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Old 03-23-2011   #16 (permalink)
aņejo
 
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Originally Posted by Rissask View Post
If you read the posts by locals and regulars on the Maz forum on TA, they also cannot really figure out why there is an advisory for Maz and Sinaloa in red ink at the top of that forum- but not one for Acapulco, Guerrero, which has seen more violence and incidents at local clubs and stuff than Sinaloa. And Guerrero has a travel advisory in place just like Sinaloa (at least for Canadians). Dumb.

anyway- I would not hesitate to head to Maz for a vacation- just use regular precautions like normal. It might be a good idea to avoid any of the seedier seeming clubs late at night, even in the tourist zone (based on what I have read on that forum)- but you likely wouldn't be going to those anyway!

I think the only real incident was an ex pat/long term stay fellow from BC who hot accidentally shot in the leg, hit by stray gunfire during a shootout. It was in the tourist area, unfortunately. But the guy even said he was still going to visit Maz. So there you go.

Maz is one place we've never been to yet, and still want to travel to. Have fun.
We were caught on the edge of a random murder spree when we were in LA last May (at the end of our cruise). We walked for breaky the day before we left and I noticed a LOT of helicopters hovering over us, and chalked it up to a car accident or something . It turns out some guy went on a killing spree & they reverse dial 911 called all the residents of the area to tell them to stay inside. Too bad the Westin employees didn't think to say something to me as I walked out the door with my 2 kids Anyways, shit happens everywhere, so I won't let it keep me home. I pack a good attitude and my common sense
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Originally Posted by kenneth121 View Post
I have been to Mazatlan three times since 2008. My father in law was living there in the winters so we went to visit him and went back twice more because we liked it so much. It is very inexpensive, you can rent a beachfront condo for $700.00 per week, has great restaurants and very friendly and helpful locals. The beaches are of course nothing like the Caribbean side, but they are quite level and the sand packs down well so it is very easy to walk along the beach for miles. The Ocean in the Golden Zone, where the three islands provide some shelter from the waves, is safe to swim. The water is a little cool and not clear but it is fun to splash around in the surf especially with a boogie board.

The downtown or centro area is quite unlike anything you will find in any other Mexican beach town. Many of the buildings date back to the nineteenth century and have been restored in the past decade or so. Visit the cathedral, the Mercado Centro (definitely a cultural experience), the Teatro Angela Peralta and the Plaza Machado.

Unfortunately violence has definitely increased in the past year or so. Not crime aimed at tourists, which remains very rare, but some kind of gang war over control of the city, primarily the port facilities I would guess. There were over 300 murders in the Maz area in 2010, and it has not decreased this year. I still felt perfectly safe the last time I was there ( in March of 2010) and would go back tomorrow if I had the chance.

People who don't like Maz say it is dirty and not "nice" while those who like it say it is a real Mexican city and not just a tourist town. These things are just flip sides of the same coin and both true. Mazatlan is not pristine, but I have never been to any large city that is. It is on the other hand a very interesting place.
I tend to like real Mexico more than vacation Mexico, although both have their place. Our 1 day in Mazatlan we spent on Stone Island and LOVED it! My kids weren't a fan of the bathrooms but they got over it.



Great pics catnhat! And thanks for the links, I'll definitely read them when I get a chance to translate them.

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Originally Posted by Rissask View Post


Too many of the 'regulars' on TA forums do that. It's too bad, IMO.

There should be a middle ground between the 'don't go there, it's totally unsafe, people are getting shot left and right!' contingent (who usually don't have a clue anyway) and the other end of the spectrum with their heads in the sand, denying and/or brushing under the rug everything negative that happens.

I feel the same about Zihua.....yes there has been troubles there, but as a tourist you are still quite safe, just use your brain.

Nice pics, Sylvia.
So true about people being extremes one way or another. I tend to downplay things more than think the sky is falling, and I need to keep it in perspective.

I really want to go to Zihua as my uncle stays there 5 months and 29 days a year He will be back in AB before we leave though, and the flight deals I am finding are strictly to Mazatlan.

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Originally Posted by jevans View Post
I used to live in Mazatlan. I wouldn't recommend over many of the other wonderful resort towns on the Pacific side. It's a little more run down and their are a ton of American college students that visit during that time of year. If you were to primarily stay at the resort then it might be worth it.
Manzanillo itself is the same way. More industrial and busy. The best part about Manzanillo are the number of smaller towns up and down the coast nearby that you can stay at or visit.
I've also lived in Puerto Vallarta and that is my choice for vacation. It's full of culture and tradition and the beaches are much nicer than Mazatlan.
Here are some pictures of some of the towns on the Pacific side. Granted, they are a few years old but the areas are still semi similar.

http://www.playa.info/playa-del-carm...-pix-past.html
Eeeek, I'm not a "stay in the resort" kinda gal, so you've got me a little worried! Although my adventures have gotten me lost in an authentic Mexican meat market (...indoors...38c...), I still prefer to venture out than to stay put. I do like to relax by the beach and pool, but I also like to look around the places we visit.
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Old 03-23-2011   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kenneth121 View Post
American college students in May? That is final exam time, not spring break, at most colleges isn't it? Mazatlan has not been a major spring break destination for years. It attracts a lot of retirees from Western Canada these days.

