Just three hours north of Mazatlán is a quaint fishing village on a cove, protected by a peninsula that faces the sea. It has an older part of the town and a newer, high-rent district with a marina and upscale condominiums. That place is called Altata, and it is just to the coast from Culiacán.
I recommend it for a nice weekend getaway. The seafood is delectable, the views are incredible, while there is only one hotel, it is new and nicely decorated, there are condos for rent, and it’s just a different vibe than Mazatlán. If you go, you can relax, take a boat ride, go sports fishing… just about anything you’d do here in Mazatlán, but on a smaller scale and minus the insane nightlife. Altata nightlife is more like a party on the malecón or in a restaurant, at least from what I’ve seen.
Anyway, last October a group of photographers of which I’m a member, Grupo Sinaloa, was invited to spend a long and enjoyable day in Altata, to take photos and share some of them with the Department of Tourism there. We had an incredible time, eating three great meals, enjoying boat rides and bus tours, hiking and beach combing. We witnessed small planes buzz us on the beach, jet skis with parents and kids zoom by us, and dune buggies jump around incredibly scenic sand dunes. We enjoyed a marvelous sunset, a few drinks, and several bands serenading us on Altata’s malecón before heading back to Culiacán about 9 pm. It was a beautiful day spent in wonderful company. Click any photo to enlarge it or view a slideshow.
Yesterday, Saturday, May 5th, the exhibition from the day of photography opened on the malecón of Altata. It is entitled Altata: Para todos, para siempre, and was officially inaugurated by the Mayor, the state Secretary of Tourism, other political dignitaries and Grupo Sinaloa’s founders: Marcopolo Amarillas, Liduvina Vargas Romero, and Juan Santana. Photos are displayed outdoors on the malecón of Altata and will be there through May 21st.
I am so glad we attended yesterday’s events. We hesitated, as we leave for our son’s college graduation in the morning, so traveling just before more traveling isn’t the smartest thing we’ve ever done. But to see the joy in the eyes of so many photographers who had their first-ever exhibition, the excitement of seeing their photos printed in large scale, having the locals tell them how much it means that people from outside Altata see the beauty in their local community and want to express it to the world… it was just a really terrific evening. We were once again treated like royalty, with a terrific dinner and open bar after the opening ceremony.
So, if you are looking for something to do this month that is a bit out of the norm, try a visit to Altata! The hotel is called Altata Bay, and you will find loads and loads of restaurants in the town along the lovely malecón. Nuevo Altata, with the marina and scenic lighthouse, is about a 15-minute drive north.