Mazatlan Travel Guide

Mazatlán is a well-established tourist destination that still maintains its Mexican traditions and atmosphere. The vibe is laid back and tranquil, but there’s no lack of fun thanks to the host of water sports and wildlife watching activities available. Mazatlán represents the expansive golden beaches, affordable accommodations, and beckoning bars and restaurants that appeals to travelers.

The world-class golf scene, luxury-yacht harbor, and myriad watersports activities are largely accessible to even those with a tight budget. Take a short boat ride to Deer Island, where you can spend the day swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. Check out the cliff divers near the old lighthouse, and watch the sunset over the long golden beaches. Grab a surfboard and paddle out to the small, consistent waves. Deep-sea fishing for marlin and sailfish is among the best in Mexico. Hiking, bird-watching, and quiet beach walks here will lift your soul.  To learn more about all the beautiful beaches of the Mexican Riviera, visit here.  Now view our Mazatlan Travel Guide to help plan your next Mexican Riviera vacation!


Mazatlan weather is very comfortable. Temperatures in Mazatlan during the day are regularly around 84 F, and the rainy season just takes a minor portion of the year.  In winter months temperatures can go down to 67 F in the mornings or at night, but then goes up again to approximately 80 F.  In the summer  it is much more humid and a little hotter. It is mainly the humidity that will make you sweat. It’s almost 80 F at night and above 90 F during the day.  The rainy season is from May to September, the rainiest period being July to September

The climate is transitional Tropical wet and dry , with a marked dry season in the winter, and a dry season that  is longer than most similar areas. The wet season (July to September) is short, very rainy, and very humid.

Best Time To Travel

April and May see averages in the mid-70s, while June is often closer to an average high of 80 degrees. April and May see almost no precipitation, and the rainy season usually begins in late June, though the most significant part of the precipitation falls during the latter half of the summer; June has an average of only three rainy days per year.

Mazatlán weather is at its warmest during the months of July and August, with average highs in the low 80s, though they are also the months with the highest average precipitation. However, the rainfall is still relatively low—only about 15 inches over the two month period—so it’s still a great time of year to visit. It’s typically sunny in the morning with clouds forming around noon, and occasionally thunderstorms do occur.

September and October are nearly as warm as July and August, with slightly lower rainfall, which makes them popular as well. November and December have average highs in the low 70s and very little rainfall, which make them perfect if you want to spend time in the sun or on the water but you prefer to avoid the hottest months of the year.

Getting to Mazatlán

All foreign passengers to Mexico must hold a Mexico Visitor’s Permit (FMM), which is issued free of charge, and obtainable from airlines, Mexican Consulates, Mexican international airports, and border crossing points. All travelers transiting through the United States are required to present a passport, or other valid travel document, to enter or re-enter the United States. Foreign passengers to Mexico should ensure that their passports and other travel documents are in good condition – even slightly torn passports will not be accepted. It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

The easiest and fastest option for getting to Mazatlán is flying.  There are numerous airlines that service Mazatlán, but because these flights are not in high demand, sometimes the tickets are fairly expensive.  Package deals offer the best rates for flights.  Check with a local travel agent for available package deals.  If a package deal is not an option, consider buying separate tickets from your home town to either Los Angeles or Phoenix, and then purchasing tickets to Mazatlán from there.

Getting Around In Mazatlán


These open-air “golf cart” looking taxis are unique to Mazatlán. They are everywhere and easily waved down. Always negotiate the price first! Tell them where you want to go, they’ll give you a price. You can respond with a lower amount, generally half of the amount they first say. Don’t get into the pulmonia until you both agree to a price. You’ll enjoy a great ride with their music turned up all the way. You can tip about 10%, but it isn’t required (most locals don’t tip). Most everything between the Golden Zone and the old part of town (Centro) can be reached for approximately 40-50 pesos. Most locations within the Golden Zone, or within Centro are 20-30 pesos. Exceptions might be very late at night, or if you’re very drunk. They can double rates after 11pm.


