Spread along a peninsula at the foot of the Sierra Madre, Mazatlan, known as the "Pearl of the Pacific," is the largest Mexicanport on the Pacific Ocean. The beauty of its setting and its warmwinters have made it an extremely popular resort. For over fourcenturies, Mazatlan has welcomed weary pioneers, wandering seamen and,lately, many sunburned tourists.
Although Mazatlan wasdiscovered by Spanish explorer Nuno de Guzman in 1531, its earliestinhabitants were a people named the Totarames. Elaborate, detailedpottery remains are evidence that theirs was a sophisticated culture.
Mazatlan'sgovernment was established in 1837. The town developed into a notableseaport bolstered by the Germans and Chinese; hints of both thesecultures still exist in the area. Local lore maintains that the hillsaround Mazatlan are filled with silver and gold that was buried by themany pirates vying for this territory in the 1700s. The city prosperedunder Porfirio Diaz; it later suffered during the depression, butflourished again when tourism started to pick up in the 1960s. Today,fishing and tourism provide most of the jobs that support Mazatlan'shalf-million inhabitants.
Beginning from Olas Altas, apromenade curves around the bay. It is a popular place for strollingand features a number of hotels and restaurants. A favorite pastime forresidents and visitors alike is watching the spectacular sunsets.