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Mazatlán may be best known for its wide, sandy beaches and sporting activities, but visitors who neglect to sample the city's cultural events and attractions are missing out on a multidimensional destination.

Special Events in Nearby Villages

The weekend of the first Sunday in October, Rosario, a small town 45 minutes south on Hwy. 15, holds a festival honoring Our Lady of the Rosary, with games, music, dances, processions, and festive foods. From May 1 to May 10, Rosario holds its Spring Festival.

In mid-October, the village of Escuinapa, south of Rosario on Hwy. 15, holds a Mango Festival; call the Escuinapa Tourism Office (tel. 695/953-0019) or the State Tourism Office (tel. 669/981-8886) for details.

Architectural Highlights

Two blocks south of the central plaza stands the lovely Teatro Angela Peralta, Carnaval 1024, Centro (tel. 669/982-4444; www.culturamazatlan.com), a national historic monument. Built between 1869 and 1874, the 841-seat Italian-style theater has three levels of balconies, two facades, and, in true tropical style, a lobby with no roof. The theater was named for one of the world's great divas, who, along with the director and 30 members of the opera, died in Mazatlán of cholera in an 1863 epidemic. Some city tours stop here; if you're visiting on your own, the theater is open daily from 9am to 6pm and allows tours for a nominal charge. It regularly schedules folkloric ballets, along with periodic performances of classical ballet, contemporary dance, symphony concerts, opera, and jazz. This theater is the home of Delfos, one of the most important contemporary dance companies in Mexico.

The 20-block historic area near the theater, including the small square Plazuela Machado (bordered by Frías, Constitución, Carnaval, and Sixto Osuna), abounds with beautiful old buildings and colorful town houses trimmed with wrought iron and carved stone. On weekends, the streets surrounding the plaza close to cars, giving artists, musicians, vendors, and street performers a chance to set up shop.

The Plaza Principal, also called Plaza Revolución, forms the heart of the city, filled with vendors, shoeshine stands, and people of all ages out for a stroll. At its center lies a Victorian-style wrought-iron bandstand with a diner-type restaurant underneath. Be sure to take in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, at Calle 21 de Marzo and Nelson, with its unusual yellow-tiled twin steeples and partially tiled facade.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.