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Things to do in Mazatlan

Things to do in  Mazatlan

Welcome to Mazatlan

Perched on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, adjacent to the southern tip of Baja California Sur, is Mazatlan. Thanks to a recently renovated historic center and endless stretches of sandy shore, the coastal city magnetises travelers with a penchant for outdoor adventure and beachside relaxation. At the top of all Mazatlan itineraries should be a cliff-diving show, during which visitors can watch fearless divers plunge into the Pacific Ocean from dizzying heights. In Centro Historico, the likes of Plazuela Machado and Teatro Angela Peralta make for gorgeous walking tours, while in Zona Dorada (Golden Zone), Playa los Sabalos and Playa las Gaviotas swell with visitors soaking up year-round sunshine. From the city, day trips to the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains for ATV rides and ziplining are a popular choice for thrill-seekers. Culture connoisseurs can gain insight into local culture during a tour of El Quelite, while Stone Island (Isla de la Piedra), home to coconut tree-fringed beaches and authentic Mexican restaurants, is a great place to escape to for half a day. Also within easy reach of Mazatlán is El Rosario, renowned for its artisan crafts, the Estero Ecological Reserve, home to more than 270 species of bird, and La Noria, where blue agave plantations and tequila distilleries abound.

Top 10 attractions in Mazatlan

#1
Golden Zone (Zona Dorada)

Golden Zone (Zona Dorada)

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Once an unoccupied stretch of sand and swampland, the Golden Zone (Zona Dorada) is now the top tourist district in Mazatlán, dominated by hotels, resorts, and several popular beaches. A jumping-off point for further exploration of the region, travelers can visit the modern marina, lounge on Sábalo or Gaviotas Beach, and party all-night in the bars and clubs.More
#2
Mazatlan Cruise Port

Mazatlan Cruise Port

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Mazatlán, the "Pearl of the Pacific," has drawn people to its shores since pre-Columbian times thanks to its gorgeous beaches. Add an architecturally outstanding old town, the festive, hotel-lined Golden Zone, and top-notch shopping, dining, and nightlife, and it's no wonder that this is a heavily trafficked cruise stop. This is Mexico's largest commercial port, so even the largest boats can pull right in.How to Get to MazatlánThe enormous port is less than two kilometers (about one mile) away from Old Mazatlán, the historic old town. You can walk there along the scenic seaside malecón, or paved oceanfront walk, one of the longest in the world, or even continue the 7km (4mi) to the hotel-lined Zona Dorada, or Gold Zone. Inexpensive taxis wait at the port—as do pulmonías, topless, fiberglass taxis that are cheaper but sometimes targeted by thieves; keep valuables close by.One Day in MazatlánMazatlán's exceptional beaches are its claim to fame, and not just the touristy stretches of sand in town where you can surf, tan, or see the cliff divers. More adventurous travelers will find other, less crowded beaches accessible by taxi.If you'd rather see what lies beneath the sea, head into the city proper for the Mazatlán Aquarium. Others can explore the beautiful city center, including Plazuela Machado and the Moorish-style basilica, just two of Mazatlán's architectural gems. Shoppers will find just about any Mexican handicraft, including fine silver jewelry, at Mercado Pino Suarez and scores of slightly pricier Gold Zone shops.More
#3
Olas Atlas Beach (Playa Olas Altas)

Olas Atlas Beach (Playa Olas Altas)

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Perhaps the best-known beach in Mazatlán, Playa Olas Altas was the center point of Mazatlán’s burgeoning tourist industry in the 1950s. Situated just blocks from the city’s historic Old Town, Olas Altas is a popular surfing spot where visitors can marvel over ocean sunsets, take a dip in the saltwater swimming pool, and escape the crowds of Golden Zone beaches.More
#4
Mazatlan Aquarium (Acuario Mazatlán)

Mazatlan Aquarium (Acuario Mazatlán)

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Marvel at over 800 species of jellyfish at Mexico’s largest jellyfish exhibition and admire seahorses, octopuses, and clownfish in one of several saltwater tanks at Mazatlán Aquarium (Acuario de Mazatlán). Ideal for families and animal lovers alike, there are also daily live animal shows, an onsite marine museum, botanical garden, aviary, and more.More
#5
Stone Island (Isla de la Piedra)

Stone Island (Isla de la Piedra)

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With calmer, warmer waters than other popular beaches in Mazatlán, plenty of opportunity for snorkeling, and several open-air seafood restaurants, Stone Island is one of the most popular day trip destinations in Mazatlán. Palm-lined Isla de la Piedra—which is not technically an island—is also a hub of soft adventure activity, such as horseback riding and hiking, as well as relaxation.More
#6
Angela Peralta Theater (Teatro Angela Peralta)

Angela Peralta Theater (Teatro Angela Peralta)

