Preview of my dream coming true: Mazatlan, Mexico

I can’t believe it took me this long to visit our neighbors south of the border. Being an East Coast native I assumed I’d be visiting Cancun or Playa del Carmen on my first adventure, but instead I was assigned to Mazatlan. Located in Sinaloa, this city is hugged by a fantastic, warm ocean and some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. They had a field day making fun of my Spain accent, yes ha ha laugh it up I know I sound like I have marbles in my mouth.

Besides that though, like seriously, Mexico is wonderful. All those rumors were laid to rest the second I met my insanely sweet driver for the week and the super helpful hotel staff who calmed me down after my luggage was lost. I met a woman from Bolivia who took charge as tour guide because she had already been there, and we were able to see a side of this city I’m sure many don’t experience. I had a lot of moments, like the time I was the only ‘gringa’ in a sea of a thousand locals at a beach-side Halloween party at 3AM, where I just though wow, oh wow, it’s all happening.

The full story will be featured in the winter issue of Canadian World Traveller, so here’s a sneek peak. The photos are out of order because, well, I have no idea what I’m doing.

Special festivities to honor the dead Part IV

Knocked this one off of the bucket list – witness Dia De Los Muertos first hand. They really went all out and had a massive party in the historical plaza, plus a parade with crazy Banda music. It’s a cross between Mexican Mariachi and German marching music – I know right?

Walking through the Osuna Distillery Part IITequila, except it’s not tequila. Only certain areas of Mexico are allowed to call it that, so this was Mezcal  Same thing though, don’t let the advertisers fool you!

Dia de los Muertos

Dia De Los Muertos again. Many businesses and homes had altars covered in skeletons, tortillas and pictures. Even the duty free shop in the airport had an altar.

Ocean and island views

When I first threw open the drapes in my hotel room I saw this and squealed like a kid at Disney World. It was just starting to get cold at home, so it was perfect timing. The resort is the Royal Villas Hotel and it was the best base for exploring Mazatlan – airy rooms, tasty breakfast and located really close to everything.

Sun goes down, stars come out

Some people stayed at the golf course, while I got this view. NO complaints.

Margaritas

Mango margaritas. At every meal. That is all.

Living like a local

This kid, rockstar. He was running around his parent’s salon and noticed I had a camera. We had an impromptu photo shoot with him checking every shot in between to make sure he looked good. “Otra vez! Otra vez!” “Again! Again!” We were in stitches, he is a born entertainer.

Hiking up to El Faro

He had tags but was all alone at the top of El Faro. Super friendly puppy, wish I could have spared a bit of my water, but it was like Satan’s bedroom up there and I thought I was going to pass out.

Elegant Marina El Cid

Being a guest at one of the swankiest gigs in town was definitely an experience. I wish I brought a prettier dress. The tourism board really outdid themselves and has everyone wear white to complete the look. We arrived and were greeted with a mango margarita and a boat ride across the harbor to this massive tent for more drinks, of course, and a four course meal.

A parasailing perspective

Parasailing was terrifying.  I HATE heights. But just like the kid egged on to lick that freezing pole by his peers, I couldn’t very well let the other writers show me up. So I did it and was rewarded with some of the most ridiculous views ever. Gliding along felt awesome, until I had to figure out how the hell to get down. Glad I still have all my limbs.

Sunset and horses

Adios Mazatlan, un beso!

In the near future I’ll share my London trip and maybe do a throwback to Spain, since it’s my fave. I got my press pass for the upcoming Boston Globe Travel Show in February, which will hopefully create more leads and more adventure! Here we go!

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About CrookedFlight

Eileen Cotter Wright is an American expat living in London, UK. She is a freelance writer and owner of group travel site PureWander.com. Despite losing her passport the first day she left her home country, she's continued to roam the earth with gusto for about a decade. Besides bolgging, she freelances for a variety of outlets, including Buzzfeed, matador Network and BootsnAll. You can keep up with her hot mess adventures on Twitter @Crooked_Flight and on her personal blog CrookedFlight. View all posts by CrookedFlight

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