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Mazatlán is a city in Sinaloa state, Mexico, known for its fine beaches. It is a popular vacation and retirement destination for Canadians and Americans. While many of Mexico's original Pacific coast resorts are showing their age, Mazatlán still has some spring in its step, along with a big carnival, lively arts scene and a beautiful historical center to boot.

Understand[edit]

El Malecón at sunset

Mazatlán is a Nahuatl word for "place of deer". The area was colonized by the Spanish in 1531. During the mid-19th century, a large group of immigrants arrived from Germany. Over time, Mazatlán developed into a commercial seaport, importing equipment for the nearby gold and silver mines, and it served as the capital of Sinaloa from 1859 to 1873. The German settlers influenced the local music, banda, with some genres being an alteration of Bavarian folk music. The settlers established the Pacifico Brewery in 1900.

In the latter half of the 20th century, Mazatlán became a tourist destination. The hotels along Olas Altas flourished during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, and Mazatlán was well regarded by film stars such as John Wayne, Gary Cooper, John Huston, and others of their generation as a sport fishing mecca. In the 1970s, tourism in the historical center declined as newer venues catering to foreign tourists opened on the expanses of beach to the north of the city. As the 21st century began, the historical center was rediscovered, spurring a renaissance of restoration and entrepreneurial endeavors, and many once-fine buildings that had fallen into ruin were restored to their former glory as family homes and boutique businesses.

Today, Mazatlán is a socially and economically diverse city, with more than 500,000 people (2017) of all races. It has several distinct inner city districts, as well as outlying suburbs that are mainly inhabited by working-class Mexicans. There are two primary areas of interest to visitors: the Golden Zone (Zona Dorada) where the resort-seeking tourists go and the historical center (Centro Historico) with several lovely plazas and many renovated 18th-century commercial buildings and private residences. The city is more affordable than many of Mexico's other Pacific resorts and still maintains an authentic character.

Mazatlán has a tropical savanna climate bordering a hot semi-arid climate, with a marked and rather long dry season and an average annual temperature of 25 °C (77 °F). During the summer months, with the humidity factor, temperatures usually feel well above what the thermometer shows. Winter can be a little cool and may not make for the best beach days, particularly during a cold snap.

Get in[edit]

Cruise ships docked in Mazatlán

By plane[edit]

  • 1 General Rafael Buelna International Airport (MZT IATA also known as Mazatlán International Airport). It receives international travelers from: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Houston, Dallas, South Shore Harbor, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Denver, Minneapolis, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver, and Winnipeg. You can reach Mazatlán from many other international origins via Mexico City. General Rafael Buelna International Airport (Q1432022) on Wikidata Mazatlán International Airport on Wikipedia

By car[edit]

Mazatlán is approximately an 18-hour drive from Phoenix, Arizona, in the United States. There are many considerations when bringing a car into Mexico.

By bus[edit]

Mexico has an extremely well developed bus route system and one can easily find a bus to wherever one needs to go. Mazatlán is about 12 hours away from Mexico City (~US$90 one way), 6 hours from Guadalajara (~US$40 one way), 15 hours from Nogales (~US$50 one way), and only about 2 hours from Culiacán. For whatever reason, the bus companies crank up the air-conditioning, so bring a sweater!

  • 2 Central de Autobuses de Mazatlán, Río Pánuco & José Angel Espinoza Ferrusquilla. The main bus terminal.

By boat[edit]

Main article: Baja ferries

Baja Ferries runs a ferry between Mazatlan and Pichilinque, La Paz in Baja California Sur. The trip takes 12 hours or more and leaves Mazatlan almost daily (check for weekend departures). Also, Mazatlán has a busy port which accommodates a number of cruise ships that sail up and down the western coast of the Americas. From the port, it's a five-minute taxi ride to the southernmost hotels or fifteen minutes to the more modern (and more expensive) places to the north.

  • 3 Terminal Marítima Mazatlán (Embarcadero), Hilario Rodríguez Malpica SN-S, Playas del Sur. Cruise ships and the ferries to La Paz dock at the Maritime Terminal.

