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Malecón de Mazatlán

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Mazatlan's #1 Boutique Hotel


13 Facts About Banda Music You Never Knew

Sophia Boccard


Let’s imagine we’re in a lively restaurant in town and there’s music blasting across the 10 speakers located throughout. Customers, primarily locals, dining, will scream and shout and whistle at one another just to be heard over the loud music. Outside the open-air restaurant with wooden columns supporting the sporadically shaded roof, there are groups of foreigners gawking, trying to understand where that noise is coming from. Banda music, a beloved style of music very much like pop, rock, electronic and heavy metal, has a way of polarizing listeners as either lovers or haters of the genre. While the music is revered by many Mexicans, not many people know the history of where or how the music came to be. We want to give you the crash course – see below for 13 fun facts about Banda music.


1. Banda generally means “band” in Spanish, and among the plethora of regional bands across Mexico, Banda Sinaloense is identified as the style of music most people think of when referring to Banda

2. This type of music is made up of a variety of ensembles consisting of percussion, brass and woodwind instruments

3. During the Second Mexican Empire in the 1860s, headed by Maximilian I – a puppet of Napoleon – military bands performed to the tune of brass music of German immigrants


4. German immigrants brought over polka music thus helping spur a marriage between traditional Mexican music and German polka music

5. The genre appealed to both rural and urban residents and exploded in popularity until the late 1890s

6. During the Mexican Revolution in the 1910s, revolutionary leaders such as Pancho Villa, would bring wind bands everywhere they went, bringing the music to fight and helped sustain its popularity into the 20th century


7. Instruments used are tubas, bass drums with cymbals, clarinets, snare drums, trombones with valves and saxhorns

8. As a recognized musical genre in the 1940s, bands average anywhere from nine to 12 members, typically with a lead singer and a second voice

9. The 1950s and 1960s brought about the incorporation of new instruments such as slide trombones and saxophones, allowing bands to perform mainstream dance music and popular pieces like the big band mambo


10. Banda continues to draw a wide range of danceable rhythms that range from polka, fox trot, bolero, cha-cha, waltz, cumbia and mambo

11. The tambora, a drum covered with animal hide, is the instrument most often identified with Banda


12. Some of the most famous bands are the groups Banda Sinaloense, who in the 1990s reached international popularity, while the “mother of all bands” is the prominent group Banda el Recodo

13. El grito mexicano, a yell by the performers or audience members during a musical interlude, is a staple in Banda music in addition to other forms of traditional Mexican music

Why A tiny Microbrewery In Mazatlan Is King

Sophia Boccard


When Edvin Jonsson was 23 years old he decided that he wanted to correct a wrong, there’s simply no good beer in Mazatlan, so he needed to make his own. Six years later, and a healthy obsession of brewing beer at home, turned into his very own microbrewery in Mazatlan well on its way to becoming the place to get the best I.P.A. in town after only being open for one year. We sat down with Edvin to pick his brain a bit on beer and his process.

Do you have any formal training in brewing science or art?

Back in 2012 I completed the Diploma Program in Brewing Technology at both the Siebel Institute in Chicago and the Doemens Academy in Munich. Beer conferences are also kind of my thing, I really love beer.

We love beer too, especially your I.P.A. but your brewery is tiny! How many barrels do you make a year?

We’re considered a nano brewery, so we're technically too small to be considered a microbrewery. We produce a little less than 300 barrels annually.

Instagram: @melyvillanueva

Instagram: @melyvillanueva

Nano-Micro-OK. However technical we need to be, we just love that we have a homebred brewery in town. Since you are so small, are you set up to do anything automatically or is there a lot of exercise in your brewery's operation?

We have zero automation. Everything we do is manual. It’s actually a fantastic workout, although a 12-hour brew day in the middle of August can be brutal.

Have you ever had a bad batch? If so, how long did it take you to figure out what caused it?

Sadly yes, we once had a contamination issue. We had to disassemble and thoroughly clean everything as well as replace all of our plastic hoses and gaskets. It took us three bad batches to get rid of it. Since then, we’ve brought on a microbiologist who has been a lifesaver.

Has Tres Islas ever been a part of a beer festival or conference and have you won any awards?

I've personally attended a lot of festivals and conferences and have been to Craft Brewers Conference twice, which is one of the largest ones in the world. But the brewery has only been present at the Mazatlan Beer Fest. We also recently won a silver medal in the American Porter Category at Copa Cerveza MX, one of the most important competitions in Latin America.

Instagram: @mariachihc

Instagram: @mariachihc

Congratulations on the award! Is there a secret to your success? Do you guys have a tradition when brewing?

No traditions but when we had our bad batch, Memo and I created a sad music playlist on Spotify and the first song to come on was If You Leave Me Now by Chicago. As we watched our 1st round of beer go down the drain, we played the song. And then again when we drained our 2nd round. I guess we'll play that song whenever we toss a bad batch, so here’s to hoping that never happens again!

If you had to pick a favorite beer from the brewery and offer it to a stranger, which one would it be and why?

Oh, that’s tough because I don't have a favorite beer. The two I drink the most are the I.P.A. and the Saison, but people here in Mexico are very picky about their beer and either love or hate the IPA style. I’d have to ask them first about his/her flavor preferences.