Nothing could be more subjective than the relative niceness of beaches in different locations, but I know many people who would strongly disagree with the statement that PV has better beaches than Mazatlan.
I'm not sure when the US students have their exams. I'm a Uni student up here, and our semester ends at the end of April, with summer sessions starting in May. That is actually why I want to go at the beginning of May, so I don't miss too much class. And I work in an industry that gets really busy in April, so after a ball busting work season, and then final exams, I need a break

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Originally Posted by caramba View Post
I've been to Mazatlan a couple of times, once about 20 years ago, in February, after my cousin's wedding (a couple hours away in Cosala, Sin.), staying at the original El Cid on the beach. The last time was in early December, around 10 years ago, staying in a 2 bedroom condo at El Cid Marina. That was really nice, but a little hike into town (we didn't have a car), however we got around very easily in the pulmonias (even to the airport). That trip we also spent a couple extra nights, in the old town/Olas Altas area which was fun, and then on the beach in the Motel Marley, a cute, inexpensive little place that I loved.
I will agree with kenneth121 that I preferred the beaches in Mazatlan to PV- that being said I loved the charm of PV, and the restaurants.
I'd go back to both Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta but would like to explore some of the other Pacific coast towns as well.
We hired a driver to take us up to Punta Mita when in Maz last time and loved it- loved the great waves for boogie boarding (my surfing days are long behind me)- it was the best I've ever experienced. I'd like to make it up a little further to Sayulita sometime.
Interesting! We also went to PV on the cruise ship, but on that day my girls were super grumpy, and we didn't really get to explore. That was definitely the downfall of being the only adult on that trip!


My eldest daughter wants to try surfing Maybe I'll try it with her!
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Old 03-23-2011   #18 (permalink)
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Hi there Jesus! How is 'Smogcity' these days? Can you only drive on certain days, still?.
Hi
Sorry totally but here we go

Well, not me anymore. I got a new car.
If you pass the emission test you can drive everyday. If your engine is not that good and the level of pollution is above certain standars, you get a different sticker depending on the severity.
If your car is more than 10 years old, no matter the emission level you have the hardest ban.

Sticker 00 - can drive everyday, only have to test every 2 years (the rest test every 6 months)
Sticker 0 - can drive everyday
Sticker 1 - have restrictions, not driving once during weekdays plus once a month on weekeds.
Sticker 2 - ouch. More severe restrictions.
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Old 03-23-2011   #19 (permalink)
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Jo- you should be able to get decently priced flights to Puerto Vallarta at that time, too, or not?

If so- definitely look at going to Sayulita, as others mentioned...it has gotten a bit too busy at times in high season in recent years, it is a small town and bay/beach, and fills up fast, and has a victim of too much popularity. But in May it shouldn't be THAT crowded, and would be a great choice....very 'Mexican' and the kids can boogie board and learn to surf.
A lot of people like Bucerias just north of PV too, I think the beach is too rough and the water not very nice, like PV- but some people love it there.

Also if you can get a cheap flight to Mananillo, look at going to Barra de Navidad or La Manzanilla....small and both very much authentic too. Barra is by far the more touristy of the two, a really unique place in Mexico, we loved it.
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Old 03-23-2011   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jesus View Post
Hi
Sorry totally but here we go

Well, not me anymore. I got a new car.
If you pass the emission test you can drive everyday. If your engine is not that good and the level of pollution is above certain standars, you get a different sticker depending on the severity.
If your car is more than 10 years old, no matter the emission level you have the hardest ban.

Sticker 00 - can drive everyday, only have to test every 2 years (the rest test every 6 months)
Sticker 0 - can drive everyday
Sticker 1 - have restrictions, not driving once during weekdays plus once a month on weekeds.
Sticker 2 - ouch. More severe restrictions.

Thanks for the info! I am glad you got a new car, whoo hoo, you can drive every day!!
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Old 03-24-2011   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Rissask View Post

Also if you can get a cheap flight to Manzanillo, look at going to Barra de Navidad or La Manzanilla....small and both very much authentic too. Barra is by far the more touristy of the two, a really unique place in Mexico, we loved it.
If you find Barra de Navidad too touristy, there is the alternative to head to San Patricio Melaque just a few minutes to the north, there are trailer parks but the shops are more "locals" oriented (or were, at least 11 years ago when I was working in the area).
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Old 03-24-2011   #22 (permalink)
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If you find Barra de Navidad too touristy, there is the alternative to head to San Patricio Melaque just a few minutes to the north, there are trailer parks but the shops are more "locals" oriented (or were, at least 11 years ago when I was working in the area).

We walked to Melaque from Barra, actually!

I wrote about it in my Barra trip report.

Melaque/Barra reminded me a bit of La Penita/Rincon de Guayabitos....one more touristy town with the 'real working town or city' in the same bay. Good set-up.

We must have hit both of them on off days, though....both were sort of sad, dusty and had a realy neglected, abandoned feel to them. We far preferred Barra over Melaque- intimidating crowds of young Mexican surfer dudes and all!

Now, La Manzanilla, we liked!
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Old 06-24-2013   #23 (permalink)
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I love Mazatlan, but I hate the fact that it doesn't seem to be much to do there
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Old 06-25-2013   #24 (permalink)
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The last time I went to PV about 10 years ago we took a trip out to Punta Minta (we had been on our previous trips) and the Four Seasons had pretty much taken over the entire area. The little village on the peninsula was totally gone.
I always liked staying in the mountains on the south side of town. However, I thought the best beach in the area was Destiladeras north of town.
The town has taken on the name Gay Vallarta for a reason. Our hotel was next to a gay hotel and it was eye opening. Not a big deal, just not whatI was used to.

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Originally Posted by caramba View Post
We hired a driver to take us up to Punta Mita when in Maz last time and loved it- loved the great waves for boogie boarding (my surfing days are long behind me)- it was the best I've ever experienced. I'd like to make it up a little further to Sayulita sometime.
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