Mazatlan: A Hidden Paradise
Do you know a city right on the ocean with hotels, golden beaches, clubs, splendid gastronomy but is also a colonial town with history, traditions and Mexican soul, altogether? Well… that city exists and it is Mexico´s best kept secret.
Mazatlan means “place of the deer” in the Nahuatl (Aztec) language. It is a city of around half a million people, on the Pacific coast of northwest Mexico, just south of the Tropic of Cancer and east of the tip of the Baja California peninsula.
Mazatlan is a paradise. There are many fleets of charter boats that haul in marlin, sailfish, and mahi-mahi each year. The ocean is great for swimming and surfing too. You can go to the islands in front of the city by boat, Jet Ski, on a kayak or sailboat. The sunsets are amazing and everybody can enjoy long walks on the beaches or on the new “malecón” (ocean front promenade) both to the north and to the south of the city. You can also rent a bike.
There are city tours and other tours within a short distance: a Tequila factory, mountain jungle, and mangrove swamps for wildlife viewing, colonial pueblos and an archeological site on a beach just 30 minutes up north. There are whale, dolphins and sea-lion tours too. Mazatlan’s in the middle of a migratory bird route, particularly ducks and shorebirds that travel throughout coastal Mexico. There are diverse ecosystems, including coastal wetlands and pine-oak forests. For that reason, visitors can find a range of bird life. More than 1,000 species can be found in Mazatlan and its surrounding areas, bird watching is a must.
There are four world-class golf courses, tennis courts, and swimming pools. There is a beautifully restored, 150-year old opera house which hosts many cultural events. The city is growing fast: new hotels are being built, also condos and a new “Central Park” with a modern museum that will show the history of Mazatlan with multiple rooms. The Central Park will have a lagoon, gardens, fountains and a new aquarium that will be the biggest in Latin America.
There is an abundance of houses for sale and for rent throughout Mazatlan. Prizes for condos depend on size and luxury. There are several English-speaking realtors who can help a potential buyer and advise them about all the requirements and the law. Also, they can find you a condo for rent. (For more information: http://www.lasgaviasgrand.mx)
Mazatlan is home to the largest shrimp fleets on the west coast, and the shrimp and other fresh seafood are probably the best of Mexico. You can have a platter full of the biggest shrimp you had ever seen. Also, you can have scallops, octopus, “Zarandeado” fish, oysters, tuna fish sandwiches and burgers, “ceviches” and many more.
You can find other kinds of restaurants too: cafeteria style, steakhouses, Japanese, Chinese, Thai Indian, Arab, Spanish, American, European style, Italian and, of course, all kinds of Mexican food.
Mazatlan is called “The Pearl of the Pacific” because of it´s unique beauty.
The city has history, beautiful surroundings for day trips, and 16 miles of golden beaches.
Old Mazatlan is the place where the Spanish conquerors and European migrants founded and established the city from the mid-1500s to the 1800´s. It has been revitalized and is now the headquarters of Mazatlán’s art and cultural scene. There are 19th-century buildings with cafes, clubs, and galleries. Streets around Plazuela Machado are filled with restaurants and bars that move their tables into the street, just like New Orleans or Europe.
The Angela Peralta Theater was built in 1874, it´s an opera house and hosts a steady schedule of events, ranging from the state symphony, local children’s chorus, jazz bands to dozens of music, ballet, theater, movie and comedy events from October into mid-December.