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Old Town is the Heart of the Mazatlán

by Craig Zabransky on April 22, 2011

The chance to see life as it was, the peak into history, it is a reason many of us travel to Mexico. We visit to hike the ruins and attempt to decipher Mayan mysteries or visit to colonial Spanish towns and marvel at its past. Often, we want more than the beautiful beaches when we chose Mexico.

And Mazatlán offers it.

streets of Old Town Mazatlan

A visit to the “Pearl of the Pacific” is not complete without a trip to its revitalized Old Town. Here visitors have a chance to see and expeirence a different Mexico. The colorful streets with European architecture, largely German and French, make many ask is this really Mexico?

The ‘corazon’ (heart) of the Old Town, Machado Plaza is lined mostly cafes, restaurants and shops. It’s the perfect place to begin an afternoon walk or take a coffee. When you walk the vibrant, streets you understand some of Mexico’s diversity and can also build up your appetite for dinner.

At night, the square can be filled with more locals than tourists and dinner with live music at one of the restaurants is a great way to end an evening. The outside patio seating provide a perfect chance to people watch as many walk the square to enjoy its charm.

concert at the famous theatre

Or just a few steps from the square, you can make a night at the restored Angela Peralta Theater, the city’s cultural hub. The landmark theater, built in the 19th-century, has been lovingly restored to its original grandeur by the city and its residents. The neo-classical architecture and comfortable seats treats audiences to all kinds of performances: ballets, operas, musicals, films, art exhibits, comedies, and musical concerts. On my last trip I attended the concert of  New York schooled soprano Olivia Gorra. Powerful. I”ll be back.

Old Town is not in walking distance to most major hotels, but a trip is a must to appreciate what makes Mazatlan so special. From the Golden Zone I’d recommend visitors take the iconic open air taxis known as “pulmonias” and enjoy passage on the road along the seven mile oceanfront malecon. Fare is reasonable at 80-90 pesos.  From Nuevo Mazatlan, taxis are also available and still relatively reasonable especially when compared to other Mexican destinations.

Make the trip, you’ll be glad you did. I was.

Photos: by Craig Zabransky and other courtesy of Go Mazatlan

Craig travels around the world to write tales of travel aimed to encourage and inspire others to take and make adventure in their life. And after calling Mexico home for over a year, it secured a special place in his heart. He continues to return often and often considers it his second home. You can find more of his travels on his Stay Adventurous site and follow him on his Twitter: @stayadventurous..
Craig Zabransky
View all posts by Craig Zabransky
  • http://allaboutcabo.com/ laurie/all about cabo

    Not many people understand how wonderful and diverse Mazatlan and Mexico are. Mazatlan offers so much more than just beach. To be able to experience the culture of colonial Mexico allows you to view a page in history.

  • http://www.stayadventurous.com/ Craig Zabransky

    @ Laurie, I couldn’t agree more. Mazatlan is an emerging destination and offers so much (value too) to the visitor. The posts on this blog will aim to highlight that… stay tuned and….
    stay adventurous, Craig

  • http://retire.com.mx David Krug

    By far the Centro Historico is my favorite part of Mazatlan. And I avoid the tourist beaches, and would rather stroll along the remotest parts of Stone Island….

    Mazatlan has so much to offer good to see someone posting the joys and discoveres of Mazatlan :)

  • http://www.stayadventurous.com/ Craig Zabransky

    Yes, Stone Island is a great spot, and a reasonably priced place to get to a more remote beach destination – especially if you stroll away from the Talapas.

    And, yes, Mazatlan does offer so much to its visitors including Old Town. It’s easily a favorite spot.

    stay adventurous, Craig

  • http://www.mexicosummer.com MexicoSummer.com

    Hello Craig,

    Would you be interested writing a a guest blog about Mazatlan for http://www.mexicosummer.com/mexico-blog/

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