Side Trips

Copala - Hacienda las moras - Teacapan - Concordia - El Rosario - La Noria - Stone Island - Copper Canyon - Sierra Madre

Hacienda las moras
Just 30 minutes northeast of Mazatlán, a deserted agave ranchhouse and tequila distillery has been transformed into a tasteful, tranquil guest ranch. The 3,000-acre ranch is a refuge for both humans and animals, from miniature horses to exotic pure-white peacocks. A small white chapel sits atop a slight ridge overlooking the property, with the Sierra Madres rising in the background. The original stables, hacienda, and tequila-factory buildings have been completely renovated with attention to detail, and several new casitas are filled with classic Mexican touches. To honNor the privacy of their guests, drop-in visits are not allowed, but tour groups and individuals may visit for lunch and a horseback ride, with advance reservations.

The ranch is a peaceful, completely secluded hideaway with accommodations that make you feel like you're staying in a luxurious private home. The 11 casitas have air-conditioning and fans, kitchens and bathrooms tiled in bright yellows and blues, upholstered equipal chairs and couches in the living rooms, and carved wooden armoires and dressers in the bedrooms. Each
casita has a large porch, where guinea hens tend to roost in the window boxes among blooming flowers. The chef prepares superb regional Mexican cuisine with breads baked daily in a wood-burning beehive oven. Guests are welcome to ride the horses up the mountain foothills and into towns that still lack automobiles and electricity. There's a pool and tennis courts, and plenty of space to roam in complete solitude.


Just 2 hours south of Mazatlán (82 miles) is the fishing village of Teacapán, located at the tip of an isolated peninsula that extends 18 miles down a coastline of pristine beaches. Mangrove lagoons and canals border its other side. Palm and mango groves, cattle ranches, and an occasional cluster of houses dot the peninsula, which ends at the Boca de Teacapán, a natural marina separating the states of Sinaloa and Nayarit. Shrimping boats line the beach at the edge of the marina, which is backed by the worn houses and dirt streets of town. A ragged place, its recommended for those interested in birding, but probably not of much interest to other travelers.

Bird-watchers hire local fishermen to take them out around the lagoons, where they can see herons, flamingos, Canadian ducks, and countless other species of birds. Inland, the sparsely populated land is a haven for deer, ocelot, and wild boars. There's talk of making the entire peninsula into an ecological preserve, and thus far, residents have resisted attempts by developers to turn the area into a large-scale resort. For now, visitors are treated to the ultimate peaceful refuge.

Getting There--By Car--To reach Teacapán, drive south from Mazatlán on the
highway to Escuinapa. There are no signs marking the right turn for the road to Teacapán; ask for directions in Escuinapa. If you're arriving from the south, turn left at the Bancomer building.

By Bus--Autotransportes Escuinapa has several second-class buses daily to Escuinapa; from there you can transfer to Teacapán. The second-class bus station is located directly behind the first-class station across the lot where the buses park.

Where to Stay

Rancho Los Ángeles. km 25 Carretera Escuinapa-Teacapán. tel. 695/3-2550. (Reservations: Palmas 1-B, Colonia Los Pinos, 82000 Mazatlán, Sin.; tel./fax 69/81-7867). 14 rms, 1 bungalow, 13 cabins. A/C or Fan. $40 double on the waterfront; $120 for the 3-bedroom bungalow; $30 double by the main street. AE.

Dr. Ernesto Rivera Gúzman and his sons have created this small resort amid coconut groves at the edge of the sea. The best rooms are in the hacienda-style building, with terraces and a pool beside a long beach, or in the single rustic bungalow, a few feet from the main building. Other rooms are in a motel-like structure beside the main road to town, and are not recommended, if you have a choice-they are small, noisy, and oddly furnished. There are newer cabins on the beach and a trailer park for 40 trailers. Boat tours and horseback riding are available. The hotel's small restaurant serves meals on the patio by the pool.


The colonial town of Concordia, a short distance off of the Durango highway (Mexico 40), is a side trip on the Copala tour route. Concordia is a town of furniture makers which sell their wares in small stands on the way into town.

Concordia also offers an abundance of locally made pottery in the pre-Columbian motif. There is an old style town square, built in front of the church, which is a great place for photos of the family. The church, is over 350 years old making it the oldest in the state of Sinaloa. This area produces a lot of Mangos which are for sale everywhere along the road, and they are delicious. If you are on a tour you will probably be taken to the nearby mineral springs where the local women do their laundry, just as they have been doing for many generations.

Concordia Webpage

El Rosario

El Rosario, a small town about 50 miles south of Mazatlán, is famous for the altar in the town church which is said to be worth over a million dollars. The alter alone makes a visit to El Rosario worth the drive. El Rosario was once the richest town in Northwest Mexico because of the local mining operations. This small town was the home of the famous Mexican singer, Lola Beltrán. They have built a small museum in her honor although the museum is open only sporadically. You might want to do a little shopping for pottery, furniture or leather products, all of which are produced locally.

Rosario Webpage

La Noria

The little mountain village of La Noria is just 40 minutes northeast of Mazatlán-- and well worth a visit. Nestled into its own little corner of the world, "La Noria," which means "The Well," is named for the shape it takes; entering the town means descending into a bowl-shaped area, giving the appearance of a town set in a well. Highlights include an old jail, which is still in use, the church of San Antonio, and a variety of locally-made leather goods. Since it is not uncommon to see a cowboy ride up to the local supermarket on horseback, it is fitting that the leather shops specialize in saddles, which are sold all over Sinaloa. You can watch these and other leather goods being made right in the shops, including must-buy huaraches with their ever-lasting rubber tire soles. To get to La Noria by car, take Highway 15 north out of Mazatlán. You'll pass the toll (cuota) road to Culiacan and eventually see a sign on the right side directing you to La Noria. Following the sign, turn right (or east) and follow the road that will take you right into the town.

La Noria Webpage

El Quelite

Thirty-three kilometers northeast of Mazatlan, visitors leave behind the sun and sand attractions of one of Mexico's most popular destinations to step into a fine example of rural or agricultural tourism. Such vacation experiences are increasingly in demand around the world by travelers who want to learn how others work and live.

El Quelite Page - El Quelite Tour