Mazatlan is a destination with a split personality. Despite the importance of its visitor industry, it remains very much its own city. Once a well-kept secret among fishing enthusiasts, the small fishing village of Mazatlan has grown over the past 50 years into one of Mexico's principal resorts and the largest West Coast port between Los Angeles and the Panama Canal. The port is built on a peninsula that jets into a natural harbor separating a large shrimp fleet (Mazatlan is the shrimp capital of the world) and other boat traffic from the wide sandy beaches that extend northward along the coastal road. The sea, known in Mexico as the Gulf of California, is famous for being the greatest fishing site in the hemisphere, making Mazatlan a fisherman's dream.