When people think about vacationing in Mexico, some of the first places that come to mind are Cancun, Cabo San Lucas and Puerta Vallarta. 

But, while these locations are beautiful, there are more places to discover in the country. Which is why you need to visit Mazatlán.

Filled with 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.

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. Along the beaches, kayaking, sailing, surfing and paddle boarding are just a few fun options. There is also parasailing and jetskiing to get your adrenaline going.

For all things watersports, Aqua Sports Center is a great place to start. And when it comes to land adventures, Huana Coa Canopy Adventures located in the mountains provides visitors the opportunity to zip line, drive ATV’s or horseback ride through the countryside. 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.

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.


  • 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.