It took about 5 hours, a full tank of gas, and 400-500 pesos worth of toll road fees to get to Mazatlan. Our friend we met in Copper Canyon, Al, was hitching a ride with us and it was nice to have some other company along for a bit. He helped us out with some tolls and gas along the way and we had some really nice conversations. Once we got to Mazatlan our game faces came on as we tried to follow the mostly non-existent street signs toward Old Mazatlan. We got lost a few times, but asked for some directions and found out way to the malecón (ocean road) which would lead us straight to Old Mazatlan. We dropped our friend Al off near the main plaza in Old Mazatlan and we headed toward our hotel which we found in our guide book.
The city was littered with Mexican tourists for Semana Santa and we were lucky to find two hotels right next to each other that were in our guide book that had decent prices for rooms. We skipped the slightly cheaper one for another that had wifi and a bathroom connected to our room for only $100 more pesos. The only room they had left was on top of their roof. There were no other rooms around us and we had a nice view of old Mazatlan which was really nice, it was just kinda strange they even had a room up there.
So we got situated in our rooftop casa and headed out to see a little bit of Old Mazatlan for the evening. We walked along the malecón and saw lots of street vendors and Mexican tourists on the beaches. First we hit up a local restaurant to have some lunch. We hadn’t had anything to eat all day yet so we were hungry. We found a local pizza place called La Mona that had a really good shrimp/pineapple/ham pizza. It was very delicious but very big so we saved a couple pieces for dinner later. Then we checked out some lookouts along the malecón and par-oozed around the marketplace along the sidewalk.
As we were walking around we saw someone standing on top of one of the look outs near the ocean and we realized it was a cliff diver! We read about them in our book and also heard of them from South Park (haha) so we were excited to see one in real life. He just sort of stood there faking the small crowd out as his amigos down in the plaza went around asking for money. Here is a picture of Steve in front of the high look out with the cliff diver in the background, and then a picture of the diver jumping into the rocky waters below. It was fun to watch.
After that excitement, we decided to try some margaritas at a malecón side bar. We watched the sunset on the water as we sipped our drinks.
Unfortunately the drinks were terribly weak and way too big so we muscled those down and hit up a store and bought our own tequila to bring back to the room with us. On the way back the sun was setting and we walked through the Old Mazatlan Plaza and got some nice pictures of the plaza and the church lit up for the evening.
The next day we decided to stay one more night in the city and go out to town again. First we had some lunch (we woke up a tad late) and ran into Al once more and said hello. He was on his way to rent a bicycle to ride along the malecón. After lunch we found some cool little local art galleries and we fell in love with some of the local art and crafts there. Then we dropped off some of our things at our rooftop room and headed back into town.
We walked a few miles toward the newer part of Mazatlan along the malecón to an aquarium which was a little disappointing. Apparently it is supposed to be one of the best in Mexico so now we know what to expect when we see any others hehe. There was a connected bird sanctuary with macaws and peacocks and other exotic flight animals. Then we headed right across the street to something that was going on, there were lots of tents and people and we decided to check it out. It was a fish fair were lots of local restaurants came to one location and served food and drink to show off their fishy delectables. We were really full from lunch still, but Steve tried s shrimp tamale anyway because por qué no? (why not?)
Overall Old Mazatlan was a very pretty city. The rest of Mazatlan is resort-like and boring so it was nice to see some of the old architecture and charm of the Mazatlan that was. The next morning we were off to Guadalajara!