Sayulita - Mazatlan Mexico Drones

About 5 hours from Mazatlan is this magic little village that was formerly a secret surf spot. The word is out and Sayulita is not such a sleepy little village anymore but nonetheless its well worth visiting. The village of around 5000 sits on Mexico’s Pacific coast and is backed by the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains. It’s known for beaches with strong surf, like the central Sayulita Beach. To the west, Los Muertos Beach is more sheltered, sandwiched between protective rocks. Galleries in Sayulita sell artworks by Huichol indigenous people. Southwest, the Marieta Islands have diverse wildlife such as humpback whales and dolphins. Most everyone speaks English and this makes for a great two night trip. If you are venturing out from Mazatlan we suggest a night in Santa Maria Del Oro, then on to Sayulita for a couple of nights. The loop makes for a great adventure if you have a few nights to spend.

Baluarte Bridge - Mazatlan Mexico Drones

The Baluarte Bridge, officially the Baluarte Bicentennial Bridge, is a cable-stayed bridge in Mexico. It is located between the municipalities of Concordia in Sinaloa and Pueblo Nuevo in Durango, along the Durango–Mazatlán highway, Mexico 40D. The bridge's central span, 520 metres (1,710 ft) long, is also the longest cable-stayed span in North America, 37 metres (121 ft) longer than that of the John James Audubon Bridge in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Less than an hour and a half from Mazatlan it's an easy day trip and the highway itself is stunning.

Laguna Santa Maria Del Oro - Mazatlan Mexico Drones

About three hours drive from Mazatlan is a quiet little town with a crystal blue lake.  After you pass Tepic, take the first exit from the toll road, turn left, then follow the signs through the town of Santa Maria Del Oro and down the windy road that descends into the Volcano.  The lake fills the dormant volcano and the locals say the depth has never been determined.  It is designated as one of a handful of Blue Card lakes in Mexico which regulates the cleanliness of the water making it destination for all types of water sports.  The trip is a perfect one-nighter with a variety of accommodations available.  Make sure you try the pescado chicharrones and the fried bananas with ice cream at La Mata.  When you head out stop at the waterfalls which will be much more spectacular if you go following the rainy season.

pescado chicharones 

pescado chicharones 

la mata fried bananas and ice cream

la mata fried bananas and ice cream

Semana Moto Mazatlan Mexico Drones 2017

The 21st annual Semana Moto (Moto Week) in Mazatlan, Sinaloa Mexico.  The event always follows the Semana Santa festivities and has been a staple in the city since 1996.  2017 was the first attempt to set the Guinness World Record of 22,000 motorcycles on a ride of 2k or longer.  The program includes parties, bikini contests, live bands and ends with the parade of motorcycles on the Malecon.

Malecon Statues of Mazatlan Mexico Drones

The Malecon in Mazatlan, Sinaloa Mexico is considered one of the longest in the world at 21 km. It runs from Valentinos to Olas Altas between the Pacific Ocean and cliffs, hotels & businesses. Along the Malecon you will find a series of bronze statues that represent the culture and history of the town.

Cliff Divers of Mazatlan Mexico Drones

One of Mazatlan's nightly attractions is the Cliff Divers or Clavadistas in Spanish.  They dive from a small park on the ocean near Olas Altas from over 50 feet up into a rough and shallow gap.  The divers must time their launch perfectly (since the water recedes to a dangerously shallow depth) then paddle hard before the next rush of water comes in.  The divers can be found most nights and always weekends around sunset until the crowds thin out.  Mazatlan Today has a breif history of the Clavadistas along with directions.

13 Beaches of Mazatlan Mexico Drones

A not so short tour of the 13 recognized beaches in Mazatlan, Mexico from Stone Island to El Verde Camacho. Seeing these beaches from the air for the first time will undoubtedly give you a different perspective of our gorgeous city.  What you will see is a more diverse selection of beaches than any city in Mexico.  For specific locations and some detailed descriptions of Mazatlans Beaches you can visit MazatlanToday where you will find the map below along with the updated descriptions of each beach featured in the video.

