A tour of historical Mazatlan


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 06-01-2009

While we did take a trip one day to Mazatlan, we only ventured as far as Walmart and the touristy hotel row.  We knew there must be more to this town.  Thanks to our new friend, “Mazatlan Lee” we found it!  Before I get to our tour, here is a bit about this city of 600,000 . . . Surrounded by the Sierra Madre Mountains, Mazatlán is situated on Mexico’s northern Pacific coast in the state of Sinaloa.   Located just 745 miles south of the Arizona border, Mazatlán is the closest major Mexican resort to the United States. Mazatlan is Mexico’s largest commercial port and processes 40 tons of shrimp each year making it the “shrimp capitol of the world.”  While other cities seem to draw more attention, (Cancun, Ixtapa and so on) Mazatlan is a special place worthy of a visit.    We fell in love with it! 

Now back to our tour. . .Mazatlan Lee is a wonderful American gal who retired in Mazatlan 9 years ago.   Her dear husband, Ken, passed away two years ago but she vowed to keep their dream alive and has remained in their adorable house in the city. We met Lee through the website, “RV.net”.   She found us through Ken’s comment on the blog and  offered to give us a tour or provide us with a good itinerary.  We couldn’t pass up the offer of a tour by a local!   Our tour began at Lee’s house and what an adorable house it was!  We entered through a beautiful rod iron gate into a bright and sunny porch, full of colorful potted plants and flowers.  Her kitchen was painted in bright yellow, blue and white and we just wanted to sit and enjoy the coziness of her surroundings.  Her house was about 1000 sq ft and we ALL felt like it was big enough for our family!  Wow!!  It was quite something to see how our perception of what we need in a house has changed! 

We took a drive down to the shrimping fleet, dozens wide in the old harbor.  The area was a bit on the seedy side and I found it to be very photogenic!  There was a HUGE cruise ship which had docked that morning and it was like looking at a twenty story hotel on its side.  Lee took us to see Lighthouse (Faro).  This lighthouse is found on Creston Island, next to the sport fishing fleets. It is almost 500 feet above sea level and thought to be the highest lighthouse in the world after the one in Gibraltar.  We stopped to say “hello!” to Lee’s sea captain friend, Manuel.  He was a very friendly guy and loved his work on the sea.   Seems Manual was the Joan Wayne’s captain for  more than 10 years.  Very impressive resume entry! 

We then drove up to the old El Mirador restaurant for a spectacular view of  Mazatlan.  There were many street vendors selling their trinkets to the visitors from the cruise ship.    The kids and I all bought anklets and only now, do we feel like we fit in to the beach scene.  Ken chose not to buy one so he is on his own!

Our drive hugged the coast and the town came to life with colors as we passed the “Bahia de Olas Altas” or Bay of the High Waves.  This is the area we hoped we would find.  We parked the van and started walking along beautiful streets full of bright colored buildings, outdoor cafes and cobblestone streets.  In the center of the area was a beautiful plaza where many took time to just sit and relax.  We walked along the curvy little streets to Lee’s favorite restaurant, T’Amo Lucy – I Love Lucy.  While the show (my favorite!) I Love Lucy played in the background, we chatted with chef Lucy and her American husband Tony.  They are a great couple and we learned about Tony’s dream to leave corporate America and come to Mexico.   We discovered his next plan is to take off for an RV adventure with Lucy  and teeny tiny Mikki the miniature chiwawua in tow.  You can imagine that we had a very aminated discussion about their future plans.  We all enjoyed an amazing lunch of rabbit (Ken, of course), green chili enchiladas (Lee -looked amazing),  ceviche (Poohnut is now a ceviche lover), Nikki and Andrew (a potato dish to die for) and me with my yummy mole enchiladas.  Oh what a feast!

We left T’Amo Lucy with full tummies en route for a tour of this wonderful historical area.  Lee took us to several small gift shops, full of Mexican instruments, beautiful crosses and jewlery.  She then lead us to the very popular Central Market.  Oh my gosh!!  It started off calmly enough, with t-shirts hanging for sale and lovely fresh fruit.  Then we entered the MEAT zone.  Nikki was, how shall I say it, horrified as we walked past humongous animal carcases.  “What are those?!” she exclaimed.  “Oh those are ORGANS!”  “I am OUT OF HERE!” said Nikki as she and Lee ran off for the safe t-shirt area.  Ken and Andrew were skipping down the rows of meat, holding hands and singing.  Not really but sure felt like they would break out in a skip any minute.  We ended up buying some smoked tuna and Nikki was happy we didn’t end up hauling the body of some animal back to the RV. 

We continued to stroll along the shady streets, stopping at a beautiful cathedral and having a cappucino.  We passed the Rubio Theater on Carnaval Street in Machado Park. This is the oldest theater in Mazatlan. (Its cost at construction was 80 Mexican pesos.) The European-style Theater was later named the Angela Peralta Theater, in honor of the famous Diva.

Our tour ended with a stop at a grassed roofed restaurant on the beach to enjoy their famous flan.  Oh boy was it good!!   What a great end to a memorable day in Mazatlan.  Thanks to Lee for all her expertise and guidance!

Comments (1)

We just pulled out of the Chatfield State Park Campground in Coloradothis morning. Great facility! We may have seen your rig and van. Great idea and have fun!
Our youngest is a senior and Steve and I are looking forward to doing our business part time on the road in our motorhome that we acquired last October. Great website!

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