Known as the Pearl of the Pacific, Mazatlan is Sinaloa state's most important tourist destination. Mazatlan, which means "Land of Deer" in the indigenous Nahuatl language, was once a sparsely populated region teeming with herds of wild deer. Today, it has become one of Mexico's largest ports, and boasts the country's second-largest fishing fleet. Indeed, fishing and tourism form Mazatlan's primary economic activities; world-class venues in Mazatlan are matched by traditional 19th-century architecture and rich natural resources.
Mazatlan is located on the Pacific coast of Sinaloa, 135 miles southeast of the state capital, Culiacan, and 625 miles northeast of Mexico City. The city's airport, the General Rafael Buelna International Airport (MZT), serves 13 U.S. and Canadian destinations. Bus companies with service to this port destination from Mexico City and Culiacan include Primera Plus, TAP, Elite and Turistar. Baja Ferries runs a ferry service to and from several destinations on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Meeting venues in Mazatlan are led by the state-of –the-art Mazatlan International Center, which opened its doors in 2009. This two-story convention center offers 126,438 square feet of events space that is spread over 25 meeting rooms and spaces and several gardens. The convention center's biggest conference room can seat up to 4,520 and hold banquets of up to 3,500 people.
Mazatlan has 6,500 guest rooms in 40 quality meeting hotels. Among these, combining luxury resort amenities with a conference center, the El Cid Resorts offer 14 large event halls and conference spaces, the largest of which can accommodate 1,500 people in a 10,825-square-foot area. El Cid Resorts offers four different hotels with over 750 rooms and suites, a country club with a 27-hole par 72 Lee Trevino golf course, a yacht club, a spa and a multitude of restaurants and bars.
Activities in Mazatlan include water sports, such as surfing, kayaking, boating, sailing and sports-fishing. Mazatlan has two marinas and regularly hosts international sport-fishing competitions every year. Other outdoor and eco-tourism activities can be practiced in the Cerro del Creston, a small mountain chain where climbing is possible and group outings take place. Finally, the city's historical center includes some stunning 19th-century constructions, such as the famous Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.