Get around[edit]

Map
Map of Mazatlan

By taxi[edit]

Uber is in Mazatlán and always about half the price of a pulmonía. Besides normal taxis, the tourist areas (Zona Dorada and Centro Historico) always have many small white open-topped taxis called pulmonías that look like dodgem cars. These are unique to Mazatlan. Although you'll never have to wait long for one (they're always whizzing back and forth) ask the price before you get in and then bargain. The correct price will usually be about 30% less than the original quote. Don't overdo the haggling, though. It'll cost you less than US$4 to go between downtown and the tourist district. You may want to give the driver a little tip as appreciation for a safe and enjoyable journey.

By bus[edit]

There are two different types of public transport buses that run in Mazatlán. The larger green ones run along the main tourist strip right along the water and either turn off at Rafael Buelna Anvenue or continue on along the Malecon to downtown. These are the equivalent of coach buses, they are very well air-conditioned and in great shape. They cost around M$9 (pesos) per trip. The city is also served by regular local buses which are cheaper and only cost M$5-6. Be sure to check the windshield of the bus as the bus route is typically written on it. These buses serve the entire city well but can be confusing without a thorough knowledge of the system. The buses that go along the Malecon between downtown and the tourist district are the "Sabalo-Centro" buses.

By car[edit]

Mazatlán is approximately on the intersection of highway 15 and highway 40. In-town transportation is mainly motorized, except for the Centro Histórico, which is a very nice walking district. For tourists, cabs can be found in sparse supply compared to the number of pulmonías in town. Pulmonías are essentially open-air taxis, many of them old Volkswagens. They're as safe as any cab, just as cheap, and offer a far better view of the city on a nice day.

See[edit]

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Beautiful architecture lines the Plaza Machado
  • A total solar eclipse on Monday 8 April 2024, starting at 12:07 local time and lasting 4 min. Chances of a clear sky are 70%. This is the first continental landfall of this eclipse, tracking northeast towards Durango and Texas.
  • 1 Lighthouse of Mazatlan (El Faro de Mazatlán) (Look for the signs that say "Faro" around town). 06:00-17:45. It is now the highest natural lighthouse in the world. (Gibraltar was the highest, but now not in operation.) The building itself is quite low, but sits on a cliff, so the light is 155 m (515 feet) above sea level. You will have the best view in Mazatlan if you hike up. Don't attempt the hike up unless you're in shape. M$30. Mazatlán Lighthouse (Q28375139) on Wikidata Faro Mazatlán on Wikipedia
  • 2 Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. This lovely building was finished in 1899 and is being gently restored to its original beauty, although to a visitor it is already beautiful to behold. Its exterior displays a beauty that needs no extras or frills, its inner beauty is juxtaposed to its outside. With all interior light coming through stained glass, it takes on a lovely color, and its reflection off gold statues and other images is quite something. A unique detail is that, at the time of the construction, there was a Jewish family living in Mazatlan, and they donated money towards the construction. People were so happy that they decided to set the Star of David in the top windows of this cathedral. One of the only Catholic churches with this Jewish symbol.
  • 3 Cliff divers (El Clavadista). These daredevils do something similar as in Acapulco, but it is lower and more shallow. The rock formation that they climb up is about 13 m (45 feet) high and it is only 2-3 m (5-6 ft) deep. They wait for the right wave to make the dive. They are there all day long, but the best time to see them is in the morning.
  • 4 Gran Acuario Mazatlán (Great Mazatlan Aquarium), Av. de los Deportes Tellería (Adjacent to the Parque de la Ciudad and Parque Infantil. Between Del Mar and Internacional, north of Deportes.). Has bird, seal, and diving shows.
  • 5 Plaza Machado (Machado Square). The jewel of the restored Centro Histórico. The west side of the square is flanked by the Teatro Ángela Peralta. Adjacent to the Teatro is a Spanish-language exhibit explaining the history of Mazatlán. The north side has Pedro y Lola's restaurant, a favorite among locals and tourists. On the south side is a hotel restored to its original beauty. A decent (Spanish-language) bookstore is only a couple of blocks away near the Universidad Politécnica de Sinaloa on Constitución. Keep your eyes open for shops with interesting (high-end) local art. The restaurants on the Plazuela have great food, some a little nicer and pricier than others. El Patio and Café Pacífico line the northeast corner of the plaza, and regularly have a fantastic acoustic guitarist playing at night for the diners and the square. Along the north side are three great spots for lunch or dinner. With offers of cheap, ice-cold beer all day, it isn't hard to be lured in to try a little of their food. All these restaurants have both indoor and outdoor, on the sidewalk, seating. Plazuela Machado, Mazatlán (Q123466387) on Wikidata Plazuela Machado on Wikipedia
  • 6 Teatro Ángela Peralta (Ángela Peralta Theater) (on the Plaza Machado), +52 669 982 4446. Built in the 1800s, a beautifully restored building (1987 to 1992) which regularly offers many types of drama and music. Ángela Peralta Theatre (Q15850240) on Wikidata Teatro Ángela Peralta, Mazatlán on Wikipedia
  • 7 Museo de Arte, Sixto Osuna 71, +52 669 981 5592, . M-Sa 09:00-14:00, 16:00-18:00. Numerous art exhibitions, both temporary and permanent. Free.
  • 8 Olas Altas Beach. This lovely curving beach with its popular Malecon and many restaurants serves the residents of the Centro Historico. Don't miss it. It's only four blocks west of the Plaza Machado.
  • 9 Panteón Municipal No.2 (cemetery), Av Gabriel Leyva, Montuosa. There is a cemetery on Barragan, a block north of Najera. Beautiful and interesting.
  • 10 Miramar Condominium (Condominios Miramar). Although an otherwise unremarkable building, the beachfront condominium tower where infamous drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán was arrested in 2014 (he later escaped) has become somewhat of a tourist attraction, or at least a mildly-popular photo opportunity. You cannot enter the building.

