Mazatlán is much more than a sun and beach destination on the Mexican Pacific Coast. It is a diverse city with a dynamic year-long cultural program, deep history, dazzling art and world-class gastronomy, myriad of adventure and sporting activities, not to mention glorious beaches.
Situated just south of the Tropic of Cancer, Mazatlán enjoy mild, semi-tropical weather year-round. The average temperature is between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius (77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit).
Stroll through the historic district, home to the world-recognized Angela Peralta Theatre, stunning sandy beaches along the Malecon, world-class golfing at the reputed El Cid Golf & Country Club, deep sea fishing or touring the old mining villages like El Quelite with its cobblestone streets or Copala and its baroque church in the Sierra Madres where John Wayne shot one of his famous films.
Linger over lunch at the Plaza Machado. Enjoy the thrill of watching Mazatlán’s famous cliff divers, ride the waves or just watch them roll in.
Mazatlán has the distinction of offering the best of both worlds: in the newer Zona Dorada (Golden Zone), you’ll find shops, bars and restaurants scattered along the idyllic beaches. In Old Mazatlán or the Centro Historico (Historic Center) you can wander through the markets and traditional neighborhoods or relax and people-watch and the many outdoor cafes and shady squares. You will find Plaza Machado and the Angela Peralta Theater and numerous art galleries worth a visit –especially at Art Walk on the first Friday of each month during the winter season.
Walk up and enjoy the panoramic view from El Faro, the famous lighthouse on the point at the south end of town. It’s the second-highest lighthouse in the world, towering over the harbor. You’ll see numerous sandy beaches worth exploring, from lovely stretches of pounding surf to calmer, sandy beaches ideal for swimming. The many monuments along the 10-kilometer Malecon (seawall) is dotted with monuments that have become popular landmarks to all.
Visit the 19th-century cathedral and its majestic rising towers and take a stroll in the famous Plaza de Revolucion. The marketplace is located only two blocks away and is a must-see. Or continue walking west to the ocean to Olas Altas, Mazatlán’s original tourist zone near the clavadistas – cliff divers – who dive from the rocks into the tide pools.
Top Ten Things to Do in Mazatlán
Food lovers will appreciate the variety of restaurants here—from rustic beach shacks to romantic candlelit courtyards. Mazatlán boasts one of the largest shrimp fleets in the world, so it’s no surprise that shrimp and seafood are the specialties. Talented chefs all over town have mastered local recipes with fresh, spicy ingredients that accompany the local favorites ranging from fresh grilled fish fillet to arrechera beef.
The rich and diverse dining scene, styles of food preparation and the diversity of fresh flavors are to be enjoyed — along with the great price points. Taste test blue agave and tequila at Los Osuna distillery just outside the city or settle in for a sunset cocktail and enjoy views of the city´s famous sunsets.
Sports & Activities
Mazatlán has a host of world-class fun ranging from water sports to championship golf for families and adults to enjoy. Indulge in a splendid variety of sporting activities from boating and kayaking to surfing and zip-lining. There are also a variety of tours to choose from including touring nearby colonial mining towns, beach tours, boat tours, and ATV tours.
Teeming with Blue Marlin, White Marlin and Sailfish, the waters off Mazatlán are called the Billfish Capital of the World and deep sea fishing is a popular sport. Whether you reel in dorado, yellow fin tuna, grouper or wahoo you can do so aboard Aries Sport Fishing Fleet at Marina El Cid. Head further north to Lake El Salto and you will experience the best freshwater bass fishing in all of Mexico.
Mazatlán offers boating adventures and endless water sports on the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy boating, sailing, yachting, kayaking, windsurfing, parasailing, catamaraning and Hobie Cat rides into the Pacific Ocean and to offshore islands. The Aqua Sports Center at El Cid Castilla Beach and Marina El Cid can arrange numerous rentals during your stay. Enjoy snorkeling, sailing or jet skiing around the Three Islands – Deer, Bird and Wolf Islands – declared an ecological reserve. Surf and boogie board where the waves are highest or go on a banana boat ride off the quiet beach of Stone Island.
With four spectacular golf courses, Mazatlán is a golfer’s paradise and offers the best golf value in Mexico. One of the top courses on the Pacific, El Cid Golf & Country Club features a championship 27-hole course. Lee Treviño designed the 9-hole Marina El Cid which complements the 18 holes designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Winding through a biological reserve, El Cid Golf & Country Club is a beautiful course with lakes, wildlife and views of the marina. Additionally, Estrella del Mar on Stone Island edges the Pacific Ocean and pristine beach and Marina Mazatlán and Club Campestre Golf and Country Club also offer enjoyable courses.
Plaza de Toros, inland from the Zona Dorado on Rafael Buelna, is a bullring that hosts bullfights from December to early April and rodeos during the offseason. The city is also proud of their professional baseball team – Los Venados – that play October through January and tickets are very reasonably priced.
At Playa Olas Altas, the clavadistas — cliff divers – dive off rock ledges into the shallow, surf below. If you see the divers perform at night they will do so with torches and it is an amazing spectacle to behold.
Mazatlán is a great place to shop for local handicrafts, fine art and souvenirs. The Zona Dorado (Golden Zone) offers a selection of handmade artisan products from all over Mexico with very reasonable prices. There are also great high-quality handicraft items and silver jewelry to be found from Tasco. If you stroll through the Centro Mercado in Old Mazatlán, you will come discover local shops and numerous stalls selling shrimp, fruit, vegetables, meats, and more, along with souvenirs. Additionally, there are numerous small galleries and shops throughout Old Mazatlán that are worth discovering. And if you are for an indoor mall experience, you can choose between La Gran Plaza or the new Las Galerias mall to the north.
Mazatlán has a vibrant night life with numerous dance clubs, discos and a local bar scene that is open until the early morning hours. Señor Frogs and on-the-beach Joe’s Oyster Bar are the most famous night spots along with Fiesta Land – a well-known disco and nightclub located at the end of the malecon overlooking the Pacific. For people-watching or a romantic stroll, the Historic Center is a popular night time retreat. You´ll hear a mix of live jazz and Mexican tunes to traditional mariachi groups and tambora bands at outdoor squares and restaurants. Olas Altas has its own nighttime scene with a choice of music club and dance clubs as well as restaurants.