The top of this map faces west and the bottom faces east. At the top of the map, Olas Altas beach is bracketed by Cerro de las Neverias (Icebox Hill) on the right, and Cerro del Vigia (Lookout Hill) on the left. Plazuela Machado is 3 blocks east of Playa Olas Altas. For a modern map of this area showing various interesting sites, click here.
Built in 1837 by a wealthy Filipino silver and pearl merchant named Don Juan Nepomuceno Machado, it is one of the oldest plazas in the city. French and Spanish architectural styles dominate the buildings around the perimeter of the plaza. Between the Spanish arrival in 1531, and the mid-19th Century, Mazatlán was little more than a group of huts belonging to local indigenous fishermen. In 1836, Sr. Machado established the town as a port-of-call for ships from Peru, Chile, the US, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific area. By the mid-1830s, the city had a population of about 5000.
Hollywood movie people of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Famous figures like John Wayne, Gary Cooper, and John Huston liked the old port and its wonderful sport fishing. They stayed in Playa Olas Altas hotels such as La Siesta, where we stayed, just west of Plazuela Machado.
National Heritage site. The area is currently under review by UNESCO for possible World Heritage Site designation. During the 2000s, Mazatlán poured resources into the Centro Historico area, refurbishing buildings and plazas, and expanding the seafront and malecon.
Teatro Angela Peralta
Angela Peralta was baptized María de los Ángeles Manuela Tranquilina Cirila Efrena Peralta Castera, which gives you an idea of why she shortened her name. She was a celebrated operatic soprano, dubbed the "Mexican Nightingale" by adoring European audiences. As well as a singer, Angela Peralta was an accomplished composer, pianist, and harpist. Despite her ten-dollar name, she had relatively humble origins. As a child prodigy, she began wowing audiences at age 8, and made her debut in opera at 15. After studying at the National Music Conservatory in Mexico City, Peralta traveled to Europe where by age 20 she had performed in most of the major opera houses. She eventually returned to Mexico to form her own touring company. A major scandal broke over Peralta's affair with Julián Montiel y Duarte, a Mexican lawyer. She was trying to stage a comeback with a tour of Northern Mexico when she visited Mazatlán in 1883. Mazatlecos cared little about her scandal, and were so beside themselves with joy at her arrival that they unhitched the horses to her carriage and drew the vehicle themselves over to her hotel. To return the compliment, she gave a short preview of her performance from her balcony. Unfortunately, it was her last performance. Angela Peralta and 76 out of the 80 of her in troupe died of yellow fever in a great epidemic that swept the city shortly after her arrival. Just before she died in August, 1883, she married her lover. Peralta was buried in Mazatlán but later her body was moved to the Rotunda de Hombres Ilustres (Rotunda of Illustrious People) in Mexico City. The people of Mazatlán were devastated by her death.