Mazatlan is a great spot for vacationing in Mexico. This is a large city—and it's Mexico’s largest commercial port—yet it retains a small-town and friendly atmosphere. Part of this is no doubt due to the many great beaches, and the majority of things to do in Mazatlan are beach-related activities. Mazatlan is more than just a one-trick pony, however—there are plenty of Mazatlan attractions located away from the beach, while activities in Mazatlan invariably mix both beach and city-slicking pursuits.
Things to do in Mazatlan
Many of the best Mazatlan hotels focus around the so-called Golden Zone, which comprises Playa Gaviotas and Playa Camaron. These two picture-perfect beaches provide for great days spent lounging and soaking up the sun. Playa Olas Altas is another favorite among tourists, and one of the popular activities in Mazatlan include surfing on the waves that break just off this beach. Playa Norte, meanwhile, is a lengthy strip of sand that is frequented largely by locals. If your list of things to do in Mazatlan includes days spent in relative quiet on a beautiful beach, this just might be the spot.
Jet skiing, waterskiing and windsurfing are all popular Mazatlan attractions run from the beaches. Rental shops are common, while Mazatlan hotels also tend to run their own rental operations and learning programs.
Ranked high on any list of Mazatlan attractions are the many restaurants that grace this appealing city. Seafood is a staple here, with fish coming fresh out of the ocean every morning. Mazatlan cooking has a strong German influence, thanks to nineteenth-century immigrants, and, as such, sampling some Germanic fare in the middle of Mexico can be one of the more unusual Mazatlan attractions you’re likely to experience!
The magnificent El Faro (literally, the lighthouse) sits atop a rocky hill on the Mazatlan coast and warns incoming ships not to stray too close to shore. The lighthouse looms over the city, and the views from the top are breathtaking and should be on any itinerary of things to do in Mazatlan. A word of warning, however: the hike up can be difficult, so don’t attempt it unless you're ready for the physical exertion.
Especially on Sundays, the main market (El Mercado) of this Mexican city makes for a great sightseeing visit. Aside from taking in the visually spectacular array of goods, buying your own selection and taking it to the beach for a picnic is one of the best activities in Mazatlan—and one of the cheapest, too.
From Mexico City to Cancun, the Mexicans love to party, and Mazatlan is no different. There is an abundance of bars & nightlife here, from overtly touristy affairs to more local joints. Pick the right one for your tastes, and then spend the evening drinking Pacifico—the local brew—while socializing with friends both old and new.