We arrived in Mazatlan fresh off the boat, and with no map we made our way through town to the Zona Dorada (The Golden Zone) in which the RV parks are located. After some tediously uninteresting and un-blogpost worthy activities such as laundry and unpacking, we strolled through the local area, checked out the beach, and looked for a good place to eat dinner. A local tour operator advised us that there was a great place where the locals ate called “Taco Time.” Oh, really. Come on now. We want real Mexican food, amigo! Eventually we found Taco Time and it was a legitimate and tasty place for a cheap dinner in the Golden Zone.
Mainland Mexico welcomed us with open arms. We loved the Baja, but were excited to experience something new and different. We soaked up the culture in Mazatlan and have summarized our favourite things.
1. The Malecon. This beautiful and wide stretch of pavement runs along the ocean and is the ideal place for a bike ride, jog or stroll. The beach is close by in case you desire a quick swim. Apparently (if you can believe the locals and Wikipedia) the Malecon in Mazatlan is the longest in world, totalling 21 km.
2. Old Mazatlan. This historic section is marked by a huge cathedral, the market, a beautiful and lush town square, a theatre, and several art galleries dotted along the way. Food stands are easy to find with a variety of tantilizing treats.
3. The Market. You must visit the market in Old Mazatlan! We love how whenever we travel and enter a market, it feels like we could be anywhere in the world. We have been to markets in Tel Aviv, Laos, Jordan, and Vietnam. The contents are essentially the same – fresh produce, fresh meat, fish and eggs, trinkets, and food stalls outlining the perameter as you exit. We love walking into markets and disappearing through the aisles and rows of merchants selling pretty much anything you need (or don’t).
4. The Street Food. Pretty sure we have decided to incorporate a rigorous exercise regime into our daily routine due to Mexico’s diverse and delicious street food. We ate everything from sweets to soup, tacos to ice cream, and everything in between.
We also went to a power vinyasa yoga class in Old Mazatlan at Villa Margarita. The class kicked our butts as we haven’t practiced in a while, but the studio was beautiful and the teacher was fantastic. She did the class in Spanish and English and we’ll make sure to go back if we are ever in Mazatlan again!
Enjoying the beach in the Golden Zone.Our Taco Time tacos!The market. There were dozens of fruit and veg vendors!More of the market! This butcher was just acting serious for the camera. He flashed us a smile and wink after this photo.One of the juice vendors outside the market. Giant fresh squeezed orange juice for $1.25. Yes please! The rooftop view from one of the many hotels along the malecon. And we went to the market again for more fruit and veg! Ash was enjoying our newly acquired Mexican blanket in the 30C heat!Water, lime and sea salt. Nature’s electrolyte drink!The water taxi took us to Stone Island for a couple of hours. By the looks of the photos Ashley did research and Richard ate coconuts. Pozole from the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We went to the church and ate what the locals were eating. Pozole is a celebration dish served with meat, hominy, and veggies. Here is a great article from Honest Cooking on the somewhat disturbing history of the soup, along with a recipe. And then we had dessert. Ashley fighting off her nutritionist demons. And then we had a second dessert. No joke. The food and desserts were out of this world so we couldn’t say no. These are called gorditas (which roughly translates to “little fat one/girl”… uh oh) and were filled with strawberry jam and the other with cajeta, which is essentially dulce de leche made of goat’s milk and sugar.