Mazatlan is a tourist city and is part of the state of Sinaloa in Mexico. It is near the Cancer tropic, so the Climate is very hot in Summer and in Winter the outside temperature sometimes (very rare) get below the 10 Celsius degrees at midnight. In the day the normal temperature is around 24 Celsius degrees in winter and in the Summer it can go up to 35 but the very high humidity that is present here can make your body to feel the much greater heat, more than 45 Celsius degrees. It never snows here, and in some very rare occasions, it can hail.
You can come here by sea, by air, and by ground.
In winter many US citizens and Canadian come here in their Camper house looking for a more benign weather. There are several Camper House parks to choose from. They usually stay for one or two months and then they go back.
There is an international airport (Rafael Buelna airport) that have regular flights from Phoenix, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Dallas and Tucson from the US and Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Winnipeg from Canada.
If you want you can come here in your Yacht, there is a big marine where you can park your Yacht, or you can come here in one of the several cruisers that come to Mazatlan.
There is not an official founded day for Mazatlan. Villa Union town was known as Presidio de Mazatlan, taking the name of the river (Presidio), but later its name was changed to Villa de la Union on September 11 of 1828. Mazatlan was a small port that was used to get to Presidio de Mazatlan and it was named as Islas de Mazatlan, but when the name of El Presidio de Mazatlan changed to Villa de la Union the name of Mazatlan was free to use and the people living in the port keep it.
Mazatlan is a Nahuatl word that means the land next to the deer.
Mazatlan is a strategic natural port, it has been growing since the Spanish founded Villa Union. Many traders from Spain, France and German came here to do business and founded big industries as the Pacifico Beer factory, which is still present. Mazatlan used to be Sinaloa capital city but a decree that forbids any port city to become a capital of a state made Culiacan the capital city of Sinaloa.
There had been two big epidemics in the history of Mazatlan, in 1883 yellow fever hit Mazatlan and in 1902 the Black Fever killed a lot of Mazatlán’s people.
When Porfirio Diaz was president of Mexico (1876-1911) Mazatlan had one of its best cultural and commercial periods. Great buildings were constructed, the city´s architecture was given in this period, (check the Centro Historico in Mazatlan attractions).
Mazatlan has a lot of beaches to choose from, and the one of the biggest seawall of the world.
The beaches you that you can choose from are Olas Altas beach, Los Pinitos Beach, Playa Norte Beach (the largest beach of Mazatlan), Sabalo Beach (Best tourist beach because it is located in the Golden Zone where most Hotels are), Brujas Beach (good for surfing), and Stone Island Beach (best family beach in my opinion).
You can check my full article of Mazatlan Beaches here.
Mazatlan has some very important events that gather thousands of people:
Carnival means the flesh party, and it`s a way to prepare the body to avoid flesh desires during the Lenten season. It has to end one day before Wednesday of ashes (a Catholic ritual).
Mazatlán’s Carnival is one of the most important in Mexico and in the world. It can gather around 600,000 people in the Sunday Carnival’s parade. Another parade is able on Tuesday, but it doesn´t gather as many people as the Sunday one.
Before the Carnival, the Carnival Queen, King or Queen Kid, the joy king and the Cultural Queen are chosen. There are four crowning, one in Olas Altas for the Joy King, and the other three usually are on the baseball stadium Theodore Mariscal. In each of the crowning, a famous singer is present. In the Cultural Queen crowning, a more cultural singer is present, in the Carnival’s queen crowning a popular artist is chosen, and for the King/Queen kid, a singer which focuses on teenagers is chosen.
The Carnival’s queen crowning is the most important, it is done on Saturday and after it finishes the “Quema del mal humor” (bad mood burnt) starts where a non-likable paper character is burned.
After this, some fireworks start, and this is a representation of Mazatlan being attacked by French ships that were trying to invade the port of Mazatlan in 1864.
During the first holy week, tourists from all over Mexico come to visit Mazatlan and the city is almost full, thousands of people go to the beach and enjoy the sun, sand, and sea with some beers.
In the second holy week, the eastern, the Motorcycle week takes place. Again, thousands of motorcycles arrive at the city, and the drivers have a place where they have rock concerts. On Sunday they make a Motorcycle parade. More than 20 thousand motorcycles participate.
You can visit the Old Mazatlan, have a walk in the Plazuela Machado. Here you can enjoy the view of historical buildings, like Angela Peralta Theater, and have a nice dinner in one of the many restaurants that are able in the zone, along with a good beer with your meal.
In the old Mazatlan, you can also find small museums where you can buy some good souvenirs.
One of the best Aquariums of Mexico and Latin America. It has many species on display, you may swim with sharks, has a sea wolfs show. There is also a big botanical garden with many species of plants, have some very big crocodiles in display and they also have a bird show. So many things to do that it will take you a few hours to complete.
The Mazatlán’s seafood cuisine is one of the best of Mexico. There are some local dishes that are famous, like ceviche (shrimp or fish with lemon juice and some other vegetables), Pescado zarandeado (grilled fish), tacos gobernador (a grilled taco with shrimp or fish with cheese) and aguachile (shrimp with lemon juice and some local chili called chilpiquin). You can check my article the best Mazatlan seafood restaurants here.
You also can find some unique foods like Los Suaves, (marshmallows with coconut), some drinks like orchata water (from rice), cebada water (from barley) and the cocorchata water (from rice and coconut).
And if you want to enjoy some Sinaloa style tacos you only need to go out and you will find some street vendors that make tacos from grilled meat, or you can ask for some quesadillas (grilled tacos with cheese).
Many people ask me if it is safe to come here. Sinaloa has a very bad fame for notorious criminals like El Chapo and other drug dealers. I can´t deny that we have a security problem, but I can assure you that Mazatlan is as safe as it can be for tourists. The government has made sure that all tourists and the tourist places receive all of the security that is needed. There is a big US community living here, there is even an e-book from Kathleen Peddicord here
So you don´t have to be aware for your safety here. Come and enjoy all the things that we have to offer here in Mazatlan.