Downtown Mazatlán is a trip. We’re here on a weekday morning, and it is straight bustling. It’s a far cry from the endless beaches and palm-dotted malecon that this city tends to bring to mind, and I quite like that; it’s nice to explore an area that has little to do with tourism. I, meanwhile, could not be more obviously out of place – we’re among throngs of people going about their workday in sensible chinos, and here I am in a clementine crop like excuuuuuse me, I’m on vacation! Not that it matters. No fewer than four locals greeted us within moments of our arrival, effectively doing away with any glimmer of discomfort I’d considered indulging.
Mercado Pino Suarez – Mazatlán’s central market – is a sprawling emporium, brimming with people nabbing their daily groceries and the aromas of food in various stages of prep. We stopped to watch the understated artistry of a butcher – his performance taking on extra flourish with the addition of a rapt audience – and uncovered shelves of vividly-patterned ceramics hidden among the market’s mostly food-oriented stalls that had me contemplating a complete overhaul of our dishware.
Pro-tip: don’t fill every last inch of your luggage with bikinis. You’ll want room for local treasures.