Do[edit]

Boat tour in Mazatlán
A float in the Mazatlán Carnaval
  • The miles of beach have plenty to keep most people occupied. Jet skiing, waterskiing, and parascending are all available, but always haggle on price.
    • 1 Playa Norte (just north of downtown). Along the boardwalk you'll find the Fishermen's Memorial, better known as monkeys bichis; a bronze replica of a pulmonia taxi and a monument to the Pacific Brewery. This is great swimming and has a number of palm-roofed fish restaurants right on the beach. The southern end of this beach is dedicated to fishermen and their boats.
    • 2 Playa Sábalo (in the north of the city). This is tourist country!
    • 3 Playa Cerritos (an extension of Playa Sábalo). Also tourist country!
    • 4 Playa Delfines (north of the tourist area of the city).
    • 5 Playa Isla De La Piedra (in the southern part of the city). Not a phenomenal beach but a nice break from the bustle of Mazatlán proper. To get to the island there are two docks from which you can catch a ferry: 4 Embarcadero Isla de Piedra and 5 Embarcadero Playa Sur.
  • Attend a festival:
    • Carnaval de Mazatlán. A five-day festival held in Febuary which is purported to be one of the largest in the world. A large portion of the street in Old Mazatlán is closed down and live bands and vendors fill the streets.
    • During the week of Semana Santa (Easter week), Mazatlán is flooded with Mexican tourists from all around the country who are escaping the heat to come to the beach. The miles of beach are literally jam-packed for the entire week. The atmosphere is wild, and you can have a lot of fun, but be very careful.
  • 6 Dinner Theater or Comedy Club, Las Flores Beach Hotel, Av. Gaviotas 212. The newest evening time passers are the murder mystery dinner theater put on by Murder in Mexico, at Las Flores Beach Hotel on Tuesday nights. Or visit the 7 Mazatlan Comedy Club, Av. Gaviotas 202, +52 800 716 9567. at Hotel Playa Mazatlan, which is on monthly between November and March. Approach the concierge at the hotel there to book.
  • Surfing. Mazatlán has several prime locations where you can try out your surfing skills. The most popular spot is a beach called 8 Playa Bruja to the north of the city. The waves easily reach heights of 2.5-3 m (8-10 ft) and there is almost always a vendor from whom you can rent surfboards. This is a remote beach that is usually fairly empty. Not only is the surf great, but the lack of annoying vendors makes it even better. Another surfing location is right next to Valentino's (this is the largest landmark in the city). There are several places to rent surfboards right on the beach, but the waves are not nearly as good as Playa Bruja.
  • Take a boat cruise. Visit the islands, go whale watching, bird watching, deep sea fishing, or simply get obliterated drunk on a party cruise. There should be something that strikes your fancy. Cruises can be booked almost almost anywhere: online, at your hotel, bumping into random touts in the tourist zone, etc.
  • Sport fishing. Mazatlán is a far more affordable game fishing destination than world-renown Los Cabos, despite being quite close geographically. Popular year-round species include marlin, sailfish, dorado, wahoo, swordfish, bonito, tuna and shark.
  • 9 Estrella Del Mar Golf Course, Av Camarón Sábalo 1005, +52 669 915 8320. Rated one of the best courses in Mexico, Estrella Del Mar is a challenging 18-hole championship Mazatlan golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. It is 10 minutes from Mazatlan airport. The course is laid out alongside the ocean, fronts 5.5 km (3.5 mi) of beach and offers tropical landscaping, beautiful lakes and truly spectacular scenery.
  • 10 Estrella Del Mar Sea Turtle Sanctuary, KM 10 Camino Isla de la Piedra, toll-free: +1 877 629 2852. The largest privately funded sea turtle preservation and adopt a sea turtle program in Mexico. Established in 1998, the sanctuary was created with the goal of protecting and conserving olive ridley sea turtles.

