After many months of strict lockdowns and travel bans due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many destinations are slowly beginning to reopen their doors to tourists–but with new safety guidelines and protocols in place. One such destination is Mazatlán.
As of July 1, Mexico’s second-largest coastal city is once again welcoming visitors. And for those craving a vacation after being stuck at home for months, Mazatlán offers something for everyone, from foodies and active travellers, to beach-hoppers and history buffs.
A beach destination with a historic centre
Mazatlán, known as the “Pearl of the Pacific,” is situated at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains in the North Mexican Pacific Ocean. This is Mexico’s only beach destination with a historic centre. That means that in addition to numerous beautiful stretches of sand and natural attractions, Mazatlán offers an enticing blend of history and culture.
Internationally-recognized safety standards are in place
The city is doing a great deal to keep its visitors safe. Mazatlán has partnered with Preverisk, an international certification company to audit the destination. They consider the advice
of the World Health Organization, the Mexican Health Department and others. In addition, the World Travel & Tourism Council has awarded the destination with the Safe Travels stamp, recognizing the measures being taken in favour of traveller’s safety.
What to expect when you arrive at the airport, your hotel, and travel around Mazatlán
Safety measures start with a temperature check on arrival at the airport. You must pack enough face masks for the duration of your trip and wear one all the times (other than while eating, drinking and in your room). In addition, there will be enough washing and sanitizing stations available for frequent hand disinfection.
Laser scanners measure your body temperature upon arrival at your hotel, and your shoes and luggage are sanitized. Physical distancing will have to be observed whether you’re at the pool, on the beach, or on hotel property. Some services, such as bars, business centres, meeting rooms and events may be unavailable.
Mazatlán has 3 zones to explore
Mazatlán is divided into three distinct zones. The Golden Zone (Zona Dorada) in the north is where most hotels and restaurants are located. The Historic District (Centro Historico) is the historically-rich downtown area. The New Mazatlán (Nuevo Mazatlán) is home to many of the newer major resorts as well as two marinas.
The city’s must-see historic centre spans 180 blocks and recently underwent a massive renovation to revitalize the numerous 19th-century buildings and historic landmarks in the area.
Start your exploration at Plaza Machado, a leafy public square surrounded by colourful colonial-era buildings and open-air cafes. In the evening, the square really comes to life, with musicians serenading passerby and diners enjoying drinks overlooking the square.
You’ll also want to stop by Angela Peralta Theater, a restored 19th-century theatre named after the famed Mexican opera singer Angela Peralta. The renowned space stages a variety of performances. You can also tour the theatre to learn more about its history.
Sandy beaches and eco-adventures
When you do feel like stretching out on the sand, there are nearly 20 kilometres of beach encircling Mazatlán. Some are perfect for sunbathing or long, sandy strolls, while others are more ideal for watersports.
Easily accessible from Mazatlán’s Golden Zone are Turtle, Deer and Bird Islands. These islands are protected from development and offer eco-focused fun like the chance to watch sea lions on Turtle Island. A range of tour operators offer day trips to the islands for activities including hiking, swimming, snorkelling and kayaking.
Authentic local food to try in Mazatlán
You don’t want to visit Mazatlán without getting a taste of some of the region’s authentic
Seafood is something you’ll see on most menus, especially freshly caught shrimp. You’ll find it in the form of tacos, tamales, hash and the traditional aguachile (shrimp marinated in spicy lime juice). Don’t miss the pescado zarandeado–grilled fish prepared with an
unctuous sauce made from garlic, chile and mayonnaise.
For those looking for an ideal post-lockdown escape, one with an array of beautiful
beaches as well as a healthy dose of culture, history and authentic Mexican charm, Mazatlán is not only an excellent choice–but a safe one as well.
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