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in the village that the tour guide will explain. The cost is approximately $35
U.S. per person.
Teacapan and Rosario: The shrimpers' village of Teacapan is about two
hours south of Mazatlán (approximately 90 miles). It is located on an isolated
peninsula bordered by a mangrove swamp that is thick with coconut palm
trees. Catamarans are available to tour the lagoons and it is a bird watcher's
paradise. There are over 90 bird species that have been identified there.
Rosario was a former silver and gold mining town that was founded by the
Spaniards in 1655. I've been told that there are over 43 miles of underground
tunnels in Rosario, which is more than the aboveground streets. I have made
no effort to go underground and check the figures though. Everyone who goes
to Rosario visits the baroque cathedral. The entire church, with its ornate gold-
leaf-covered altar, valued at one million dollars U.S., had to be moved brick by
brick to prevent it from caving in on the town's labyrinth of tunnels. There is
a house/museum of Lola Beltran, Mexico's famous singer, however, it is only
open sporadically.
Tours are available departing at 7 a.m. and lasting eight hours. They can be
booked through your hotel clerk or through tour companies. The per-person
cost is approximately $40 U.S. and includes lunch and cold drinks.
Concordia and Copala: If you want to see another side of Mexico, don't miss
this visit. Tour companies usually depart at 9:45 a.m. and return at 3:45 p.m.
The tour costs about $30 U.S. and includes lunch and cold drinks. The trip is
worth it just for the delicious banana coconut cream pie at Daniel's Restaurant
in Copala.
About 40 minutes east of Mazatlán is the town of Concordia, which was
founded by the Spanish in 1571. It is best known for its solid wood, colonial-
design furniture and pre-Colombian-style pottery. Delicious mangoes are
grown here and several stands sell them.
Copala is another old mining town that lies in the Sierra Madres, about 10
miles east of Concordia. It was founded in 1565 and produced tons of silver in
the late 19
century. Now it is a small, picturesque tourist town, with cobble-
stone streets and white houses on rolling hills. Among the 600 inhabitants are
some retired Americans and Canadians. Soon after your arrival, children will
surround you wanting to sell you woodcarvings made in Copala. Please don't
pay them in U.S. coins, as they are not legal tender in Mexico. The kids will still
accept them, but when I visit Copala, I exchange their coins for pesos and I
always have difficulty getting through the metal detectors at the airport on my
return home.
La Noria: A small village, about 30 minutes northeast of Mazatlán is worth
visiting. La Noria translates to "well," for the shape it takes. Several leather fac-
M a z a t l a n I S P a r a d i s e