These red or green striped taxis are usually cheaper than the pulmonias. Once again, confirm the price first. If you don’t, you may end up paying whatever the driver says. Current rate is about 30 pesos.


A bus ride here is easy to do, it’s very cheap, and will let you rub shoulders with the locals. There are a few marked bus stops where you’ll see several people waiting for a bus. Usually, you just flag down a bus and they’ll stop almost anywhere to pick you up. Do this by extending your arm out at shoulder’s height, palm down and moving your arm down toward the ground. Pay the driver as you board. The current fare is 4.00 pesos during the day, and a little higher after about 8 pm at night or for some longer distances. When in doubt, hand the driver a five peso coin and he’ll give you change.

Must See Places


The Mazatlán Malecon is 13 miles long, and is one of the longest walkways in the world.  Along the Malecon you will enjoy beautiful sunsets, spectacular beaches, and wonderful ocean views.  Of course there are plenty of restaurants, bars, clubs, shops and hotels along the Malecon.



Deer Island, Mazatlan, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Mazatlan, Mazatlan Beaches, Mexican Riviera beaches, best beaches of Mexico.Deer Island

Deer Island has more options for adventure and recreation. You can reach it by catamaran, by an amphibious ferry boat, or sailboat. If you so dare, you can even swim or kayak to the island from the hotel zone´s shores.  In its calm and clear surrounding waters you can snorkel, kayak, swim, go for a banana ride or simply soak up some rays. Deer Island is also a paradise for bird watchers and marine species-lovers.



Las Labradas Petroglyphs, Mazatlan, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Mazatlan, Mazatlan Beaches, Mexican Riviera beaches, best beaches of Mexico.Las Labradas:  Petroglyphs

An archaeological site with hundreds of black and blue stones decorated by countless petroglyphs.  Visitors can distinguish human figures, marine and land animals, birds, reptiles, celestial figures and geometric shapes through which our ancestors recorded their thoughts and their relationship with the greater universe.



Stone Island, Mazatlan, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Mazatlan, Mazatlan Beaches, Mexican Riviera beaches, best beaches of Mexico.Stone Island

Stone Island is a magnificent, natural idyllic setting that will captivate your senses. Beautiful virgin beaches and spectacular flora and fauna are only some of the many attractions of this unique beach located in the South end of Mazatlán.  You can have a great time on its majestic beaches along with your family, where you can take a catamaran bay cruise, a banana boat ride, go horseback riding, or hop on an ATV or Jet Ski. Sports enthusiasts can play volley ball or surf.


The Cliff Divers, Mazatlan, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Mazatlan, Mazatlan Beaches, Mexican Riviera beaches, best beaches of Mexico.The Cliff Divers

Daring cliff divers dive towards the Pacific Ocean´s waters among large rocks, where the water is 8.20 feet deep. They dive from the highest rocky staircase at the Sanchez Taboada esplanade, right on the oceanfront along the seaside boardwalk or Malecón, close to Paseo Olas Altas, one of Mazatlán´s Historical Center icons.
Local divers perform this feat for free, all day long, and sometimes even during the evening, while carrying a hand-torch, as part of the show.



Outdoor Activities

Onca Explorations, Mazatlan, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Mazatlan, Mazatlan Beaches, Mexican Riviera beaches, best beaches of Mexico.Onca Explorations

Whether it´s watching the amazing humpback whales, swimming with dolphins in the wild, kayaking among mangroves, helping baby sea turtles get to sea for the first time, or discovering ancient petroglyphs while hiking on a natural protected area, their adventures will fill you up with life changing experiences and long lasting memories.  For more information call 669-913-4050, or visit them on the web at Onca Explorations.

Aqua Sports Center & Scuba Dive, Mazatlan, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Mazatlan, Mazatlan Beaches, Mexican Riviera beaches, best beaches of Mexico.Aqua Sports Center and Scuba Dive

Aqua Sports Center & Marina! Here you will find Mazatlan’s best water sports, adventure tours and scuba dive center. exciting nature excursions, sport fishing and the best surf school in Mazatlan! Their crew is bi-lingual, friendly and professional.  For more information call 669-101-0462, or visit them on the web at Aqua Sports Center and Scuba Dive.

