Dive Into Mazatlan
In Zona Dorada, you’ve got hotels, bars, sports, shops and restaurants lining their fabulous beaches. Meanwhile, you’ve got Old Mazatlan that features quaint markets, old lighthouses, cafes and historic churches. Due to its cool, clear waters, Mazatlan is renowned for its fresh seafood, namely shrimp and tuna, some of the best in the world. Foodies will love the variety of restaurants here, from small beach shacks to luxurious, upscale restaurants. The fine mix of beaches, modern comforts, great restaurants and old culture make Mazatlan a top all-in-one vacation destination.
Mapping Out Mexico
Why is Mexico everything to everyone? A quick visit to the east coast sums it up. Cancun’s got nightlife and a party scene, while Cozumel offers outdoor adventure like diving and snorkeling. The west coast has even more to boast. Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta both offer beaches, world-class hotels and great golf courses, making them perfect family vacation spots. However, adventure-minded travelers will want to head to either Mazatlan to explore historic ruins or Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, which has a similar vibe, but with the feel of an upscale city. And for the escapist, Huatulco and Manzanillo boast virtually untouched natural beauty. While each destination is uniquely different, they all have their own special way of showing you the magic of Mexico.
Get Your Art in Motion
The Mazatlan Cultural Festival is an annual festival that rallies the best artists, dancers and musicians in the region. Each of these performers prepares months in advance to put on a fine showcase to the world.
The awe-inspiring performances leave spectators speechless and do a fine job demonstrating the grandeur of the city in a traditional operatic tradition. The festival takes place in October and is located in the heart of Old Mazatlan. If you're looking to experience the unique arts and culture of the region, the Mazatlan Cultural Festival is a crash-course in all things great about the city.
From Huts to Riches
Mazatlan's origin dates back to a time when it was just a small fishing village comprised of huts. However, after the colonial invasion from Europe, the population skyrocketed to over 5,000 people in 1836!
During the California Gold Rush, Mazatlan served as an entry point to prospective miners who waited in the ports before traveling to San Francisco. Today, Mazatlan is a popular tourist destination for both international and domestic travelers looking to experience the magic and luster of a city shrouded in a rich culture. With such a rich history, isn't it time to experience the grandeur of Mazatlan for yourself?
Beach Done Right
Mazatlan boasts several big-name beach resorts and has the second largest fishing fleet in Mexico. On a daily basis, the majority of the seafood processed in the city is shrimp and tuna and is said to be some of the most scrumptious around due to the cool, clean waters surrounding the area.
However, despite the industries located within the region, the main attractions for travelers are Mazatlan’s beautiful beaches. The port of Mazatlan’s beach resort is made up of 21km of white sand beaches and a sea of turquoise-blue. All the ingredients you need for a top-notch beach vacation!
Light Up Your Life
Mazatlan's 19th century lighthouse began operating in mid-1879 and was considered the highest in the world, at the time.
Interestingly enough, due to the static nature of the structure, many mariners were left scratching their heads because it was often mistaken for a star. Now you can see this bright gem in the flesh. Although it’s no longer the highest lighthouse in the world, it’s still an impressive sight to see.
Calling All Sports Fans
Did you know that baseball is the most popular sport in Mazatlan? If you love baseball as much as the locals, you’ve got to check out Mazatlan’s award-winning team. The city’s local team, Venados de Mazatlan (Mazatlan Deer), plays as a part of the Liga Mexicana del Pacifico and are quite renowned for their skill and athleticism.
In 2005, Mazatlan hosted the Caribbean Series for the third time, and guess what? The Venados de Mazatlan took home the gold and won the competition for their legions of local fans. So grab your favorite cap and dig in for an all-American, Mexican vacation!
Mazatlan Quick Facts
The main language in Mazatlan is Spanish, but many in the tourism industry speak English.
The official currency is the Mexican peso, but USD are also accepted.
The standard electricity supply is 110 volts with two-prong outlets.
All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport when traveling to and from Mazatlan, Mexico.
