Having landed safely in Mazatlan, we headed to Marina El Cid to meet Patrick’s parents for the holidays. We had arranged to have his parents stay in Marina El Cid Hotel while we acquired a slip in the marina, which worked out very well indeed. El Cid Resorts are sprinkled across Mazatlan and each has a different set of offerings to its patrons. The Marina El Cid Hotel and Marina had two nice pools, a Jacuzzi, a couple restaurants and bars to choose from. This was a little high-end for us but we splurged since his parents were visiting and it was Christmas, after all. We had decided to partake of a few tours during their visit. The first tour we went on was the Old Mazatlan city tour. It took us through the historical sections of Mazatlan and allowed us to explore the Mercado (open public market), Cathedral and town square.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
The Mercado Central in Mazatlan
Here we go! Trolley tour of Old Mazatlan
Our favorite tour was the Puerta de Canoas Tour and the Los Osuna tequila factory.
Los Osuna Tequila Tour
The tequila tour was very interesting and the farm in which the agave was growing was incredibly beautiful. The tour guide explained to us the process in which the agave is farmed, roasted, and then fermented.
Tequila bottling and aging facility
My most favorite part of the tour was the lush green and vibrant flora and fauna on the farm. The small buildings that dotted the farm were painted in bright colors that contrasted nicely against the deep greens of the palms and bright pinks and oranges of the Bougainvillea bushes. They were attracting a ton of beautiful and graceful migrating butterflies that fluttered amongst the brilliant back drop of the Bougainvillea flowers.
Bougainvillea and White Butterfly
Purple Bougainvillea and a blue butterfly
The old fashioned method for extracting nectar from the agave plants
The latest technology for chopping up the agave plants.
Pure tequila dripping from the still. 100% alcohol waiting for aging.
Our next stop on the tour was the small village of Puerta de Canoas. We visited a horse farm where they trained dancing horses, yes, dancing horses. These horses are hired for municipal and state events and parades such as Carnival and Revolucion Day. I worked on a horse farm in high school and have rode my share of horses, so I appreciated the hard work that went into training these very large animals. A couple of these horses were easily 19-20 hands tall while the trainer pushed 5’3” (including his heeled cowboy boots)!
After the horses danced, it was time for almuerzo (lunch). We went to a small family-owned open air restaurant where the lovely senoras provided us with a mortar and pestle, roasted chilis, garlic and tomatoes so we could make our own salsa. After we made our own salsa, they showed us how to roll and bake our own homemade corn tortillas. There is nothing better than fresh warm homemade tortillas, salsa, and guacamole. I think that was one of the best meals that I have had in Mexico!
Homemade tortilla lesson
Throughout Bill and Becky’s visit, we were able to enjoy several local restaurants in Mazatlan, including Te Lucy, which had excellent food and some of the best mole Patrick has ever had! We appreciated the personal service and the local knowledge imparted by the maître d’.
Te Lucy Restaurant in Old Mazatlan with Bill and Becky
Thanks to Bill and Becky for coming to visit us during the holidays. It made it feel a little more like Christmas having some family near to help us celebrate!
El Cid Morro Christmas Tree!