Mazatlan - Chapter Three
31 March 2015
February 16, 2015
Neither Jay nor I expected to enjoy Mazatlan as much as we have. In fact, originally, Jay wanted to by-pass Mazatlan altogether and go directly to Puerto Vallarta. But, I had been here as a child and wanted to revisit the city my mom and dad once took me to when I was ten.
We still don't love the sprawling metropolis – as we aren't big city lovers – however, the town has made it incredibly easy to get around on the bus system which conveniently takes us into old town – the part we do love.
Not only does Centro Historico have great restaurants and art galleries, but it is home to the Teatro Angela Peralda. Originally opened in 1874, the theater went through a number of permutations and several owners and was most recently reopened in 1992 and declared a Heritage of the Nation. Today it hosts a number of artistic events, one of which we saw; the opera singer Maria Katzarava with Director Enrique Patron De Rueda and the Orquesta Sinfonica Sinaloa De Las Artes. Ms. Katzarava's performance was nothing less than spectacular and the orchestra, under the leadership of the director, was spot-on. The theater, itself, is a beautiful piece of art, designed in “Romantic 19th Century” with its interior “horseshoe-shaped Italian style”. (Honestly not sure what that means, but was part of the description on the website.) Buying our tickets late, we were relegated to the third balcony, but it seems that there isn't a bad seat in the house.
Several days later we were about to leave Mazatlan. But the preparations for the Carnaval created an excitement in the area that caused us to stop and say, “We're here. When will be here again? This is the second largest Carnaval in the world (next to Rio). Why leave now?”
So we decided to stay.
Not comfortable with large masses of people, we chose to book a seat at a hotel overlooking the malecon where the parade was to pass. For 470 pesos each we had front row seats (okay, second row) one level above the street. Included in that 470 pesos was all you could eat and drink for four hours. The best part – nobody in our hotel got stupidly drunk or obnoxious. In fact, the Carnaval brought out all generations of Mexican families. And hundreds of tourists. They estimated there were at least 200,000 people who descended on the malecon for Carnaval. In the parade, itself, there had to be at least, 50,000 people. All those people and yet no chaos. It was definitely the grandest, largest party I have ever been to and it was really great fun.
(See photos in gallery.)