Mazatlán is a Nahuatl word meaning "place of deer". It is a city in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, and serves as the municipal seat for the surrounding ''municipio'', known as the Mazatlán Municipality. The city was founded in 1531 by an army of Spaniards and indigenous settlers. By the mid-19th century 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. The German settlers also influenced the local music, banda, which is an alteration of Bavarian folk music. The settlers also established the Pacifico Brewery on March 14, 1900.
Mazatlán is a socially and economically diverse city. It is a popular vacation and retirement destination for Europeans, Canadians and Americans, and also provides opportunities for working immigrants.