Mazatlán spreads for 15 sun-splashed miles along a thumb of land that extends southward into the Pacific just below the Tropic of Cancer. Mazatlán thus marks the beginning of the Mexican tropics: a land full of palm trees, perpetual summer and a refuge from winter cold for growing numbers of international vacationers. Mazatlán’s beauty is renowned. Its coast sprinkled with beckoning islands and miles of golden bleaches and blue lagoons, it aptly deserves its title as “Pearl of the Pacific». Mazatlan meaning «land of the deer» in the ancient Nahuatl language offers 10 miles of inviting sandy beaches. It's no wonder Mazatlan plays host to more than one million visitors per year. The vacationers come and frolic on the beach beside their “Golden Zone» hotels, while in the old town at the tip of the peninsula, life goes on in the old-Mexico style: in the markets, the churches, and the shady plazas scattered throughout the traditional neighborhoods.