Monday, November 9, 2015

One Day in Mazatlán from a Cruise Ship

Mazatlán Cathedral
Mexican Silver Chains
Located on Mexico's Western shore at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains and almost directly across the Sea of Cortez from Cabo San Lucas lies Mazatlán  The Spaniards arrived here in 1531. But it was really German immigrants, by the mid-19th century, that transformed the area into a thriving commercial seaport. They made fortunes by importing equipment for the nearby gold and silver mines. Today, it is still a major seaport for Western Mexico and exports over 40 million pounds of shrimp each year.

High-flying Diver
A city bus tour pointed out the history and much of what Mazatlán had to offer...and it is a lot! You have the standard site seeing or shopping...oh, and don't forget the food - the coastal Pacific has much to offer! But these were not the most dramatic parts to the city. 

Diver's Point offers a twice daily spectacular where a diver take a plunge from a platform 59 feet above the water. Not overly spectacular (I have seen cliff divers do well over 100 feet!) until you consider that  water was only 6 feet deep where he went in!

A View Out To Sea
For spectacular views of the open sea to the west, the tour progressed along the boulevard called the Malecón. The coastline is spotted with tiny, unoccupied islands. The day was brilliant with a clear, deep blue sky and a wisp of billowing white clouds.

Cathedral Basilica
After the orientation, our tour left us at the Centro Historico, or the Old Downtown District.  

Central to this area and completed in 1856, is the combined Moorish and Gothic designed Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. If the combined architecture styles aren't enough to differentiate this Cathedral, add to it the fact that it is the only Roman Catholic Church in the world that displays the Star of David from each of its 28 stained-glass windows.
The Cathedral's Interior

And speaking of those windows, on a sunny day, the light streams through, rendering some of the deepest red and green examples of stained glass that I had ever encountered. The red and green light strikes the walls, chandelier and floors of the Cathedral leaving vivid impression of its interior.

For shopping, Mazatlán has its Zona Dorada or Golden Zone. Vendors abound with handmade crafts and jewelry. Also you find some very nice seaside restaurants and hotels.

Bronzed Dolphins!
Mazatlán offers much too much to explore in just one day. If you are adventurous, there are zip-lines, hiking and deep sea fishing. Stone Island, only 10 minutes from the heart of Mazatlán offers a 6 mile long beach with restaurants, banana boat rides, horseback riding and a lot more. 

Mazatlán is quintessential a very good way!

But the Grand Princess sails on time!  We arrived back aboard just in time for evening cocktails, and prepared for another enjoyable evening sailing the Pacific Ocean.

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