Thursday, February 13, 2014

If You Only Have One Weekend in Mazatlan

At the end of the year, Mr. Fantastic surprised me with a quick trip to Mazatlan to ring in the New Year.  We stayed with friends of his and spent nearly everyday being pampered and acting like tourists in their hometown.  Here are the highlights if you only have one weekend in Mazatlan.

STAY:
Breakfast view of our hosts' home. We were incredibly spoiled.
We stayed at home with my husband's friends. However, we didn't know they would invite us to their home when we initially made our plans and we had reserved a room at Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay. The photos of the beachfront views were gorgeous and we were looking forward to staying there. Our hosts took us there for dinner the first night we were in town and the views (the first photo is from Cilantro's) did NOT disappoint!  They also recommended the El Cid Marina Beach Hotel, which is very close to their home.

EAT:
Seafood, especially shrimp, is a staple at this Pacific town by the sea.  Mr. Fantastic is not a fan of seafood, but I was in heaven.
Breakfast at Chili's Pepper
We tried to go to Surf's Up Cafe for a late breakfast on New Year's Day, but they had a set menu and the only dish that looked appetizing the day we went (pulled pork) was already sold out.  It just felt like they were bothered we were even there and wanted to go ahead and close.  It was very refreshing to end up at Chili's Pepper down by the waterfront and eat an authentic Mexican breakfast with chorizo and coffee with sweet bread.

For lunch, we ate wherever we happened to be.  One day it was at a tavern across from the town plaza and another was by the expansive boardwalk, in a small restaurant called Puerto Viejo.  Both times, my husband and I both ate a ceviche appetizer and entrees, plus multiple beers and our tab was less than $20!  My favorite lunch was Mr. Lionso's Playa Bruja.  They had a live band and the drinks were wonderful. I drank a habanero-mango margarita and I was definitely tipsy by the time the check came.

My favorite meals were our decadent dinners. The first night we were in town, we ate at Cilantro's at Pueblo Bonito Hotel and the food was wonderful. Their margaritas were not very good, but the pina coladas were delicious and the Imperial Shrimp made our mouths water.  The hidden gem in Mazatlan is a casual grill restaurant that our hosts took us to called Las Brochetas.  It is across from their Mega-Mart and is BYOB so it was nice to stop at the store and pick up whatever we wanted to drink and bring it with us.  Between the charro bean soup, loaded baked potatoes, and the different skewers, we had to be rolled back to the house!  Pancho's was our favorite dinner place for both the seaside ambiance and the delicious food.  I really wanted to buy one of the Day of the Dead figurines, but I ended up leaving it behind.

VISIT & DO:
Photo by our pulmonia driver at a lookout at the top of the city.
While we had a few more days than just a weekend, we did spend a couple of those doing nothing at home.  The couple of days that we packed activities into were so much fun.  One day, our hosts were committed to a golf game, so Mr. Fantastic and I took a "pulmonia" into town and our driver basically acted like our tour guide.  A pulmonia is just a tad bigger than a golf cart, but with more horsepower and it is called that because of the old wive's tale that if you ride in an open cart you might end up with pneumonia! In any case, our driver took us all around old, historic Mazatlan, up by the flower market and the massive shrimp market and to several lookout points in the area. He even took us to the base of the Faro, where I attempted to climb, but we stopped about halfway and came back because we weren't prepared to make the climb.  He charged us 500 Pesos, which is about $50 and for sure a rip-off, but one we were willing to participate in as he really did take us everywhere and he stopped when we asked so I could get photos and even took a few of us!
At the top of the Faro
The next day, we got up early and dressed properly and came back to the Faro (The Lighthouse) with our hosts and made the 20 minute climb (I made it in about 35 minutes) and we were so thrilled with the view from the top. Mazatlan is just beautiful and we were blown away with how everywhere you looked there was just so much history. The Faro is the second highest light house in the world behind Gibraltar and it's beacon can be seen for 30 nautical miles. The trek was fun and light for everyone except for me because I am out of shape, but it was definitely worth the climb.

Mr. Fantastic and I also snuck away to walk down the famous boardwalk in Mazatlan, called El Malecon. At four miles long, it is the longest boardwalk in Mexico and while my husband tried to pretend he didn't like holding my hand, I kept blabbering on about how romantic it was to walk along the beach holding hands.
In front of The Immaculate Conception Basilica
We also spent some time in Old Mazatlan with our awesome hosts. They showed us the beautiful Immaculate Conception Basilica and indulged me when I wanted to stop and buy a rosary, and took us to the Mercado Pino Suarez and again waited patiently while I loaded up on Mexican candy that I have a hard time finding back home.  One of our favorite things each day was that my husband's friend and his wife would plan ahead of time where to take us to watch the sunset that day. While Cilantro's and Playa Bruja were tranquil and pretty, nothing beat having a margarita by the rooftop pool at the Freeman Posada while watching the sun set right in front of us.  The view was simply stunning.
Waiting for sunset by the rooftop pool at The Freeman Posada
Other places we wanted to visit, but didn't get a chance to were: La Noria for a Blue Agave Tequila Tour, we actually signed up for this tour and it didn't make so we missed it; Stone Island Party Tour, I don't know if we are too old or what, but a party boat no longer has the same appeal it used to have; and lastly, I wanted to go visit the capital Culiacan because we were already there, but it was much farther than I thought so we missed that as well.  There is also a beautiful waterfall by the sierra canyon called Mexiquillo Canyon that looked interesting and we might have tried if the weather was warmer and we had more time.

Have you ever been? What did I miss? What did you love?

1 comment:

Tell me what you think, but be nice! You catch more flies with sugar than spice!