Day Trips to El Quelite, Sinaloa (GPS N23°55'90" W106°46'88") from Mazatlan - The most popular and frequently recommended Mazatlan day trip! Top rated day trip excursions and popular self-guided tours of Rural Sinaloa Communities and Pueblo Magico in the Sierra Madre mountains near Mazatlan!
El Quelite, Sinaloa, Mexico is located just a short 40 minute drive north of Mazatlan, and a visit to El Quelite is one of the easiest and most enjoyable Mazatlan day trips!
Excursions to El Quelite take you to a very picturesque town full of colorful houses; leafy streets and boutique art and craft galleries.
El Quelite draws its name from the Nahuatl word "quilitl" -- which means, roughly, herb or vegetable -- and El Quelite is a farming town. It is also home to great Sinaloa restaurants like El Meson de Los Laureanos and Los Arrieros that serve traditional Rural Sinaloa food in lovingly restored historic El Quelite buildings.
The residents of El Quelite, Sinaloa, are avid gardeners, with lush vegetation and beautiful purple, red and orange flowers everywhere throughout every part of the town and in its central plaza, making El Quelite one of the most relaxing day trips around Mazatlan Mexico.
The El Quelite community takes deserved pride in its beautiful restoration of El Quelite's landmark Sinaloan buildings. The restoration of El Quelite's historic buildings and their transformation into lovely art galleries and excellent traditional Sinaloan restaurants -- and the authenticity of the town -- make El Quelite one of the best Mazatlan day trips.
Mazatlan day trip visitors to El Quelite can relax in the leafy plaza right in the center of town, directly beside El Quelite's lovely small church.
The church, which dates from the 1800s, is immaculately maintained. It is home to numerous beautiful icons of faith that have been a hallmark of the life of El Quelite since its founding; and serves the 1800 inhabitants of El Quelite to this day. Representative of colonial era Catholic churches in Mexico, it has drawn day trippers from Mazatlan for generations.
But El Quelite is much more than its church and its restaurants -- it also loads of fun if you'd like to take a horseback ride or, if you're lucky, see the ancient game of Ulama played.
El Quelite is also one of the last villages in Sinaloa Mexico to play the pre-colonial ball game called Ulama. The word Ulama comes from the Nahuatl word "Ullamaliztli", a word that conjoins the playing of a game with a ball and the word for rubber.
In a Ulama match a large -- 7 pound! -- rubber ball is used, and players attempt to guide it through a hoop without using their hands.
The roots of Ulama extended back to at least the 2nd millennium B.C.
Archaeological evidence of Ulama has been found in nearly all pre-Columbian American cultures all the way from El Salvador to -- possibly -- Arizona and New Mexico in the United States!
Ulama games are played within an open-air outdoor court.
The team that first scores eight points wins.
If both teams end up having the same number of points after a turn, both sides begin again from zero. One record-setting game reputedly lasted for eight days, but most modern Ulama games are stopped after about two hours.
El Quelite is also famous for cock farms, which tourists, cruise ship passengers, and others on Mazatlan day trips are welcome to visit. One of the easiest and shortest of Mazatlan day trips, a trip to El Quelite is a must for all visitors to Mazatlan Mexico.
El Quelite Day Trip Directions
To begin Mazatlan day trips to El Quelite head 21 miles northwest on Highway 15 to the turn off for El Quelite.
Turn right (northeast, away from the coast) and proceed less than 2 miles through lovely farmland and you will be in El Quelite!