The first “tourists” in the port were pirates and from there began the boom to build lodging centers.
MAZATLÁN.- Hotel Belmar and Hotel Playa Mazatlán are considered the oldest hotels in the port, but did you know that there is another hotel much older than these two?
The first hotel in the port was built in 1850 and was named “La Fonda de Cantón”, inside it had a restaurant that specialized in seafood dishes, and this restaurant was called “Cantón de la Fonda”.
It is important to note that the origin of tourism in Mazatlán dates back to the first raids by pirates such as Francis Drake, in the 19th century (1587), which gave rise to the inn, even before the founding of the town.
According to information from the historian Arturo Santa María, the hotel was owned by the Chinese immigrant, Luen-Sing, and was run by his assistant Chinn-Ling. Known as the Luen-Sing Hotel, it had oriental decorations inside, including a gong that struck three times a day (the gong is an instrument that originated in East Asia, where it is used for calling and transmitting signals). This was located in the area we know today as Olas Altas
Already by the middle of the 19th century, Mazatlán was one of the most important commercial ports in the country, which allowed the first hotels to be built so that its visitors had a place to rest.
By 1870 there were three Mazatlán hotels and three restaurants, and from then on there was more opening at the end of the 19th century.
Santamaría, in his book The History of Tourism in Mazatlán, narrates that one of the important triggers that supported the Mazatlan tourist boom occurred at the end of the 19th century, with the arrival of the South Pacific railway, which allowed linking Mazatlán with the northwest of Mexico and the US border.
One of the things that differentiated the port of Mazatlán from other places was that travelers and sailors had distractions, such as listening to banda music or enjoying performances at the old Rubio Theater and the current Ángela Peralta Theater.
It is said that, in the middle of the gold rush, the American Bayard Taylor arrived at the port and preferred this hotel-inn instead of the other inn.