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Mazatlán

History

In pre-Hispanic times Mazatlán (which means ‘place of deer’ in the Náhuatl language) was populated by Totorames, who lived by hunting, gathering, fishing and growing crops. ‘Old’ Mazatlán, the traditional town center, dates from the 19th century. Tourists started coming in the 1930s, and in the 1950s some hotels appeared along Playa Olas Altas, Mazatlán’s first tourist beach. From the 1970s onward, a long strip of hotels and tourist facilities spread north along the coast. More significantly, in the early 1990s restoration efforts began on key downtown buildings, including the theater and other stately edifices facing Plazuela Machado. By 2005 the picturesque plaza had been transformed, and a year later work was concluded on the boardwalk and monuments of Av Olas Altas.