Buy[edit]

Mercado Pino Suárez

There are three main shopping zones in Mazatlán:

  • Centro Histórico. Most of the shops and vendors down here are trying to make a living selling their wares. You can get fantastic product, at far cheaper prices than if you go to the "Golden District" or to the Mall. It's also a great district to walk through, giving you more to do than just spend money all day.
    • 1 Mercado Pino Suárez. A large marketplace located in the historic center of town where they sell everything from t-shirts to traditional Mexican handcrafts. In its center is the meat and fruit market that serves the local residents. It was finished in 1899. Pino Suárez Market, Mazatlán (Q124153298) on Wikidata Mercado Pino Suárez on Wikipedia
    • 2 Ley Centro. 07:00-22:00 daily. The largest grocery store in the centro.
  • Golden Zone. The name says it all. High class, high prices.
  • La Gran Plaza Mall. You'll find the Mall largely empty but for a few middle class kids milling around looking for somewhere to spend their money. High prices in almost all the stores, bland food, and absolutely no culture or feeling like you're anywhere but somewhere to waste money. The one bright spot? A really big video-game parlor that is great for kids big and small.

Eat[edit]

Outdoor dining in Mazatlán
  • Coconuts - Try it with lime, salt, chili powder, various hot sauces.

There's a restaurant to suit everyone's taste and budget. They're keen on seafood, especially prawns (camarones) and steak.