Best Rated Restaurants

$-Inexpensive     $$-Moderate     $$$-Pricey     $$$$-Ultra High End

$$$$  El Presidio

This is a sophisticated upscale Mexican and international restaurant.  The chef brings a worldly fusion complexity to all of the dishes including the mole and duck burrito, Mexican fried noodles topped with grilled zarandeado shrimp, roast chicken with chipotle and vanilla glaze, or black angus ribeye steam with habanero and lime butter.  Simply a great place to relax under the stars.  For more information call 669-149-5054, or visit them on the web at El Presidio.

$$ – $$$  Pancho’s

Pancho’s offers an extensive menu of Mexican food and a substantial wine list made up of mostly Mexican, Chilean and Spanish wines.  There are many seafood specialties including Camarones Pancho — a delicious tast treat where fresh jumbo shrimp are wrapped in bacon and fried, topped with cheddar cheese, and drizzled with a mouth watering shrimp sauce.  Pancho’s is famous for their Pescado Zarandeado — red snapper combined with tomatoes, green peppers, and onions.  For more information call 669-914-0911, or visit them on the web at Pancho’s.

$$ – $$$  Topolo Mexican Restaurant & Wine Bar

This is one of the most elegant restaurants in Mazatlán with excellent food and wine.  Topolo restaurant and bar is about the beauty of a garden setting and the delicious flavors of old and contemporary Mexico.  This is one of the more highly recommended restaurants in Mazatlán.  For more information call 669-136-0660, or visit them on the web at Topolo Mexican Restaurant & Wine Bar.

$$$$  Angelo’s

Angelo’s serves fine Northern Italian and international cuisine in a graceful setting.  Angelo’s is one of Mazatlán’s best Italian restaurants featuring homemade pastas, shrimp dishes including superb scampi, and a large selection of imported wines.  The atmosphere is romantic, with candlelight, flowers, and live piano music.  For more information call 669-989-8900, or visit them on the web at Angelo’s.

$$$$  Casa Loma

Enjoy a sophisticated meal like roast duck a l’Orange or the Mazatlán favorite of poached fish blanca rosa in the lovely Casa Loma dining room or outdoors by the bubbling patio fountain.  They offer an atmosphere of relaxed elegance with European style dining.  For more information call 669-913-5398, or visit them on the web at Casa Loma.

Bars & Nightlife

Sky Room Bar, Mazatlan, Mexican Riviera, bars and restaurants in Mazatlan, Mazatlan Beaches, Mexican Riviera beaches, best beaches of Mexico.Sky Room Bar

This is a top rated ocean view bar.  It is located on  the rooftop of the historic Posada Freeman Best Western.  It offers breathtaking 360 panoramic views of Mazatlán.  For some reason, it is rarely crowded.  A truly serene bar to have a drink and watch the sunset.  For more information call 669-985-6060, or visit them on the web at Sky Room Bar.

Edgar's Bar, Mazatlan, Mexican Riviera, bars and restaurants in Mazatlan, Mazatlan Beaches, Mexican Riviera beaches, best beaches of Mexico.Edgar’s Bar

Edgar’s Bar mostly attracks business people and some tourists.  Mid-afternoon they serve a Botana (appetizer) free.  Some days it is a meat stew with rice and refried beans and tacos.  Some days it is marlin stew, a Mexican version of meatball soup, a shrimp soup, or maybe a Mexican salad with seafood.  It is one of the more traditional Mazatlán Bar/Cantinas.  For more information call 669-982-7218, or visit them on the web at Edgar’s Bar.

The Last Drop, Mazatlan, Mexican Riviera, bars and restaurants in Mazatlan, Mazatlan Beaches, Mexican Riviera beaches, best beaches of Mexico.The Last Drop

This is a popular sports bar in Mazatlán.  They have lots of televisions, pool tables, and serve a nice range of delicious bar food including excellent pizza, Mexican BBQ, ribs and seafood.  Constantly rated among the best sports bars in Mazatlán.  For more information call 669-121-0410, or visit them on the web at The Last Drop.

