The Mazatlan Port is Mexico’s largest Western port originally designed for import and export purposes. However, in recent years it has become a popular ocean resort destination with lavish five-star hotels, exotic fine dining, and authentic live music and theatre venues.
The infamous Golden Zone is known to be the best place for inexpensive souvenirs and handicrafts. Located in the city center of the most historic part of Mazatlan, tourists will find traditional art pieces as well as some of the most precious gemstones at below traditional market prices. There is also a modern style indoor mall near the city center where most internationally recognized brands can be purchased. However, part of the city’s charm is the street vendors and local wares that are being sold outdoors. Remember that most vendors whether large are small do not accept credit cards so be sure to have plenty of cash at hand when going on shopping excursions.
Things to See
Previously inhabited by indigenous native populations and then later taken over by Germans and Spaniards, there is huge historic significance to this port for Mexicans. The Old City or historic part of the town of Mazatlan still looks like a page right out of the history books with towering cathedral spires, a central town square and still existent market where you can even buy fresh, local meats.
With approximately ten miles of pristine beaches to choose from, lounging in the sun, taking a dip in the bay’s crystal clear water or sipping on a locally inspired cool drink is a must for any visitor. Take a hike along the ocean and view the amazing cliffs along the coastline that lead to practically uninhabited swimming areas perfect for cliff diving as well.
Restaurants and Bars
Mexican cuisine varies throughout the country and Mazatlan is no different with its own local variations and flavors making the dinning experience especially unique. You can’t go wrong with basically any seafood plate in town, however, shrimp dishes are a favorite of both tourists and locals alike. Spanish influences on traditional Mexican seafood dishes such as seafood soup and gumbo shouldn’t be missed as the shellfish and fish are caught fresh daily and vary depending on the season. Small cafes and street vendors are also a popular hotspot for a quick bite to eat when on the go. Most plate lunches won’t cost you more than a couple of bucks to get you full on fresh local food.
Just like many other Mexican port cities with luscious beaches and a vibrant nightlife, Mazatlan is no exception. There are all of the familiar American influenced pubs and discos such as Senor Frogs where you will find your fill of great beers and local tequila. However, there are plenty of outdoor cantinas that are more suited for mingling with the locals and having intimate conversations if the disco is not your thing. But if you are interested in dancing the night away with lively people from all over the world and great drink specials, you won’t be disappointed. Most discothèques are open 24 hours and often feature great Mexican entertainment.