Mas de Mazatlan

December 19, 2011

When you ask a dozen cruisers about Mazatlan (as a potential stop) the resounding sentiment is “skip it.” I wanted to write a quick post to add some weight to the countervailing position. Mazatlan is a great city to visit, especially if you are following the common pattern of Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Mainland.

After a solid month of desert landscape and beach towns, the bustle and unique character of Mazatlan was a welcome change. If I were to equate my two favorite Mexican cities (so far) with their familiar counterparts, I would say that La Paz reminded me of Santa Cruz and Mazatlan reminded me of Barcelona. For sure it has it’s grime, and apparently it has it’s crime (though we didn’t see or hear of any directly) but it also has character, a proud congenial populace, and some really great sights.

We had only planned to be in Mazatlan long enough to do laundry and wash the boat down. By day 4 we hadn’t done the second of those tasks because we had been too busy exploring. When we went up to the marina office to let them know we would stay another day the informed us that 8 nights cost as much as 5. We happily extended our stay. We got the boat washing done the next morning and spent the rest of our stay riding busses, visiting with and making new friends (both cruisers and land based) and eating out.

Mazatlan has a burgeoning arts and culture scene that seems to be centered (geographically) around the Teatro de Angela Peralta. I stumbled into an awesome gallery after taking the kids out for popsicles and proceeded to spend the next hour talking with the family that owned it. As we walked home we passed by the Teatro again and heard band practice in full swing. The kids danced, and popped bubbles that two local boys were blowing for them. When we got home we were still smiling.


  1. Comment by Capt Rich

    Capt Rich December 21, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Skip Mazatlan…and all the fabulous street tacos…are they Mad?

    Anchoring in the old harbor puts you in easy walking or a $6P bus ride to some of the best street tacos in Mexico and out of tourist gold zone (aka gringo zone) for better prices and even more culture.

    The lesson here is to take the standard “Cruise Sentiment” and pump it overboard with the rest of the waste! Because if they didn’t like a fabulous place like Mazatlan…whew…

  2. Comment by Sandy

    Sandy December 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    So glad that you guys stopped in Mazatlan and are enjoying it! This has been my adopted home going on 7 years now and I love her more than ever. We have had a bad rap over the last couple of years and I am thankful when people such as yourself give us a shout out! Have a great new year!

    • Comment by Tucker Bradford

      Tucker Bradford December 21, 2011 at 8:21 pm

      Hey Sandy, my pleasure. I just call it like I see it. Mazatlan was an unexpected gem on our trip and I am so glad we could raise awareness (even just a little). Happy holidays to you too!

  3. Comment by Geoff eisenberg

    Geoff eisenberg December 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm


    We don’t know each other but I saw the link to your blog in Latitude, spent some time learning about your journey (before and after you cast off) and greatly enjoyed your story.

    Plus I applaud your choice of boats and your website.

    Happy voyaging,
    Geoff Eisenberg
    West Marine

    • Comment by Tucker Bradford

      Tucker Bradford December 21, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      Geoff, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I’ve been enjoying chronicling our experience, and it’s great to hear when it appeals to someone else! Our boat has been perfect for us. I didn’t want to admit it to myself but I am much too performance oriented for many of the cruising boats out there. To have found one that is fast and comfortable was a real stroke! I hope you check back in from time to time!

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