My take on Mazatlan is it is just an OK place. By that I mean I was glad to see it but I probably wouldn’t come back.
I say that for many reasons. First of all let me say that the people here as in every place I have been in Mexico so far are very warm and friendly. I have never felt any fear of any kind while here.
In explaining I will use the big mountain with the communication towers on It as the separation from North to South. I didn’t walk more than 3-4 miles in either direction so that is the area I am talking about.
The South has a very beautiful waterfront with a rocky coastline and many nice rock outcroppings in the sea. To the North there is a very beautiful beach and you look out at 3 pretty nice little islands. There is a malecon that runs for 21Km or 13 miles along it. It varies along the way from 10 -15 feet wide and runs along the South end and goes to the North.
It is plenty wide for walkers but it also has a lot of bikers because the street traffic is just too busy for them to ride there. So you have to pay attention and walk in somewhat of a straight line. Because you can’t hear the bikes coming up behind you and you are liable to get hit. If you weave too much back and forth.
There are really nice bronze statues along the way although like I said in a previous story they are painted. Most with bronze paint and it is peeling off. Go figure!
To the South you have the older quieter part of the town. It is only a two lane road running through it so it is much quieter just for that reason alone. It has some nice old colonial architecture along the waterfront and inland a bit. The places inland some have been restored but most haven’t and are in desperate need of it.
The old town center around the Cathedral has a very small park and a few nice buildings around it. The only thing is that is about it for the old part. Unless I am missing something and I could be. The rest was probably built in the 60’s or something like that. The buildings have no style and most things desperately need fixing up. They are pretty run down.
The city as a whole is just plain run down. Some say that is why the cruise ships stopped coming and with that they have lost a lot of the money they could have used to fix up the place.
The esplanade to the North has a 4 lane road or highway going along the side of it with a divider and palm trees separating it. It is extremely busy and unbelievably noisy from 6AM to 3AM or after on the weekend.
Every bit of public transportation is blasting music along with the kids in there cars. People hanging out of them drinking and screaming. The advertising trucks blaring their spiel. Huge flashing signs being towed behind pickup trucks with messages and advertising blaring music. It was kind of fun for the first week but after that it got old fast.
I always get a place with a balcony on the first floor up. So I can see the esplanade and the people walking by good. Big Big mistake here!!! If you are going to get a room along this end of town I would suggest you get one at least 4 or 5 floors up so you can hear yourself think. I can take a lot of noise but this is incredibly loud.
One really nice thing is and I was reminded just now while writing this. I had to stop and watch the fireworks going off. They do shoot off a lot of really nice fireworks along this strip of beach. I guess sponsored by the the high rise hotels because the North beach is where they are.
The place doesn’t have a lot of public bathrooms but there are some restaurants you can stop and pay 5 Pesos to use one. One thing I don’t get about it is the further along the coast you go by the high rise hotels. Stairs are few and far between to get down on the beach from the esplanade. It is pretty high up from the beach so you need stairs and there just are not many and very far apart.
If I were staying at a hotel across from the beach. I would not be happy to have to walk such a long ways just to get down on the beach. Doesn’t make sense!!
There is one bright spot for the road along the malecon and that is that on Sundays and some Saturdays they shut it down in the morning to traffic. So runners or bikers or both get to race along it. Yesterday they had probably a thousand bikers racing. The line of racers was over a mile or more long. They must come from all over to do this race.
Last weekend they had the big race with the fireworks after it. Pretty Cool! I’ll say one thing for sure the Mexican people are really really into running and biking. Many of the towns I have been in do the same thing. But this place because of how long the malecon is makes it the spot for these kind of sports.
There are quite a few nice palapa style restaurants on the beach to eat at with your feet in the sand. They are closer to the North end about 1/4 mile from the hill with the tower’s on it. If you’re coming to party and I mean really party then this place is for you! There is nothing you can do here that will turn any heads it’s all been done before. If you are coming for a peaceful time at the beach then I suggest you rethink your plans.
It isn’t now but I can see that when it is tourist season this place will be like the extreme sports of partying!!! I haven’t been here then so that is just my guess judging from what is happening in the present! But I think it is probably a good one!!!
I’ve got a little more than a week to do some more exploring so I may have to take back some of the things I have said and I will but I doubt it.
So today I get up and look out on the bedroom balcony to see the baby pigeon that has been there since I came. When I first came I was spending some of my time in the morning cleaning the pigeon shit off of this balcony. I got tired of it and was shooing the pigeon that was on a ledge above the slider away.
It was very persistent about coming back so I got up on the rail and looked and there was a pretty good size baby. I stopped shooing the mother away and just didn’t use that balcony. Well it wasn’t long before the mother coaxed the baby off the ledge and it flew down to the balcony. It had been there the past week or so with the mother feeding it and coaxing it to fly off.
Yesterday I noticed it was starting to get the hang of flying. There was a strong breeze and it would jump up and flap its wings for a while then land back on the balcony. So anyways this morning I come into the living room and opened up the slider and look out to see if I can see the baby.
I was thinking because I didn’t see it from the bedroom he had finally flown off. I looked down and there in the road was a dark flattened blob with the only identifiable thing being a flattened wing on top. I was instantly bummed big time!!! I knew it was the baby. SHIT!!!
As gross as this story is I had to do it so that at least it will be remembered in some little way. Poor little guy never had a chance living next to this road!! SAD BUT TRUE!!!!
Well the update after spending the last week exploring most of what there is to see here. Is that if I were to ever come back it would be to the Paseo Olas Altas section of town it is only two lanes of traffic and much less traveled. It is also the oldest nicest part of town.
It has a rocky coastline with little beaches here and there and many statues along the malecon. The few parks they have are very small and fill up easily. So I would imagine in the prime of the season you would have a hard time finding a place to sit and relax.
All and all not a bad little town just leaves a lot to be desired. It is not somewhere I would come back to!