Over Christmas and New Year’s we had the pleasure of hosting five different sets of visitors to Mazatlán. It felt so incredibly wonderful to spend time with loved ones, and to be able to share the gorgeousness and warmth of our adopted home with them. It was fascinating to us how each group experienced Mazatlán differently. Our city has so many different faces, there is truly something for everyone—the beach bums, the farmers and ranchers, the culture mavens, those who love to eat, party or shop.
During this time we took several trips to our nearby mountain towns. We so love these trips, to a simpler life, a slower and more rural life. It struck me that we have not written that many posts on these day trip towns, so I aim to remedy that. Since we visited at least five, and that’s a whole lot of writing, I trust you’ll permit me to tell you their stories primarily in photos. Photos will give you a sense of the place, and let you know if you’d like to visit—whether for the first time or the 50th.
Let me begin with Concordia, about an hour southeast of Mazatlán, towards Durango. It’s easy to remember Concordia among the many beautiful small towns in southern Sinaloa, because the main plaza in town has that gigantic chair, representative of the solid wooden furniture crafted here. Sit in it, with the gorgeous church behind you, and you feel the joy of childhood again. Concordia is also the birthplace of the famous raspados, or shaved ice flavored with real fruit syrup. Founded as “Villa San Sebastián” in 1565 by Francisco de Ibarra, Concordia today has about 9000 residents. Its history is steeped in the gold, silver and copper mining of this region.
The main church, San Sebastián, is really beautiful. Built in 1785, it has an ornate baroque facade.
Concordia also has hot springs, which are on the left, down a dirt road, just before you get into town.
If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, the Féria de San Sebastián takes place over two weekends: from today (Friday January 17th) through Sunday the 26th. This Sunday the 19th is the seventh annual cabalgata or horse race, starting at 11 am and going from Mesillas to Concordia, concluding at the fairgrounds after a march around town. They are anticipating 450 participants in the cabalgata, and you’re sure to see some gorgeous charrería.
Concordia is one hour southeast of Mazatlán. Take highway 15 south to Villa Unión (about 13 miles from Mazatlán). Turn east on highway 40, the old free road to Durango, and continue about another 13 miles. The drive is beautiful and easy, as you pass plantations of coconuts, mangoes and bananas. Just don’t get on the new highway. For those traveling this way from Durango, Concordia is also a very convenient stopover.