Zona Dorada – The Golden Zone

Well, where to begin? Mazatlan sure was a trip. Many Americans head down there and stay in the Zona Dorada (Golden Zone) for their entire trip, and, I must say, they are missing out. However, having submersed myself into some actual Mexican places and events, I have to admit that coming back and wandering through this area was entirely surreal. This northern part of the city is to Mazatlan (for Americans) what the International District is to Seattle (for Asians). We went from feeling completely and obviously out of place (even in our own mostly-Mexican hotel) to blending in perfectly. On the plus side, we could use hotel concierges, beaches and bathrooms simply by virtue of our paleness. They can also connect you with more standard tours, ferries, and other mainsteam tourist activity if that’s what you’re into. On the downside, you could see how much the locals were frustrated by loud and obnoxious tourists first-hand. Once we had our (stolen) orange striped beach towel in hand from El Cid (the largest and most pricey resort in town – comes with its own attached country club and full golf course!) we had our gold-card to the Golden Zone universe (thank you Douglas Adams – you were right about the towel thing). Ironically, I think our time in the Golden Zone felt more subversive than our time spent infiltrating Mexican cultural events, restaurants, towns and beaches. More on those latter explorations later 🙂

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