The Cliff Divers of Mazatlán

The van pulled over and we climbed out of the vehicle into a sea of friendly merchants. With tourists stopping by all day, the vendors set up and greet you with ‘buen precio and muy barato” (good prices and very cheap).

the diver poses for a photo...

Only after you navigate through the wood carvings, silver souvenirs, and the other assorted commonplace Mexican trinkets (many of which I own), can you make your way to meet the “manager.” Well, I gave him that title, I am not sure what he calls himself, but he produces the show. Most tourists in Mazatlán stop by to pay him a visit and see a cliff dive.

On the south side of the Malecón a “platform” or cliffs exists where a few brave souls plunge into a shallow sea. This is not Acapulco; there is no show time (during the day, not sure about the evening). The event occurs when people arrive and offer tips. How much might it take for a diver to risk his life?

Eventually, a deal was made, and we were all prepared to give 20-50 pesos (~11.5 pesos to the USD). The diver essentially risks it all for the equivalent of $15-$20 USD. Sometimes he’ll make more, other times, he might jump for less. For them, this is their livelihood, their day job.(I gave 50 pesos)

As he climbed up to the top, we all prepared. We walked down to obtain the best view, and pointed our cameras in anticipation. At the summit, he paused, prayed and then slowly walked to the edge. An eternity passed (the minute seemed long) as we all waited. At low tide he needed to be even more careful.

he leaped off the cliff...

Suddenly, he dove. A beautiful arch and full extension delighted the crowd. A perfect 10.

Stay adventurous, Craig

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  • http://www.rebeccaandtheworld.com Rebecca

    Amazing! Those rocks below look a little pointy…

  • http://cherilucas.wordpress.com Cheri Lucas

    Ah, love that shot! Reminds me of my recent time jumping off the cliff in Ibiza. (But I was too scared to dive!)

    Cheers,
    Cheri

  • http://www.stayadventurous.wordpress.com stayadventurous

    @ Rebecca thanks. it was not an easy dive, but thankfully he cleared those rocks.

    @Cheri, there is no way I’d dive from there either. It takes a professional. I often wonder how they practice. And I loved your Ibiza jump story.

    stay adventurous, Craig

  • Maryann

    I have seen the amazing cliff divers of Acapulco but never knew that there were other divers in Mexico. Your picture captured the moment beautifully and the cliffs looked more treacherous than in Acapulco. How brave (or crazy) are those divers?

  • terri

    What a nice shot!

  • http://wendypgreene.blogspot.com/ Wendy

    LOVE that photo!

  • http://www.swgraphic.com/v2 Sarah

    Amazing shot but looks dangerous to dive from there.. heheh

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  • shaun_robertson

    This is great. I have been to Mazatlan a hand full of times and have never been here. Next trip!

    Shaun
    http://www.thislifeintrips.com