Mezcaltitán: 3 Hours South of Mazatlán

island Aztlan

Mezcaltitán is a small manmade island town that is the ancestral home of the Mexican people. Archeological evidence shows it may be the legendary island of Aztlán, from where the Aztecs (the Mexica) departed in 1091 AD on their long journey to settle Tenochtitlán in the Valley of Mexico.

Called the “Mexican Venice,” Mezcaltitán did remind us of Italy. Perhaps more of Isola dei Pescatori on Lago Maggiore than of Venezia, but definitely worth the visit. It’s streets often flood in September; its houses, streets and electric transformers are built and located accordingly. The island is very pedestrian-friendly as there are no cars, only a very few four-wheelers. It is a gorgeous Pueblo Mágico: beautiful old homes and buildings, a charming church and plaza, an informative history museum, handicrafts, excellent seafood, friendly people, serene views and wildlife all around.

Below are some of the photos we took during our day on Mezcaltitán; click on any photo to enlarge it or view a slideshow.

We very much enjoyed our visit and would highly encourage you to make the trip. You could wake up early in Mazatlán and make this a day trip, with a nice lunch and walk around Mezcaltitán. Or, you could spend the night and the following morning go out on a nearby birding adventure. Either way, very nice day trip or weekend getaway from our gorgeous home of Mazatlán.

Feast Days are June 28-29, Feasts of Saints Peter and Paul. While we were not there during the festival, I would love to attend. We’re told that it opens the shrimping season. There is a boat regatta with competing teams carrying statues of Saints Peter or Paul, and locals dress up in feathered headdresses and jaguar robes.

Directions from Mazatlán:
Drive 136 miles (219 km) south on Highway 15 toward Tepic. Exit four miles south of Chilapa at a signed turnoff for Mezcaltitán by a gas station. The road is initially paved but changes to gravel, finally arriving at embarcadero La Ticha after 28 miles (45 km).

Mexcaltitán is also accessible via a short boat ride from the dock in La Batanza, 25 miles (32 km) northwest of Santiago de Ixcuintla. Santiago Ixcuintla can be reached from Highway 15; exit at the Santiago Ixcuintla turnoff 38 miles (60 km) north of Tepic. About five miles (8 km) after the turnoff, you reach Santiago.Go through town on the main street, 20 de Noviembre, which runs by the central plaza and becomes the main westbound road out of town. Continue another five miles (8 km) to the signed Mexcaltitán turnoff, where you head right. About 15 miles (24 km) after the turnoff you reach the embarcadero for Mexcaltitán.

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About Dianne Hofner Saphiere

There are loads of talented people in this gorgeous world of ours. We all have a unique contribution to make, and if we collaborate, I am confident we have all the pieces we need to solve any problem we face. I have been an intercultural organizational effectiveness consultant since 1979, working primarily with for-profit multinational corporations. I lived and worked in Japan in the late 70s through the 80s, and currently live in and work from México, where with a wonderful partner we've raised a bicultural, global-minded son. I have worked with organizations and people from over 100 nations in my career. What's your story?

10 thoughts on “Mezcaltitán: 3 Hours South of Mazatlán

  1. Hi Dianne, this sounds like a really interesting trip. When did you go here? Where would you recommend staying overnight? This sounds like a great trip for next winter? How was the mosquitos and other bugs when you went? I hope you are doing well this summer. We are in Spokane Wa until the end of Oct. this year. Enjoying ourselves and the nice dry/warm weather so far. Take care! Janice

    • We made the trip between Christmas and New Year’s, Janice. We loved it, and so close from here. We spent the previous night in San Blas, then drove up to Mezcaltitán for the day, then back down to San Blas. A quick google search shows at least one hotel on the island itself: Ruta Azteca on Venecia #98. There are places in Santiago Ixcuintla as well. I don’t remember bugs, but my guess is that in the rainy season there will be. I’d love to go for the feast days in late June. It will be hot!

  2. Pingback: 5th Anniversary and 200 Posts | ¡VidaMaz!

    • We loved it, Robert, and trust you will, too. Please let us know your thoughts and additions once you go. It’s a small town with basic services, and that is part of why we enjoyed it so much. Safe journeys and thank you for letting us know!

  3. Pingback: Most Important Archeological Site in Northwestern Mexico: Chametla | ¡VidaMaz!

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