by Linda Kaye
San Antonio, Texas
January 10, 2002
Our choice of activities at Mazatlan was the Mazatlan Highlights and Papantla Flyers. After boarding a bus and being introduced to our local guide, we visited a beautiful Cathedral in town. It was a Holy Day and a mass was just ending. Outside the church was a festival with food, games and crafts for sale. We had about 30 minutes to tour the Cathedral and the immediate surrounding area.
In re-boarding our tour bus, it first appeared that it would require finely toned athletic skills to dodge the heavy vehicular traffic in the Cathedral area. NO PROBLEM. A local policeman was there making sure the "Tourist Guests" were well protected and stopped traffic for us. We drove along the coastline, pass several points of interest including the Two Brothers Islands. We watched a skillful and brave native dive from a high structure into the waters below. There were vendors selling all types of souvenirs while we waited to this spectacular dive.
Back on the bus, we drove through an up-scale neighborhood to an outdoor theater. There we were offered sodas, water or beer and watched a program that detailed the history and dances of several different Mexican states. The show featured both folkloric dancers and the famous Papantla Flyers.
Following the show, we were driven to the "Golden Zone", the primary tourist shopping area for about 45 minutes of shopping. Then back down the coastline, past "IceBox Mountain" and up, up, up a winding road to view the world’s second highest lighthouse and a panoramic view of the city. Our tour ended at 12:45, so we had plenty of time back on the ship for lunch and sitting on deck,watching all the activity in the Bay.
Other tours offered in Mazatlan included sports fishing tournament, Kayaking, Golf, Shopping and Walking Tours. The prices of the tours ranged between $29.00 and $110.00 per person.
The Chibcha Indians first settled Mazatlan and gave the city its name, which means "place of the deer", because at one time herds of deer wandered throughout the area. Mazatlan became a municipality in 1837 and enjoyed a surge of growth when a large group of German immigrants arrived. They established strong trade in agricultural and mining equipment imports. Mazatlan’s largest export is shrimp, with 40 million pounds shipped abroad annually.
On our driving tour, we drove through an area known as the shrimp market, with barrels of all types of shrimp, octopus, and other seafood ready for sale.
From journal Cruising on the Sea Princess