Ozzie in Mazatlán

Last updated:    May 9, 2011 (PDT)

G'day, mate!

Culture shock

Mazatlán was the first place I stayed during my visit to the western hemisphere in 2003.  Hot and humid, everyone speaking Spanish, foods I had never seen or heard of before, and me looking like some rich tourist ready to be taken advantage of. I was in culture shock.  Big time.

I was helped by the friendliness, patience and politeness of the local people during my fumbling attempts at Spanish, trying to buy goods at the local tienda, ordering at a restaurant, or asking directions.


The light switches were a little different.  They are horizontal, so it took a little working out what was on and what was off.  (A subtle preparation for my life in the USA, where they are upside-down!)

One of the hardest things to get used to was walking on the right side on the footpath (sidewalk).  Invariably I would move to the left upon meeting someone coming the other way, and step right in their path.  Steve would gently remind me to stay on the right, but it took a long time to sink in.  I still tend to move to the left on staircases and escalators.

Crossing the road was a scary thing, as the traffic would come the opposite way from what I was used to.  I would look right then left then right and left again before I felt I could cross.  And then I had to be super careful, as in Mexico pedestrians are cut no slack at all.  This is the opposite of  the USA (or at least in Oregon), where they are treated like gods!


The use of the metric system in Mexico was a bonus.  I was able to translate kilos into pounds for Steve, and instinctively grasped the speed signs and the temperature readings.  As well, the date was written the same way as in Australia, with the day before the month. 

The weather was close to what I was used to during visits to Hervey Bay in summer, just a bit hotter and sometimes more humid.

Trip photos and webpages

Below are links to the various webpages I have made from my visits to Mazatlán, as shown on my What's Sheryll up to now? pages.  They range from a month-long stay after flying in (2003) to a day stop on a cruise (2005) to three longer stays after driving down from Oregon (the winters of 2008, 2008-9 and 2010-11).  I have listed them in reverse order so that the most recent is at the top.

Following these is a short list of useful links relating to Mazatlán.

Valentinos, Mazatlan

Mazatlán Memories: Fun Times with Dan and Gail (2008-2011)

Mazatlán (October 15, 2010 - March 15, 2011)

Valentinos, Mazatlan Mazatlán (October 25, 2008 - March 4, 2009)
Valentinos, Mazatlan Mazatlán (February 9 - March 20, 2008)
Zocalo, Mexico City Mexican Riviera (December 4-11, 2005)
  • Mazatlán (Dec 8)
Valentinos at Mazatlan Mazatlán (September, 2003)
  • The Golden Zone
  • Centro Historico
  • Photos - page 1
  • Photos - page 2

The good oil on Mazatlán

Forums on Mazatlán

Mazinfo - Yahoo group that deals with Mazatlán.  Search the archives for commonly asked questions about visiting or moving to Mazatlán, and you can post one yourself if you don't find the answer.  Very helpful and informative community.

WhatsUpMaz - Combines a forum and classified ad section, all to do with Mazatlán.  We have found our last three places to rent by posting on or reading this website.  A little more informal than MazInfo.

TripAdvisor - Read the Mazatlán forum to find info for a vacation in Mazatlán.  More designed for those who are planning a trip, but still lots of useful info and helpful posters.

MeXscape - Has excellent articles and insights on living, working and having fun in Mazatlán.  The writer is not afraid to be humble, and is able to rise above the problems encountered in a new culture.  There is also a forum, and even recipes.


Pacific Pearl - Long time monthly newspaper, in English.  Has articles, forums, classifieds and much more!  Pick it up for free in shops or hotels around Centro and the Golden Zone.

M! - Free English monthly newspaper with lots of articles relating to Mazatlan, restaurant reviews and more.  Available at the same places as the Pacific Pearl.

Mazatlan Messenger - Online English newspaper with up-to-date news, movie reviews and many interesting articles pertaining to Mazatlan.

Noroeste - Read about the latest killings, see graphic photos of the dead, catch up on the local news, find out where the potholes are, or see if the Venados won, all in Spanish.  You can buy the paper every day for 10 pesos from vendors on street corners at traffic lights or on bicycles with recordings blaring out the gruesome headlines of the day.

Spanish Language Resources

WordReference.com - Great resource, combining dictionaries with forums discussing individual words or phrases in Spanish or English.

StudySpanish.com - Has pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar tutorials, plus quizzes to help you move through the basics of learning Spanish, or to brush up on a particular aspect.

Google - Is your friend when you want to find out anything you hear about that you don't know what it means.  For example, WordReference.com did not have the word "changuera" (shrimp lady) but I was able to find it with Google.

Blogs and Photo Sites

Beyond the Guardrails - Lee Jacobs' website features photo albums of her trips and a wide range of photos of Mazatlán, including many vintage photographs.

Countdown to Mexico - Paul and Nancy's comprehensive blog about living in Centro and life in Mazatlán.

Mexico At Last - Sandie's account of life at the Casita in Centro during the winter months.


Mazatlan IS Paradise, by Charles Hall

Easy to read, positive book that gives up-to-date details of all aspects of living in Mazatlán.  You will find information on restaurants and hotels and a discussion of real estate and retiring here.  A first resource for those thinking of snow-birding or moving to Mazatlán.

Pacific Pearl Directory

Like a Yellow Pages of Mazatlán, but with extra info.  Worth buying if you are planning to spend any time here and want to explore.  Comes with a map section that you can detach and carry around with you.

Other Useful Websites

MazTravel - Henry and Nadine's website.  For years this was the place to go when looking for info on all aspects of living, retiring and buying a house in Mazatlan.  There is even a database of houses for sale! Enjoy their humorous way of looking at life while learning about Mazatlan.

mazatlantoday.net - Mazatlan travel guide and visitor information website.

Venados de Mazatlán - The local baseball team play at the stadium near the Aquarium.  The season is from October through till the end of December.  Tickets are reasonably priced (we buy seats in Central Numerado), and can be purchased at the stadium from 10am on the day of the game. The games start at 7:30pm on weekdays and 6pm on weekends and holidays.

luchawiki - Make sure you have at least one taste of lucha libre while you're in Mazatlan. And if it leaves you wanting more, this website has all you need to know about Mexican wrestling. You can even check out the bios of your favorite luchadores!

Cruise TT - Cruise ship schedule for Mazatlán.  Check out what's coming in to port, or make a note of which days not to go to the mercado.

Mazatlán Book and Coffee Company - Pick up the books I mentioned, plus more books on the Spanish language or living in Mexico.

Any questions? Please drop me a line at sheryll at sheryll dot net.

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