I think most people associate Mazatlán with its beaches and boardwalk, but it’s the colonial streets of Old Town (Centro Histórico) that stole my heart. It feels like a smaller version of San Miguel de Allende – one of my favorite places in the world – with its beautiful town square, brightly painted facades, and narrow walkways that lead to hidden courtyards and boutiques. It’s clear the local government has poured a not insignificant amount of money into revitalizing Old Town (Centro Histórico), and it’s working; regardless of our agenda, I find myself returning here each day to sip on a coffee in Plazuela Machado and lose myself down a colorful side street.
Many of the city’s best restaurants call Centro Histórico (Old Town) home – Pedro y Lola, Casa 46, and El Presidio among them – and I reckon that list will double and then triple in no time. There’s a real sense of history here, of time and place, but also where Mazatlán is headed. It’s refined, culturally rich, and undeniably beautiful.
And though I could happily while away the days in Old Town (Centro Histórico) alone, the unique appeal of Mazatlán is that you don’t have to. Here, the charming cobblestoned streets are mere blocks from the uninterrupted oceanfront’s hedonistic comforts, allowing you to live out multiple travel fantasies without so much as stepping in a pulmonia.