One of the most highly recommended destinations in the Mazatlan City Guide, sightseeing in the Centro Historico begins at Plaza Machado.
The Plaza is the heart of the Mazatlan Centro Historico, and one of the loveliest plazas in all of Mexico.
Plaza Machado has long been one of the most popular Pearl of The Pacific tourist attractions, and a great place for sightseeing -- especially people watching!
The plaza was once a marsh area -- sort of a mini estuary -- fed by the ocean, but in 1832 a sea wall was constructed along Olas Altas beach, drying the area and making it suitable for construction of larger buildings.
The Plazuela Machado that we know today was originally constructed in 1837, financed by wealthy international trader Juan Nepomuceno Machado.
Certainly not designed as a tourist attraction -- The Pearl of The Pacific had no tourists at that time -- Plaza Machado was designed to reflect growing wealth and commercial power, and serve as the heart of the Mazatlan Centro Historico which was, at that time, simply Centro.
Once referred to as Paseo de las Naranjas (Orange Tree Walk) because of the orange trees that surrounded the space, the plaza quickly became a focal point for the community, and a place where Mazatlecos of all social classes gathered.
The beautiful iron gazebo in the center of the square was built in 1870, serving as a platform for performers and further cementing the plaza as a central public space.
The restored Plaza Machado is at the heart of the culture-rich Mazatlan Centro Historico renewal, and the focal point of a massive revitalization that has taken place in recent years.
Video of the Plaza Machado in Mazatlan
The Pearl of The Pacific -- in creative partnership with private capital -- has restored and supported the restoration of the beautiful buildings surrounding the Plaza Machado. These efforts at Centro Historico revitalization also included expansion of our Malecon, as well as improvements to other Mazatlan tourist attractions, plazas, and recreational areas.
The Plaza Machado and surrounding Centro Historico feature architecture influenced by the French and Spanish, and the Plaza Machado brings back an era when Mazatlecos spent leisurely afternoons and evenings around these public spaces.
The Plaza Machado is a Mazatlan City Guide favorite and a great place to relax, eat and drink after a day of sightseeing and shopping in the Centro Historico.
Many of our most delightful restaurants -- like La Tramoya and Pedro y Lola -- are immediately on the Plaza Machado, and others are just minutes walk from it. Please refer to the restaurants section of this website for more detailed descriptions of the dining possibilities on the Plaza Machado and within the Centro Historico.