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Mariscos Chon, Carnaval 1508, +52 669 981 0447. 11:00-19:00 daily. Crab, shrimp and marlin tacos, etc. 4 tacos for M$100-150.
  • 2 Mi Platillo Express, Gral. Ángel Flores 912-A, +52 669 136 0642. A no-frills but tasty Mexican breakfast plus an instant coffee for M$90 straight up.
  • 3 Tacos Borrachos Emlio (one block west of the fire station). 07:30-12:00 daily. Fish and shrimp tacos, always good. Outdoor, definitely Mexican. Open mornings only.
  • 4 Tacos Y Tortas Ahogadas El Mono, Av. Zaragoza 1805. Tu-Su 08:00-16:00. Phenomenal tacos. Perhaps the best in Mazatlán. M$30-40 per taco.
  • 5 Tortas La República, Miguel Alemán 906-A, +52 669 193 6887. M-Th, Sa 08:00-21:30 F 10:00-21:30. Delicious and fresh tortas.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 6 Chile's Pepper, +52 669 913 0069. 08:00-23:00 daily. Good atmosphere and often busy (a good sign). M$180-300 mains.
  • 7 El Pargo y La Vaca, 16 de Septiembre 216 (Playa Norte), +52 669 985 1222. 13:00-22:00 daily. Excellent service and a great spot to stop after a long walk on the beach. M$200-400 mains.
  • 8 El Velero, +52 669 417 7085. 08:00-18:00 daily. Seafood restaurant with a lovely tranquil location on the Isla de la Piedra (Stone Island). M$150-300 mains.
  • La Mona Pizza has three locations that are always filled with locals (a good sign). And they have salads that tourists can safely eat. M$150-300 mains.
    • 9 La Mona Pizza, Vicente Guerrero 213, +52 669 981 5610. M-F 13:00-00:00 Sa-Su 13:00-01:00. In the centro.
    • 10 La Mona Pizza de la Marina, Paseo de la Isla 2219, +52 669 916 0606. 13:00-00:00 daily. On the marina.
    • 11 La Mona Pizza Bar (At Punto Valentino's), +52 669 214 9143. M 13:00-00:00 Tu 13:00-02:00 W 13:00-00:00 Th 13:00-01:00 F-Sa 13:00-02:00 Su 13:00-12:00. In the Golden Zone.
  • 12 Mariscos Bahía, Mariano Escobedo 203, +52 669 981 2645. 11:00-20:00 daily. Amazing seafood. Avg M$300 mains.
  • 13 MAWE Cocina Vegana, Roosevelt 309, +52 669 152 8014. M, W-Su 08:30-22:00. Vegan restaurant with outdoor seating. M$150-180 mains.
  • 14 El Presidio Cocina de México, Niños Héroes 1511, +52 669 223 1021. 08:00-12:30, 13:00-22:30 daily. You can't tell from the outside but you must visit this amazing restaurant in Centro, the courtyard is in a old 100+ year old building that has been amazingly restored. Mexican food. M$200-400 mains.
  • 15 Topolo, Constitución 629 Benito Juarez, +52 669 136 0660. A really fancy restaurant-outside in a beautiful courtyard with red walls and oil paintings from local artists. The food is amazing, the service is amazing, but the atmosphere beats all. Try the cubos tementapec, or the shrimp. M$200-400 mains.
  • 16 Via Condotti, Heriberto Frías 1505, +52 669 910 2085. 08:00-23:00 daily. Pizza place in centro historico with great thin crust pizza, lasagna, and meatballs for a good price. M$150-250 mains.

Splurge[edit]

  • 17 Hector's Bistro, Mariano Escobedo 409, +52 669 981 1577. 12:00-23:00 daily. A high end european restaurant with some amazing food in Centro. M$300-700 mains.
  • 18 La Marina (in the Marina Hotel at the El Cid Resort), toll-free: +1 888 733 7308. 07:00-17:00, 18:00-22:30 daily. Buffet and à la carte service. Reservations required.

Drink[edit]

Mazatlán is known as a party city and has an exceptionally good nightlife. Some popular destinations include Joe's Oyster Bar and the bars around 1 Punto Valentino's. The city gets crazy around American Spring Break when all city is flooded with American students looking for fun. There are plenty of bars to choose from, depending upon taste, budget and comfort. Tourists occupy the seafront bars whereas locals head inland where the atmosphere can be excellent.

You must try Pacífico, a beautiful locally brewed beer. Sold everywhere for M$15-20. M$10 for a can if you buy it at a deposito.

Cafes[edit]

  • 2 Casa Medrano, Carnaval 75. Coffee inside a small art gallery housed in a beautiful building.

