With a population of 440,000 (city) and 490,000 (municipality), Mazatlán is the second-largest city in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico.
Mazatlán was first inhabited by different indigenous peoples native to western coastal Mexico including the Acexee, Cáhita, Pacaxee, Tahue, Totorame and Xixime. Mazatlán is a Nahuatl word meaning "place of deer". Nahuti was the regional language before the Spanish conquest. By the mid-19th century a large group of immigrants had arrived from Germany. These new citizens developed Mazatlán into a thriving commercial seaport, importing equipment for the nearby gold and silver mines.
In 1832 a sea wall was constructed along Olas Altas beach, drying up an inland estuary where the historic downtown area was eventually built.
The city has seen some turbulent times. During the Mexican-American War (1846–48) the U.S. Army took the city and, in order to avoid its shelling, the Mexican army abandoned it. Almost twenty years later, in 1864, a French man-of-war fired on the city over 300 times then blockaded the port for seven months. For a brief time Mazatlán was part of the Second Mexican Empire under Maximilian until November 13, 1866 when the Mexican general Ramon Corona expelled the imperialists from Mazatlán.
See mazatlantoday.net for thorough details on the city's history and other information.
Mazatlan is within 10 miles of the Pacific coast. Mazatlan is at about the same latitude as Honolulu. The weather includes a mild winter, and very little rain from the end of October to June. Throughout the year, temperatures generally range from 68 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Mazatlan is also known as the “Pearl of the Pacific,” and is Mexico’s largest commercial port. In fact, Mazatlan is one the largest West Coast seaports, behind only the Los Angeles port, and the Panama Canal. Because of the port’s size, it is a stop for many cruises, including many that travel around the world.