Best Experiences in Mazatlan During Your Cruise to Mexico
Like several Mexican coastal resorts, Mazatlan has much to explore beyond its excellent beaches. If you’re seeking cultural enrichment during your Mexico cruise, Mazatlan, dubbed the “Pearl of the Pacific,” is a prime place to discover local art, architecture, history, and theater. Here are our picks for the best places to find cultural fulfillment in Mazatlan:
The Plaza Machado: Most Mazatlan cultural sites are located in the Centro Historico district, and the Plaza Machado is situated right in the center of the action. Regarded as one of the most beautiful plazas in Mexico, and the oldest in Mazatlan (dating from 1837), the Plaza Machado has long been a focal point for the city and makes a convenient starting spot for exploring the Centro Historico or serving as a rest stop at one of its cafes, restaurants, or bars. Occupying the center of the plaza is an iron gazebo, where entertainers have performed for more than 140 years. The plaza has been recently restored as have some of the 19th-century French- and Spanish-influenced buildings surrounding it. Have a look at the architecturally distinctive mid-19th century Spanish-style Juarez Building (which houses the Pedro y Lola Restaurant) and the restored 1910-vintage Lizarraga House, both located just north of the plaza on Constitucion and Carnaval streets.
The Museo de Arte (Fine Art Museum): Situated in a restored Centro Historico building next to a shaded courtyard one block off the Malecon (seaside promenade), the Museo de Arte displays 20th and 21st century Mexican art from both local artists and others from across the country. While the structure itself dates from 1898, it didn’t become a museum until a century later when the Cultural Institute of Sinaloa took it over. The museum features works by Vicente Rojo, Rufino Tamayo, Jose Luis Cuevas, and Edgardo Coghlan, among many others. It also hosts special exhibitions. (Sixto Osuna and Avenida Venustiano Carranza, about four blocks from the Plaza Machado.)
Museo Arqueologico (Archeology Museum): Located right across the street from the Museo de Arte, the Museo Arqueologico focuses on the history of pre-Spanish colonial Sinaloa (Mazatlan’s province). Inside the attractively restored building you’ll find elaborately decorated ancient pottery, burial artifacts from before the arrival of Columbus, and figurines representing both humans and animals fashioned by a number of indigenous tribes that occupied the area. With many of the indigenous peoples virtually wiped out by the Spanish conquest, these are some of the only remaining works of their civilizations. (#76 Sixto Osuna.)
Teatro Ángela Peralta (Ángela Peralta Theater): Just south of the Plaza Machado is the magnificently restored 800-seat Teatro Ángela Peralta, considered one of the finest performance venues in Mexico. First dating from 1874, the theater was named for a 19th century Mexican opera star who died of yellow fever while in Mazatlan. After falling into neglect by the late 1960s, restoration began about 20 years later and it now forms one of the jewels in the Centro Historico, hosting both theatrical and musical presentations and attracting world-class performers. (#1024 Carnaval.)
Machado Museo Casa: Overlooking the Plaza Machado in the Centro Historico, this museum offers a picture of the life of a wealthy family in 1880s Mazatlan. Built by a prosperous Italian pharmacist named Luis Canobbio, the restored landmark house displays artworks and authentic period furnishings that evoke the atmosphere of Mazatlan when it was a thriving business and industrial center in the late 19th century. The Canobbio family lived upstairs while the downstairs pharmacy sold an elixir called “The Fountain of Youth,” apparently very successfully (he second floor balcony provides an excellent overview of the Plaza Machado). A good Italian restaurant, Casa Canobbio, is located in the building along with the museum.
On your walking tour of the Centro Historico you’ll come across other historic buildings, markets, plazas, and the Basilica de la Immaculada Concepcion, Mazatlan’s main Catholic cathedral. Built over 40 years from the mid- to late-19th century, the basilica contains the image of the city’s patron saint, the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, a Baroque main altar, a 19th century organ, and 28 stained glass windows. (At Avenida Benito Juarez and Calle 21 de Marzo, facing the Plaza de la Republica northeast of the Plaza Machado.)
With all that Mazatlan and other Mexican ports have to offer, why not book your cruise to Mexico now? Call our travel advisers today at (888) 804-CRUIse (2784), visit us at www.CruiseExperts.com or email us at info@CruiseExperts.com to find out the best cruise deals for Mexico. Check us out on Facebook or join our Inner Circle for more great information!
Kimberly Wheeler joined the team at CruiseExperts.com in September 2014. Her role as a Social Media Marketer is to pass on the expertise of the agency to help travelers understand the world of cruising through blogging. Kimberly has an extensive background in Public Relations and Marketing and a passion for engaging the public. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication and Journalism with an option in Public Relations from Fresno State University in May 2014.