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Although the rocks take a daily pounding from the elements — some are even submerged for part of the day — many remain remarkably well preserved.The site is believed to possess great spiritual power.Some 600 stone-carved petroglyphs can be found here, engraved with a system of ancient icons that is still being interpreted by historians.This is the largest site of its kind in Mexico and the only one in the world located on a coastal tidal zone.In spring, the spot is the home of the annual Spring Equinox festival.

Painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers and fabric artists all open their studios throughout the historic district.

Once the favored holiday hideaway for Hollywood celebrities such as Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson and John Wayne, Mazatlan has grabbed the spotlight as a preferred spring break destination and a perennial favorite port of call for cruise passengers.

In recent years, however, the city has found itself losing market share to Mexico’s newer destinations, with their seemingly endless construction of glitzy, all-inclusive properties.

In addition to its prime location along the Pacific Coast, Mazatlan has a rich history dating back to the 1500s and a charming historic center.

Here, merchants line the square, but instead of selling pre-fabricated souvenirs, vendors are far more likely to display hand-crafted items.

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