Exploring Mazatlan, Mexico

view from Cero de la Neveria. If the mountain in the distance looks familiar, thats because it is on the Pacifico beer label.
©Jean Janssen

We began today with a walk along the coastline on the concrete boardwalk, the Malecon, with its bronze statues and coves.  Cero De La Neveria (“icebox hill”)-the hill where the home is located-separates the colonial city from the modern city.  The hill got it name from the caves located within that were used for the refrigeration of the fish caught along the coastline with large blocks of ice before it was transported to other ports.  The caves also have chimneys that go up to some of the houses (like the next door neighbor).  We saw one cave, casa de Diablo, now gated with a bronze devil’s head on the iron, while walking on the Malecon.

Some of the local dancers at Panchos.
(aka Emma and 3Jack3)
©Jean Janssen

We walked until we almost reached the Gold Coast, where the foreign tourists stay.  The city itself is long and narrow as it grew along the coast and slightly inland.  The area we walked through was the coastline of the modern city where the Mexican nationals vacation.  The fishermen with their small boats were already back and sales were almost complete.  There had been a storm during the night, so their task was done in rough waters.

We only walked about four miles but added to that a steep walk down slick stone stairs and a winding road.  As hard as that was, the return was even more strenuous.  Of course this was the excuse I needed to enjoy the fabulous food and drinks.

In the old city of Mazatlan
@Jean Janssen

After showers it was breakfast under the palapa before we headed into the colonial city to check a few artists shops.  Our first stop was the ATM where my Spanish was again tested.  Fortunately, Ivanova was there to help me with the machine that did not offer an English translation to the instructions.  Emma was really out of luck as she had a 6-digit pin code.  Boris and I have found that when traveling abroad, most ATM machines will not accept cash cards with anything other than a 4-digit code.

samples of guayabera shirts

We saw wonderful buildings in varying states of repair.  Many of the streets were tree-lined and some of the colonial houses had elevated walkways alongside them.  There were many unique art pieces and Emma and Dudley picked out quite a few things to commemorate honeymoon trip #1.  I found a shop that specialized in the guayabera shirts that Boris loves.  There were multiple material choices and colors and I got Boris a linen shirt in a unique deep rust color.

In the Gold Coast tourist area. The truck parked in front is a party van. They load up people in the back of the truck and tour the city. Several pass the house daily.
©Jean Janssen

Dudley was not much of a shopper and 3Jack3 was ready for lunch, so we drove from the colonial area to the Gold Coast to get a little taste of different parts of the city.  The gateway to the Gold Coast (the area where the foreign tourist hotels are concentrated) is none other than a McDonalds.  This is where you lose some of the unique character of the Mazatlan and it starts to look like any other tourist city in Mexico.

3Jack3 enjoying his froglegs.
©Jean Janssen

We did have lunch at a wonderful restaurant, Panchos, which is right on the beach.  The restaurant was decorated in colorful tile work and carved wood and we felt the trade winds that keep the area cool as we enjoyed our lunch.  3Jack3 loves frog legs so we tried both the deep-fried and the ones sautéed in garlic.  Both were good, but I preferred the garlic ones.  They brought complementary chips and sauces to our table when we sat down, along with deep-fried and stuffed jalapeños.  Throughout the lunch the beach vendors tried to attract our attention with their offerings.  Panchos’ security kept us from being harassed.

After the meal, we did venture out onto the lovely beach and onto a stone breakwater where we snapped a few pictures.  Mom did end up getting a shirt from one of the vendors and Rocky got a straw hat with a chinstrap, something he needs for the fishing trip tomorrow.  Ivanova helped with the negotiating in Spanish.  She also spoke to the owners of a silver shop in the same center as Panchos and they sold us their jewelry at wholesale prices because we were family.

The Gold Coast beach near Pancho’s.
©Jean Janssen

A flock of pelicans silhouetted against the sunset.
©Jean Janssen

Finally we headed back to the house where we all put our suits on and headed straight to the pool.   Well all except for mom who we suspect went in for a nap.  The water was so refreshing.  We swam and sat out, while Nacho brought us drinks.  Paradise.  There was another gorgeous sunset this evening.  After dark, we had dinner under the palapa.  We watched the waves crash against the shore and the lighthouse sent light toward us as we waited on the terrace for dinner to begin.  We were all tired this evening.

About travelbynatasha

I am a retired attorney who loves to travel. Several years ago I began working on a Century Club membership achieved by traveling to 100 "foreign" countries. Today, at 49 years of age the count is at 82. Many were visited on land based trips. Some were cruise ports. Some were dive sites. Most have been fascinating.
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One Response to Exploring Mazatlan, Mexico

  1. Cal says:

    Looking forward to visiting Mazatlan early in 2014, and really enjoyed your information and photos – thanks! 🙂

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