With miles of coastline and a charming historic center, this is one of the most inviting beach destinations on Mexico’s Pacific Coast.
Known as “the pearl of the Pacific,” Mazatlán has ample sun, sea and sand. Blessed with blue skies and balmy temperatures, this resort is popular with everyone from families to honeymooners to vacationing college students. Discover its beaches, islands and pulsating nightlife.
This oceanfront town came to prominence in the mid-1900s after Hollywood celebrities such as Robert Mitchum and Tony Curtis visited. Today, the city remains a popular vacation spot.
Get a feel for Mazatlán’s colonial history by wandering the cobblestone streets of the Old Town (Centro Histórico). Dine at the open-air restaurants on Plaza Machado and attend concerts at Angela Peralta Theater. Admire the opulent Immaculate Conception Cathedral and people-watch at the tree-shaded Plazuela República. Also worth exploring are the food stalls of José Maria Pino Suárez Municipal Market.
Adjacent to the Old Town is Olas Altas Beach, a much-loved surf spot. If you tire of the beach, head for the Mazatlán Archaeological Museum and Mazatlan Art Museum. A short walk south leads to the Cerro del Creston hill. Hike to the El Faro Lighthouse at the top for panoramic views.
Winding around the coastline from Olas Atlas Beach is the Malecón, a buzzing beachfront esplanade lined with bars, food stands and shops. Stop to see the jaw-dropping stunts performed by locals at Divers Point.
Continue on the Malecón to Playa Norte, an almost 3-mile (5-kilometer) long beach ideal for water sports. Spot colorful marine life at Mazatlán Aquarium and dine at restaurants with ocean views.
Find the bulk of Mazatlán’s hotels and nightlife options in the northern Golden Zone (Zona Dorada). Playa Gaviotas and Playa Sabalo offer safe swimming and water sports, while the nightclub complex Fiesta Land is perfect for dancing.
Reach Mazatlán by flying into Mazatlán International Airport. Rent bikes or use pulmonias (open-top golf cart-style cabs) to get around. Escape the crowds by taking daytrips to the unspoiled Bird Island, Deer Island and Goat Island.