Mazatlan (Mah-Saht-LAHN), "place of the deer", is Mexico's second largest coastal city (after Acapulco). This destination nicely balances its double identity as México's largest commercial port and as one of the country's most popular beach resorts.
A long curved stretch of mostly underdeveloped beach separates the resort community from Mexico's busiest commercial port. This allows the two areas to co-exist nicely without interference.
Mazatlan has the largest port facility between Los Angeles and the Panama Canal, and is home to Latin America's biggest fleet of commercial shrimp vessels (over 800 boats).
Nearly 40 tons of shrimp are processed each year, making Mazatlan "the shrimp capital of the world". The sea's reputation as "the greatest fishing trap in the hemisphere" has made Mazatlan a premier destination for sports fishermen.
Mazatlan boasts miles of wide sandy beaches with rolling surf (quite similar to the beaches of Southern California). These beaches are lined with open-air bistros and bars.
Since the 1950's Mazatlan has been a major strength in Mexico's tourism industry. This resort has probably introduced more Americans and Canadians to Mexico than any other resort.
Cancun and Ixtapa were deserted sandbars when Mazatlan began earning a reputation for affordable and friendly fun-in-the-sun. As air service improved, the resort became more popular and has continued to flourish since.
Mazatlan has warm tropical weather year round. Annual average temperature: 77 degrees F or 27 degrees C. Generally, rains fall and temperatures rise from June through October, leaving November through May as the more temperate, drier season.
This resort has many events and festivities during the year. Mazatlan's Mardi Gras, in February, is the third largest in the world. Visitors can attend the bullfights every Sunday during the winter, or gaze at the second highest lighthouse in the world (Gibraltar has the highest).
For the sports enthusiast, Mazatlan offers the usual variety of water sports along with some of the world's finest deep sea fishing. Surfing is excellent as is hunting for waterfowl.