To be safe, it is recommended to drink and brush your teeth with bottled water only.
Mountain Time Zone (UTC/GMT -6 hours)
The peak travel season for Mazatlan runs from December to April.
Tips & Transportation
Dance the Night Away at Mazatlan's Carnival
Considered one of the three most important carnivals in the world, this festival dates back to 1898. Kicking off five days before Ash Wednesday, guests will be blown away by the rocking celebration that takes over this sleepy little town.
With the music of "La Tambora Sinaloense", the city turns into a huge party during the pre-Easter season with elaborately decorated parade floats, costumes, fireworks and a multitude of characters who will get you in the carnival mood in no time!
Diving Into Fun at Acuario Mazatlan
Looking for something to do that doesn't cost a lot of money? Want a way to check out the fish without getting wet? The Acuario Mazatlan is said to be one of the best aquariums in Mexico. If you love watching a variety of exotic fish, come explore an exciting world left uncharted by land-locked sea lovers.
For around $7, you'll have access to the entire aquarium and all the shows. If you're looking for a thrill, check out the "Sharks" and "Birds of Prey" exhibits. We must warn you, if you watch the seal show, be careful where you sit or you'll get a splash you didn't bargain for!
Tour Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
The 19th century Basilica of the Immaculate Conception has become a popular destination for those who love colonial architecture and can appreciate the European influence within the architecture of the area. Catholic or not, come check out this beautiful cathedral in all of its glory.
With colorful spires and Italian marble, the cathedral is breathtaking. If you've come to Mazatlan to experience the culture, do yourself a favor and stop by Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. If you plan on exploring the interior, it's recommended to go at night as to avoid disrupting any services and to enjoy the cathedral's new lighting system.
Haggle for Souvenirs at Pino Suarez Market
This is the city’s oldest, cheapest, and most assorted shopping destination. If you want to get rid of those pesos burning a hole in your pocket, Pino Suarez Market is sure to have something that'll strike your fancy.
Having served Mazatlan for over 100 years, the French-colonial architecture at Pino Suarez is impressive and quite inviting. With plenty of fresh fish, meat, vegetables and fruit, the market is everything you wish your local supermarket could be! If you aren't there for the food, shoppers can also pick up a variety of handmade crafts, shirts and other assorted goods for a low price.
Smell the Roses at the Flower Market
With all the sun, swimming, and fun you'll have in Mazatlan, part of living the simple life means taking time to stop and smell the roses. Don't know where to go? A quick trip to the expansive Flower Market will greet you with all the fresh cut arrangements you could ever ask for!
The block-long market is open 24 hours for all of your florist needs. With many high-end arrangements costing around $20, the Flower Market is a great place to spoil your sweetheart for not a lot of money!
General Rafael Buelna International Airport (MZT) has a single terminal and is located 25 minutes from Mazatlan. The airport is the most important in the region for its international operations, and second in domestic operations. The airport has one terminal and handles nearly a million passengers each year.
Immigration & Customs
When you reach the arriving terminal, you will be guided to the immigration hall where you will form a line and wait for your turn with the immigration officer. You will supply the officer with your passport and answer a few routine questions about the nature of your stay. Regarding customs for US and European travelers, all you need to do is produce a current passport in order to enter and leave Mazatlan.
Getting to Your Hotel
Travelers can take advantage of local services such as taxis and public buses. Contact your resort directly for more information.
Getting Around Mazatlan
Visitors to Mazatlan will find it quite easy to explore the city either on foot or through a variety of transportation options available from the airport. The Mazatlan bus system offers an economical way to see the city, but can take a little longer than driving around yourself in a rental car. However, with fares costing less than $7.50 pesos, compared to taxi fares which start at $25 pesos, taking the bus is the perfect transportation for those on a budget.
If you're wanting to check out the scenery, the Pulmonia taxis provide a great way to experience the city. These vehicles are reminiscent of golf carts and give the traveler a genuine, open air taste of Mazatlan.