Mazatlán Tips and Hints
about the Water?
The hotels in the Golden Zone claim to have
purified internal water systems, so you can use the water
there just like at home. But everywhere else, only drink
bottled water (available almost everywhere). Almost all
restaurants serve only purified water and ice cubes. When
in doubt, ask.
The standard tipping at
restaurants is 10-15%. There is generally no tipping at
the taco stands or food carts. Bars and cantinas are
usually 10-15%. Same with taxis or with Pulmonias (although locals don't
usually tip in taxis and pulmonias unless they are taking you around on
a sightseeing tour). Of
course, any extra service welcomes your extra tips.
All banks are open Mondays
through Fridays. Some are open Saturday mornings. Our
favorite in the Golden Zone and Downtown for consistently
getting the best rates is Bancomer. However, the
"Casas de Cambio" exchange places in the Golden
Zone also give very good rates and the best thing is that
they all post their exchange rates so it is easy to shop
Pay phones will take
either coins or pre-purchased Ladatel cards. If you are phoning the U.S.
or Canada, rates vary incredibly and it seems to be
cheapest to either use your calling cards such as
AT&T, or call collect. With an AT&T card, or
placing a collect call, dial **01 to bypass the Mexican
system and you'll connect to an AT&T operator. To
connect with a Canadian operator: 95-800-010-1990. Always
ask at your hotel what their rates aresome are
It is worth putting postcards in envelopes
before mailing as postcards sometimes go astray! The post
office is located downtown across from the cathedral and
to the left. Hours are 9-5 weekdays, and 9-1 on
There are now cyber cafes on just about
every block in the downtown area and in the Golden Zone. Rates have
continued to drop as more locations opened and are currently 10-15
pesos an hour downtown and a little higher in the GZ.
Life on the beach in the
Golden Zone includes dealing with all kinds of vendors.
Negotiating a price is expected. Once a price is given,
counter offer about half of their price. You'll go back
and forth and end up somewhere in the middle. We price
items at least three different places before buying. But please treat
these vendors with respect! I watch them trudging up and down the
beaches walking on sand all day hauling their goods in the heat and
humidity. I've seen these same great people on the bus going home for
the day. They may be exhausted and perhaps have been abused by rude
tourists all day, and yet I'll watch them stand to offer their seat to
an elderly tourist. Negotiating is fine...please just do it with
respect for the vendor who is not trying to rip you off, but is trying
to feed their family.
There are four main movie
theatres in Mazatlán. Ask your hotel front desk or check
the paper (Noroeste or El Sol) for movies which are currently playing. Most
times you can view current films with the original
English soundtrack (Spanish subtitles added). The theatres usually have reduced rates Mondays
through Thursdays until about 4:30 pm. Wednesday movies
at any showing are at a reduced rate.