del
Creston, where you can do ecotourism outings and go rock
climbing. At Creston's peak you'll find a lighthouse, which is
the world's second tallest (only the one at the Rock of
Gibraltar is taller). You'll also find fantastic golf courses
with ocean views. For boating enthusiasts, Mazatlan has two
marinas that offer docking and maintenance service for all kinds
of boats. Among the cultural and sports events that you can
enjoy in the port town are: The Jesus Arnoldo Millan
International Golf Tournament, the Grand International Tennis
Tournament, the Mazatlan
Festival, the Sinaloa Arts Festival and the world famous
Mazatlan Carnival, a weeklong celebration that takes place in
February. During this event, floats pass by the main avenues and
plazas. What's more, you can dance in the streets to the beat of
drums into the wee hours of the morning.
Dining (especially for seafood) and nightlife are excellent.
Shopping is also first rate, with several fine art galleries and
handicraft markets. Sightseeing combines a few colonial-era
sites with more contemporary attractions. For the sports
enthusiast, Mazatlan offers the usual assortment of water sports
along with some of the world's finest deep sea fishing.
American, Continental, United and US Airways have
non-stop and connecting service from Phoenix to
Mazatlan. There are shuttles and taxis outside the
airport. It will cost about $25 to get to the hotel
WHEN TO GO
Mazatlan enjoys temperate, tropical weather year' round,
with temperatures ranging from the mid 60s to mid.
Easter is the most crowded time because Mexican schools
are out, and lots of families come to the coast. The
best time to go is November through April, to avoid the
rainy season and summer heat.
Pulmonias, open-air vehicles, are everywhere. Prices
start at about $3 for a five-minute hop down the Zona
Dorada. For a trip downtown, take the bus. It's 80 cents
one way, compared with $10 for a pulmonia. Taxis also
are widely available, and bicycles can be rented.
The hotels have lifeguards, and they put up red flags
when the water is unsafe. PLEASE BE WARNED: The waters
off Mazatlan can have dangerous undertow.