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Cobblestone street in Cosala

Cosalá is a small town in the northern state of Sinaloa, Mexico. Surrounded by mountainous terrain, the area boasts two man-made lakes, a spectacular cavern system, and an impressive waterfall. The town itself is very picturesque with cobblestone streets and adobe buildings painted in a rainbow of pastel colors. It has been designated as one of Mexico's Pueblos Magicos.



Historically occupied by the Yaqui indigenous people, Cosala was founded in the early 19th century as a stronghold for Mexican/Spanish settlers. The town has less than 6,600 residents (2010). Like other towns in Mexico, Cosala has a ridiculously pompous long name that nobody ever uses, and this one is really a doozy! The town's official name is Real de Minas de Nuestra Señora de las Once Mil Vírgenes de Cosalá. I like to think that they had to change it when it was pointed out that there weren't any virgins to be found in Cosala, let alone 11,000.

Get in

Map of Cosalá

By car


Cosala is 2-1/2 hours by car from Mazatlan, it is about 165 km. From Mazatlan, drive north on federal highway MEX-15 for about 100 km, then turn northeast on Sinaloa state highway 1 and continue another 65 km until you reach Cosala.

Get around


It's a small town that is easily explored by walking. Taxis are available for getting to outlying areas, such as the lakes.


  • Gruta México, a giant cave with stalactites and stalagmites, located about 15 km northeast of town
  • 1 Parroquia Santa Ursula, the town's historic main church was built in the 18th century and features a large belfry
  • 2 The Museum of Mining and History, Gabriel Leyva Solano 99, chronicles Cosala's history as a mining town with displays of minerals, mining equipment, historical documents, and period tools and weapons. Small museum. M$10


  • visit the Vado Honda waterfall
  • fish at the two lakes: Comedero and El Salto are both stocked with largemouth bass


  • Festival of Candles - held annually in December


  • 1 Mercado Municipal, Antonio Rosales. Daily 05:00 - 19:00. Small traditional town market, lots of stands selling homemade regional cuisine. Second-class buses and combis to/from nearby towns depart from this market.


  • 1 El Pueblito, Esq. Antonio Rosales y Gabriel Leyva Solano, +52 696 965 1039. Daily 08:00 - 22:00. Casual restaurant serving traditional regional cuisine with a spacious dining area and a second floor terrace offering views of the historic centro. The black corn tortillas are a house specialty. Cash only (no credit cards). M$200.
  • 2 El Nuevo Rincon, 5 de Mayo, +52 696 965 0703. Daily 08:00 - 16:00. Bright, cheery casual restaurant serving regional cuisine and typical Mexican seafood dishes, including ceviche. M$200.
  • 3 Campestre el Encanto, Guadalupe Victoria 43, +52 696 965 0913. Casual open-air restaurant serving traditional Mexican cuisine. Blue corn tortillas. Service can be slow.
  • 4 El Guamuchilito, Leopoldo Sanchez Celiz, +52 696 107 9303. Casual taqueria serving tacos, quesadillas and blue corn gorditas. Locals recommend the quesadillas which are very large. M$150.




  • 1 Hotel Quinta Minera, Miguel Hidalgo 92, Centro, +52 696 965 0222. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 13:00. Traditional colonial style hotel with beautiful gardens and two swimming pools. Clean, comfortable rooms and off-street parking. M$1600 (Nov 2023).
  • 2 Hotel Regina "El Llano", Francisco I. Madero. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Basic budget hotel with minimal amenities. M$1000 (Nov 2023).
  • 3 Hotel Ray 4 Hermanos, Arteaga, +52 696 965 0303. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Moderate hotel with good, clean rooms and affordable rates. Swimming pool and off-street parking. Cash only (no credit cards). M$850.
  • 4 Hotel Real de Conde, Antonio Rosales 6, +52 696 965 0006. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Moderate hotel with small but tidy rooms. Swimming pool and off-street parking M$950.



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This city travel guide to Cosalá is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.