OK, last question we promise! Got any advice for those aspiring brewers out there?

Don't rush into it. Learn as much as you can, read a lot of beer books, follow blogs, podcasts, forums, attend conferences, ask questions to other brewers, work for another brewery. Also, develop a beer palate, that process takes time but it should be fun because you explore all kinds of beer. Become a beer judge and participate as much as you can in beer competitions that way you'll learn from other judges as well.

Spotlight: When Did Mazatlan Become So French?

Sophia Boccard

flowers in mazatlan

Most people who know of and think about traveling to Mazatlán do so because the city has a reputation of being an affordable, resort-friendly destination with beaches, a handful of outdoor water activities, and eating an average meal at your all-inclusive resort. We personally see Mazatlan as so much more than just a stop-over for a cruise heading towards the ports of Puerta Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas.


We love our beautiful city, and we are proud of our home. We are locals who can trace our ancestry here for over a century, and we are proud to call ourselves Mazatlecos. What most people don’t realize is that Mazatlan has an incredibly rich history with the French that traces back to the 1864 Capture of Mazatlan.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

During the period of French intervention in Mexico between 1862 and 1867, the Republic of Mexico was invaded by the army of the Second French Empire, of which a Second Mexican Empire was established and ruled by Napoleon’s puppet, Maximilian I of Mexico. The French flagship La Cordelière encroached upon Olas Altas Bay and, with their war flags raised up high, began the battle of which the Mexicans ultimately won.

Directly after admitting their defeat, many of the French soldiers defected and escaped along the coastline of Sinaloa to begin their assimilation to the communities. New identities were created, families formed, gastronomy was influenced and traditions continued.

Donación de El Gran Orgullo de ser de Mazatlán

Donación de El Gran Orgullo de ser de Mazatlán

Take a walk around town and you’ll find yourself conversing with the families Loubet, Roux, Leclair or Dupont, all of which can trace their lineage to a soldier on La Cordelière. You’ll see many individuals who continue to eat panquekis (in Mazatlan, panquekis means crepes, not to be confused with the translation of pancakes everywhere else in Mexico), bolillos, a bread similar to the baquettes, and cheese. Lots of it!

Top 5 Instagram Picks This Week: June 12

Sophia Boccard

Many of the best photos of our hotel and restaurant come from you – our guests. We searched high and low on Instagram and found many incredible photos. 

Our top five Instagram snaps this week are to inspire, motivate and excite future guests for their upcoming stay.

Got a favorite? Click the links to Like and Comment and give our guests props for their amazing picture taking skills!

We love when our guests take pictures at Casa Lucila Hotel Boutique, and we ♥ when they use #casalucila or tag us!

How to Be A Conservationist in Mazatlan

Sophia Boccard


Summer travel is usually reserved for hitting the beach and lounging around. This June, join us in doing something different. June is known as National Aquarium Month in the U.S., and we want to dedicate the entire month to learning about our eco-system and raising awareness about conservation as some of our local friends have done. This month, we honor them and the ocean life, located steps from the front door of our boutique hotel.

jellyfish mazatlan

Acuario Mazatlan, our neighborhood aquarium, is not only the largest aquarium in Mexico, it is one of the best in all of Latin America. Here you will find over 50 tanks, home to hundreds of species from sea lions, turtles, octupus, fresh and salt water fish, and even sharks! Immerse yourself In the Museum of the Sea where you can learn about life in the ocean, conservation, protection programs, and see their collection of marine life bones, shells and fishing methods.

fish mazatlan aquarium

Inside Acuario Mazatlan’s compound, there is a three-acre botanical garden that is not to be missed. With over 75 species of trees located throughout, there is also a crocodile pond, an aviary housing everything from macaws to roosters and a frog pond that includes 21 types of frogs.

frogs in mazatlan

Acuario is also home to several conservation and marine animal rescue programs. One of their largest is the Sea Turtle Conservation Program which has protected over 6,200 nests that subsequently liberated over 380,000 hatchlings in 23 years. Some of the other programs include the Brown Pelican Protection Program, Whistling Duck Protection Program, Macaw Protection Program and the Stranded Sea Turtle and Marine Mammal Program.

turtles in mazatlan

Our friends Onca Explora is a unique tour operator focusing on ocean expeditions that include whale and dolphin watching excursions, while also educating their clients about wildlife and conservation. Onca Explora is an eco-tourism business that began in 2006. They focused most of their time and energy into research of humpback whales. Since then, they have also identified more than 200 individual bottlenose dolphins while on their frequent expeditions.

humpback whale mazatlan

A follower in citizen science and a remarkable way to merge tourism with the study and gathering of data, Onca Explora makes sure to engage their clients in every aspect of their adventures. Monitoring and conservation activities are aspects of their wildlife adventures in which clients are encouraged to support the study of the ecology of the north Pacific population of humpback whales.

mazatlan aquarium

We invite everyone to learn the values and threats to biodiversity through wildlife research, education and community. Make sure to add a visit to Acuario Mazatlan and join Onca Explora on an adventure during your next visit to Mazatlan!