Press:Hunter Pub Inc Hunter Publishing (NJ) (March 20, 2007)
Author Name:Lougheed, Vivien
Color photos and maps throughout.
Here you'll find every practical detail on the Mazatlan area that you need, as well as town and regional maps and sound travel advice from an author who knows the region intimately.
Adventures range from cultural to physical.
Learn Spanish in Mazatlan's top language school, explore nature at Teacapan, or wander around the Piedre Labradas, ancient stone carvings lying on the beach at Estacion Dimas, just north of the city.
A walking tour of the city itself takes you to historic houses, delightful plazas, museums and gardens.
Surrounding towns - Tepic, Guasave, San Blas - are also covered.
Parks and reserves are given special attention, with tips for birders and nature lovers.
About the Author
Vivien Lougheed started wandering at age nine, when she got her first bicycle.
At 16, she discovered Greyhound, and took a trip from Winnipeg to Jasper, the farthest point she could afford at the time.
That first view of the Rockies stuck with her, and hiking became a passion, mountains a major destination.
She moved to Prince George so she could be closer to the Rockies.
In the early 80s she started to see the world; China, the Mediterranean, Central America, Africa and the Himalayas of Tibet, Nepal and Pakistan.
In 1986 her first book, Central America by Chickenbus, was published.
This was followed by a regular column for the Prince George Citizen.
Writing and travel became a blend.
Vivien started writing for magazines, "Chickenbus" went into its third edition and she wrote the Kluane National Park Hiking Guide, now in its second edition.
A trip through the Chang Tang, a prohibited area of Tibet, led to Forbidden Mountains, her only story book.
Hikes in the fabled Nahanni area of Canada's North West Territories resulted in her co-authoring Tungsten John, with her husband.
Presently, maps are forbidden - when Vivien sees one she is off again.
She now has writing deadlines to meet, deadlines that can't be completed on the road.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Introduction The lure of isolated beaches rimmed with palm trees brought John Huston to Puerto Vallarta in the 1960s to film Night of the Iguana.
His cast included Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
While working, the two fell in love.
Richard bought Elizabeth a house similar to his own that was perched on the side of a hill overlooking Bandera Bay.
The houses were across the road from each other.
The couple then built a walkway between the two places so they could visit each other more discreetly.
Elizabeth left Eddie Fisher, her husband at the time, and married Burton.
Their story became one of the great love stories of that century.
This romance resulted in thousands of people swarming to the shores of Mexico's west coast in search of sun, sand, palm trees and love.
Some even came looking for iguanas.
The Mexicans soon realized the potential of tourism and, with the help of international companies, built a first-class infrastructure of hotels, shops and restaurants around the bay.
However, not all visitors wanted what had been built, so they moved up and down the coast to little villages where they could ride horses or donkeys, snorkel among the tropical fish, trek in the jungle looking for exotic birds and animals, watch cliff divers perform or just lay where it was quiet and sip on tequila.
In the jungles along the shore, Mexicans built viewing stations connected by cables where tourists could swing like monkeys while looking for exotic birds and strange amphibians.
The usual adjustments took place.
Some Mexicans and tourists didn't like the environmental effects caused by chasing around in motorboats looking for big fish, building hotels on the beach, and bungee jumping off bridges.
Ecologically-sensitive practices were followed so that wildlife was protected.
Garbage was picked up and pollution-control devices were put on vehicles.
They left some of the jungle in its wild state and planted flowers in their gardens.
More people came.
Today, the west coast of Mexico is as popular as ever.
This is because it offers every possible recreational activity, suitable for almost any skill level and budget.
The area has both economical and lush accommodations.
The food is safe to eat and the bottled water, found in every hotel hallway, grocery store and cafe is safe to drink.
The crime rate is low in tourist areas and the locals are friendly, though the usual pressures of tourism often show.
But the best draw of all is that the price for a comparable vacation in any other tropical paradise is about twice what it is here.
The best time to visit the Pacific coast of Mexico is between November and May, when humidity and temperatures are down.
This is when most North American and European countries are cold.
It is also when the whales move south looking for warmer waters and when the migratory birds are passing by on their way to winter nesting grounds.
But Mexico also has lots to offer during the summer.
The Sierra Madres butt up against the ocean, offering relief from the heat just a few hours away by car or public bus.
At higher elevations, muscle-powered sports like hiking or cycling are possible any time of year.
Museums in the state capitals offer endless intellectual stimulation and the live entertainment often found in towns and city plazas is enthralling.
There are ruins to visit and architecture to admire, history to relive and exotic foods to taste.
Herman Melville, the author of Moby Dick, was in the Mazatlan area during the late 1800s.
There is a plaque commemorating his visit.
He loved the place and so will you.
The city of Mazatlan has everything from a Hooters bar to the symphony, golf courses to art museums, sandy beaches with good surf to quiet bays for kayaking.
It is divided into three sections.
Old Mazatlan is at the south end of the bay where the town started to develop for tourism in the 1950s.
The center part, New Mazatlan, which starts east of Del Mar Avenue, is where new homes, shopping centers and industrial parks have sprouted.
The Zona Dorada, or Golden Zone, is north of Rafael Buelna Avenue, and it's where you'll find big hotels, restaurants, discos, bars and souvenir shops.
HISTORY Anywhere I go I want to know who was there before me.
I want to know their stories.
20,000 BC - Icepack in North America recedes and landbridge is formed between Asia and NorthAmerica.
12,000 BC - Mesoamerica is populated.
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