Guide to Mazatlan – General Tips

This post has been a long time coming. I made the trip down to Mazatlan (in Sinaloa, Mexico) at the beginning of June but didn’t have the courage to write a post about it. I used to visit this humble beach town almost every year as a child but hadn’t returned since I was about 16. So after 7 years I was anxious, excited, and curious about what this trip would bring. Was the area more dangerous than I last time I had come like the media makes it out to be? Would it be more touristy? Would look familiar? Many questions filled my mind.

The short answer is that it was amazing and very similar to how I remember it as a child. I have fallen back in love and am going to try to crash my parents vacation when they go next summer.

This is Mazatlan circa 1995, I am the one hanging from the sign. It’s been 20 years since this photo and I can still say I love Mazatlan. I was happy to take my boyfriend there and share with him a place that is so special to me. My father was born in Mazatlan and lived there a short while before heading north. I have only ever been with my family, so I was nervous to visit without my dad taking us around and doing all the translating.

I wanted to share my time in Mazatlan with the wider world since I had a hard time finding information on the inter-webz. Hopefully this can help someone else out there.

Tip 1: The water is fine. You can bathe, brush your teeth, and wash dishes with the water. It would however be a good idea to drink bottled water. Get some gallon sized bottles at a corner store and use that instead of the tap.

Tip 2: Don’t be turned off by the news. Mazatlan is supposed to be dangerous right now due to the Sinaloa Cartel, but don’t do anything stupid and you will be fine. If you are extra nervous just be back to your hotel by the time night hits.

Tip 3: Take the buses. The pulmonia are very fun and can be a great relief on a hot day but you will be missing the experience the bus has to offer. First you should know there are two different types of buses, the ‘fancy’ one and the ‘jenky’ one. One has AC and costs 10 pesos, the other is crowded and costs 7 pesos. I get on whichever bus comes to my stop first, I don’t want to wait out in the heat. The buses give you glimpse at normal life if you lived in Mazatlan, allows you to venture into town without spending too much cash, and provides you with prime people watching. Just don’t do what I did and try to ride the bus to the end of the line…while the winding roads gave me a new view of Mazatlan, I ended up getting stuck in the middle of nowhere.

For more information, check out these links:

Mazatlan – Stay

Mazatlan – Eat

Mazatlan – Do

Ximena.

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