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Originally built in the late 19th century, the Angela Peralta Theater (Teatro Ángela Peralta) is a landmark of downtown Mazatlán with a tumultuous past. Over the years, it served as a boxing arena, movie theater, and opera house, before falling into decline, but visitors can now tour the neoclassical building, catch live performances at the intimate 841-seat venue, and visit the onsite art galleries.More
#7
Old Mazatlan (Centro Historico)

Old Mazatlan (Centro Historico)

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A few blocks away from the popular Olas Altas Beach, Mazatlán’s Old Town is a neighborhood filled with restored, French-style 19th and 20th century buildings. Centered around the leafy and laidback Plazuela Machado, visitors can explore art galleries, small museums, boutiques, and a range of bars, restaurants, and cafes, as well as historically significant attractions such as the Ángela Peralta Theater.More
#8
Plazuela Machado

Plazuela Machado

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One of the oldest squares in Mazatlán, leafy Plazuela Machado dates from 1837 and is a jumping-off point for further exploration of the Mazatlán Old Town. Surrounded by brightly colored restaurants, galleries, and the Ángela Peralta Theater, visitors can soak up the laid back, family-friendly atmosphere at Plazuela Machado by day, and enjoy live music performances by night.More
#9
Mazatlan Lighthouse (El Faro)

Mazatlan Lighthouse (El Faro)

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Thought to be the highest lighthouse in the Americas, El Faro in Mazatlán sits 523 feet above sea level and has been in operation since 1879. Now a Mazatlán landmark, visitors can walk along the glass lookout platform, admire panoramic views over the port city of Mazatlán, and catch some of the city’s best sunsets.More
#10
Estero Del Yugo Nature Preserve

Estero Del Yugo Nature Preserve

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Saltwater and freshwater lagoons, 1.5 miles of nature trails marked by wooden boardwalks, and tropical deciduous forests make up the 11 hectares (27 acres) of the Estero del Yugo Nature Preserve in Mazatlán. Excellent for nature lovers, look at for over 250 species of native and non-native aquatic and tropical birds, crocodiles, and mammals such as ocelots, and lynx.More

Trip ideas

Top Beaches in Mazatlan

Top Beaches in Mazatlan

How to Spend 1 Day in Mazatlan

How to Spend 1 Day in Mazatlan

How to Spend 3 Days in Mazatlan

How to Spend 3 Days in Mazatlan

Recent reviews from experiences in Mazatlan

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Great tour
Kenneth_B, Jun 2021
Mazatlan Sightseeing and Shopping Tour
I feel like we really got to see all of mazatlan.
star-5
The best of Mazatlan.
Stephanie_H, Mar 2021
Mazatlan City Sightseeing Tour with Shopping Time and Lunch
He was also well-spoken in English and hilariously funny.
star-5
Very fun time in Mazatlan
haclproperty, Dec 2019
Mazatlan Sightseeing and Golden Zone
He was very personable, helpful, and took us to see some impressive sights, gave us fun facts and history of Mazatlan.
star-5
Excellent tour and service
steve b, Nov 2019
Mazatlan Sightseeing and Golden Zone
He was very knowledgeable on Mazatlan and took us to all the places we wanted to visit.
star-5
My family and I had a great day with...
John S, Mar 2017
Mazatlan Countryside and Old Town Combo Tour
Interesting to see the real Mazatlan.
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Visting Old town Mazatlan
Michael_H, Sep 2020
Mazatlan City Sightseeing Tour with Shopping Time and Lunch
Because of the covid-19 issue, I was the only one on the tour that day with Pedro so we were able to have many discussions, in English, regarding the history of Mazatlan and Mexico.
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Island Expedition
Go08416191844, Apr 2019
Deer Island
We were then invited to partake in tasting fresh coconut, first drinking the milk then eating the meat with chamoy and tajin (or plain) while having our questions answered by our very informed, funny and personable english speaking guide, Paul.
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Excellent tour. Eduardo our guide...
Bruce C, Apr 2018
Mazatlan Countryside and Old Town Combo Tour
We saw multiple artisans at work - brick makers, tile makers, bakers, and even a hot spring that locals use to wash their clothing.
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Thoroughly enjoyed this tour. We...
Loraine S, Mar 2017
Mazatlan Countryside and Old Town Combo Tour
From there we departed the city to the towns of Villa Union and Concordia, stopping along the way to see how bricks are made by hand this was extremely interesting, how traditional hand made tiles are made and then a stop at a home bakery we enjoyed many of their delicious breads at very reasonable prices.

All about Mazatlan

When to visit

Winter sunshine fills Mazatlan’s golden beaches with sun-loving crowds, and a lineup of big events keeps the energy high through spring. Parades and puppets mark the start of Carnival in February, and Mazatlan becomes party central for spring break revelry that hits a fever pitch in March. For sun-soaked relaxation without the crowds, October and November are a sweet spot after a steamy summer.

Frequently Asked Questions
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