Tag Archives: mazatlan

Mazatlán – Still Thriving and Always a Favorite

By: Lisa Coleman

I just returned from my annual trip to Mazatlán for the Gran Fiesta Amigos de Mazatlán celebration.  Once a year, Mazatlán invites travel partners, tour operators, travel agents, airlines and a plenty of international media to enjoy all that is Mazatlán.  And, once again, it was a fantastic trip.

Like fine wine, some things get better with age…. And so it is with Mazatlán.  It has grown into its own over time to become not only a prosperous resort, but a model of traditional character and personality. I think for most of us, Mazatlán was a frequently heard name as a Mecca for spring breakers, but having had the chance to discover its real treasures, I can tell you the offerings reach far deeper than that.

Mazatlán (and Mexico in general) are undoubtedly battling fierce bad press in the last couple of years, but the Mexico Hotel Association and the Tourism Board for the State of Sinaloa have taken enormous strides to keep things on track. (And I think they have done a great job.) At this year’s event, keynote speaker Peter Yesawich (President of YPartnership, America’s leading marketing, and advertising and public relations agency serving travel, leisure, hospitality and entertainment clients) discussed the future of travel and how emerging trends will impact Mazatlan and Mexico as a whole. It was a very positive (yet realistic) view of what it will take to keep Mexico moving forward during these difficult times.  He targeted the importance of quality websites for the hotels and destinations, as well as keeping focused on the positive aspects of traveling to Mexico, i.e. proximity to the U.S. and the incredible value it represents right now for both families and couples.

We were also treated to wonderful concert, Mozart’s “Requiem,” at the Angela Peralta Theater on Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and joined in the local festivities before joining the governor of the state of Sinaloa, Mario López Valdez (Malova), for the Golden Deer Awards Dinner. There were multiple groups of journalists on different schedules and we all managed to enjoy the very best the city has to offer.

Once you have had a taste of the laid back, affordable charm of Mazatlán, you will know why it’s always been an immutable favorite. Mazatlán isn’t a manufactured resort community like some of its counterparts; it is “real” Mexico. The city is steeped in history …The Spanish began to establish settlements after gold and silver were discovered in the nearby Sierra foothills. From there, Colonial-era coastal development began to prosper and the port of Mazatlán served as both an export hub and provision station for the Spanish Galleons returning from Asia with spices, silks and other exotic goods. The result: a cultural and historical gold mine.

Most visitors will spend their time in the Zona Dorada or Golden Zone. Here small hotels and a few chain resorts are neighbors along an extensive stretch of sandy beach with rolling surf very similar to that in Southern California. The layout of the resort zone keeps things simple for tourists and makes almost the entire area accessible by foot. And though you may want to spend your days soaking up the sunshine and frolicking on the beach (keep in mind that Mazatlán is less humid than tropical resorts further south), be sure to experience the real beauty of the destination … the historical downtown.

Often overlooked by tourists, the center of the city has maintained its 19th century splendor and gives the sensation of being taken back in time. I would suggest getting up very early and taking a stroll along the Malecon (the palm-lined waterfront promenade). Almost immediately you will begin to feel a different side of Mexico. This seaside walk will take you by the local fishermen sorting through their morning catch, past quaint restaurants, shops and eventually into the heart of “Old Mazatlán” The renovated city center still has all the style and magic it did centuries ago. Shady trees, iron benches, and beautifully restored buildings surround the Plaza Marchado (old town square). You’ll be surprised and taken by the subtle elegance of the colorful streets and landmarks. Particularly impressive is the remarkable Angela Peralta Theater, restored to its European-style grandeur.  (Yes, first-class theater and fine arts do exist in Mexico!)

For great info on Mazatlan check out the CountdowntoMexico blog. Nancy Dardarian and her husband moved to Mazatlan in 2007 and continue to post on all the Mazatlan happenings and everything you need to know. She recently posted a great article (with awesome photos!) about Mazatlan’s downtown.

Mazatlán is a special place for those who take the time to know it well, to understand its hidden treasures and to enjoy the genuine warmth and kindness of its people. It is indeed still thriving and always among my favorite spots in Mexico.



Disclosure:  I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the México Today Program.  All stories, opinions and passion for all things México shared here are completely my own. Mexico Today  is a joint public and private sector initiative designed to help promote Mexico as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination.


Expedia Brands Recognize Excellence in Mazatlan

Expedia and its TripAdvisor brand recently recognized two Mazatlan companies for delivering superior services. Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Hotel has been chosen as an Expedia Insiders’ Select 2011 Hotel, one of the travel giant’s top- ranked properties. TripAdvisor awarded Onca Explorations Wildlife Adventures a 2011 Certificate of Excellence.

