How to Spend 1 Day in Mazatlan
Located on the west coast of Mexico, the city of Mazatlan, in the state of Sinaloa, was a glitzy hotspot for celebrities in the 1970s. Today the beach town is experiencing a resurgence, thanks to its historical and cultural attractions. Here are a few ways to make the most of a day in Mazatlan:
Morning: Explore Old Town
Start your day by getting a feel for the city in Mazatlan’s Old Town. Join a half-day guided tour, and you’ll be able to learn about the history and culture of this colonial city while also seeing the top attractions, like the cathedral and the Old Spanish Fort, and watching the Mazatlan’s famous cliff divers. If you want to cover ground more quickly and easily, you can also rent a Segway and explore on you own or book a bike tour. Ride down the boardwalk, known as the malecón, and enjoy views of the beach while shopping for souvenirs along the way. Lastly, make a stop for souvenirs at Pino Suarez Market, Mazatlan’s historic mercado, which is filled with anything and everything you could want to take home.
Afternoon: Head to the Beach
The Golden Zone is the most convenient beach area and is packed with high-rise hotels, shops, and eateries, and if you’re only in Mazatlan for the day, this is probably your best option for enjoying an afternoon by the sea. The most convenient way to access the area is to book a day pass (with lunch included) at a beachfront resort and enjoy amenities such as a pool, restrooms, towels, and Wi-Fi.
If you didn’t go sightseeing in the morning, you could also venture further afield and visit Stone Island (Isla de la Piedra). This peninsula can be reached via a short water taxi ride and offers activities like kayaking and horseback riding. Alternatively, you could head to Deer Island (Isla de Venados), which is about 20 minutes away by boat.
Night: Take a Sunset Cruise
End your day in Mazatlan aboard a catamaran, soaking in the last rays of the sun. Set sail from the marina in the evening with naturalist guides who can tell you about the local marine life, and look for dolphins, coastal birds, and sea lions (depending on the season). Guided cruises typically travel through the archipelago of Pájaros, Venados, and Lobos, which is a biodiverse ecological reserve. Or, if you want a more energetic night out, check out some of Mazatlan’s clubs and beach bars, which can have a loud, spring-break feel to them. If you want a drink but not a party, you can also visit the bars around Machado Plaza, in the city’s historical center.