Mazatlan Tourist Aide

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We last visited Mazatlan about four years ago with the Disney Cruise Line. Disney subsequently stopped going to Mazatlan because it was deemed "dangerous", which I took to be B.S. We did not hesitate when we booked a cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line, and looked forward to our visit back to Mazatlan. On arrival, we were somewhat surprised that our trolley from the boat was boarded by a volunteer. The volunteer introduced himself, and explained his mission. We were then met by other volunteers, one of whom escorted my family, assisted by his motorized scooter, to the old town. I was impressed with the enthusiasm and professionalism of this volunteer group. My wife and I, and our two children, ages eight and 12, couldn't be more impressed with the beauty of your city, the cleanliness of the streets, the friendliness of the citizens. Great work!

We understand that cruise visitors are sometimes unwelcomed as being transient guests, limiting to their stay for a few hours. You made us feel welcome, and we're happy to spend money in your community to help stimulate the local economy, and fully enjoy ourselves in the process. Although our stay is brief, we used your taxicabs, eat at your restaurants, shop at your stores, and enjoy your beaches. Thank you for sharing your city.


A group of American and Canadian volunteers have organized themselves in Mazatlán, Mexico to provide a warm welcome for visitors. Armed with free information, maps and their own working knowledge of the pretty port town on the Sea of Cortez, the blue-shirted Mazatlán Tourist Aide volunteers dispense smiles along with down-to-earth info about their adopted city.

The group’s primary goal is to help cruise ship tourists with limited time experience the city and find the things they’re interested in. Whether it’s strolling the town’s Centro Historico (with its beautiful restored turn-of-the-century buildings), a lazy afternoon at one of many beaches, enjoying fantastic seafood, or walking along the 12-mile oceanfront malecon (boardwalk), Mazatlán Tourist Aide volunteers provide detailed info – and lots of smiles - free of charge.

Mazatlán’s State Office of Tourism has produced special, easy-to-read “Follow the Blue Line” maps. The “blue line” refers to an actual line painted in the street from the cruise ship docks to the Plaza Machado, the historic and artistic center of Mazatlán, to help folks find their way. Volunteers in the plaza and along the way wear bright blue T-shirts printed with “Mazatlán Tourist Aide Volunteer.”

Currently there are five locations with two volunteers at each, with more volunteers walking in the most heavily traveled areas. Future plans include pairing volunteers with local college students studying tourism. As of March 1, the group had 35 volunteers, with more joining on a regular basis. Most are “second-homers” and live in Mazatlán 4-6 months a year, while others are year-round residents.

Mazatlán Tourist Aide Volunteers was created by Roger Culbertson, owner of Mazatlán Homes Real Estate, a 22 year resident of Mazatlan and Tom Reaney, owner of Mazatlán Connection Travel Agency. The group has no commercial interests and does not promote any commercial enterprises; its sole purpose is to keep tourists from getting lost, and direct them to what they want to do: shopping, dining, sightseeing and any other areas of interest.



Next Meeting

Because we are a volunteers group, I try to keep meetings to a minium. (It can become a strain to volunteer and make meetings.) But 2 or 3 times a year we will get together just to share ideas and feedback. If you have any questions, just e-mail me at   and put "Tourist Aides Info" in the subject line. I will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Our Supporters

A big thanks to Beachfront Web who donated their time and talents to create this website.

We want to thank Simon Lynds who paid the bulk of the cost for our first batch of T-Shirts. Thanks Si !! Since then, the Secretary of Tourism ( SECTUR ) has been supplying T-Shirts to all our volunteers. They also supply us with hundreds of maps that we give out free to tourists who can use them. This is a huge help.
We receive a LOT of help from SECTUR which is the Sinaloa State Secretary of Tourism. They provide us with T-Shirts, maps, and ID badges so we are 'Official'! Our contacts with SECTUR are Pavel Jimenez and Ivan Pico. Their dedication and professionalism is a big reason why we are able to do what we do. It is also a nice fringe benefit that we get several 'extra's a year from SECTUR and from the support provided by the U.S. Consular Agent here in Mazatlan, Luis Ramirez. Between them we have had special trips, invitations to concerts, and sometimes special seating for concerts and shows. It is not ALL work!!

We really appreciate Beachfront Host who donates the server space to host this website.