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay is a five star AAA Four Diamond hotel, situated on 20 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The hotel is one of two Pueblo Bonito hotels in Mazatlan. According to Expedia Partner Services Group, Expedia Insiders’ Select is “an annual award recognizing the very best hotels available in Expedia’s global marketplace, as judged by customers.” Insiders’ Select properties are identified by customers as “consistently delivering superior services, an exceptional guest experience and notable value…” In addition to this award, Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay staff received one of the top 5 scores in Mexico and Central America according to an annual Condé Nast Traveler readers’ poll published in June.

TripAdvisor, Expedia’s popular travel review site, awards Certificates of Excellence to service providers that continuously receive the best customer reviews. Certificate recipient Onca Explorations provides whale and dolphin watching expeditions, scenic wildlife cruises, as well as a wide variety of ecotours through Mazatlan’s beautiful coastline and islands. The company is owned and operated by Oceanographers and Marine Biologists whose mission is to develop low-impact, high-quality tourism activities that lead to sustainable use of natural resources. Onca’s tours promote environmental awareness through hands-on participation in wildlife research and conservation projects. Most Onca reviews on TripAdvisor include similar comments to those of a Chamainus, B.C. customer. The customer expressed Onca exceeded expectations and provided “highly qualified and personable guides [with] huge respect for environment and marine life. Not gimmicky. We did “Whalequest” but saw much more… hundreds of Bottlenose and common dolphins… sea birds and sea lions as well.”

“These awards recognize the warm hospitality for which Mazatlan is known,” noted Julio Birrueta, Spokesperson for the Mazatlan Tourism Trust.”Expedia and TripAdvisor’s recognitions reflect our industry’s commitment to quality service and providing wonderful travel experiences. We congratulate Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay and Onca Explorations for ranking among the world’s best.”

About Mazatlán

Mazatlán is located on Mexico’s Pacific Coast at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains. As Mexico’s second largest coastal city, Mazatlán has nearly 440,000 inhabitants. The city is divided into two main areas: Old Mazatlán or Historic District and Zona Dorada or Golden Zone, with a seven-mile coastal road between the two. Mazatlán has an international sport-fishing reputation. Sites of interest include: the Angela Peralta Theater, Archeological Museum, Plazuela Machado, Sea Shell Museum, Mazatlán Aquarium, The Cathedral and the world’s second-tallest lighthouse. Transportation is available via the local “pulmonías” or four-person open-air vehicles that have become a symbol of the city. Visit Mazatlán on the World Wide Web at www.GoMazatlan.com.

Golfing in Mazatlan with Anita Draycott

David Simmonds

Our old friend Anita Draycott was in Mazatlan recently with her husband for some golf and fun. Take a look what she has to say about this great, old Mexican port town that really has everything you would want – great beaches, golf, wonderful seafood, interesting history, stunning weather and sunsets, and some of the nicest locals in Mexico. And all for a fraction of the cost as some of the popular beach destinations.


Mazatlán’s “Star Quality” Continues To Rise…


Hollywood starlet Eva Longoria and her beau Eduardo Cruz vacationed in this vibrant destination over the weekend, where they were immersed in Mazatlan’s rich culture, fabulous cuisine and warm hospitality amid a romantic coastal backdrop. The couple strolled through Old Mazatlan’s charming shops, outdoor cafes and art galleries, visiting the 19th century cathedral and iconic Angela Peralta Theater before hitting the beach along Mazatlan’s oceanfront malecon boardwalk. The pair also joined the state governor for dinner, enjoying renowned seafood and authentic specialties.

Mazatlan continues to draw distinguished guests to its sunny shores throughout the season. Internationally acclaimed dancers take the stage this weekend, April 29 – May 5, as part of the Jose Limon Dance Festival. A-Listers in the golf world converge May 5 – 8 to compete in the Canadian PGA’s Mexican PGA Championship. Later in June, surf pros from around the globe hang ten on Mazatlan’s big waves for the Quiksilver Surf Clasico Mazatlan.

To keep up with these events and more, visit http://www.GoMazatlan.com

Mexico Later

Mazatlán, Sinaloa – Mexico’s Sustainable Nature Tourism Symposium, originally scheduled to take place in April 7-10, 2011, has been postponed due to the severe agricultural crisis that affected more than on million hectares after the record cold weather experienced in Sinaloa in February 2011. Details on the Planeta Wiki

Planeta.com’s Ron Mader was scheduled to present the marketing overview and workshop titled Mexico Now … which is now postponed until … later.

Sustainable Nature Tourism Symposium