Mazatlan

Mazatlan is a very old Mexican city. It has a good natural harbor which is why it became an important port city hundreds of years ago. The harbor now is little dirty and doesn't smell very good so it is not as popular an anchorage as it was. There are 2 marinas a few miles north of town. The El Cid marina is part of a hotel complex and offers all hotel services to the moored boats including room service. It is more expensive but very nice. Marina Mazatlan is part of an unfinished resort development and it is much more primitive but it is also cheaper. Many of the docks in Marina Mazatlan do not have water or power but the price is adjusted accordingly. Marina Mazatlan tries to compensate by offering more services like dockside soda, beer and vegetable deliveries. We stayed at Marina Mazatlan and we recommend it but if you are on a large budget you should consider the El Cid. Make reservations well in advance for the El Cid.

Mazatlan is spread out but there are many transportation options. The bus is 2 pesos and they are fairly clean and safe. Some problems have occurred, like pick-pocketing, on crowded buses when people are standing. Taxis take 2 forms in Mazatlan. Pulmonias look like oversized golf carts and they are the highest priced form of transportation. They cost more than a regular taxi.for some reason. You should always ask the price before you get in and bargaining is encouraged. Normal taxis are cheaper and the only way to go for longer trips. The drivers often don't speak English so know where you are going on a map before you go. Bargaining is again the norm.

Mazatlan places a high value on public art. There are a couple of large cathedrals and many statues and fountains around the city.

The Mercado Pino Suarez the is central market market of Mazatlan. It is almost exactly the same as it was when I visited here around 1969. It is an enclosed market featuring mostly food like meat and produce. There are some booths with clothes and souvenirs aimed mostly at tourists.

The meat and produce is really fresh. You can tell the pictured butcher handles pork by the pig heads on the right. Prices are sometimes higher and sometimes lower than the grocery stores but the produce and meat is almost always better because these people make their living on having quality products.