2012 Mexican Roadtrip: Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco to Mazatlan, Sinaloa



It was a 6 hour trip (441 km/280 miles) and we had to re-trace our drive up Hwy. 200 to get to Hwy. #15. After 1 ½ hours we were on a 4 lane, then 2 lane toll road with some bad spots. It cost M$401/US$30. The temperature was in the 90°’s. Garmin (Senorita Garmina in Mexico) directed us into Mazatlan on Calle Insurgentes and it was awful. The buildings were ugly and fully of graffiti. There was gridlock traffic and it was tortuous. We were told that routing was probably the best way into Mazatlan. We were staying at the north end in the newer area on the beach but our first impression was that Mazatlan was ugly. Additionally, it was flat whereas Puerto Vallarta had the beautiful mountains descending into the sea.

We stayed in the Marina Mazatlan at the Crown Plaza (Blvd. Sabalo Cerritos No. 3110, Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, tel. 669-988-0324). We stayed in Room 1606 for M$1466.44 or US$111. The room was big enough and when the air conditioning cooled the room it was pleasant. The room had a western exposure over the pool and with a full ocean view. In the room was a table with 2 chairs, a mini refrigerator and coffee maker. There was a sofa and a small low table in front of it. The TV was across from the sofa. (This is unusual and worth mentioning because too often the TV is in front of the bed and cannot be turned to face the comfortable seating in hotel rooms.) There was a king bed, a desk and allegedly free, Internet wi-fi. It didn’t work in the room so we used the Internet in the lobby. The bathroom was just big enough (with an adequate-sized shower) and so was the closet and the storage. Maintenance seemed to be lacking. The electrical outlet in the bathroom didn’t work, even after the technico came. We went to the beach area but didn’t go into the ocean because the waves were too big. We went into the pool and sat byi it for a little while. It was really, really hot out. The room rate included breakfast and it was a full, prepared to order one from a menu. We had a nopal and orange juice smoothie and a strawberry one too. Dimitri had oatmeal and Audre had the full Mexican offering with scrambled eggs Mexican style, frijoles and potatoes. The toast was inedible but generally the breakfast was very good. Using the elevators from our 16th floor room was annoying. They were slow and one was out of commission. The hotel wasn’t bad; it was just annoying.

When we were living in Los Labradores we met BC Marks and Steve Russell at a dinner party there. We had them over to our house for drinks and Audre's Whiskey Spiked Chopped Liver (a recipe from Sweet Basil in Vail) and wine. We drove them to Cafe Firenze in San Miguel and we had a lovely dinner together. They were living in one of the villas at Los Labradores for the summer because Mazatlan gets too hot in the summer. But they left September 15th to return to their house in Mazatlan (before they left on October 5th for Argentina). They invited us over to their house on our one evening in Mazatlan. We took a taxi (it was about a 20 minute ride) from the area in which we were staying to their house. We were really looking forward to our rendezvous.

Their house is in the Centro Historico and they renovated it and decorated it very well. After our house tour they brought us into the air conditioned kitchen and gave us a glass of wine. We were quite hungry but nothing was offered with the wine. After wine we went on foot to the main plaza and for a small tour of the center of Mazatlan. Mazatlan is in dilapidated shape, with some buildings having been renovated. Then we went to a bar where BC and Steve wanted to hear the music. We were still starving and ordered some totopos (chips) and were totally under-whelmed by the music. The bar was near the malecón and that was a lovely part of town. There is a long waterfront promenade in Mazatlan which is great. We met some friends of BC and Steve at the bar and from there, we all went to their favorite waterside restaurant. We saw the sunset as we were walking to the restaurant. By the time we got to The Water's Edge (Olas Altas 16, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, tel. 669-136-0895 in the Casa Lucila Boutique Hotel, thewatersedgemaz.com) it was almost dark. We had a nice time with their friends Bill and Jackie at dinner and the food was good.

We had good service by Arturoat The Water's Edge.  Alastair Porteous, Chef, came to the table to make sure everything was satisfactory (we like that). The Water’s Edge had a special Prawn Festival going on and Dimitri had the Prawn Festival Szechuan dinner (M$100) which he said was very good. Audre had the Crab Cake starter (M$80) and it was good. We had one beer (M$25) and 2 red wines (total M$75). For dessert we had one pastel (M$40). We spent M$320 plus tip and had a nice dinner once we got over being starving.

As we were driving back to our hotel in the taxi, we shook our heads in disbelief at how people could possibly offer someone some wine without even a peanut with it. We were very disappointed in their hospitality. They were just not our kind of hosts. The next morning we moved on to Los Mochis and parts north.