Habanero's Wine Bar, Mazatlan, Mexican Riviera, bars and restaurants in Mazatlan, Mazatlan Beaches, Mexican Riviera beaches, best beaches of Mexico.Habanero’s Wine Bar

Habanero’s will take you on a sensual journey with an evening of intimate romantic lighting.  They offer a top rated selection of wine from Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Italy, Spain, France, and the U.S.  They carry Casa Madero, which comes from the oldest winery in Mexico.  They also have a large selection of premium Mexican tequilas, popular and exotic Mexican Cervezas, and a good selection of find spirits.  For more information call 669-136-0660, or visit them on the web at Habanero’s Wine Bar.

Puerto Viejo, Mazatlan, Mexican Riviera, bars and restaurants in Mazatlan, Mazatlan Beaches, Mexican Riviera beaches, best beaches of Mexico.Puerto Viejo

This popular bar is located right on the Malecon at Olas Altas Beach.  Enjoy the ocean view while sitting in the outdoor seating.  This is one of the most recommended bars among resident gringos who gather for the sunset and happy hour.  They offer a delicious bargain menu of daily specials.  For more information call 669-982-8226, or visit them on TripAdvisor at Puerto Viejo.

Top Mazatlán Hotels

El Cid Marina Beach Hotel – Family Friendly

This property is a 11-minute walk from the beach. This hotel is on a marina and is within 3 miles of downtown Mazatlan. This hotel features a private beach, a large hot tub and a shuttle to El Cid Country Club.  Suites at El Cid Marina Beach Hotel feature satellite TV and a refrigerator.  El Cid Marina features a miniature golf course. The hotel has 2 outdoor pools with underwater caves and a swim-up bar.
Guests at the Marina Beach Hotel can dine at La Marina Restaurant and Bar, which features seafood. The hotel also has 3 snack bars including The Beach Club, which serves drinks and snacks.  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit El Cid Marina Beach Hotel.

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa – All Inclusive

This Mazatlan hotel is on 20 acres, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The hotel features 3 free-form swimming pools, salon services, scheduled daily activities and 5 restaurants.  Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay features a kitchenette and private balcony in every spacious suite.  Recreational facilities at the Emerald Bay Pueblo Bonito include hot tubs, a gym and children’s pool area. Free shuttle service is also available to Pueblo Bonito Mazatlán. La Cordelier restaurant has elegant dining and theme nights. The Pueblo Bonito also has the bistro-style Emerald Grill. Two swim-up bars and 2 lounges are also available.  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa.

Hotel Playa Mazatlan

This property is 1 minute walk from the beach. Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, Hotel Playa Mazatlan offers accommodations in Mazatlán. The hotel has an outdoor pool and views of the sea, and guests can enjoy a drink at the bar. Free private parking is available on site.  You will find a 24-hour front desk and hairdresser’s at the property.  Car rental is available at this hotel and the area is popular for biking. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Hotel Playa Mazatlán.

Holiday Inn Resort – Best Value

Featuring free WiFi and a restaurant, Holiday Inn Resort Mazatlan offers accommodations in Mazatlán. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Free private parking is available on site.  This property is also rated for the best value in Mazatlán! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Holiday Inn Resort.

Isla Mazatlán Golden Resort

This property is a 13-minute walk from the beach. Showcasing a year-round outdoor pool and hot tub, Isla Mazatlan Golden Resort is located in Mazatlán in the region of Sinaloa. Free private parking is available on site.  Every room at this resort is air conditioned and features a TV and DVD player. Certain rooms feature a sitting area where you can relax. You will find a coffee machine in the room. Every room has a private bathroom.  There is concierge services at the property.  You can play ping-pong at this resort, and car rental is available.  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Isla Mazatlán Golden Resort.

Long video but great information on Mazatlán.


