Every city is made up of many neighborhoods each appealing to different lifestyles and different kinds of folk…and Mazatlán on Mexico’s Pacific coast is no exception. Here’s a rundown, from south to north, of what the “Pearl of the Pacific” has to offer.
Centro Historico / Olas Altas
Boasting that it’s Mexico’s only colonial city on the coast, here’s where you’ll find the gorgeous homes and plazas built during that period.
While prices have gone up in the past 10 years as more expats have discovered it, you can still find a completely restored two- or three-bedroom colonial house in the $115,000 to $200,000 range, often with ocean views from a rooftop deck, charming interior courtyards, original tiled floors, or high wood-beamed ceilings. Olas Altas is Centro’s beachfront neighborhood, bookended by two hills.
Homes here have fantastic ocean views and, while they’re close enough to walk to the shops, cafés, museums, plazas, churches, the theater, and of course, the beach, they are located above the hustle-bustle of the town below.
You’ll also find apartments, condos, and small houses, to rent or buy, all within easy walking distance of just about everything.
This is the tourist-filled hotel zone, with all the trappings—and noise—you’d expect. But go inland a couple of blocks and you’re in tree-filled neighborhoods like Lomas and Sabalo Country, where houses have yards, gardens, and driveways. You’ll find sidewalks that lead to parks, churches, and small tiendas (stores), and charming coffee shops, and taquerias away from the crowd. You’ll find homes, duplexes, and condos in the $140,000 to $190,000 range, and apartments for even less. The beach, with Mazatlán’s trio of islands just offshore, is a short walk away, just across the main drag, where a plethora of restaurants, bars, and nightlife await. Major shopping—Home Depot, WalMart, Sam’s Club—is less than a 10-minute drive or bus ride, as is the biggest hospital in town.
Billed as Latin America’s biggest marina, nonetheless there’s a friendly, personable feel that attracts voyagers who dock here for the winter or to stay year-round. Sunsets are particularly fabulous here, and landlubbers flock to the peaceful energy of the boats gently rocking in the water, the many restaurants offering vibrant nightlife and fresh-caught seafood, and the inexpensive condos and apartments, most with an ocean view. Shopping is nearby at the new and expanding Galerias Mall, which flaunts a state-of-the-art movie theater and lots of U.S. stores; WalMart is across the street, and the new Marina Hospital puts doctors and medical services at your fingertips.
Along the coast north of Mazatlán proper, everything calms down. One road, separated by a wide, grassy, tree-filled divider, winds its way to Cerritos Point, passing tall condo towers, a few gated housing communities, and some older, smaller condo complexes that sit along the beach. (Any now-empty lots won’t last long—more development is coming.) Those who live here enjoy the quiet expanse of ocean, complete lack of city noise and even a small-town feel at the area’s restaurants, coffee shops, and in their own complexes. The long, flat stretch of beach is perfect for walking, sunbathing, and swimming. Shopping and medical care is nearby in the Marina and a new stretch of the highway makes getting to the airport easier than ever. Small developments on the non-ocean side offer even more affordable duplexes and small homes in gated communities.
Off the Beaten Path
Stone Island, the coast south of Mazatlán, offers very rural Mexican village life, albeit with challenging access and limited services. At the far northern end of town is El Delfin, a long stretch of oceanfront dirt road with scattered houses and low-rise condos. And inland, away from the more popular coastal areas, offers a wide variety of housing in mostly Mexican neighborhoods, with lower costs for renting or buying.
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