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!
Matzatlan Weather – When to Visit
The best time to visit Mazatlán is in October or November. The rainy months of summer are over, and the expensive, hectic winter travel season has yet to start. Start your search early. If you are lucky, you could find a vacation package (hotel & airfare) for around $700 per person. You can also save by visiting in April or May
Best Mazatlan Beaches
Playa las Gaviotas
This is the most popular and one of the best beaches in Mazatlan. Playa las Gaviotas is in the “Golden Zone” famous for its waterfront hotels. The waters here are calm, making it perfect for swimming. At low tide, you can walk out into the water for quite a distance. Sunsets are amazing here and it does get lively at this beach.
Playa Sabalo is great for parasailing, windsurfing and swimming. There is also the famous Valentino’s disco close by. This beach is in the Golden Zone or Zona Dorada. Swimming along this beach is one of the safest as it is protected from the nearby islands. There are plenty of vendors here selling a variety of souvenirs.
Playa Bruja is the best beach in Mazatlan for surfing, and is not as busy of a beach since it is a surfers beach and a little ways out of town. Some vendors are available to rent boards from, but be prepared for serious surfing. Waves at Playa Bruja can reach heights of 8 – 10 feet. Swimming is not recommended at this beach, but is great for relaxing and getting away from the crowds. There are open air restaurants that offer great seafood.
Playa Los Cerritos
This beach is for individuals looking to relax. With a good stretch of beach, you will be able to enjoy a nice romantic stroll and enjoy the sunset. Not recommended for swimming as you may find strong waves and undertows. If you are not into surfing you can enjoy watching those who do.
Playa Norte is a long white, sandy beach. It is the longest stretch of beach in Mazatlan. This beach has a beautiful seaside promenade called The Malecon which overlooks the beach. There are smaller swells for beginning and intermediate surfers. If you would like to fish you can also do it here by casting off the rocks. The waves here can be forceful, but there is not much of a drop off so it is fairly safe. Swimming at this beach is best in the southern part.
Mazatlan Tours & Activities
Half-Day Tour to Tequila Factory and El Quelite Village
Experience the traditions of Mexico up close on a half-day tour from Mazatlan to villages known for their tequila and other locally made products. Stop at the picturesque villages of La Noria, La Vinata, and El Quelite, where you can visit a tequila distillery, browse the handicrafts and stroll along cobblestone streets. Learn about the process of making tequila, see a blue agave plantation, and sample tequila from the producer. Your tour includes guide, entrance fees, round-trip transport from Mazatlan, and the option to upgrade to include lunch. Read more about Mazaltan to Tequila Factory and El Quelite Village Day Trip
Shore Excursion: Mazatlan Bike Tour
See more of Mazatlan on a bike excursion led by a local guide who’ll show you all the places the locals love. Learn about the history of this port and its famous beaches and see Plazuela Machado, home of the Angela Peralta Theater, as well as a fort, cathedral, Olas Altas, and the Pino Suarez Market. You’ll also ride one of the longest boardwalks in the world to view the beach and surf. Read more about the Mazatlan Bike Tour Shore Excursion.
Old Town Mazatlan Segway Tour
Forget the walking tour—glide effortlessly through Mazatlan and cover two centuries of its history aboard a Segway. During this guided tour of Old Town and the waterfront, zip around landmarks such as the Plazuela Machado, the beautiful Cathedral, Olas Altas, and the Clavadista. You’ll discover more with less effort and time with a Segway. This small-group tour is limited to six people, ensuring personalized attention. Read more about the Old Town Mazatlan Segway Tour.
Sierra Madre Villages Half-Day Cultural Tour
Escape Mazatlan’s bustle in favor of the rustic charm of Concordia and Copalia, colonial towns cradled by the Sierra Madre Mountains, on a 5-hour tour from Mazatlan. Visit 16th-century stone temples, admire colonial architecture, and observe artisan crafts such as bread- and tile-making. Refreshments and hotel pickup and drop-off in Mazatlan are included on this small-group tour, limited to 15 people. Read more about Mazaltan to Sierra Madre Villages Half-Day Cultural Tour
Mazatlan Countryside and Old Town Combo Tour
Get a peek at everyday life in rural Mexico during this enriching small-group visit to the Mazatlan Countryside, with a stop at the colonial-era town of Concordia. Get off the beaten track, swapping the chaos of the city for serene village life. You’ll get an insider’s tour of artisan workshops, from a rustic brick factory to an oven bakery. Check out 16th-century colonial sights and stop for a savory lunch spread. Read more about Mazatlan Countryside and Old Town Combo Tour
Best Mazatlan Restaurants
El Presidio $31 – 60
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. Telephone: 669-149-5054 Web: El Presidio.
Pancho’s $11 – 30
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. Telephone: 669-914-0911 Web: Pancho’s.
Topolo Mexican Restaurant & Wine Bar $11 – 30
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. Telephone: 669-136-0660 Web: Topolo Mexican Restaurant & Wine Bar.
Angelo’s $31 – 60
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. Telephone: 669-989-8900 Web: Angelo’s.
Casa Loma $31 – 60
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. Telephone: 669-913-5398 Web: Casa Loma.
Best Mazatlan 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. Telephone: 669-985-6060 Web: 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. Telephone: 669-982-7218 Web: 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. Telephone: 669-121-0410 Web: 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. Telephone: 669-136-0660 Web: 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. Telephone: 669-982-8226 Web: Puerto Viejo.
Best Mazatlán Hotels
Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa
Each suite comes with a panoramic ocean view from your private balcony and has amenities like outdoor Jacuzzis, a beauty salon with mini-spa and tennis courts nearby. Relax below 150-year-old mangroves that surround a free-form pool and stroll the shoreline by the bay. Located next world famous sport fishing waters, golf courses, and the Gold Zone, you can enjoy any number of nearby activities on both land and water.
thelocal Hotels Mazatlan
All accommodations include complimentary Wi-Fi access, flat-screen TVs, minibars, balconies and free parking. If you’re traveling with kids, consider the family suite, which has a balcony with ocean views and can sleep five occupants. You will find a private beach, five swimming pools, two restaurants, three bars and lounges and a spa with steam rooms and a sauna.
Casa Lucila Hotel Boutique
With only eight rooms, Casa Lucila Hotel Boutique provides guests with sweeping pacific ocean views, located just a short walk to the area’s art galleries, museums, restaurants + bars, and boutique shops.
Isla Mazatlan Golden Resort
Luxury Club located in Mazatlan offering spectacular 3 bedroom Mediterranean style villas for up to 6 guests and a private marina with several marine services.
Park Inn by Radisson Mazatlan
Located near Mexico’s famous Golden Zone, the Park Inn by Radisson Mazatlán places you within walking distance of the gorgeous beaches that Mazatlán is known for. After a day of fun in the sun, you can rest and recharge in one of our comfortable rooms and suites, each with amenities like free Wi-Fi and coffee facilities.]