  1. Stefan

    Hi there Leahrae

    Mexico, my favorite central American country.
    I have been to Mazatlan about 33 years ago. I don’t remember too many details anymore but I think, looking at the pics, it grew bigger.
    I would like to go again and see these Petroglyphs at Las Labradas
    great post, I enjoyed it again

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Stefan, I am glad you enjoyed “revisiting” Mazatlán. I am sure that it has grown in 33 years for sure. The petroglyphs at Las Labradas are definitely something worth seeing. I hope you can make it back soon! Thanks for visiting.

  2. Sarah Gaddes

    This article is so helpful! My husband and I are currently trying to decide on a good place to vacation next summer and this article has honestly helped us more than a lot of other google searches. I liked how you included hotel and restaurant information as well. I’ll be sure to keep checking back for more info.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Sarah and I am glad this will help you in your vacation planning. You will honestly love Mazatlán and all it has to offer. Please let me know if I can help you in any other way. Thanks for reading the Mazatlán Travel Guide!

  3. Shawn

    Hey Leahrae,
    I haven’t been to Mexico yet but man does Mazatlan make me want to go!! I appreciate you breaking down some of the amenities of the area, especially doing so by price!! That is extremely helpful!! Great post. Hopefully someday soon my wife and I can experience a place like Mazatlan.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes Shawn, you will have to experience Mazatlán and the Mexican Riviera. It is a beautiful area with so much culture, great food, great beaches, and lots of outdoor activities to keep you busy. Thanks for visiting

  4. Ronnie

    Wow, beautiful shoreline and I like that it is pretty affordable. You have dazzled me again with a gorgeous place to put on my wish list. I love the areas you pick out. Thank you for all this wonderful information. You are making it very hard for me to choose a vacation destination!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Ronnie, Glad I am making it tough on you 🙂 Just need to take a lot of mini vacations maybe. Yes, Mazatlán is pretty affordable and a great way to enjoy a beach vacation on top of it. Glad you enjoyed!

  5. Penelope

    I had no idea these islands had petroglyphs! Very cool, and cool to think about our ancestors living somewhere tropical. I also had no idea that Mexico was so strict about passports and wouldn’t accept them if the pages were torn. I need to take better care of mine pronto!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      The petroglyphs are cool, and they are right there for anyone to see. Amazing that they have lasted this long for sure. I know that there are other countries are also strict with the passport pages. I guess, it would be hard to stamp on a torn page, LOL. Thanks for visiting the Mazatlán Travel Guide.

  6. Craig

    Thanks for the tips on getting around in the open air golf cart type taxis. Every time I visit a foreign country I wonder what is a reasonable rate and if I need to tip or not. My first visit to India ended up with me paying an arm and a leg (in local terms) to get from A to B only to find out later I had been charged quadruple the normal rate! Glad to know the general prices and to negotiate before getting in, that is always key to avoiding arguments!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I agree Craig. There are certain places, Mexico being one, where it is always good to make sure you have agreed ahead of time. Otherwise, as you say, you could get charged an arm and a leg. Glad you enjoyed. Thank you for visiting

  7. Irma

    Wow what an awesome review! I forgot all about Mazatlan, with all the hubbub about Cuba and the Caribbean. I have not heard anyone speak of the petroglyphs before, which would be the first thing that I would want to see there!
    My child is 20 years old…which resort do you think would have enough activity to keep her interested?

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Irma! Mazatlán is a wonderful beach destination. There are three hotels that would be great, simply because they have great facilities and are close to the beach or have a private beach. These would be the El Cid Marina Beach Hotel, Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay, or the Hotel Playa Mazatlán. These are great hotels that would keep your daughter interested and having fun. Thanks for reading !

  8. Ann

    You’ve inspired me to check out Mazatlan! I’ve always wanted to go to Cancun as it’s one of the more well known destinations in Mexico. But after reading this, I’ll have to add this one to my list for sure. The Petroglyphs especially caught my interest! Thank you for sharing a great article.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Ann,

      Yes, there are so many great things to see and do in Mazatlán. What is nice is that it is more of the authentic Mexican type destination. I prefer this over the more touristy and crowded areas like Cancun. I believe you will find it interesting, fun, and relaxing. Thanks for reading!