MazatlanBeachMap2017

Deer Island - Mazatlan Mexico Drones

Deer Island (Isla de Venados) is visible from just about anywhere in Mazatlan. It's the larges of the three islands off of the shores of the Golden Zone and has a lot to offer for a half-day trip.  After a 5-minute motor boat ride or a 20-minute paddle on a kayak you will find yourself swimming in Caribbean like clear blue water with a unique perspective of the city.  There are no services on the island so load up if you go on your own or take one of many tours that include lunch and drinks.  It is also not uncommon for locals and visitors to camp overnight on the island.   Cell service from the mainland is within range with a strong signal for your peace of mind.

Carnival Parade 2017 - Mazatlan Mexico Drones

The Mazatlan Carnival has a long history with the first mention of the winter event as Carnival in 1848 and the official week long celebration being embraced in the late 1800's.  It's one of the largest in the world and each year has a different theme for the parade down the malecon along the beach.  This years theme was Alebrijes and Dragons (Alebrijes being a colorful Mexican mythical creature).   There are two parades one from Olas Altas to Valentinos traditionally on Sunday and then the route in reverse on Tuesday to end the festivities.

Carnival Mazatlan - Combate Naval 2017 - Mazatlan Mexico Drones

Carnival Mazatlan each February is one of the biggest in the world. it's a week long celebration where the queen is crowned and celebrated with a huge party featuring local music and famous Mexican entertainers. Combate Naval is a spectacular fireworks display where fireworks are launched from a dozen locations in Olas Altas near centro and barges positioned about a kilometer off shore simulating a famous battle that occurred in 1862.
Background:
In May of 1862 the French corvette Bayonnaise arrived at Mazatlán and a few days later initiated the blockade of the port, that lasted until the 18 of June. In March of 1864 the Cordeliere captured in the waters of Nayarit a ship of Mexican flag that came from San Francisco , California , and that took letters directed to the president Benito Juárez .

Epic Sunset Remix - Mazatlan Mexico Drones

This is just a quick 45-second remix of our most epic sunset footage encountered since this journey began.  Wanted a short clip that could be shared in Instagram and some other locations with non copyrighted music.  The clip is the ending of El Mirador from Sunset to Sunrise which was a pretty special day and the 4th trip out with the Phantom 4.  This video was shot in 4k and rendered down to 1080 with no affects or color corrections.  The Mazatlan sun did all of the work as it laid down to rest.

Marina Mazatlan - Mazatlan Mexico Drones

Head North from the Golden Zone and as you pass over the first bridge the view of Marina Mazatlan will be revealed.  Located in the Nuevo Mazatlan (new Mazatlan) area you will find a marina surrounded by a boardwalk with popular restaurants and bars that tend to be a bit more quiet and off of the beaten path than in the center of town.  The marina itself has 427 slips and all of the services you need if you are living the boat life.  A 5-minute taxi ride will take you to the Plaza Galleria mall which is as modern as they come south of the boarder.  The mall has an amazing bowling alley, food court and some pretty decent shopping.  Across the road you have the newest Sam's Club and Wal Mart in town.  Another great spot for a sunset stroll in Mazatlan.

Stone Island Tour - Mazatlan Mexico Drones

Stone Island (Isla Piedra) is about a 40-minute drive from anywhere in Mazatlan or a dollar ferry ride across the water from the harbor.  Although it's not really an island it is a nice afternoon adventure.  When driving over we like to cross through the palms where the coconuts for Mazatlan are harvested and drive the beach to the town.   If you prefer the beaten path there is a short .5km section of dirt road following 3 miles of nicely paved road into town.  Endless Beaches with palapas offering a variety of seafood await your arrival.

Photo of the ferry (panga) dropping passengers off in town.  There are two places to catch the ferry; the tourist ferry can be found near the lighthouse and has limited hours.  This ferry drops you at the beach area.  The other ferry near the marine college runs 24 hours and leaves you at the marina where most of the locals live on the island.

Locals arriving on the ferry (panga) that takes you across to Mazatlan.  Round trip is around one dollar.

Locals arriving on the ferry (panga) that takes you across to Mazatlan.  Round trip is around one dollar.

Make sure you stop at Osuna for a Torta.  For about $2  you get a huge Torta sandwich that is very fresh and they also have great fruit and coco smoothies (liquados).  We love the view of the marina with all of the local action and even though it is surrounded by sand you could eat off of the concrete floor (its that clean).

Make sure you stop at Osuna for a Torta.  For about $2  you get a huge Torta sandwich that is very fresh and they also have great fruit and coco smoothies (liquados).  We love the view of the marina with all of the local action and even though it is surrounded by sand you could eat off of the concrete floor (its that clean).

