Mazatlán, the first major resort town on the Pacific coastline, has a split personality. At the northern end of town is the Zona Dorada (Golden Zone), where the hotels (and the prices) rise high and the pace is frenetic. The streets are jammed with tour buses shuttling cruise-ship passengers to dozens of jewelry shops. At the southern end of the malecón (the seaside promenade) is Viejo Mazatlán (Old Mazatlán), the city's historic center, a gorgeous and low-key area of colorful postcolonial buildings—some restored, some still idyllic piles of chipped stucco—where you'll find a few hip restaurants, art galleries, and shops, and a totally different scene from the touristy Golden Zone.
Mazatlán's beaches are golden and wide, though they're not nearly as handsome as those south of Puerto Vallarta. There are, however, tons of beach activities here—this is the place for parasailing—and several nearby islands provide alternatives to the crowded sands in town. Overall, the town is a good choice for a quick getaway: it's cheaper than Puerto Vallarta, the party scene is there for those who want to partake, and unlike in many resort towns, the city has some sights to explore beyond the surf and sand.
While you are there
Our popular things to See & Do
If you’re traveling to Mazatlan in company of your friends or family and you’re looking for an exciting activity to spend quality time, then you can’t miss the Pacific Moto Rent Tour!
This fun-filled Deer Island Tour begins at the marina in Mazatlan, where you’ll board a catamaran for a boat ride around the bay.
On this Mazatlan City Tour we’ll visit all of the city’s important attractions, including the catedral, the central market, the Angela Peralta Theater, the boardwalk, and many other interesting landmarks.
Catch a ride on board a trimaran and travel out of El Cid marina until you reach the Bay of Mazatlan. The journey will take you past the largest natural lighthouse in the world and three beautiful islands.
The Island Adventure Pajaros Tour will take you to the Pajaros Island, located near Mazatlan, where you’ll be able to practice snorkel, swim in its crystal-clear waters and watch local and migrating birds that arrive to the island from October to March.
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