There are two city zones that tourists see most in Mazatlan.

There is the Zona Dorado where newer hotels congregate and bars and discos service night crowds. The beaches are here as well as ten taxi drivers to every tourist and street vendors selling hats, sunglasses, ironwood carvings, jewelry, fruit snacks, hair braiding, whale and dolphin tours and anything that will make money.

Then there is the Zona Historico where you find old adobe homes built by the city’s founders, chic art galleries, restaurants, bars, shops, and boutique lodgings for visitors with money who like to sit on balconies reading French existential novels sipping red wine.

In the plaza just north of the historical district, where our taxi driver drops us, we discover a map of the Zona Historico on a wood sign.

Guarded by two pigeons, the mapa gives landmarks, streets with names, shows compass points, and points us in the right direction.

 All we have to do to get where we had wanted to be dropped off in the first place is go a little more to the south and west. In guide books it is mentioned that the Zona Dorado and Zona Historico are safe parts of Mazatlan for visitors from the north. 

The map breaks the centro into four quadrants and lists, with appropriate symbols, places visitors might find of interest. There is a hospital, post office, and cultural museum within a few blocks of where we stand. The dock where cruise ships land is also close. There are government buildings scattered liberally in this district as well as homes on the National Historical Preservation List.

Dave takes a picture of it with his I phone and keeps us where we want to be the rest of the morning.




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