It’s winter and my mind can’t help but wander to a warm destination, as I trade the illumination of a computer screen for the warmth of the sun’s rays. As I’m writing this, I can’t help but think back to my weekend spent at El Cid Marina Beach and the city of Mazatlan.
I grew up taking road trips with my family for our family vacations. My recent trip with Sun Country was my first experience staying at an all-inclusive resort and I certainly don’t plan on it being my last! Needless to say, this trip was much different than those road trips I was used to. The rooms were spacious and we had the marina view with a large, connected balcony. As if this wasn’t luxurious enough, the ocean crashed against giant rocks with a perfect view of the sunset just outside our front door.
Perhaps the starkest contrast to those road trips of yesteryear was the hospitality so readily available. The concierge at the front desk answered any and all questions we had. The transportation staff helped arrange shuttles in between the other El Cid sister resorts. The variety of meal options available to us at the other restaurants as part of our all-inclusive package (I recommend La Concha at El Cid El Moro) was incredible. I was totally blown away by the level of service demonstrated by the staff at the El Cid Marina! The transportation staff even helped us negotiate prices with the pulmonia drivers, which is the way that I recommend you travel the city.
Speaking of pulmonias, another thing I loved about my stay at El Cid Marina Beach was its location. The hotel is outside of the densely concentrated resort area. This distance from the hustle and bustle was important, restorative, and made us feel like where we were was a bit more exclusive. Also, the luxury truly felt like a vacation getaway on the beach. I was able to hear the ocean waves as I walked peacefully along the marina back to my room.
Even though we had the all-inclusive package, my girlfriend and I made a point to go outside the comforts of the resort and really explore the city as much as we could, making the most of our time in Mazatlan. This is something I would recommend to all visiting. The all-inclusive package offered us incredible peace of mind, yet we never felt sequestered to the resort, as the transportation arranging amenities made in-town adventures so easy to coordinate.
While I had done some research into places of interest before arriving in Mazatlan, we ended up booking a tour with Pronatours, the resort’s tour partner. There are obvious benefits to doing your research on Instagram/Yelp/TripAdvisor, but there’s also an immense benefit to hiring a professional with significant local knowledge. Our guide, Victor, shared vivid stories of running into his idol John Wayne when he was 15 as we toured some of the older hotels. These hotels had hosted many of Hollywood’s elite in the 40s and 50s when Mazatlan was the destination for the rich and famous. The tour then took us through Pueblo Viejo (Old Town) and the city’s central market before delivering us to a vista with a panoramic view of the city. We arrived here at a perfectly timed 15 minutes before the sunset — a photographer’s dream come true! The tour ended at the charming Plazuela Machado near the heart of the city and we concluded the tour with new ideas and plans for where to further explore the next day at a more leisurely pace.
Mazatlan is the perfect place for a quick, relaxing three- to four-day trip, even though I can promise you’ll leave wanting more. I know I can’t wait for the next chance to visit Mazatlan again!
Roy Son, Sun Country Explorer:
I received airfare, hotel accommodations, and a stipend from Sun Country Airlines as compensation for the post and Sun Country Airlines did not influence my opinion of this experience. All views and opinions expressed in the post are my own and no other compensation was provided.
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