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 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
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 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
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.
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 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 $$$$-Ultra High End
$$$$ El Presidio
This is a sophisticated upscale Mexican and international restaurant. The chef brings a worldly fusion complexity to all of the dishes including the mole and duck burrito, Mexican fried noodles topped with grilled zarandeado shrimp, roast chicken with chipotle and vanilla glaze, or black angus ribeye steam with habanero and lime butter. Simply a great place to relax under the stars. For more information call 669-149-5054, or visit them on the web at El Presidio.
$$ – $$$ Pancho’s
Pancho’s offers an extensive menu of Mexican food and a substantial wine list made up of mostly Mexican, Chilean and Spanish wines. There are many seafood specialties including Camarones Pancho — a delicious tast treat where fresh jumbo shrimp are wrapped in bacon and fried, topped with cheddar cheese, and drizzled with a mouth watering shrimp sauce. Pancho’s is famous for their Pescado Zarandeado — red snapper combined with tomatoes, green peppers, and onions. For more information call 669-914-0911, or visit them on the web at Pancho’s.
$$ – $$$ Topolo Mexican Restaurant & Wine Bar
This is one of the most elegant restaurants in Mazatlán with excellent food and wine. Topolo restaurant and bar is about the beauty of a garden setting and the delicious flavors of old and contemporary Mexico. This is one of the more highly recommended restaurants in Mazatlán. For more information call 669-136-0660, or visit them on the web at Topolo Mexican Restaurant & Wine Bar.
Angelo’s serves fine Northern Italian and international cuisine in a graceful setting. Angelo’s is one of Mazatlán’s best Italian restaurants featuring homemade pastas, shrimp dishes including superb scampi, and a large selection of imported wines. The atmosphere is romantic, with candlelight, flowers, and live piano music. For more information call 669-989-8900, or visit them on the web at Angelo’s.
$$$$ 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
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 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
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
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.
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.