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The Marvels of Mazatlan
Hugging the shores of Mexico’s Gold Coast, Mazatlán is located on the Pacific coast in the state of Sinaloa. Always low-key and rarely in the limelight, Mazatlán has recently come into its own as far as a honeymoon haven.
If you have a few days, you can tuck yourself into a variety of accommodations located in the historic zone or along the popular Zona Dorada, ranging from full-service all-inclusive resorts to glitzy hotels, intimate villas and private residences.
Connecting the old city with the new, the palm-studded four-mile stretch of malecón (sea walled boulevard) promises lots to do. Dotted with cafes, bistros and boutiques, it and offers the perfect perch from which to watch the world go by or to soak up the magical sunset. Ribboning out for several miles, the meandering malecón changes names like a chameleon to designate different areas and beaches.
It begins south with Paseo Centenário, blending into Olas Altas, Paseo Claussen, Avenida del Mar, all the way north to Sábalo-Cerritos and beyond. Each area has a special personality, and beaches vary from rocky (Olas Altas, meaning “high waves) to satiny smooth (Las Gaviotas and Camarón Sábalos.) Playa Norte (North Beach) is probably the most crowded, and offers lockers and umbrellas for rent, as well as plenty of snack stands.
At Olas Altas, where the daredevil divers perform from El Mirador when the tide is just right, the hotels and restaurants are “oldies but goodies.” Farther along the malecón, the hotels and restaurants are new and brighter, interspersed with chic shopping malls. Smart boutiques and colorful eateries and add to the vibrancy of the Camarón Sábalo area.
With more than 12 miles of beaches, Mazatlán, promises swimming and myriad water sports for everyone in search of sun, sand and sea.
Sports fishing is still popular here and there are charter fleets which operate year-round and offer day trips with experienced bilingual guides.
Getting around the city is easy with taxis, inexpensive local buses, rental mopeds and rental cars. Just for the fun of it, ride in a “pulmonía.” The name means “pneumonia,” the locals’ way of poking fun at this open-air, three-wheeled contraption, which can accommodate up to three people. The old-fashioned horse and buggy cabs are nicknamed “arañas,” meaning “spiders,” which loses something in the translation.
Mazatlan’s famous landmark El Faro (The Lighthouse), looming more than 500 feet high, is said to be the world’s second tallest, after the one in Gibraltar. It’s best to visit early in the day when it’s cooler because it’s a strenuous trip to the top.
For outdoor enthusiasts, natural treasures such as el Cerro del Crestón, where you can do ecotourism outings and go rock climbing are a special attraction.
Golf courses designed by Lee Trevino and Robert Trent Jones, Jr., one of the world’s foremost course designers, will challenge and delight with fantastic layouts and stunning ocean views.
Take a day trip on the classic ketch, MiCasa for a close-up look at the diverse marine flora and fauna around the Mazatlán islands. Depending on the season, you may see dolphins and whales, manta rays, sea lions, seals, sea birds and colorful tropical fish.
These islands are part of a nature reserve that includes over 900 islands in the Sea of Cortez.
When the sun goes down glamorous discos light up the night sky luring the “dance-till-dawn” crowd. Mazatlán casual, fun restaurants are something special and new gourmet dining venues add a touch of class.
Content copyright © 2013 by Michelle da Silva Richmond. All rights reserved.
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