Revisiting Mazatlan, The Pearl of the Pacific. Staying at Las Jaibas RV Park
Moving On 1
Spending another Winter in wonderful Mexico
Follow along with our adventures in Jennie the RV and Willie the Jeep
One final gorgeous sunset in Las Glorias then on down the road the next morning.
We left for Mazatlan about nine a.m. and took the toll road MX15D from Guasave. It was a very good highway mostly divided with two lanes each direction and big shoulders. This was a very expensive stretch of 225 miles. It cost almost $70. Seemed like there was a toll booth every 30 kms. The main reason we took it was to avoid driving through Culiacan. Just after passing south of the Tropic of Cancer we took the Mazatlan Playas exit and arrived at Las Jaibas RV Park around two p.m. Weíre parked in the back again where the spaces are bigger and there are fewer RVs.
Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
Las Jaibas RV Park
Las Jaibas has Wi-fi that works pretty good this year even in the back. It has a restaurant that is open for breakfast and lunch, a laundry facility that I think is expensive 60Pesos a load - that includes washer and dryer. There is a small book exchange in the office. You can pay by the day, week (cheaper) or the month (cheapest). The restrooms are convenient and clean. This is a very quiet park, no close discos. The beach is across the street and easy to walk to. And there are busses or taxies running up and down the street all the time for easy access into the town.
The northern part of Mazatlan where Las Jaibas is has mostly newer high rises - condos and hotels and about four RV parks. Aveneda Sabalo Cerritos is a nice divided tree lined street that takes you right to MX15D without going through town.
In town there is a Wal*Mart, a Samís Club (have to pay for parking there), Soriana, Mega and Ley grocery stores. The Mega is the most expensive but the nicest. The Soriana on Calzada Rafael Buelna makes churros in the bakery department every evening after 5:00. Also on the same streets are Auto Zone, Home Depot, Office Depot and Office Max.
Within an easy days drive there are a lot of little towns to visit. As you can see from the list at the top of the page we've been to most of them. Other than saying they are all worth the trip I won't go into their virtues on this page.
As for Mazatlan itself there are several different areas to the city - Cerritos, the Marina, the Hotel Zone and the Golden Zone - think tourists, the Malecon, the Centro Historical, Plazuela Machado to mention a few worth the visit.
Things we've done and places we've been on this trip - Mexico 2009
Continuing south from the Marina on Calzada Camaron Sabalo to Avenida del Mar you pass through a more populated area. I call it The Hotel Zone. This is mostly beach front hotels and condos, small shops i.e. laundries, money exchangers, little markets for groceries, beer and clothing. Quite a few souvenir shops and lots and lots of restaurants - one, Fat Fish is excellent if you want steak or BBQ'd ribs. But get there early or it will be full. Some like Gus Gus have entertainment weekend nights. Señor Frog's main night club is in this area. A couple blocks east there are safe residential neighborhoods with Mexican and foreigners living side by side. All within walking distance to the beach.
Busses, taxies, and the ever present pulmonias roar up and down this section of street - tourists hanging on for dear life.
Coming from the north as you leave the toll or Libre roads at the Playas exit you drive west on a newly repaved road past the Emerald Bay resort to the traffic circle in Cerritos. Continuing around the circle heading south you will be on an excellent divided road, Avenida Sabalo Cerritos. From anywhere on this road it is an easy drive or bus ride into town. There are many gated community homes, high rise condominiums, time shares and hotels along the northern beaches. And more being built all the time. Several restaurants have opened in the area. The beach can be accessed by feeder roads. This section of town has four RV parks; including Las Jaibas. This is a quieter area to stay away from the hustle and bustle of downtown traffic and night clubs.
As you continue south Sabalo Cerritos ends at Marina Mazatlan; you turn inland and go over the bridges around the marina. The Mazatlan Marina is still being improved on. When it is completed it will be the largest marina in Latin America. Very expensive homes in more gated communities are in this area. Also several condos fronting the water.In fact we looked at a condo for sale n this area. It was beautiful but expensive. It seems like daily new restaurants and shops open up. One nice restaurant right on the marina is Gus Gus - on Wednesday nights they have good entertainment - Rafeal Rodreguez. There are a couple of golf courses and of course boat slips there. And lots of BIG boats.
Back a ways from the water is a university and a huge convention center. The convention center has a magnificent mural on one outside all. Well worth seeing. Kind of three dimensional mosaic. Itís 82 feet high and the width of the building. It was designed by a 17 year old high school student. There are over a half million pieces of mosaic in it. All placed by hand. There is a guard there who might or might not let you stop to look at it.
Most of these tourists are rushing to the Zona Dorado or Golden Zone - the quintessential tourist area. Complete with fancy hotels, exceptional restaurants, casinos and night clubs. From the beaches in this area you can take a a boat trip around the islands, enjoy a sunset cruise or go parasailing. Or just check out the arts and crafts in the area. Scattered throughout are expensive jewelry and clothing shops and many, many businesses selling Mexico/Mazatlán themed gifts. One very interesting store is the Shell Museum. All kinds of shells and items made from shells are for sale. Upstairs is a big mural and fountain made of shells. Don't miss it. In this area we found
Applebee's, Burger King and McDonalds. Also car rentals, movie rentals, a nice big Mall the
Gran Plaza and two RV parks. Mar Rosa is right on the beach, California RV is right across from four
discos. This year both RV parks have empty spaces. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays when
the cruise ships are in the Zona Dorado is wall to wall tourists loaded down with shopping bags and
cameras. In this area too are the Voladores de Papantla (Papantla Flyers) who put on a awesome show.
With ropes attached to one leg the men dressed in exotic bird like costumes climb a 105 foot pole then
launch themselves backwards off it. They revolve slowly around the pole and the rope unwinds until they
reach the ground. You will find yourself holding your breath. On Saturday nights the streets here are
part of the "cruising night" route for the local teenagers with their radios on FULL BLAST. We didn't
spend much time in this part of town. Too crowded and busy for our tastes. Behind the Zona Dorado -
inland are large residential areas. Some very modern new sections like El Cid, some very old still with
dirt streets and tiny businesses of all sorts.
At the south end of the Golden Zone is a round about - If you continue to the second exit you will be headed towards the big Mega Market, Sam's Club, the Gran Plaza Mall and several automobile dealerships. We visited the Jeep place while there and had some work done on the transmission. Excellent service for a good price.
If you take the first exit you will be driving on Ave. Del Mar right along the Malecón - the famous boardwalk of Mazatlán. Here you can walk, bike or rollerblade along the ocean. The beach is quite a bit lower than the sidewalk but there is access at several points. There are lots of restaurants with tables under palapas right on the sand. This is an area of contrasts with abandoned buildings, brand new ocean view condos and hotels, older homes and restaurants and stores of all types. The Mazatlán baseball stadium is located just to the east. Older neighborhoods with modest homes surround the stadium.
All along the