When people think about vacationing in Mexico, some of the first places that come to mind are CancunCabo San Lucas and Puerta Vallarta. But, while these locations are beautiful, there are more places to discover in the country. This is why you need to visit Mazatlán.

Filled with a dynamic culture, the friendliest of people and authentic food, Mazatlán is a coastal retreat that should be added to the list of Mexican destinations. 

Once a port for various cruise lines, the safety issues surrounding Mexico have scared travelers away and Mazatlán recently fell off the vacationing grid.

But as the Mazatlán Tourism Board works to restore its tourism, here are a few reasons this city is highly worth a visit.

Where is Mazatlán Mexico?

Known as one of the more well-known port towns, this beach city is located on the beach of the western state of Sinaloa in northwest Mexico. This gorgeous city is nestled along the coastline of Culiacan and North of Puerto Vallarta. It is also a strategically perfect spot as it is only a simple 5-hour drive to the capital Mexico City!

Reasons to visit Mazatlán, Mexico
Reasons to visit Mazatlán, Mexico

Reasons to visit Mazatlán, Mexico

The culture in Mazatlán

Part of the state of Sinaloa, Mazatlán is filled with new and old. As large resorts line the sandy beaches, take a step away from the new in the historic district of downtown Mazatlan and you will witness original Mexican style in the churches, plazas and the opera house, which dates back to the city’s origins—a  fisherman’s village.

The historic district is the place where festive music fills the air and traditional performances meet the streets.

Aside from the historic district, the rural towns that surround Mazatlán will give you a true sense of culture. Cobblestone streets, traditional architecture and generations of family will transport you back to Old Mexico. The colonial facades of El Quelite, Concordia, La Noria and Cosala are just a few towns where the natural features of culture are still alive.

The food in Mazatlán

There is a large variety of gastronomic options in Mazatlán. From modern restaurants serving international delights to small taco stands and Mexican restaurants providing the freshest, traditional dishes, you will find it throughout the city.

But the thing that can’t be missed when visiting is the local array of seafood. Mazatlán is the shrimp capital of Mexico along with being the best sport fishing spot for blue marlin and swordfish. But seafood isn’t all that is eaten in the city, fresh tamales, tortillas, tacos and carne asada among other meats are some of the traditional foods that can’t be missed when visiting.

Related read: How to Avoid Food Poisoning in Mexico

Things to do in Mazatlán

With the mountains to one side and the ocean to the other, Mazatlán offers a wide array of activities and adventures for every type of person. This makes it the perfect spot as you are able to fully immerse yourself in several key activities that will both shock and delight you.

Water activities in Mazatlán

Calling all water babies! If finding an array of water activities is a travel essential then this gorgeous, tropical location has everything you need. Along the beaches, you can easily find stuff to get your adrenaline pumping whilst on the water. This includes kayaking, sailing, surfing and paddleboarding, which are just a few fun options. There is also parasailing and jet skiing to get your heart racing. If you are looking for more competitive water spots then Aqua Sports Center is a great place to start too.

Mountain adventures in Mazatlán

And when it comes to land adventures, Huana Coa Canopy Adventures located in the mountains provides visitors with the opportunity to zip line, drive ATV’s or horseback ride through the countryside.

You can also hike up many of those picturesque mountains that will offer you the most incredible views you have ever seen. Who wouldn’t want to overlook parts of Mazatlán? With gorgeous beaches, mountains and cultural spots, the views will have you in awe.

Cultural things to do in Mazatlán

If you are looking for a cultural adventure, jump on a donkey in one of the rural towns surrounding Mazatlán and this adventure will give you a totally different perspective.

There are also a number of historical monuments that you can visit that act as the most beautiful reminder and tribute to its ancient history. From the soaring Monument to the Mazatlán Woman, the Fisherman’s monument and the Continuity of Life fountain, there is plenty to see!

Whether you are looking for an all-inclusive resort vacation filled with sun and relaxation or more of a cultural experience where you will discover the vast history of Mexico, Mazatlán offers something for everyone.

The carnival in Mazatlán

Alright, when you think of carnivals your mind probably already goes to Rio or New Orleans, but let the record show, that Mazatlán also has an impressive carnival. Mazatlán carnival and festival has everything you could ever dream of; from art and literature programs to amusement park rides, culinary delights, regional bands, fireworks and more, it truly is the ultimate celebration of life and culture!

You can also expect to see lots of glittery costumes, larger-than-life hairstyles, photographers galore and the much-loved Carnival queens too! So, if you can, and you’re up for it, try to get dressed up for the festivities.

Whether you are looking for an all-inclusive resort vacation filled with sun and relaxation or more of a cultural experience where you will discover the vast history of Mexico, Mazatlán offers something for everyone.

Accommodation in Mazatlán

Here are a few great accommodation options for staying in Mazatlán, Mexico.

Luxury: Pueblo Bonito Emerald Luxury Villas & Spa

This resort is located in Mazatlan, in a gated community within the Emerald Bay Resort and Golf Development. It features an outdoor pool and villas with a fully equipped kitchen.

All-Inclusive Resort: Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan

This 5-star Mazatlan hotel is located directly on the beach in the city’s Golden Zone. The resort features two swimming pools, two restaurants, a spa and a poolside snack bar.

Budget: Funky Monkey Hostel

A backpacker accommodation with some class. The highlight is the rooftop terrace with hammocks, day bed and fire pit along with the swimming pool with waterfall and lounge chairs.

It is not only suggested that you visit Mazatlán Mexico, but it is an absolute must! This incredible city will take you on one of the most memorable adventures of your life and you deserve to be spoiled in true Mexican fashion!


  • Travel Dudes

    I'm sure you've had similar experiences I had whilst traveling. You're in a certain place and a fellow traveler, or a local, tip you off on a little-known beach, bar or accommodation. Great travel tips from other travelers or locals always add something special to our travels. That was the inspiration for Travel Dudes.