La Carpa Olivera de Mazatlan public saltwater swimming pool, renovated and re-opened!
Enjoy one of the best, top rated and nearly-free tourist attractions on the Mazatlan Malecon right at the north end of Olas Altas Beach!

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Carpa Olivera public swimming pool
A Mazatlán saltwater tradition since 1914 just got better!

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La Carpa Olivera is the public saltwater swimming pool at the north end of Olas Altas Beach on the western edge of the Centro Historico.

If want to swim in saltwater in a protected environment, you're in luck -- this is a popular public swimming facility that started serving customers over 100 years ago! For generations, adults and children in Mazatlan have splashed and played comfortably as waves explode over the ocean-side of the pool.

Before you read a bit about the history of Carpa Olivera, check out this beautiful video from Colectivo Urbano, the architects of its recent rehab / rebuild.

Video of Carpa Olivera Swimming Pool from Colectivo Urbano, designers of the recently re-built public saltwater pool in Mazatlan

The History of Carpa Olivera

Carpa Olivera has been a traditional beachfront destination for families in Mazatlan since the earliest days of World War One, and has a fascinating history that is evolving even today.

Carpa Olivera Pool in Mazatlan Mexico

The pool was part of a much larger development dream of Antonio Olivera, a Chilean chef who arrived in Mazatlan aboard a cruise ship in the early 1910s and, seduced by the beauty of our port, decided to stay.

Olivera envisioned a business built over the water at the north end of Olas Altas that would have ocean-fed saltwater pools below it and that would provide tourist and entertainment amenities such as a bar and restaurant.

It is said that his inspiration was similar businesses he had seen in Portugal, where such pier-like structures are fairly common in Lisbon and other ports.

La Carpa Olivera Pool in the 1940s

The resulting business, Carpa Olivera, opened in 1914 -- just about the worst moment imaginable in Mexican history.

By 1914 the Mexican Revolution had reached Sinaloa in a big way.

Constitutionalist General Alvaro Obregon had only entered Sinaloa from the north in November, 1913, and was driving south toward Mazatlan -- which he would bypass, effectively isolating the port for a considerable period of time.

Paper Peso Mexican RevolutionWith commerce disrupted people began to hoard things of value, especially metal money -- mostly silver pesos -- and Constitutionalist governments began to issues paper pesos that had questionable backing.

Despite the times -- or perhaps because of them -- Carpa Olivera was an instant success, with Mazatlan families flocking to its pool, restaurant and bar.

The structure weathered remarkably well given how exposed it was, and it survived numerous tropical storms and hurricanes that rolled up the Pacific and into the Sea of Cortez in the more than four decades from 1914 until 1957.

Pacific Hurricane 1957On October 21, 1957, Hurricane Twelve made landfall at Mazatlan. The storm had just strengthened explosively, with maximum wind speed having jumped from 50 mph to over 140 mph in only six hours.

Tracking in off the open ocean rather than up the coast -- where energy is often dissipated -- Hurricane Twelve packed a punch.

Eight people were killed by the storm in Sinaloa, and extensive property damage was reported throughout Mazatlan and surrounding communities. The Mazatlan baseball stadium collapsed, power and telegraph lines were downed, high winds tossed vehicles through the windows of oceanfront buildings, and many commercial fishing boats sank in the storm.

Carpa Olivera sustained sufficient damage from Hurricane Twelve to cause the business to close and on October 24, 1975, Hurricane Olivia finished the job, tearing the battered structure to shreds and sending rubble cascading into the abandoned pool and the ocean around it.

Carpa Olivera News

The Carpa Olivera pool has a bright future, and the newly renovated Carpa Olivera is now open to the public!

In early April 2014, the City of Mazatlan announced that the Carpa Olivera saltwater swimming pool would be entirely renovated. The new amenities include a water slide, fountain, wheelchair accessible ramp, and all-new bathrooms and changing rooms.

These renovations have returned La Carpa Olivera to its former glory, and restored its position as a top rated Mazatlan sightseeing attraction.

Newly renovated Carpa Olivera public pool in Mazatlan

While you're visiting Carpa Olivera, you might want to consider walking across the street to Blue Smoque BBQ -- some of the best BBQ you'll ever find in Mexico!

Location Paseo Claussen, just north of Olas Altas Beach

Hours 7am until 8pm every day, unless weather conditions do not permit the pool to be safely used...

Map to Carpa Olivera Swimming Pool
from Google Maps

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La Carpa Olivera - Enjoy our renovated and re-opened pool, one of the oldest public saltwater swimming pools in the Americas on The Malecon in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico


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