Bars[edit]

The Green Bar in the port area
  • 3 Joe's Oyster Bar, Playa Gaviotas 100, +52 669 983 5333. Joe's Oyster Bar is located on the beach in the Hotel Ramada Mazatlan (formerly the Hotel Los Sabalos). It is a palapa (grass roof) bar. It is 2 for 1 beer (about M$40) all day and night. It opens around noon and stays open until 2am weekdays and 4am weekends. During the day you can sit on the ledge over the beach and listen to classic rock music. They have a volleyball court in the bar if you wish to play. It is great for happy hour and watching the sunset. At night, it turns into a nightclub where you can dance on the chairs and tables. Many people hang out on the beach in front of Joe's just to listen to the music. It gets very busy on Friday and Saturday nights and has a small cover charge (M$60) which includes your first 2 beers or 1 mixed drink. During the day, food is served. A visit to Joe's Oyster bar is a must when you visit Mazatlan.
  • 4 Gus Y Gus Restaurant Bar and Grill, Camaron Sabalo 1730, +52 669 914 4501. Gus Y Gus (pronounced Goose-E-Goose) is a great little restaurant/bar in the Golden Zone. It is located across the street from the Hotel Costa De Oro. The food is very reasonably priced. It is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the evening, the house band "Chameleon" plays classic rock and roll music. When it is busy, people will get up and dance. It has both open air and air-conditioned sections. Normally, the open air sections are where people sit. Gus Y Gus is the place to go to have a good evening out: dinner and dancing.
  • 5 La Querencia Bar, Heriberto Frías 1405. T-Su 17:00-02:00. Decently-priced beer, outdoor seating, live music on Saturdays.
  • 6 Delorean Bar, Calle Libertad Pte. 405. Th-Sa 20:00-02:00 Su 20:00-00:00. Dark and artsy after-party bar in the centro.
  • 7 El Perla Negra, Marina Mazatlan 2209. W-Su 18:00-02:00. Popular among locals.
  • 8 Cotorritos, La marina 2302. 14:00-04:00 daily. A bit cheaper than the bars nearby and so attracts a younger crowd.
  • 9 The Green Bar, Emilio Barragán 517. If you're stepping off a cruise ship, you don't even need to leave the port area!

Nightclubs[edit]

  • 10 Classico Mazatlán, Camaron Sabalo 5510, +52 669 139 8847. F-Sa 22:00-04:00. The Mazatlán location of the popular Classico nightclub chain.
  • 11 Privé Mazatlán, Marina Mazatlan 2302, +52 669 993 2925. F-Sa 22:00-04:00. Very popular and very pricey nightclub in the Marina district.

Sleep[edit]

Mazatlán is well known for offering the best value of any of Mexico's major resorts. Affordably priced lodging and food can be found easily. Outside of January and February (when the city can be a little cold), it is one of the most attractive seaside destinations in Mexico.

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Aguacate Suites, Constitución 630, +52 669 111 3214. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Great location near the Plaza Machado and cheap, if basic. Suites start at M$650 per night.
  • 2 Hotel Mexico, Calle Mexico 201, +52 669 981 3806. Check-in: 07:00, check-out: noon. M$900 per night.
  • 3 Hotel Belmar, Ave. Olas Altas 166, Centro. Check-in: 07:00, check-out: 12:00. Quite dilapidated. M$1300+ per night.
  • 4 Hotel La Siesta, Ave. Olas Altas 11, +52 669 981 2640. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Nice view of the ocean. MXN$1200+ per night.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 5 El Cid Resorts, Camarón Sábalo S/N, +52 669 989 6969, . A resort complex comprising four separate hotels, golf course, tennis courts, volleyball courts, swimming pools with swim-up bars, children’s club, multiple on-site restaurants, fitness centers, on-site spa, fishing facilities. Depending on the hotel, starting from M$2000/night to M$4000/night.
  • 6 Gamma Mazatlán, Belisario Domínguez 1607, +52 443 310 8137, . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Great location in the city center. From M$1600/night.
  • 7 Gaviana Resort, Playa Gaviotas 100, +52 800 716 9700, . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Pleasant beachside resort in the Golden Zone. Rooms start at M$2145/night.
  • 8 Hotel Playa Mazatlan, Playa Gaviotas 202, +52 669 989 0555, toll-free: +52 800 716 9567. Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 11:00. Nice, beachfront hotel. 3 swimming pools, open-air restaurant, fitness center and volleyball court. From M$2000/night.

