The cruise ships have stopped coming to Mazatlan, supposedly because of the danger to visitors. I visited Mazatlan last in March 2011, and felt as safe as ever both in the tourists “golden zone” as well as in old town of Mazatlan itself.
Mazatlán is a city in the Mexican state of Sinaloa; the surrounding municipality, for which the city serves as the municipal seat, is also called Mazatlán. It is located on the Pacific coast, just across from the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula.
Mazatlán is a Nahuatl word meaning “place of the deer”. The city was founded in the 1820s. By the mid-1800s, a large group of immigrants had arrived from Germany. These new citizens developed Mazatlán into a thriving commercial seaport, importing equipment for the nearby gold and silver mines. It served as the capital of Sinaloa from 1859 to 1873. They also influenced in the music, Banda, which is an alteration of Bavarian folk music.
Mazatlán, with a population of 340,000 as of 2000, is the second-largest city in the state and Mexico’s largest commercial port. It is also a popular tourist destination, its beaches lined with resort hotels. A car ferry plies its trade across the Gulf of California from Mazatlán to La Paz, Baja California Sur.
In 2005, Mazatlán hosted and won the “Serie del Caribe”, which is an annual baseball tournament with teams from México, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic.
Every year, Carnival is celebrated during the week before Ash Wednesday. There are a lot of festivities, including the election of a Queen, parades, and balls. This is the third largest Mardi Gras in the world, behind the celebrations held in Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans.
Mazatlan is served by Gral. Rafael Buelna International Airport