Five years of the good life in Mazatlán

September 20, 2012

I remember our first visit to Mazatlán back in February of 2007.  We stayed at Casa de Leyendas, and were introduced to lots of people and activities through the generosity of owners Glenn and Sharon.  Practically as soon as we got home we started planning another exploratory trip. Mazatlán had really grabbed us, that’s for sure.  To make a long story short (go to the Monthly Archives at left if you want to read from the beginning) we bought a house and on September 20, 2007 we drove in to town with our dogs and all our remaining worldly possessions in our minivan.

It was hot and our house needed everything – from water glasses to brooms to beds and lights.  We ran around like maniacs all day arranging for work to be done or buying things.  We schlepped everything in ourselves, learning quickly to save ourselves a parking spot in front with a couple of buckets.  It took us a couple of years to really understand that pretty much anything can be delivered for a small tip and that the hottest hours of the day are perfect for a siesta.

Once our house was on the way to some sort of order we enrolled in Spanish classes and started getting to know more people.  We found that our first impression was true – people who are attracted to Mazatlán are different – and that’s our kind of different.  We have made so many wonderful friends here – and that is truly what makes a place feel like home.


There’s something about this place that makes people happy.  Native Mazatlecos, newly arrived expats and everyone in between smile at each other.  I think it has something to do with the warm weather and almost constant sunshine – but there’s something else, too.

There are no big chain hotels here, we’re just a small city on the coast with fishing and beer being the main industries. It feels real to me.  Like we all are (or were) just regular working people here. Working people like to party, too.  If you are in Mazatlán very long you’ll get into the party atmosphere of Carnaval or El Día de la Música or Moto Week.  You’ll enjoy listening to banda music while sitting in a Pacifico chair under a Pacifico umbrella drinking a Pacific beer along with everyone else.

Living in a place where after school the kids bike to the beach with their boogie boards is pretty wonderful.  Sundays are family days – and generally spent at the beach. Weekend evenings are spent having a leisurely meal at the Plazuela.  It feels like a small town in many ways, especially since I live in Centro, the original historic center of Mazatlán.

Would I change things here?  Sure I would – but not too much.  It’s almost perfect as it is.  We’re not going anywhere, that’s for sure.

(Picture at the top of the post is the moon and Venus a bit over a week ago, and in the center is a spider on his web in our courtyard.)

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More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. Nancy, you are my Mazatlan life line! We hope to do exactly what you and Paul have done (sooner rather than later)! As soon as we are officially part of the community, my husband Greg and I will have to treat you both to a celebratory dinner, as we will owe you at least that, for all of the great insight you have given us!

    1. If you don’t mind me asking (if you do mind just ignore my question) What kind of camera do you have? I am thinking of getting a new camera and am not sure what to get….you always have great photos

      1. Andrea, You’ve got a great life going – but I sure love mine down here… Come on down for a visit???

        Renee, That is so nice of you to say! We would love to meet you and Greg – how exciting that you’re following the same path! What’s your timeline?

        Mary, Thanks so much – I woke up in the wee hours and couldn’t believe my eyes. I just bought a new camera, it’s a Sony RX10. I love it, even though I haven’t figured it out yet.

    1. I’m no sociologist nor philosopher, Nancy, but I think you’ve hit the nail on the head…about being “different” in loving Mazatlan. People can be themselves, locals AND visitors/expats alike. No posturing, no flaunting of wealth, no obsession with fads and/or fashion. Your previous post re. cessation of cruise ships NOT being a loss is spot-on, also. I’ve been on a couple of cruises…everyone disembarks with a sole purpose, finding cheap drinks and/or haggling for souvenirs. Sorry, didn’t mean to pontificate, but just wanted to say Thanks for your blog. It’s like a cool drink of sweet well water to me here in dry, dusty, frenetic red-state Texas. See you in a couple of months.

    1. Reading this makes me so happy. But reading your blog always makes me happy! As you know, we arrived in Maz within days of you and Paul and a lot of our experiences have happened in parallel. But Nancy, you have the wonderful ability to find just the right words to express all the complex feelings that we have experienced in our adventure here. I always find myself reading then saying “Yes”! Thank you.

    1. Nancy:
      I’m a new follower and just want to let you know how much I am enjoying your posts. My husband and I are forever discussing a home in Mexico, but we don’t agree on a location. He wants the ocean, I want an interior city (to have the sense that I’m living in Mexico and not just a beach resort). We have not been to Mazatlan, but when I came across your blog and began reading about your locale I realized it provided what we are both looking for; namely a beach for my husband and a colonial style city for me. We are planning a trip in the spring of 2013, and today’s post answered the question of where we stay. Thank you so much for all the great information and photos you provide – your blog is very appreciated. Thank you.

      1. Les, You are always so nice in your comments, thank you. Glad you’ll be back in town soon, too.

        Judith, I thought of you both as I was writing this, too!

        Penelope, That’s fantastic – and I know you’ll have a great time at Casa de Leyendas, too.

    1. The question I am asked most often by highland expatriates is how I can stand the heat on the coast — even in the winter. As you put it so well, it is because there are so many other things to enjoy to weather is simply in the background. I enjoy my trips to other parts of Mexico. But, more and more, Melaque is becoming home base.

    1. Congratulations on five years which I am sure have flown by. Now to just lay back and enjoy the next several years.

    1. Nancy and Paul,
      Saludos desde Nueva York.

      Congratulations on your 5 year milestone, or is it kilometer stone?

      I just wanted to take a moment to say how much I am enjoying reading your blog.
      I just spent ten days in Mazatlán the beginning of this month, and had a wonderful time, of course, despite the temperatures. I had read a few entries before my trip, but now that I have experienced the city and its people, I am reading all of your entries from the beginning in chronological order. What an impressive accomplishment. Felicidades. I will be returning for a few months in January (lucky me), so your blog helps me to learn more before my return. Is it January yet?

      Warm regards from Queens, New York

      1. Contessa, thank you… we are going to enjoy the next five even more I’m sure.

        Andrew, thanks so much for writing, it is always wonderful to hear from a new reader – and a new fan of Mazatlán. January will come very soon and you’ll love it even more than September. Saludos!

    1. Nancy – we will be in town in about 2 weeks for 1 short week. My husband and I are working on our own Countdown to Mazatlan – hopefully in about 2 years we can become Snow Birds. I’m enjoying your blog so much – it feels like home. Thank you!

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