Exploring Mazatlán by Car

You know, it’s one thing to *read* about Mazatlán. It’s a completely different matter to *see* it for yourself, right?

So I took this quick video for you of Mazatlán while my husband, Dick, and I were driving around town. You’ll see McDonalds, Applebee’s, the ocean and a whole lot of other familiar places.

You would not believe how fast Mazatlán is growing – despite the slow economy in the U.S. In a lot of ways, Mazatlán is just like your typical vacation city… like Orlando or San Diego or Myrtle Beach, complete with all of the amenities that you would expect.

So without further delay, here’s my video, proudly (and simply) titled  “Driving around Mazatlán”. Let me give you a quick tour….

On the way to Rosario, south of Mazatlán, there is a small, quaint town called Aguacaliente. It’s absolutely stunning! Imagine a tropical paradise complete with banana trees, mango trees, orange trees and coconut groves. And guess what?! There is a natural hot spring! Those of you who know Spanish have probably already figured this out; as the name suggests (in Spanish) “agua” means water and “caliente” is hot. Thus,“hot water (springs)”.

As you go on, you’ll see Copala, a picturesque colonial village that’s nestled in the hills. It’s actually an ancient mining town with beautiful red roofs, and steep cobblestoned streets with lots of smiling, friendly people. It’s truly a place where time seems to stand still.

About twenty minutes from Copala, is a little German-inspired village called, La Capilla del Taxte. Are you a bird watcher? Then I have some news for you! Bird watching is the central activity here. La Capilla del Taxte is also a great place for scenic hikes through the gentle sloping hills. You’ll catch an amazing view of the Sierra Madre. It’s truly a dream come true.

Then… less that five minutes before you enter Concordia, off a little dirt road, we passed a colorful little school. The road was a little steep! We had to drive very slowly. There was a  concrete pillared, open-air structure shading the natural hot springs.

For the locals, these natural hot springs are a laundry center, where the women come to wash the clothes.

In fact, there are actually three nearby towns known for their hot springs: Garate, Santa Fe and Arrona. Not really large enough to be full-fledged hot springs, the locals call these tiny refuges “aguita calientes” or “little hot springs.”

Before I close this letter to you, my dear reader, be sure to visit Concordia, a beautiful town founded in 1565 as Villa De San Sebastian.

Once you’re in town, you will find a charming old town square. As usual, it’s right in front of a church…but this church is over 350 years old! In fact, it the oldest church in the state of Sinaloa. You will probably want to stroll through the many antique and furniture stands.

One final thought: Do remember to drive carefully, please…and enjoy the trip. And of course, be sure to check with the U.S. state department and your local expat contacts (which you can find on the Internet) to check on the local conditions.

What about you? Have you been to Mazatlán? What’s your opinion??

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5 Responses to Exploring Mazatlán by Car

  1. Ted Christos

    January 31, 2012 at 6:15 am

    Barbie… Yes I have been to Mazatlan . Probably over 20 yrs ago. What I’m really looking for, is a place to retire, within one year. Something in between, the Hustle and bus ell, of Mazatlan, but probably close to Mazatlan, near, or on the Beach, on limited income. Is this possible ?

  2. Rick (Ricardo)

    March 16, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Drive Update-
    I just made the drive from Mazatlan to Phoenix(3/8/12). I travel the Couta (toll road) and drive only during daylight hours. Approvimate driving time Mazatlan to Nogales is 13-15 (at 65-75 mph) hours. Total toll will be around $50-60 (it’s best to keep pesos in small paper denominations). In the old days I would drive straight thru to Phoenix but since retirement I like to split in in half and stay in either Hermosillo or Guaymas.
    Road Conditions-
    Roads were pretty good this trip. Always changing with construction. The worst section was between Cuidad Obregon and Navojoa (60 miles) where it was down to one lane each way.
    The Federal Policia (blue cars and trucks) set up random stops wherever they like. Personally I feal good about that. There are also agriculture. stops so I don’t pack fruit in my cooler.
    There may be other stops. I’ve found most of these stops uneventful. In most cases they are looking for drugs, guns or large amounts of cash.
    Plenty but I run on the top half of my tank.
    Feel Free to contact me if youRick have questions

  3. Barbie


    March 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Hi Rick – Just want to give you a very hearty THANKS! for the input! and for taking time to send me an email so that others have the info!

  4. Joe Butz

    June 2, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Just wanting information on safety in Mexico, seems like a lot of drug issues and drug lords and in fighting. Where’s best places to stay away from and are there totally safe areas one can retire in and never fear a problem?

  5. Barbie


    June 9, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    Hi Joe – several of my articles go over the same question. There are no guarantees, but basically the border towns are not so safe… Monterrey, pretty much the same…do check my articles. Most people right now, are looking at some of the Yucatan area – pretty safe. Barbie

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