Mazatlán is a city in the Mexican state of Sinaloa; the surrounding municipio (municipality) for which the city serves as the municipal seat is also called Mazatlán. It is located at 23°12′N 106°25′W on the Pacific coast, just across from the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula.
Mazatlán is a Nahuatl word meaning "place of the deer." The city was founded in the 1820s. By the mid-1800s a large group of immigrants had arrived from Germany. These new citizens developed Mazatlán into a thriving commercial seaport, importing equipment for the nearby gold and silver mines. It served as the capital of Sinaloa from 1859 to 1873. They also influenced the music, Banda, which is an alteration of Bavarian folk music.
Mazatlán, with a population of over 400,000 as of 2006, is the second-largest city in the state and Mexico's largest commercial port. It is also a popular tourist destination, its beaches lined with resort hotels. A car ferry plies its trade across the Gulf of California from Mazatlán to La Paz, Baja California Sur.
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