Admire colonial-era mansions, listen to live music and people-watch from sidewalk cafés at this sophisticated square in the heart of Mazatlán’s historic center.
Home to French- and Spanish-influenced architecture, Plaza Machado is one of Mazatlán’s most eye-catching squares and the social centerpiece of Mazatlán’s Old Town. Come here to admire antique buildings, dine at stylish cafés and see local musicians perform.
Built in 1837 with money donated by wealthy Filipino merchant Juan Nepomuceno Machado, the square was a popular evening meeting place for locals in times gone by. Today, the surrounding buildings have been restored to their original splendor. Inspect the attractive colonial architecture, which is characterized by arcades, Parisian-style balconies and pastel colors. Some of these buildings house bars, cafés and restaurants with outdoor seating areas, ideal for casual diners who want to watch the world go by as they eat. Other buildings host shops that sell handicrafts and jewelry.
Dominating the center of the paved square is a 19th-century iron gazebo. Local musicians and bands often use the gazebo as a stage for free concerts. Enjoy the square’s ambiance from the comfort of a tree-shaded bench. Towering over the plaza are tall palms and rows of pretty orange trees.
A good time to visit here is during one of the annual celebrations that take place in the city. Arrange your trip to coincide with Mazatlán Carnaval, which normally takes place in February or March. The square is particularly animated at this time.
Find the beautiful Angela Peralta Theater just south of the square. This theater complex includes a superb 800-seat concert hall as well as art galleries. Dance performances, operas and music concerts as well as other events are held here.
Plaza Machado is easy to reach by foot from other major attractions in Mazatlán’s Old Town and is just a 5-minute walk from Plaza República. While you’re in the neighborhood, marvel at the resplendent Immaculate Conception Cathedral and browse the food stands at José Maria Pino Suárez Municipal Market. For more cultural exploration, continue on to the Mazatlán Archaeological Museum and Mazatlán Art Museum, both of which are about a 5-minute walk away.