We were greeted by Walmart and Sam's Club at the port. It was as if we never left the U.S. Many parts of the city were in decay; there were abandoned buildings and construction sites but no historical landmarks to speak of. We went horseback riding through "villages and plantations" but it wasn't the least scenic. In the first few minutes, we rode past a crane that was relocating a pile of dirt. The villages we saw were hardly the kind of villages most of us would expect to see - there were satellite dishes and automatic sprinklers. The plantations were more like larger backyards.
We only had a half-day at this port so we didn't enter the town. We went snorkeling instead. The bumpy ride to the snorkeling sites was well worth the mild discomfort as we got to see Lovers' Beach, the sea lion colony, and the rock formations like the Los Arcos that Cabo is famous for. The water was a bit chalky for snorkeling but the friendly fish make up for it by swimming right past you. Bring your camera and go trigger-happy as you're guaranteed to capture memorable shots of the rock formations and the shimmering sea.
Mazatlan is a very beautiful city with an interesting history. We took The Best of Mazatlan tour so a comfortable air-conditioned coach took us to the old part of the city through the newer parts, making frequent stops at a good mix of scenic spots and some cheesy tourist attractions. Our favorite part of the excursion is the non-airconditioned taxi ride along the Malecon as we are returning to the port.
Pros: Each and every staff onboard made our cruise extra special
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