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Trip Report: November 30-December 21, 2013

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Edmonton, Canada
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Trip Report: November 30-December 21, 2013

As always, our trip to Mazatlan went way too fast and now that we have been back home for a week, we are remembering some places we wanted to see and some restaurants we did not get to. There is never enough time in paradise. I will attempt to provide you with the highlights of our (my husband and me) trip.

The West Jet flight from Edmonton was right on time so when we arrived at the condo it was barely noon. Still lots of time to enjoy the day and take a stroll in the Golden Zone to get reacquainted with the businesses and the people. We got up really early on Sunday morning to stand on the curb to cheer on the marathon runners. They have us so inspired that we are thinking of walking the course next year. No runners here! We went for a quick breakfast to El Chilito and then off to The Vineyard Church for Sunday service. This is a great way to learn what the NOB's are doing to help in Mazatlan, and even pitch in for a tour to the dump or to one of the colonias.

I won't be able to remember all the restaurants we went to, but I'll give it a good try. No trip to Mazatlan is complete if not a trip to Panchos and it was fantastic, as always. We went on a Wednesday night, not knowing it was the last 25% discount Wednesday of the year, so the place was packed..........but fun. After missing the opportunity to go to F.I.S.H. in October, it was a must do this trip and we were not disappointed the first time so went back a second time. Both times we had shrimp tacos. We read a review on Mazatlan Messenger about the restaurant in the casino at La Gran Plaza so went there one day for breakfast..........for the best shrimp omelets! We enjoyed the breakfast so much we went back the next day for a late lunch. The prices for all meals are very reasonable and soft drinks and juices are free. We are not gamblers so didn't try our luck, but we noticed that the noise in the casino is considerably higher later in the afternoon than at breakfast time. We took in a movie at La Gran Plaza Theatre......better seats and about 1/3 the cost of a movie here at home.

We took the bus (or walked) from the Golden Zone to Centro a few times. We walked around the Plazuela Machado, the Mercado, and up and down the many beautiful streets. We had lunches at Water's Edge Bistro and Paulina's; both very good meals with WEB being outstanding in service, too. We did not get a chance to get back to El Presidio and have the vanilla chicken as we did in October, so will have to do that next time, for sure.

We had a great night at La Catrina to hear Dick Damron. We heard it can be hit and miss with him, and were lucky that this evening he was excellent. La Catrina has really cleaned the place up since they took over from Three Amigos. We went for our one night of ribs to Fat Fish and had lunch a couple of times at Ana's Kitchen,

We took the bus out to the marina to look around. There are a few restaurants there but we sat down at Christy's (having moved from the Golden Zone) and ended up staying about three hours. The music, the food, the scenery, the cheap beer (10 pesos a glass) and the servers made this a great afternoon. Another day we took the bus to the new Walmart and the Galeria mall. I'm not a Walmart fan but this store, for it's produce alone, was beautiful......actually, the whole store is beautiful. The Galeria mall is expensive, but we did manage to find a few deals on men's shirts at Liverpool.

We had a few breakfasts at our favorite place...........Allegro. I read some other comments that the service was not as good as it used to be and I agree, but still it was ok and the food was excellent. The burgers at The Saloon are great, as is listening to Ebano. The Saloon does not have the best location, but the food and service are really good, and if you buy something you can place a call to the U.S. or Canada for free.

Did we have a meal we did not like? Yes, at Playa Mazatlan. We have eaten there before and always had good things to report, but this time we both felt ill after our meals and vowed never to go back. We'll miss the great waiters there.

We bought groceries at Mega and made a few meals at home when we were just too tired to go out again and it is a plus preparing a meal while looking at the ocean. We found a great store that sells marlin and shrimp pate, a little ways past Home Depot, that has the best we've ever had.

Some days we just sat on the balcony for hours, some days we'd go to one of the hotels and hang out there..........our favorites being Emporio, Ramada and Inn at Mazatlan. We have had meals at each of these pools and never had a bad one.

We went on two tours........one with Fran and Laura from Sinaloa Adventures to a town called Cosala, a 3-hour drive. We stopped in El Quelite for THE best breakfast of the whole three weeks! The restaurant in El Quelite is one of our favorite and we try to get there once each trip to Mazatlan, The purpose of going to Cosala was to take part in the Candle Light parade in honour of the Virgin of Guadalupe on the eve of December 11th. The whole town shuts off all their lights and thousands of candles are lit along the streets of this "magical town" and all the townspeople join in the parade. I highly recommend Sinaloa Adventures.........we've never been so well taken care of.

We took a one-day trip in our friends' truck to Durango to cross over the new Baluarte Bridge. What an engineering sight to see!!

For the past six years we have gone to Mazatlan at this same time in December. This year we found the weather to be the very best, but maybe I am just prejudiced because, actually, we've been there every month except February and I always say the same thing about the weather......it's beautiful Everyday I commented on how warm it was and how gorgeous the evenings were, brought a jacket with me in the evenings and never put it on. We stay in a condo in the Golden Zone and love it there. We know the area really well and walk up and down Camaron Sabalo at all hours and have never felt unsafe.

I hope this trip report is helpful.

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1. Re: Trip Report: November 30-December 21, 2013

What a great report! It should be very helpful to future travelers. I have eaten at all the places mentioned--even El Quilete, and had the same type experiance--except of course, Playa Mazatlan. Your report should be very helpful to future visitors.

Edited: 30 December 2013, 15:30
Edmonton, Canada
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2. Re: Trip Report: November 30-December 21, 2013

Oops, I forgot one very important thing.......pumpkin cake! El Fish Market (the one just past Los Zarapes) has the very best pumpkin cake!! You have to try it!!

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3. Re: Trip Report: November 30-December 21, 2013

Can you remember which bus you took to the new Walmart and Galeria?

Houston, Texas
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4. Re: Trip Report: November 30-December 21, 2013

Thanks for the great trip report! I look forward to trying a few of the restaurants you mentioned.

Carson City, Nevada
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5. Re: Trip Report: November 30-December 21, 2013

That was a great read with lots of great information. Thank you!

Sylvan Lake, Canada
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6. Re: Trip Report: November 30-December 21, 2013

Thanks for reporting on what clearly was a fabulous trip! Glad you had such a great time and enjoyed such fabulous experiences!

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7. Re: Trip Report: November 30-December 21, 2013

Sounds like you had a fun filled get-a-way .. Cosala sounds like it would be magical.


Saskatoon, Canada
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8. Re: Trip Report: November 30-December 21, 2013

Super trip report. Gracias!

Oregon Coast, Oregon
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9. Re: Trip Report: November 30-December 21, 2013

Very useful trip report. Sounds like there are some interesting new places to check out. Thanks!

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10. Re: Trip Report: November 30-December 21, 2013

Great report ginger...especially the part about your trips to El Quelite, Cosala, and Durango Visitors to Mazatlan really miss out when they just stay in town, and it's amazing how much a simple day trip can add to your experience.