For many, the words “vacation in Mazatlán” provoke an idea of the heyday holidays of the ’70s, of cocktails decorated with umbrellas in the Golden Zone and hotels called Paradise frequented by the movie stars of the time.
While Mazatlán has spent many years perhaps dreaming of the old travel days before the Riviera Maya pulled international tourism away from its shores, it has always remained popular with national holidaymakers in Mexico.
In the past few years, a huge drive to improve infrastructure, modernize outdated hotels and restore the city’s colonial center is putting Mazatlán back on the map and making it an attractive option for those who like a little culture with their beach vacation.
The second-largest city in the state of Sinaloa, founded by the Spanish in 1531, Mazatlán has a rich and intriguing history.
A port town in a time of abundant mining, it attracted immigrants from around the world. Germans who settled in the area started a brewery that created Mexico’s well-known Pacifico beer and played a role in the creation of Sinaloa’s famous banda music, which has its roots in German polka beats.
Mazatlán’s rise during the early 1900s under President Porfirio Díaz can be seen in the French-style architecture he favored in the city’s picturesque and colorful historic center.
While the beach in the hotel zone is located directly in front of the properties, it is nice to explore a little further afield, and there are a number of quiet islands to choose from.