  9. suzanne stoddart

    Hi Leahrae,
    Thank you for the beautiful review on Mazatlan. I’ve been to the Mexican Riviera but not the west coast yet. I definitely need to visit here lol. It looks beautiful! A great list of activities too. It’s always nice to get off a resort and view the area.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks for reading Suzanne! I am glad you enjoyed. Yes, I like to stay at a resort, but I also like to venture out and see the area. Mazatlán is very authentic and worth venturing out in. Thanks for visiting

  10. Shannon

    Hi, yet again another amazing guide on Mexico! Mazatlan was not on my list but with the cliff divers, petroglyphs and Deer Island I think I’ll have to add it to my list 🙂

    I love Mexico and you do an incredible job explaining the area, attractions, lodging and restaurants.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Shannon, and I am glad you enjoyed reading the Mazatlán Travel Guide. Please come back when you are ready to plan 🙂

  11. stefanie

    Hi Leahrae, another wonderful review of a beautiful place, you always make me want to go on holiday! I really need to start venturing out as I always stay in Europe. Mazatlan seems like an absolute dream, all those gorgeous beaches and water sports. I know if I ever went I would have to challenge myself to do that 13 mile walk along the promenade. And I have never heard of Petroglyphs before, how amazing they are still there after all this time for anybody to find.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Stefanie,

      Yes, you do need to get out of Europe! There are so many amazing places to see for sure, Mazatlán being one of them. Well the whole Mexican Riviera is pretty awesome really. The petroglyphs are a site to see for sure. I agree, that I can’t believe they are still there after all these years. Thank you for taking the time to comment Stefanie.

  12. Alex

    My Dad regularly travels to Puerto Vallarta on a regular basis and it is right next to Mazatlan. I am sure he will love your thorough, in depth article. I know that he has been meaning to head over to Mazatlán and stay, so your information will be great for him! I will refer it to him. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Oh wow, yes he needs to go to Mazatlán and stay, just to experience Mazatlán! I think they are both unique in their own ways, and Mazatlán is definitely worth a visit for him! Thanks for reading

  13. Deborah

    Sorry, a couple of questions. Hit send to quickly on my last comments. I did want to ask about packages. Do you know what hotels are close to the Cliff Divers? Is there any package deals for hotel and air to make Mazatlán even more economical? If you open a travel business, I will be your first customer. I am ready to head to Mazatlán. If I can get a great package deal, that will make the planning come a little more quickly 🙂
    Thank you and look forward to hearing back from you!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      There are so many hotels on the Malecon, as this is where the Cliff Divers are. I am going to send you an email to get a few more specifics. I can certainly put a package deal together for you. You will be surprised how affordable Mazatlán really is. I look forward to putting together a package for you!

  14. Deborah

    Leahrae, I get totally lost in your articles. They take me back to the Island and I can almost smell the salt in the air. The cliff divers are awesome and if I wouldn’t kill myself trying it I would definitely be up there getting ready to soar. The details you have on the various local restaurants and places to visit are amazing. It’s almost like you checked the food, service and mileage yourself this morning.
    Thank you for my mini vacation. Great article and I look forward to your next destination.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am so glad you enjoy the articles Deborah 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to leave me comments and for visiting the Mazatlán Travel Guide. Yes, I can almost smell the salt in the air when I am putting the article together LOL. See you at the next beach!

  15. Caz

    Wow, what a fantastic destination, I want to go there now. I will certainly be adding Mazatlán to my bucket list. Thanks again for the great information, I bookmarked your website a while back and visit regularly to check out what new beach destinations you have added.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Caz! I am glad you enjoyed reading the Mazatlán Travel Guide. Thank you for taking the time to leave comments. I hope you enjoy “vacationing” on my site. Please come back when you are ready to start planning your next beach destination.


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