Mazatlán is an ancient Nahuatl word for “land of the deer” and in fact the 2006 champion Mazatlán baseball team is called the “Venados,” which is Spanish for deer.
The first Settlers in Mazatlán were nomadic Amerindian tribes that traded with the Aztecs at some point. The Aztecs were the ones who gave the place its name Mazatl, meaning place of deer. The Spanish settled some years after the conquest and founded a port from where trading ships were dispatched to and from Asia and Europe. The 19th century brought German and French immigrants attracted by the gold fever in the California’s. After the Mexican Revolution the port activity grew and it wasn’t till the early 60s when the tourist activity started.
The old wealth of Mazatlán is in evidence today in Mazatlán “El Centro” and the large elegant houses and buildings that have survived. The old town consists of a twenty-block area basically comprising the area from the Plaza Pricipal to the Olas Altas waterfront.
Two Distinctive Zones
Mazatlán is situated on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, almost directly across from Cabo San Lucas at the tip of the Baja peninsula. Mazatlán sits at the base of the Sierra Madre Mountains on a peninsula that extends into the Pacific Ocean. The City is concentrated in two areas: The north is known as the Zona Dorada (Golden Zone), while the south is known as El Centro (downtown) which is the historic district of the city.
The Pacific Pearl
The Pacific Pearl has a modern and progressive face: it is the second port city in Mexico because of its size, after Acapulco, and the second because of its port activity, after Veracruz. It also bears the biggest shrimp fleet in Mexico, thus acquiring its second nickname, the Shrimp Capital.
Mazatlán distinguishes itself from the rest of the Mexican beach destinations because of its rich history and because it is a city concerned about itself and its culture. This extraordinary combination of beautiful beaches and awesome natural attractions together with a truly preserved historical center, a variety of cultural events and the warm hospitality of its people gives Mazatlán a unique balance of colonial-like atmosphere and golden beaches.
Points of Interest