Mazatlan Mexico is one of our favorite seaside destinations with a perfect balance between traditional Mexico and what’s hip and modern. Not for chic high-enders or the coffee shop crowd, it’s no tacky, cultureless void either. Mazatlan is relaxed, unpretentious and definitely has a soul. Great for eating seafood by the beach with a beer, island hopping, seaside strolls, fishing and sailing, doing a bit of surfing and, or course, the occasional night of wild partying – it’s a top Spring break spot a few weeks each after all. Hemingway would have loved it.
Mazatlan began as so many other beach destinations in Mexico, as a sleepy fishing village. Well, of sorts. It was once the capital of the state of Sinaloa back in the 19th century. German immigrants that came to Mazatlan left their indelible mark as well. If you’ve ever wondered what that accordion music is that one sometimes hears blasting out of the speakers of a passing “pulmonia” – it’s banda which is a Mexican variation on traditional German folk music.
Mazatlan is also famous for other things. It’s the home to the Pacifico brewery which produces some of Mexico’s most delicious beer. It's also home to more than its fair share of Mexican beauty queens. However, the port city is most famous as a tourist destination, a spring break party spot, and placer with a growing expat community.
In spite of Mazatlan becoming one of mexico's major tourism destinations, its fishing industry is as strong as ever. Each day brings in entire fleets of ships with tons of shrimp and fish. As a tourist you may say so what, so you will find great deals on melt-in-your-mouth seafood here!
If you are looking to do some fishing of your own, there are plenty of deep sea fishing boats that will take you out to get the catch of the day yourself – Mazatlan is one of Mexico’s best fishing destinations.
Most tourists are interested in the sun, sand and water sports. . . and Mazatlan has all of those things.
It has now been quite a few years since Mazatlan was on the top of anyone’s list as Mexico’s top vacation spot, but therein lies its charm.
Like in Acapulco, the tourist machine is growing older, it doesn’t try too hard and overdo it (like the new Puerto Vallarta), and has a good balance between things that are local and real and things created for tourists. Mazatlan is no tourist trap. Another upside is that comparatively it isn’t particularly expensive either.
When walking the beaches, it's easy to spot the Mazatlan loyalists that have been coming here year after year for decades. Then they bring their children who will eventually return and bring theirs. The city is more and more favored as a place people come to retire. Well, that and the fact that housing and the cost of living are far less than the US.
Don't get us wrong though, Mazatlan is not just for older folks by a long shot. It has bars, clubs, and a very hopping nightlife that keeps the 20 something’s sleeping until past noon.
It’s also great for ecotourists and nature lovers. If you really want to slow down and get away from it all take a trip to Stone Island, the perfect place to relax in true Mexican fashion and forget that there is a resort city with a major port just a long swim away.
And, lest we forget, what is now known as Old Mazatlan is an fantastic example of Spanish colonial architecture can transport your mind out of the tourist zone and into the true flavor of Mexico. The old town boasts a number of great bars and restaurants, a bustling market, Mazatlan´s stunning cathedral, and one of Mexico’s great traditional public squares in Plaza Machado.
When all is said and done, Mazatlan Mexico is the kind of place that grows on you and if you visit often, it may cause you to put lay down some roots there.