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Altar in the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario

El Rosario (Sinaloa) is a coastal town on the Sea of Cortez in southern Sinaloa, Mexico. The town's main church is famous for having a beautifully ostentatious gold altar that stuns visitors, even in a country where astounding churches are common. Once famous as the home town of ranchera singer, Lola Beltran, the town is now known for its quality marijuana. It's a charming small town with a colonial vibe. It is one of Mexico's designated Pueblos Mágicos and is a popular day trip for visitors staying at the beach resorts of Mazatlan.



El Rosario is a small town with about 16,000 residents (2010). It is a historic mining community, founded in 1655, that built its first industries around silver production. An unspecified number of locals now profit from growing marijuana and poppy for drug cartels.

Get in

Map of El Rosario (Sinaloa)

By car


From Mazatlan, El Rosario is 70 km southeast on federal highway MEX-15D. The drive will take about 1 hour. Uber serves Mazatlan and the fare is cheaper than a rental car.

By bus


Several buses go to El Rosario from Mazatlan and other cities. From Mazatlan, Tufesa operates several first-class buses each day. Full-price tickets are M$234 but there's usually a promo going on for about half that. (Tufesa allows you to bring your dog on the bus. Canines pay half the adult fare because they don't complain about how the drivers only speak Spanish.) Other bus companies also go through El Rosario, but less frequently than Tufesa.

Get around



Singer Lola Beltran is a hometown girl in El Rosario
  • 1 Museo de Lola Beltran, Calle Benito Juarez. Tu-Sa 09:00 - 16:00; Su 10:00 - 16:00; closed Tu. Visit the home she grew up in where many of her personal belongings are on display, along with photos, stage bills, musical instruments, and a collection of gowns she wore during performances. Tours are available in both Spanish and English. M$10.
  • 2 Santuario de Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Shrine to our Lady of the Rosary), Juan Carrasco 11. 16:00 - 20:00. Historic colonial church built of pink granite in a baroque style with a relatively unadorned nave but one of the most spectacular gold altars in Mexico. There are several statues and the church is known for a series of oil paintings at each station of the cross. The paintings were the work of Milan artist Luigi Morgari.


  • Rest
  • Relax
  • Beaches at El Caimanero, about 30 minutes by car or taxi. El Caimanero has beaches on both the Pacific Ocean and on a large lake. There are numerous seafood restaurants and beach palapas.
  • 1 Laguna del Iguanero (Laguna Zacatecas). Small lake in the middle of town is supposedly an eco-park, but it looks more like the town swimming hole (which is cool). Swinging bridge to a small island, nice place to talk a peaceful walk around the lake, but not an iguana in sight...




  • 1 Mariscos el Güero “Pecas”, Calle Melchor Ocampo Nte. 52, La Cruz, +52 694 952 6114. Th-Tu 09:00-19:30; closed W. Casual Mexican seafood restaurant.
  • 2 El Patio, Calle Gral. Rafael Buelna Pte. 48. W-M 18:00 - 23:00; closed Tu. Traditional regional cuisine in a family run business with friendly local service. The house specialty is empanadas, which go great with the homemade aguas frescas.
  • 3 Mariscos El Limoncito, Calle Pánuco 24, Joya, +52 694 956 7791. Daily 11:00 - 19:00. You expect fresh seafood in coastal towns and this place is one of the best in town. Generous portions with some creative dishes like the torre de mariscos (seafood tower) which packs in shrimp, fish, octopus and more and is topped off with asparagus spears.



El Manantial, Calle Reforma, Anonal, 82800, sells Tonicol sodas.



There are few hotels in town and most visitors seem to be day trippers from Mazatlan, where a much larger range of lodging choices is available.

  • 1 Hotel San Angel, Venustiano Carranza 80, López Portillo, +52 694 952 0332. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Basic accommodations at budget prices. Cash only (no credit cards). On-site parking available. Free wake-up service (courtesy of roosters at neighboring property).
  • 2 Capital O Hotel, Carr. MEX-15 Mazatlán - Tepic km 222, +52 800 696 7666. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 15:00. Moderate hotel operated by the Oyo chain. Clean, comfortable rooms with air conditioning and cable TV. Gated parking area. On-site restaurant. Best option in town. M$600.



Cell reception is good in El Rosario, though mostly 4G as of 2023. Hotels and restaurants generally have good internet with free WiFi access.

Go next

This city travel guide to El Rosario 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.