Splurge[edit]

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay
  • 9 Casa Lucila Hotel Boutique, Olas Altas 16, +52 669 982 1100, . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Great view out over the malecón and Olas Altas beach. Starting at around M$4200/night for king-size bed.
  • 10 Estrella del Mar, Carr. Barrón - Isla de la Piedra km. 10 s/n., +52 669 915 8300, toll-free: +1 888 587 0609. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. Golf and beach resort in Mazatlan 10 minutes from the international airport, 40 minutes south of the city. A gated community comprising oceanfront condominiums with pools and gardens plus homesites alongside the 18-hole championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. Estrella Del Mar sits up against 5 km (3.5 miles) of beachfront that holds Mexico's largest privately funded turtle sanctuary. From M$4200/night.
  • 11 Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay, Av Ernesto Coppel Campaña, +52 669 989-0525. Set on 20 pristine acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Emerald Bay is in a new and unspoiled area that is known as "New Mazatlán." Each suite comes with a panoramic ocean view. Amidst the sound of native birds, you'll relax below 150-year-old mangroves that surround a free-form pool.
  • 12 Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan, Camaron Sabalo No.2121, +52 669 989 8900. Authentic Mexican style unites with modern amenities. Resort features two pools, one of the longest stretches of beach in Latin America, and a number of nearby water activities. Each suite at the Pueblo Bonito Mazatlán comes with an ocean view.

Stay safe[edit]

Mazatlán has the problems that all large Mexican cities do. It's wise to walk in groups or with someone else in any city after dark. Some places in the Centro Histórico and Golden Zone are well lit and occasionally busy at night. Don't let this deceive you into believing it is safe to walk around after dark. Don't be afraid to walk around the Cathedral, Malecon or Plaza Machado during the day. In most areas of the city there's almost no activity at night, and it would be unsafe to be anywhere after dark. Incidents of chain-snatching and robbery at knife point have been reported as occurring directly in front of Valentinos Disco in the Golden Zone even when it is very busy and several hundred people are standing outside. Avoid having any jewelry whatsoever, or wearing nice clothes so you are not targeted by the thugs in this large city. Outside of Mazatlán and its vicinity, the state of Sinaloa is heavily impacted by the drug trade; small towns and rural areas are not particularly safe for travel.

Lifeguard stand are on all main beaches, although lifeguards are rarely present. You'll usually know if jellyfish are in the water by looking at the flags (white) on the beach. You may want to bring a small container of vinegar to apply in case of a sting from jellyfish. They will also warn you of other dangerous conditions (red flags), so be sure to look for them and heed their warnings.

Connect[edit]

Mazatlan has mobile coverage from AT&T/Unefon, Telcel, and Movistar. Telcel provides 5G coverage although it's surprisingly spotty given the enormous telecommunications towers perched on top of the Cerro de la Nevería and visible from almost everywhere in the city.

Cope[edit]

Consulates[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • La Paz via ferry or airplane – a tranquil yet hip city in Baja California with some stunning beaches
  • Copper Canyon – a stunning system of canyons through the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range
  • Durango – the drive there on highway 40D is one of the most spectacular in Mexico, and the highway itself is an engineering marvel through the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain mountains that traverses 68 tunnels and 115 bridges (including the famous Baluarte Bridge). Not much to see in the city.
  • Nayarit – explore the beaches of the Nayarit Riviera
Routes through Mazatlan
Culiacán ← La Cruz ←  N  S  → Villa Unión → Tepic
END  W  E  El SaltoDurango


This city travel guide to Mazatlan 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.