If I had one day to spend in Mazatlán, I would indulge as much as possible at my resort until mid afternoon, and then travel to Centro Histórico (Old Town) to explore the true culture and history of Mazatlán, followed by one of the many fine dining restaurants located within an easy walking distance from Old Town’s (Centro Histórico) centrally located Plaza Machado.
El Cid Marina is a highly recommended resort to serve as your base in Mazatlán. Located on the marina on the southern peninsula of the city, El Cid Marina includes very clean and safe grounds with multiple swimming pools, restaurants, bars and a private ferry with access to the hotel’s private beach. You can also find a regularly scheduled free shuttle to additional El Cid’s additional resort locations in Mazatlán, each offering additional amenities and food options. In a single morning you can arrange a spa treatment, enjoy a large-scale buffet or room service breakfast and enjoy multiple options to swim and relax in the sun. The resort is easy to navigate and energizes youthful ambition to try all the water recreation. After a dip in the pool, a few rides down the water slide and a margarita at the pool’s walk-up bar, I returned to my spacious room to clean up for a short drive to Mazatlán’s Centro Histórico District.
A trip to Mazatlán isn’t complete without exploring Old Town (Centro Histórico). What makes Mazatlán stand out from other resort cities in Mexico, is the history and culture located in the heart of the city. The Centro Histórico District was restored in 2017 with new streets and sidewalks. Traditional Mexican architecture is fused with a French influence, resulting in a beautiful “town square” feel. Mazatlán’s arts & culture community is located in Old Town (Centro Histórico), along with the city’s best restaurants, local shops and Plaza Machado. I recommend three hours to explore Centro Histórico. Start at Plaza Machado and you can visit a dozen sites, museums and Mazatlán’s beautiful cathedral. All within blocks of each other. The entire walking tour is an architectural and cultural experience. And stop into every local shop you see. Everyone is friendly and will be very helpful to answer your questions about Old Town (Centro Histórico) and where you should go next.
After exploring Centro Histórico, you can take a short walk to the Malecon to enjoy a Mazatlán sunset on the beach, or go directly to dinner. As essential as a visit is to Centro Histórico, it’s just as important to experience at least one of it’s fantastic restaurants. A prime example is Hector’s Bistro.The 3-year-old local favorite establishment offers European flavors ranging from fish to pastas to high quality meats. Modern meets traditional with a cozy atmosphere and a fully-loaded bar that serves as the restaurant’s central focal point. I ate dinner twice at Hector’s and felt like I could strike up a conversation with the table next to me on both occasions. And I met Hector, who likes to mingle with his customers.
If you’re still up for night life after dinner, there is a seemingly endless number of bars and dance clubs located directly off the Malecon, which is your path back to El Cid Marina. Plenty of safe transportation services and shuttles will return you to your resort, where the sun will rise again for another day of adventure.