Drones attract a lot of attention from the local kids.  Very curious, respectful and polite!

Drones attract a lot of attention from the local kids.  Very curious, respectful and polite!

Around Ice Box Hill - Mazatlan Mexico Drones

Aside from having some of most spectacular views in Mazatlan, Ice Box Hill has a colorful past. The bridge like structure you can see from the video is the old road to Centro and had tunnels for passing cars, one of which is now an extra bedroom for a home near the structure. The hill is home to limestone caves once used to store ice imported from San Francisco during the mid-1800s. Mazatlan families used this ice to preserve their seafood and other perishables before the days of household refrigerators. By the time of the revolution, the hill was used to store ammunition. Devil's Cave -- the red gate which you can see from side of the hill near the divers was at one time an escape route for soldiers guarding the ammunition. Mazatlan was the second city in the world to be bombed from the air and the biplane was sent to bomb the hill. It missed its target and dropped the package of dynamite and nails onto the city streets, killing two citizens. Today, Ice Box Hill (Cerro Neveria) holds only numerous radio and microwave towers.

El Mirador Sunrise to Sunset Mazatlan Mexico Drones

What often drives us to take our limited down time and find another place to shoot are the people we meet on location and the surprises that we see when reviewing the footage at the end of the day.  We came to film the sunrise, but this day started with a the beginning of a new life when we met two girls setting the stage for their friend to propose marriage to his girlfriend at sunrise (we heard she said yes).  Then a few hours later we received news that my wife's mother passed after a long fought illness.  After an emotional week it seemed fitting to return and film the sunset to go along with the sunrise and this was the result...

About 2 Kilometers from the El Faro Lighthouse is El Mirador, one of the best vantage points in Mazatlan, Mexico for breathtaking views of the harbor, centro and the islands. The antique canon that sits atop the hill was once used to protect the early inhabitants of Mazatlan. With some of the most amazing sunrises and sunsets you will ever see make sure you time your trip to coincide with one or the other and spend 30-40 minutes enjoying the view. A great circuit is to park your car (or get off of the Sabalo Centro bus at the end of the route), head for the top of the El Faro Lighthouse. After the climb head back down and across to the El Mirador stairs and hopefully you will reach the top in time for the sunset. This is certainly an intermediate level hike and will take an hour or more depending on your speed and condition. There is a restaurant at the top but at the time of posting this video it is being remodeled and is currently closed. Definitely a must see in Mazatlan!

El Faro Lighthouse Aerial Video - Mazatlan Mexico Drones

The Mazatlan lighthouse was first built in 1879, and at the time was the highest in the world. Our lighthouse still holds onto second place today not because the structure itself is all that impressive but because of the 515 ft. hill it is perched on. The hike takes from 10-30 minutes depending on your fitness starting with a steep dirt road, then trail and finally 325 steps.

It's well worth the hike as you will find the best view in the city. The ideal time is sunrise or sunset and you find the trail scattered with both locals using the hill for their daily workout and a few tourist as well. The view is spectacular and the lighthouse is staffed with security around the clock offering water and soft drinks for sale when you reach the summit.

Use caution as the climb is fairly steep and there are some areas that could use railings near the top.

Valentino's Aerial Tour - Mazatlan, Mexico Drones

A short aerial video of tour of a famous landmark in Mazatlan, Mexico.  Valentinos is a castle like structure that houses a group of bars and dance clubs and has been a nightlife destination for the region over the past few decades.  It is a backdrop for the glorieta that seperates the Golden Zone and the famous Malecon that leads to Olas Altas and Centro.

Mazatlan Mexico Drones - Cerritos Beach Aerials

A favorite beach in Mazatlan, Mexico.  A few miles from the center of the Golden Zone the road ends and you will find a beach that is peaceful during the week and colorful on the busy weekends.  Regardless, it's worth the trip.  Where the Cerritos Juarez bus ends you can go left to Playa Bruja or walk straight past the shops and restaurants then down the stairs to one of the best kept secrets in town.  If you go at low tide and walk to the left from the bottom of the stairs you will find an amazing tide pool that makes for a relaxing day.  Then when you are heading out there is plenty of fresh fish to be found.  Try the Zarandeado (Sinaloa Style) with Red Snapper (Pargo in Spanish) and you will be pleasantly surprised.