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.
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.
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