I love to travel with my mum, and one of her most favorite trips is a 7-day Mexican cruise leaving from San Diego. There are several cruise ship companies that leave the greater Los Angeles area too, heading south to ports including Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. I think I’ve been on five of these trips so far, and my favorite place along the Mexican coast is the town of Mazatlan.
When a cruise ship docks in this town, you can leave the ship and enjoy the area around the port where there are vendors selling all of the typical tourist art, jewelry, postcards, and there’s even a bar! So many tourists never leave this comfortable enclave. Other people buy tour packages through the cruise company and hop on tour buses and take off to pre-planned adventures. What I enjoy doing is taking a walk from the port to the center of the town.
There is a large ex-pat community that supports the tourists by lining the street corners along the “Blue Line.” This is, quite literally, a blue line painted in the middle of the road. Pods of expats line the route, stationed on corners to and ready to share maps and point the way to key sights like the historic city center, the beach, the cathedral, and my favorite, the central Mercado.
You can find everything from fresh food like meat and produce, to dried herbs and packaged goods. There are also clothing vendors and taquerias and home goods, jewelry dealers and tourist trinkets. For me, the biggest draw is the tiny delicious bananas with smooth creamy, naturally sweet flesh.
The Market is surrounded by stores and shops, so if you’re looking for shoes, fabric, fine clothing or electronic products can find them within walking distance. I always seem to be tired after a day of walking around the town and finding a golf-cart style taxi at the market is quite easy. The last time I was there, it was a mere $5 to take me back to the port and board the ship after a colorful, fun, and delicious day!
Visit the Mercado website for more details.