Mazatlán is a city of 400,000, Mexico's largest commercial port, and our first port of call on the Mexican mainland. Mazatlán is a pleasant surprise. Mazatlán has both a strong tourist industry and non-tourist activity as well.
Mazatlán has a first-rate harbour protected by islands and breakwaters. There is room for close to a hundred boats to swing in 8-10m, mud bottom. Club Nautico offers a dinghy dock, showers, laundry, and the other essentials for 30 pesos per day.
Seven miles north of the harbour are three marinas in a converted lagoon. The small entry channel between rock breakwaters is a tidal pass. The current runs four knots but many boats enter the channel while the tide is running. There is also a dredge in operation six days a week during daylight hours, but as it often anchors in the channel even when it is not in operation - trying to work around its complex schedule is pointless. Officially the channel is 8 feet deep but we found more than 10 feet when we entered at low water slack on a negative tide. The marinas are Singlar, Marina Mazatlán, and Marina El Cid.
We stayed at Marina El Cid in order to use the facilities of the attached resort. El Cid charges C$1/foot/night plus metered electricity. Rates are US$0.30/foot/night in June to September. The resort facilities are very nice but there is a lot of current and some surge in El Cid so chafe guard is necessary.
Singlar has a single dock for twenty boats. It is the cheapest and has a full-service yard.
Marina Mazatlán has nine seperate docks with slips for 260 boats. Both Singlar and Marina Mazatlán are much better sheltered than El Cid.
As a tourist destination Mazatlán was a treat. The economy in Mazatlán is much healthier than that on the Baja, so there are more and busier restaurants and attractions. We visited the downtown market and the Sunday-only Juarez market. The Juarez market covers many blocks and is more crowed with stalls and people that we were comfortable with. Mazatlán's beaches are quite nice. There are three main beaches, each more than mile long. The main, "gold zone", beach is busiest, but I preferred the quieter beach north of El Cid and the southern beach just west of downtown.
We met some friends from Victoria in Mazatlán: Chris, Martin, Russ, and Glen.
We also had Steven's sister Katherine stay with us. It was great to have her on board and we enjoyed catching up.
Finally, our good friends Lynn and Debbie from Dolphin Tales where docked accross from us at El Cid and we got to spend some good times with them too.